Have Yourself A Very Glamorous Xmas
By Linda Parker
Yes, it’s only November but Christmas jollity has been in the shops September and I have been looking at, reading about and attending Christmas launches and festivities since June. So here we go, launching ourselves into Xmas 2017 ! Here are some lovely ideas to make your home and kitchen glamorously festive – start planning now!
We love the idea of having a little cocktail cabinet or designated drinks bar in the dining room (or living room or kitchen). Metallic accessories – cocktail shakers, vases, glasses and decorations are absolutely the height of fashion at the moment, and Marks & Spencer have one of the best collections. Festive foliage and ornate mirrors add finishing touches. Have a look here for some inspiration.
The gorgeous metallic wallpaper shown in our previous shot reminded me of some bold and beautiful wallpaper designs from Cole & Son – the Mariinsky Damask and Albermarle collections include versions of distressed and etched antique-look mirrored glass. These are Albery from the Albermarle collection, available in various gold, silver, grey and golden bronze options and perfect for a feature wall, alcove or backdrop to some gold or silver-painted shelves.
I’m a big fan of having Xmas decorations throughout the house – not just the tree in the living room or hall. Why not deck out the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen too … it’s not as if there’s a shortage of ideas! This simple idea – red painted panelling with a peg rail and suspended decorations looks fabulous and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. Try Venetian Red, Crimson or Bordeaux red paint from Zoffany, the colours are rich and vibrant, with emulsion and eggshell finishes available. The hessian-wrapped table-top tree is slim enough to sit on a console table, all items and accessories are from Dunelm. Best go prepared and bag a large trolley, there are lots of tempting Xmas goodies on display!
Three bright Christmas ideas; laser-cut red felt placemats and coasters are from Sainsbury’s Home, suspend a group of painted and bejewelled bauble from coloured ribbons to make some unique and luxurious decorations – hang over a table or from the arm of a wall light for a super-glam effect; these are all from John Lewis. Take your pick of some of the best decorations around by visiting their Christmas department here. Perk up a bedside table or dull centre-piece light fitting with some new shades; these winter-patterned fabric drum shade is also from Sainsbury’s Home, visit the website here.
No window or windowsill should go undecorated at Xmas! Use strings of fairy lights wherever possible (battery operated ones are easier to position, and the battery packs can be hidden behind a lantern or swag of greenery). I’m tempted to advise picking up greenery and twigs a couple of weeks before festivities begin, drying everything out and spraying with glitter and gold, white or silver paint. But to be perfectly honest there are so many beautifully constructed ideas and decorations available in the stores that I’ve come to the conclusion that life is possibly too short to spray leaves. All these gorgeous ideas are from Dunelm, as before.
I’m imagining trails of ivy and garlands entwined around this gorgeous Maria Banjo caged wall light from Urban Cottage Industries (keep any decorative additions away from the bulb itself of course). This little Art Deco wall cabinet is worthy of a bit of bathroom Xmas frippery too. Maybe some gorgeous baubles stacked up inside. See the rest of the Scaramanga ideas here. The idea of glamming up some shabby-chic and slightly scruffy vintage pieces is very appealing – the contrast will be quirky and fun. And finally, another drinks-trolley idea – try glamorising this industrial-style trolley by Melody Maison. It’s purely practical, with plenty of space for bottles, glasses and all manner of bar supplies – just add tinsel and glitter. See the rest of the Melody Maison range here.
And finally, in the spirit of getting ready for Christmas at the beginning of November, it’s a good idea to do a quick mental audit of all the kitchen equipment. Check filters (dishwasher, washing machine, tumble drier, boiling water tap and extractors) to ensure that they can work at maximum efficiency during the hectic cooking and entertaining period. If you have the time and energy it’s also worth spending a couple of hours giving the ovens, fridge and freezer a good clean up too. Try and make some space in the fridge and freezer to allow for last-minute emergency supplies – and of course to discard any unusable leftovers that have been lurking in the back of the freezer for far too long. Check over your food prep equipment too – make sure knives are sharp, mixer and blender are sparkling and ready to go, and that you have enough oven dishes, serving dishes and casseroles. If you discover a gap, hopefully it’s not too late to put something lovely on a Christmas wish-lish! My ‘go to’ serving and prep dishes tend to be either large-scale Le Creuset casseroles that can be used from oven to table (with hefty trivets and mats to avoid scorching surfaces, of course) and a selection of Pyrex dishes and tins. Try the classic Pyrex pudding bowl from the Cook & Go range, and the Magic Roaster, which is an absolute must-have. The tin is non-stick, has an all-round edge with pouring lip at one corner, which means it’s easy to grip and tip, and it may also be used as a sliding shelf in some ovens too. See the whole Pyrex collection here.