IT’S HERE … well, it’s very nearly Christmas, and there’s still time to go shopping!
By Linda Parker
Ok, we’re all in full-on Christmas mode now, so here are some inspirational decorative ideas to help if you’re feeling jaded already …
As I may have mentioned, Christmas goes on for ever at my home, with little decs and Xmas items creeping in from at least June onwards. We’ve been known to have four or five trees up at a time (one year from October there were five fully decked trees hanging around after a photo-shoot!). Much to the entertainment of the neighbours …
So, if you’re just about to nip out and buy a new tree or stock up on decs, here are some themed ideas to get you started. Above, a bright tree looks gorgeous against a navy wall. Tree, decs and accessories, all John Lewis.
Above: A very convincing snow-tipped faux tree from Homebase … teamed with Scandinavian-style red and white rustic decorations, this is a perfect scheme for a simply-decorated room.
Above: Choose opulent metallic themes and a velvet-covered chair for a super-luxurious look; all items from HomeSense.
Above: Blue is cool … a metallic blue, white and silver decorative theme looks stunning in a pale and elegant dining room. No need to go over-the-top with reds and golds, why not keep it calm and elegant! All items, John Lewis.
I thought I would also just hark back to some of my favourite pieces of kitchen kit which will be put to very good use throughout the festivities. My Bella Housewares Multi-Function pressure cooker will be making the most of leftovers, whipping up some speedy veggie soups, and I’m planning to try and pressure cook a ham too (that’s as well as the usual beef casserole and a new lamb shank recipe I’m planning to try). The thing with oven-cooking for large numbers is that by the time something has been slow-cooking for five hours we’ve generally emptied a few bottles of wine and got past the eating stage and started on the party stage! So anything that speeds things up and still produces fabulous results is a winner. My Dualit stick blender is nearly worn out it’s had so much use over the last few years, but it remains my favourite, and makes short work of butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnip and carrot soups. I think I need to make more of an effort with green vegetables though, but ‘orange’ soups look so much more appealing than the brown versions that result when adding green stuff … See the link for the latest Dualit version – mine has a black rubberised handle which has gone a bit sticky, if anyone has any tips for cleaning, let us know!
If you are reading this after the Christmas chaos, you may be open to some kitchen design suggestions. This is the new Genoa kitchen by Caple. Shown here in Cloud and Pebble. Shades of grey and neutrals are still overwhelmingly popular and it would be a good decision to choose any of these for your new kitchen. Colour can be added by simply painting a section of wall (as shown here on the chimney breast) or adding a coloured glass splashback. I’ve got a wonderful burnt-orange glass splashback which was made to match a specific paint colour I chose. It was under £200 (try DIY Splashbacks) and although that sum is not to be sneezed at, I think that in a few years’ time, if I do fancy a change of colour emphasis it won’t break the bank to replace it. At the moment, darker shades of damson or teal are under consideration … Another theme to look out for 2018 is the continuation of metallic shades of copper, bronze and rose gold. Again, you don’t have to splash too much cash, there are some gorgeous metallic paints around which can add that touch of oomph to any room. Try the new colours from If you use it in a kitchen or bathroom, think about adding a clear toughened glass panel if the wall needs extra protection. For occasional chairs, stools, cushions and general home accessories, blush pink continues to be hugely popular and teams beautifully with soft greys and neutrals, without being too startling.
Some of the latest metallic emulsion colours from Crown Paints.
The new range of crockery and ceramics from Argos just goes to show that nice design doesn’t have to be costly, and that a few choice pieces on display can add a new look to a kitchen-dining space. These items feature pattern, texture and geometric shapes – top trends for 2018.
The latest Arcos Edition collection kitchen from Schmidt is the striking Murphy wood-effect design – it’s a laminate ultra-matt finish that has a bold and unusual grain, which would make it the ‘statement choice’ for any kitchen. Other options include Nano Black, Cliff, Marmor (a luxury marble look) and Oxid Blue. There are so many cabinet configurations (including the Expando 16 table) that a kitchen of absolutely any size or shape can be beautifully kitted out. Kitchens are from £10,000.
And even more kitchen inspiration for next year … these stone surfaces are from stonemason and surface specialist Gerald Culliford. We love the solid, structured look and crisp lines. It’s not a look that will appeal to everyone, but certainly is there to be both inspirational and practical.
Well, we couldn’t resist showing you this style idea … red isn’t just for Christmas! It’s a literally a brilliant addition to a black, white, and ivory kitchen. Tilt the blinds to let as much or as little ‘red’ show as you like. And, that vivid shade adds a warm glow to a gloomy kitchen on grey days. See the rest of the options available from English Blinds here. And if you hurry you may just get your hands on one before Christmas …
And finally … I couldn’t wish you a Merry Christmas without one last festive idea! The thought of snuggling up underneath this gorgeous red and white duvet cover and furry throw is making me look forward to Christmas films on the iPad and a glass or two of mulled wine! All these lovely things are from George Home, hurry along and snap up some bargains here. See you in the New Year with some more inspirational design, cooking and healthy eating ideas!!