Let’s think about Christmas…
By Linda Parker
As soon as Bonfire night is done, we’re straight into Christmas. Which is absolutely fine by us! After all, if we’re going to be decorating our homes and our kitchen showrooms and studios, it may as well be for a reasonable length of time. If you’re just launching yourselves into Christmas, here’s some prepping ideas…
SEASONAL STYLING FROM HARVEY JONES
The kitchen doesn’t have to be cluttered to include some seasonal decorations. Use open shelves, perhaps some fairy lights and some tall candles on the work surface – add a few crackers and it’s all ready to go. And of course, this simple, seasonal look is perfect for a showroom or studio too. This is the Arbor kitchen, by Harvey Jones, which adds new look to their Shaker-style kitchens, with a focus on the details, such as the reduced width rails and stiles.
THE USEFUL UTILITY
Melissa Klink, Creative Director, Harvey Jones, suggests making best use of the laundry or utility room over the festive period. ‘A sink in the laundry room is ideal for keeping drinks cool if fridge space is limited. Fill with ice and cold water, creating a DIY cooler’. Or use the prep sink in the island as a cooler, too. This and organised serene laundry/utility room has Arbor cabinetry, by Harvey Jones.
A WISE-CHOICE WINE COOLER
If space allows, a wine-cooler, or wine fridge or wine cellar as they’re also known, is a must-have if space and finances allow. Some may view one as an extravagance, but for regular entertaining and seasonal parties, they are a worthwhile addition. End-of-island is a good position, allowing easy access without getting in the way of the vital area between hob and sink! Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones
Create a Christmas scheme using the over-mantel, which also avoids spreading out onto the work surfaces, which may be better used for the food prep and cocktail station! It’s also a good excuse to give open shelves a clean and de-clutter before Christmas. Add faux or real garlands, Christmas lights and perhaps some candles, knowing that everything is out of reach and away from hot-spots and serving dishes. Painted kitchen, Harvey Jones, as before.
CHRISTMAS COOKING BY KITCHENAID
A stand mixer will definitely get lots of use over the Christmas season, from mixing up the Christmas pudding to getting going with other festive bakes and cakes. If anyone wants to splash out on a stand mixer that will look fabulous when left out on the work surface, as well as providing flawless mixing and processing, consider the new KitchenAid Mixer Design Series 4.7L Blossom. The hammered copper bowl is stunning, and there’s also stainless steel wire whisk, dough hook, flat beater, pastry beater, and a bowl scraper. If you’re feeling fancy, take a look at the excellent French Christmas Log recipe.
NATURAL LOOKS BY JOHN LEWIS
There are so many Christmas themes popping up each year, from jewel-like brights to frosty whites and Scandi-style. They kind of change each year, and this year’s themes from John Lewis are rather more interesting than usual. This willow ball decoration is from their rather lovely Community Garden collection of decs.
UNDER THE MISLETOE WITH ANNABEL JAMES
Sometimes simple decorations are a smart choice, especially if you’re looking to switch up a busy kitchen, or just want something understated. This lovely Misletoe LED Wreath from Annabel James ticks the style and simplicity boxes … and you could leave it up till February as well!
DRAMATIC DECORATIONS BY DUNELM
The Festive Traveller themed decorations from Dunelm are pretty interesting, including some interestingly coloured paper fans. Personally, I love intricate folded paper decorations, whether they’re fans or stars or snowflakes. Great for parties and displays all year round, not just for Christmas. Layer them up over a mantel, dining table or arch/doorway for instant impact.
CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS MARKS & SPENCER STYLE
Get the Christmas spirits flowing by setting up a cocktail corner at home for the festive season … having all the equipment together in one place makes it easier to show off the cocktail-making skills. Cocktail set, candles, champagne saucers, shaker, decorations and Palmer Drinks Cabinet , all Marks & Spencer.
FESTIVE FRAGRANCE FROM LORIEST & CO
Seasonally fragranced candles are an excellent idea, for both homes and showrooms – the scents set a Christmassy scene as soon as one enters the room … These are the Notes of December, January and February candles by Loriest & Co. All are made in Britain … December has notes of spruce, fern and pine with camelia; January is focussed on thyme, rosemary and viburnum; February is wild fern, snowdrops and primrose. Just the job for adding a sense of festive celebration (as well as over-riding wet dog or burnt toast!).
TRAD TREE, MODERN KITCHEN BY BENCHMARX
Take some time to add Christmas touches to the kitchen, contrasting a traditional tree against contemporary cabinetry. The Eton kitchen from Benchmarx Kitchens , shown here in Matt Dove Grey, has an anti-fingerprint finish, also comes in gloss finishes, and can also be specified as a handleless version.