Sprucing up for Christmas
By Linda Parker
At the time of writing, Lockdown II is just about to end, but who knows what the following weeks are going to bring us. Many businesses and small shops had hauled themselves into Christmas at the beginning of November, and quite a few of us had already started getting the Xmas decs out, the tree ordered, and the lights up! So if you’re not already ahead of the Christmas curve, here are a few more suggestions for you…
Blush pink has been a favourite colour that’s been popping up everywhere for the last couple of years, and it’s continuing to be a favourite. There’s even hints of it heading towards a peachy-pink shade (Is peach nearly due for a comeback? I’m reminded of peach taffeta ruched blinds and Laura Ashley frocks!) Anyway, if you want to create a fresh Christmas table setting, stick to blush, cream, ivory and gold. All these gorgeous accessories are from Amara
This isn’t a suggestion for a pre-Christmas project, honestly! Merely a suggestion from Atrafloor for some new colours and designs for the coming months. The vinyl collection mimics mosaic tiles and has been designed by Lauren Kavanagh. She comments ;We wanted to give our customers an alternative to traditional mosaic tiles. By combining our vinyl flooring with unique, digitally-drawn designs, we can offer them something they might not have considered before. The collection is perfect for hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. You can let the floors do the talking by pairing them with minimalistic, Scandi-inspired pieces’ We thought the pink version would be pretty fabulous in a bathroom, see here for colours and patterns.
But if you wanted to keep it simple, perhaps for a kitchen black or white kitchen project, why not consider the timeless, crisp monochrome look of the diamond-patterned Providence design, also by Atrafloor.
Suspending decorations and baubles above the kitchen island or dining table has always been a tricky manoeuvre! There are no fixed rules, all the set designers and photographers have their own little tricks and short cuts which basically involve the ‘fixings’ being hidden just out of shot! Anyway, to cut a long story short, we rather like the creativity involved in this crafty above-the-table decoration, all items from a very wonderful selection at Dunelm, with many things available online.
Decorate your kitchen very simply and seasonally with a garland stretched across the chimney-piece or above-cooker shelf. Fix into place with Blue-Tack or similar, or double-sided tape or hidden drawing pins. This kitchen, by Harvey Jones, is the Arbor design, and shown here is a deliciously seasonal dark green, complete with Christmassy accessories.
If you have glazed cabinets, get our the Xmas bits and bobs and show them off! As it seems that this year we’re heading into Christmas early, there’s time to re-arrange the cupboards accordingly. All items here are once again from the desirable (and very sensibly priced!) dining collections at Dunelm
Three Xmas Wishes: Is it allowed to put a boiling water tap on your Christmas wish list? I definitely think so, as it’s probably the only must-have in my kitchen that is absolutely non-negotiable. Wouldn’t be without it – ever! These are the new Electronic Minerva 4-in-1 taps by Franke, in Industrial Copper and Industrial Gold. So, the tap supplies 100 Deg C boiling, cold filtered or normal hot/cold water from a single spout. The filters are easily replaced and can be ordered online. Another Xmas wish list contender is a steamer. Ok, not quite as exciting, but definitely useful and a very welcome way of preparing multiple vegetables without taking over the entire hob space. This is the Three-Tier Steamer by Von Haus, and of course it can be used to gently steam fish as well …
Another suggestion for the Xmas kitchen mantel, or the living room or perhaps entwined along the bannisters. This is the 12-ft long Winter Berry Lit Garland from Marks & Spencer. These ideas are good investment buys, as they can be brought out year after year, and used in different ways. I think our garland has been entwined here and there and sometimes used along the dining table as a centrepiece too (and no, the table isn’t quite 12ft long!!)
There’s a great deal of satisfaction in creating beautiful table displays (or tablescapes as they are now known in Instagram-land!). Basically, it’s just a table-top display that can be left in place for a few days at a time. A table runner plus greenery and crackers and perhaps a bowl of fruits and nuts. And no, we’re not suggesting that the cheeseboard is left out on display! All these co-ordinating ideas are from the always-lovely designs by designer Sophie Allport. These are from the Partridge In A Pear Tree collection.
We may have learned many things from Lockdown I. Including how to make banana bread and biscuits. Give the children something to do in the days up to Christmas, and refill the cake and biscuit tins in time for the much-anticipated ‘five days of Christmas’. (*Disclaimer … correct at time of writing!). So you may need some new bakeware, and if so, take a look at the wide range at Garden Trading. If you act quickly, you can probably fill most of the gaps in your Christmas-presents-to-buy list as well …
I wanted to include a cast iron casserole dish as a suggestion as a festive housewarming present, or ‘first Christmas’ present for anyone who has just moved into a new house or flat and needs to up their kitchen game. In actual fact it’s probably more likely that the reverse is happening and people are moving back in with their parents so there could be an abundance of cookware sloshing around the house! Either way, if you need a jolly good cast iron casserole that will be ever useful, take a look at the selection at Pro Cook, there are some great offers available.
If vegetable decorations are a little bit too sensible, try the Christmas Cheer set of baubles from Ella James. Very acceptable and just what’s needed!
And finally, we’re wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and the suggestion that this gorgeous Nordic Bouquet from a lovely Christmas collection at The Real Flower Company will go a long way into launching ourselves at 2021!