Thinking Festive Thoughts
By Linda Parker
Having left too many things to the last minute last Christmas, there were many discussions about how prepared we would all be this year. Well, it doesn’t work like that, does it. I’m starting to think about easy decorations … assuming we’ll have a finished house, that is. That’s actually quite unlikely, so I think the brain cells will be better used thinking about varnishing internal doors, working out what combination of Ikea bookshelves will work best in the study, and how much gardening is it possible to do in the winter. But, being optimistic and back to decorations … real ivy and any other greenery I can find in the garden will be eked out with faux garlands this year I think. There are lots of lovely items available at bargain prices from the high street stores, and whilst I’m looking for decorations I can perhaps have a quick whizz around some of the furniture stores to make some pre January-sale plans!
Deep jewel shades can be a bit daunting to include in a colour scheme, but we’ve been noticing lots of emerald and sea greens, peacock blue and intense red shades around at the moment. Peacock blue is a particular favourite, and looks stunning here, allowing a gold wreath to stand out and look ultra-striking.
If you’re not a baubles and glitter kind of person, why not try a subtler approach to Christmas decorations, by splashing out on some new cushions. These red ones would look perfect teamed with a squishy leather chesterfield or against a fluffy faux-fur throw. In fact nearly all the stores have a very presentable range of festive furnishings, so also have a look at George, Sainsbury’s, Laura Ashley, Next and Debenhams as well, ideas include festive bedlinen and bath towels too.
For a change of direction away from Christmas and kitchens, these new tiles from tile specialist Reed Harris caught my eye. They are most definitely ‘focal point’ feature tiles, and could really only be paired with plain white fittings and flooring, but for those brave enough, I think they could be an inspired choice. I could also see these tiles as a splashback in a stark white kitchen … Look at the whole range at www.reedharris.co.uk. Business Development manager Karen Brimacombe says ‘Fantastic Exotic will be a prominent trend on the high street, featuring oversized and brightly coloured jungle motifs. Think tropical florals, hot pink and turquoise, tempered with black and eau de nil. Go for bold colour and bold pattern.
This month’s gadget must be one of the simplest and most satisfying to use. Even if you don’t need to separate eggs very often, you’ll be tempted to get one of these and add meringues to your dinner party repertoire! The Blobby egg yolk separator by Gefu from www.inthehaus.co.uk is simply perfect and foolproof. Suck up the egg yolk and you’re left with a mess-free egg white in the bowl. And I’ve also used the bulb itself for storing the separated yolks in the fridge till needed. Silicone and plastic, dishwasher safe, and just £6.95.
And onwards towards the Brussel sprouts … faux sprout wreath, 40cm diameter, £31, The Contemporary Home. www.tch.net
Next month … Christmas cooking and some ideas for short cuts.