This is the time of year when we really want to love our homes the most. Whether we’re ever-ready for guests, snuggling in front of the fire, or hosting the Hogmanay bash, it’s the season we want to feel warm and welcomed.
The natural touch is a key interior trend for 2019. Combining soft wools and woods with warm chocolate browns and creams is a relaxing backdrop for a festive flourish.
The classic festive feel never goes out of fashion and luxurious touches of red or green velvet immediately nod to the nostalgia of traditional trimmings. Many of us still opt for the turkey (or nut roast) dinner, the mince pies and the old films, and alongside the mulled wine – it’s nice to have a touch of traditional warmth in our environment too.
Once you have the soft, warm backdrop, you can add the festive touch to whatever greater or lesser extent you prefer. Think about the natural plants and flowers of the season as the core way to effortlessly bring the season into your home. It doesn’t take much to create an impression if you’re sticking with the traditional favourites. Just a bowl full of holly immediately says ‘Santa’ or some strategically placed mistletoe adds a festive edge. Bring the outside in with some chunky pine cones or twisty twigs. Spray with a touch of gold paint, or hang little baubles from the twigs to easily add that understated sparkle to your room.
The Christmas tree is of course the seasonal focus point. For me, when I was growing up, this was an annual traipse of a mission, getting from forest to borrowed roof-rack to wrong sized pot. It was never guaranteed the tree would last to the big day, and very often the hoover was full of needles before Santa had fired up the sleigh. However this is no more. There’s no need to travel or scrabble for your tree this year. There’s an array available right on our doorsteps. The West End Garden Centre is even creating a festive forest. Owner Martin says, ‘We’ll have hundreds of trees for people to choose from, locally sourced with non-needle options – all of which can be delivered free of charge’.
Whatever you do to decorate your tree, is a matter of taste and tradition. But bear in mind that you can also borrow a few snippets from a branch or two at the back to create little natural touches in place settings, or table displays. Even for your present wrapping, think natural and keep it simple. Use brown paper to wrap your presents, with a personalised red ribbon, or even some traditional string then tie it off with a sprig of holly, or a tiny pine cone or tree clipping. Make a simple old-school printed gift tag with a star or a tree cut from an old sponge or a potato, get the kids involved in the process and it will be easy, cheap, fun and admired under anyone’s tree.
And our local florists are also gearing up for supplying our creative Christmas needs, with a wide array of festive florals available. Hyacinth House is also running wreath-making workshops in November and December. Meaning that not only can you pick up everything you need to add that natural outdoors touch to your home, but you can also learn the creative skills to make a fresh Christmas statement with simple plants and products.
As we’re bringing the outside in this year, think about your outside space too. Are there some trees you can gaze out on that can hold a few lights, can you make a festive bird feeder to bring a winter robin to your windowsill, could you hang a few decorations from the rose bush? Also have a think if there’s a better way to maximise your outdoors too. Outside In Garden Rooms are based in the West End and they can create standalone new rooms in your garden in as little as two weeks. So – if you need a new space to put a gym, an office, or a relative this winter, keep your options open and consider all your spaces.
And remember that Christmas is a season of the senses, the sounds of jingling bells, crunching frost, and carols; the sights of the lights and colours; the feel of the velvet cushions and the fluffy slippers; and the smell of the fresh pine, cinnamon and clove. Invest in a few good quality candles to add that spicy scent to your home, or better still – get the mulled wine on the stove and light the fire.
West End Garden Centre 40-44 Peel Street G11 5LU
Hyacinth House Floristry 950A Crow Road G13 1JD hyacinthhousefloristry.com
The image on the home page is of products available from The Store Interiors, thestoreinteriors.co.uk