Gary Warrell-Phillips

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Home for Christmas

10 November, 2015

When I was young I remember waking up early one Christmas morning to find a stocking at the foot of my bed. I distinctively recall that feeling of absolute awe and wonder that Santa had been! It was, without a doubt, a most magical feeling.

As Christmas seems to come earlier each year my thoughts are…why fight it? It’s a wonderful time and yet instead of enjoying the festivities leading up to it, we spend much of it preparing just for the big day. So, at the end of November I set about re-creating that magic, infusing every aspect of our home with the sights, sounds and aromas of Christmas, that way we can relax and really appreciate the beauty of the season.

A Warm Welcome

This year it’s all about creating a theatre of Christmas – consistent themed styles that flow effortlessly throughout the home, from your front door right through to the tree, table and room decorations.

What better way to create a fabulous welcome than to adorn your front door with a festive wreath. It’s like the wrapping on a gift, enticing you to see what delights await inside.

One of the hottest palettes this year is the combination of white, ivory or cream mixed with metallics such as silver, gold and copper tones. With its rich lustre and textures this combination simply oozes elegance and will enhance any neutral decor and if you want to add a ‘pop’ of colour…blue is most definitely the hue!

Regardless of the season, evergreens in pots purposely placed either side of your door look stunning when decorated with warm white fairy lights. Complete the look with festive lanterns and timeless accessories such as the ever popular reindeer, or even an old wooden sleigh. Grouped together they will add that extra sparkle that will give your home real Christmas curb appeal.

Deck the Halls

Making our home festive for Christmas has become such a wonderful tradition. With Frank Sinatra playing in the background, we excitedly unpack all the boxes of baubles and ornaments, making it a really fun event.

Over the years we have collected some wonderful decorations, many of which are vintage – a trend that is certainly popular again this Christmas.

Faux trees in candyfloss pink and pastel blue, with kitsch tree decorations, all in glittery, shiny finishes, reminiscent of the 1950’s, are having a revival this year. If the idea of a marshmallow world doesn’t appeal, never fear as, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the appearance of red, gold and emerald green which continues to shine.

And the new star attraction this year is? Adorable tiny house tea lights, lanterns and ornaments. Display them on every available platform teamed with a few snowy, fragrant tree branches and iced/metallic baubles that compliment your theme and in no time at all you will have created a frosted wonderland that will look absolutely beautiful.


Winter Woodland

Once all the decorations are in place I love nothing more than relaxing with a hot drink, in front of a warm fire admiring my efforts and it is then I remember the new winter cushions and throws I bought.

Textiles this winter are all about woodland creatures such as foxes and squirrels (with owls and deer continuing to be popular) featured in simple photographic style. Pairing cushions with knitted cable or faux fur throws in tones through from natural browns to winter whites will really complete your seasonal styling. Now where did I put mine…

Festive Feast

The last preparation, before we head out for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, tends to be setting the table for lunch the next day. Every year I like to give our festive feast a different style, so I’m rather excited to see that candles are a real feature everywhere, especially at the dining table.

By matching your table decorations to your chosen theme, adding candles to the centrepiece and at each place setting, you will give your Christmas table the wow factor every time, creating a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere that will leave your guests thoroughly enchanted.

If you can’t decide what style to go with this Christmas, just remember what you love most about the season. For me it’s the sights, the sounds, the aromas, the people and the traditions that come together to create that magical feeling and that’s what makes a Christmas merry. All you really need to do is choose which type of bow to wrap it all up in!

Gary Warrell-Phillips, Decoration by Design, Farnborough, Hampshire

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