This will be our first proper Christmas in London. I say proper as last year we had just relocated to London from Amsterdam, only 10 days before my favorite day of the year. I was pregnant and had a toddler in full blown “terrible two” phase: it was messy to say the least. I still wanted to decorate the house but, as you can imagine, I didn’t had time to really enjoy the festive atmosphere.
This year, having finally settled in my favorite place in the world, I’m one hundred percent committed to make the most out of this Christmas and, most probably, I will go a bit over the top in terms of decorations. What can I do, I just LOVE Christmas: to me it truly is the best time of the year. Since being a child, Christmas has always been special to me: the anticipation of it was pure magic; I will always be treasuring those moments and be grateful for them.
Festivities as an expat are always a bit bittersweet as it’s hard not being able to share those joyful moments with your family. However, I look forward to spending Christmas with the four of us and create our own traditions.
I like to start decorating nice and early (probably a bit too early for many) so that I can see how pieces blend together and to figure out what I should add to the ensemble. Each year I change the theme of my decorations and this year I decide to opt for a very traditional scheme combining the traditional Christmassy shades: rich reds, dashes of white and touches of green for an extra splash of colour.
The first room to receive a festive makeover is always my living room and this year was no exception. The fireplace is the main focal point and I wanted to make sure that it would be a true eye catcher. The lit wreath from Laura Ashley sits beautifully in the centre of the fire mantle, surrounded by scented candles and little Christmas trees from TK MAXX. The felt mistletoes garland is so bright and vibrant: it looks perfectly paired with the wreath and our personalised Christmas stockings, handmade by the talented Catherine of Peonie Cole. As our fireplace is purely ornamental, I wanted to fill the base with something: I have used a large wicker tray filled with pinecones, decorated it with some red ribbon and then added a big lantern to give the illusion of a crackling fire.
My chest of drawers has been “dressed for the occasion” by replacing the existing shades of my candlestick bases with two fenn shades in cranberry: I love the darker and warmer hues they bring to the room; I’m totally taken by their rich red shade. The cream dinner candle centrepiece looks gorgeous sitting between my lamps and are filled with some Christmassy candles from Susie Watson Design. As the sideboard still looked a bit empty, I have added the beautiful winter lit garland to make the ensemble look fuller and more elegant: I’m so pleased with the result, timeless and classy.
My armchairs are feeling extra snuggly with the soft velvet of the Nigella cushion, paired with some brushed pillows in tartan (my latest obsession). Big branches of winter berry in a vase are just the perfect Christmas fix to brighten a room and to fill empty spaces, plus they last very long so it’s a win win. Last, but not least a snuggly throw to keep me warm during the cold nights is a must and I chose mine in tartan as well.
I’m so happy with my Christmassy home, at night we light the candles which fill the house with spiced flavours and, I must confess, I’m already listening to Christmas music. After all there are only 40 days left before that magical time and I want to enjoy the atmosphere as long as I can!