All year I’ve been keeping a list of all the best bits and bobs I’ve seen that would make great Christmas presents for the interior-obsessed. Those that have made the cut are either really pretty, really clever or really well designed. Basically, it’s a list of everything I’d like to own and might as well be a personal letter to Santa, but if I love it then I’m certain others will too! Everything listed ranges from £2 - £50, with brands ranging from indie stores to the high street….
I always make a Xmas wreath every year for my front door, but I'm totally self-taught. I just go with an idea in my head and run with it, which is great, but sometimes it is nice to get an insight into just how the professionals do it. When a really great florist makes a wreath, there is often something unexpected in the mix, and you know it will last right through over Xmas without wilting or drying out!
Well hello and welcome to this years 'My Home At Xmas!' I can't quite believe it but this year is actually the first Christmas since my living room has been painted blue. The Xmas scheme for 2017 therefore had to match the new walls, so I am delighted to have partnered up with Balsam Hill this year as part of their 'Trees & Baubles' blog hop.
In recent years there has been a real focus on the kitsch of Christmas: Flamingo and Pineapple baubles, the 'return' of tinsel as an acceptable Christmas decoration, and let's not even get started on the abundance of drinks trolleys. Yet decorating your home at Christmas need not all be about trend-led decor. Instead, I've picked out my favourite Christmas decor and homeware items which fall under my category of 'Classy Christmas'. These pieces may not be the cheapest, but they are beautiful, investment pieces that will stand the test of time and you'll lovingly get them out each winter for years to come. They also make the absolute BEST presents for interior and design lovers at Christmas.
Apologies for those of you who find it a bit early in November to start talking about Christmas, yet for those who like to plan ahead, it's time to focus on the best Xmas tree decorations that are available to buy on the high street!
I am well aware that I may be becoming boring and predictable as this blog is full of door wreaths for all seasons, but designing and making a new door wreath for my front door is something I personally enjoy doing in my spare time, so apologies, they are just going to keep popping up round here!
The Easter Bank Holiday falls three weeks later than last year for 2017, so its after the school holidays. For those of you with children to entertain, or for those of you with dogs to walk, I thought I'd share with you my 'Easy Easter Tree'. This tree costs virtually nothing to make, but provides a beautiful focal point in your home over the Easter break. All you need is a bit of branch collecting and some left over white paint!
For my Easter door wreath this year, I wanted to make something really full-on and dramatic. I feel like i've achieved that with this egg-tastic door wreath! This wreath was really cheap to make, but it wasn't the quickest thing to knock up. If like me you are dedicated to the cause of having the best Easter wreath in town for a few quid, then read on my like-minded friends...
In the 10+ years that my husband and I have been together, we have never celebrated Valentines Day. Yep, that's right. No soppy cards to each other, no red roses, no date night on Valentines Day. Shortly after we became an item, my husband declared how he detested Valentines with the words "I don't need card companies to dictate to me when and how I should express my feelings." To be honest, I agreed with him. Valentines Day, with it's tacky heart-clutching teddy bears, overpriced flowers and the over-booked, set-menu restaurant dates just had no appeal.
Everyone overbuys at Christmas. "It's best to have too much than not enough" being echoed far and wide in supermarkets across the land, days leading up to the 25th. Yet I feel guilty as Christmas also turns into the season of waste as uneaten fruit and veg goes off, decorations get discarded and stuff with still a bit of life in it gets binned as it no longer serves a purpose. That's why my blog post to you today lovely readers is all about how to create a glam New Years Eve party table setting with all your left over Christmas bits and bobs!
I was recently asked by the lovely ladies at MK Design and Occipinti if I wanted to attend their Christmas Table Setting Workshop held at the Republic of Fritz Hansen. The answer was of course a resounding 'hell yes!' The chance to get all Christmassy and crafty, drinking mulled wine and creating a floral table centrepiece with boutique florists Agent F was something that sounded VERY appealing (booze and floral displays - two of my favourite things!)
It was an absolute honour to recently be asked to write a guest post for the lovely ladies at Mia Fleur. If you have not heard of Mia Fleur, they are an incredible family run business who sell the most beautiful and interesting homeware products! Chances are if you've seen something totally original and quirky for the home, it's come from Mia Fleur.
Welcome to my house at Christmas! If you are joining me as part of the UK Blog Hop from We Love Home, an extra thank you for joining me here! I'm so chuffed to be part of the first ever UK Home Blog Hop, courtesy of the lovely Kimberly of the ultra-fabulous Swoonworthy. In my Hop you'll find some crafty Christmas DIY's and tips on having a handmade Xmas. So come on in, help yourself to a mince pie and let me show you around.....
Gold leaf pears are not a Xmas craft that I can take credit for. In fact, I first learnt this simple Xmas DIY about 10 years ago on 'Kirstie's Handmade Xmas' TV show (you know the one where Kirstie Allsopp tries her hand at traditional Xmas crafts each year on Channel 4. I bloody love it!) I first did gold-leaf place name pears for a Xmas dinner party I was hosting back then, when the show was first aired. They were a huge success, so I thought I'd revisit them for 2016 and document them on the blog.
I'm working with Swiftcover again this week as part of their #swifthomehacks campaign, to show you a cheap and super easy DIY to make your own Xmas baubles! Last Christmas I noticed that there was a real trend in the more upmarket department stores for tree decorations that were miniature glass bottles featuring glamorous feathers inside. The stores were selling these decorations for about £4 - £7 each. After having an early October nose through the Christmas departments this year (yes I know, I'm keen to get a head start!) I saw that these types of decorations are again popular for 2016.
I'm delighted to be part of the #swifthomehacks campaign this year! When Swiftcover asked me to share a couple of simple Xmas DIY'S, I knew I had to share how to make a traditional Chirtmas door wreath. The Christmas wreath, like the tree, for me is a classic, integral part of xmas décor. I take huge pride in my Christmas wreath, as everyone sees it as they pass your home. It's also the first thing guests see when they arrive for celebrations! The thing is, a pretty Xmas wreath can often cost more than buying the Xmas tree! Go to a florist and you'll be looking at £100+ for anything detailed. Even local flower markets charge a good £30-£40 for a basic 'real' wreath base with no frills. Yet with a bit of prep, a bit of foraging and a glue gun, you can create a really professional-looking, real Xmas wreath for less than £20.
Whoop! Here it is - first Christmas post! Expect many more over the next few weeks - I've got posts on making door wreaths to tree decorations alongside DIY table setting ideas. First up are my top 5 crafty ideas for making your Christmas gifts look A+. They are also super easy and cheap to do. Wrap your presents early and put them under the tree to enjoy in your home until you have to give them away!
With seasonal decor I always like it to be made with natural elements, rather than being too plastic-fantastic. Halloween you can go a little bit craaayy-zeee, but I still want the decor to look stylish.This year for Halloween I decided that I'd make the most of the steps leading up to my front door and experiment with painting pumpkins and using flowers in the design, rather than traditional carving.
I'm sure i've probably mentioned this before, but I'm a sucker for a door wreath. They are such a brilliant decoration to celebrate an occasion/season, and they really add serious kerb appeal to your home. Everyone loves to walk past and look at a home with a beautiful door wreath don't they? Autumn provides the easiest and the cheapest opportunity for a door wreath, as you can pick the supplies up scattered all around outside in the street! Conkers, acorns, dried leaves in a multitude of reds, yellows and browns are all great to use on a home-made Autumn wreath, so it's a great craft to do with kids as you can get them to run around sourcing all the bits!
If there is one thing to make me add a restaurant to my 'never to return' list (apart from no-reservation policies - what is all that about???), it's serving me a glass of wine in the kind of tumbler you used to get your water in with your school dinner. Being a grown up, and probably paying way over a fiver for a glass of wine, I'm pretty partial to having it in a decent glass. As you can imagine, when LSA International (the official sponsor of the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2016) wanted to gift me some of their glass pieces for making the Best DIY & Craft Award shortlist, I was delighted! LSA International are celebrating 50 years of production this year, and you can see why their products are still regular features on wedding gift lists with their beautiful collections of handblown glass, porcelain, leather, wood and enamelled steel.
My front door is very visible from my street, so on holidays and occasions I like to DIY a wreath to hang out the front. It gives the house a lot more kerb appeal and they are always fun to make. Of course, you can buy seasonal wreaths in the shops, but they start from around £18 upwards for something 'decent', when you can purchase all the basic materials to put together an Easter wreath from haberdashery and craft shops for under a fiver...