the & then they went wild way
Nicki's top tips on how to add that extra magic and sparkle to your Christmas interiors.
Images styled by Nicki Bamford-Bowes @andthentheywentwild
Photography by @loljohnsonphotography for @gentlyhomeandhouse
It’s that time again when you are pulling out the boxes, and dusting down last years baubles. It’s my favourite time of year to really get creative with styling your home – from top to toe.
Wreaths are not just for front doors
Why have the traditional and iconic Christmas wreath only outside in the cold for passing strangers to enjoy? Bring those beauties indoors. Consider having several wreaths around the house. Make some space by swapping out pictures for wreaths. Hang one above the sofa, or over the mantle piece. Suspend a light in the middle of a wreath and light up a corner. Swap out traditional greenery for an alternative festive wreath with dried flowers and plumes of pampas grass.
A centre piece does not have to be only on the table. How about over it? Take the indoor wreath a step further and create a wow factor by suspending one from the ceiling above your table. Not only does it make a stunning focal point – it frees up the table for turkey and trimmings. It could be as simple as wrapping fresh eucalyptus around a ring (available on ebay) and entwine battery operated pin lights for a magical floating effect. Alternatively bring a bit of the outside in. Suspend a branch over the table and dangle baubles from it for a unique setting.
Last Christmas for me was all about lights. Hundreds of them. Small. Warm white pin lights twinkling. Everywhere, My tree had 1200 lights alone. Think about the vibe created by the colour of the lighting. Warm white lighting is best for winter cosiness. Retro multi-coloured lights are nostalgic of the 70’s and 80’s and definitely making a come back and are a lot of fun. Personally I prefer to steer clear of bright white lights indoors as these can feel colder and lots can be an eye burner.
Don’t forget your mantles and banisters
It’s not all about the tree. Decorating mantlepieces and banisters have long been a tradition but recent trends have been to really scale these up. In fact the bigger the better. Mix in real greenery and flowers with faux. Layer your mantlepiece with big bundles of fresh eucalyptus and ferns for a wonderful festive scent. Include berries of black and red – or bundles of mistletoe for a snowy effect. Add in lots of pin lights for twinkling nights in front of the fire.
Think about your colour palette against your interiors. Whether it be the traditional golds and reds, or the frosty blues. I love to pick up the colours in my lounge in my tree for a coordinated look. I kept my colour palette to blacks, peaches and golds. I added in some fun and quirky decorations which I add to the collection every year and the kids all love picking new additions to go on the tree like hot dogs and radios.
Drinks trolleys and bars are definitely back – and not in a del boy kind of way. Wow your guests with a selection of the best gins out on display. You can invest in a trolley – but don’t worry if the budget doesn’t stretch. Simply set up a corner for the festive season. A side board or side tables work well. Accessorise with trays, brass ice buckets and beautiful cocktail glasses and sprigs of Rosemary, berries and ferns for styling.
It’s not just about the decorations
Think about changing up your soft furnishings for the Christmas and the winter period. Try swapping out your usual cushions for something more festive and wintery. Big felt cushions, snuggly faux fur or textured cushions add that additional warmth and cosiness. Add in some big chunky throws to your sofa styling. Drape additional sheepskins on chairs and table benches. Layer up additional rugs and get ready to bed down for winter. Finish off with lots of festive scented candles dotted around the house. Finally, don’t forget, Christmas does not happen only downstairs. Go the whole hog and get the full festive vibe by dotting fairy lights in the bedrooms for extra sparkle, go crazy and have fun in the kids rooms and change up your plants and flower styling to something more festive.