Get their look: Christmas fireside

Christmas firesidecredit

Have you put up your tree and hung your decorations yet? What’s your colour scheme? We usually go for traditional red on the ground floor and copper on the top floor. We really like the look & feel of this Christmas fireside; simple rustic with minimalist white tree ornaments and wrapping paper.

The addition of a vintage wooden child’s sled adds a sense of fun. The unusual, half-moon wood-burning stove is the focal point of the room (well, it is when the Christmas tree isn’t there!). All its accessories are close at hand – logs, newspapers, companion set… there’s even a vintage metal fire bucket to add a flash of colour.

  1. Vintage chalkboard
  2. John Lewis Croft Collection Stanley rattan large easy-to-fit ceiling light
  3. Scan 85 Series High Top fire
  4. Vintage wooden wine box
  5. Vintage fire bucket
  6. ALSEDA banana fibre stool
  7. Vintage wooden sled
  8. Black fireside companion set
  9. Personalised wooden storage box

Get their look: Christmas fireside | H is for Home

Use your senses to get your home prepared for Christmas

Use your senses to get your home prepared for Christmas | H is for Home

September starts tomorrow, so there’s only three months to go before that holiday season rolls around again. We’ve prepared a guide which can help you use your five senses to get your home prepared for Christmas.

Sight

A string of fairy lights behind a jade plant in a white ceramic pot

Hang a wreath on your front door, it’s welcoming to holiday visitors and sets the Christmas mood before you even enter the house. Introduce fairy lights, tea lights and candles throughout your home – the magical twinkle lifts your mood every time you enter a room. And not forgetting a Yuletide centrepiece; it often takes the form of a traditional Christmas tree which everyone loves, but perhaps experiment with tree branches to hang those brightly coloured baubles. Silver birch is readily available and the white, textured bark works really well.

Smell

True Grace cinnamon & clove scented candle from House of Fraser

Certain fragrances just conjure up that Christmas feeling; pine, spiced oranges, frankincense and myrrh. Introduce smells into your rooms by using candles, room infusers, pot-pourri etc. Soap, bath oils and bubble bath for those long soaks and treasured moments of holiday relaxation. If you have a real fire, keep some nice logs or foraged pine cones beside it – throw one on the flames from time to time to fill the room with a gorgeous woody aroma.

Sound

Crossley portable record player

Dust off those vintage Christmas 45s! If you don’t have a record player, do what we did and get Spotify. There are thousands of Christmas tunes and ready-made Christmas play-lists. All you need is an online device – smart phone, tablet, computer, even your TV – that you can hook up to speakers.

Taste

Making Christmas gingerbread figures

What’s Christmas without food and drink? Gingerbread, mulled wine, minced pies, Christmas cake, eggnog and all the roast fayre. It’s a time for treating yourself – perhaps over indulging a little! Put a hamper on your pressie list… or buy yourself one. They’re often filled with seasonal items you don’t see during the rest of the year. Alternatively, find yourself a nice basket and add small luxury items that you see in the weeks & months leading up to Christmas. You can then dip into the basket of special treats over the holidays (providing you’ve not been cheating and raiding it beforehand!). There’s nothing better to make the day seem a bit special!

Touch

Pile of blankets

It’s always cold at Christmas – unless you live in the tropics or southern hemisphere. Stock up on woolly blankets, fluffy sheepskin rugs, and fleecy cushions. We love a crisp, chilly Christmas or Boxing Day walk with the dog, but nothing beats snuggling up indoors in front of the wood-burner with a mug of hot chocolate afterwards!

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Home Tones: Christmas Red & Green

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Christmas red & green decorated table settingcredit

Many of us have heard the sayings, “Red & green should never be seen without a colour in between” and “Red & green should only be seen upon an Irish queen”. We generally concur with this regarding interior decoration… except at Christmastime of course, when these two colours come into their own. This traditional pairing somehow captures the mood of the festive season. From Santa’s outfit to berry-laden holly, fir trees, poinsettia, candy canes, pretty packages, candles, baubles and trimmings… and not forgetting the robin red-breast.

Christmas decorated room in red and green by Marks & Spencercredit

Norton Priory decorated for Christmascredit

Sprig of decorated fir tree and glass jar of striped candy canescredit

Mantlepiece decorated for Christmascredit

open plan sitting room & dining room with Christmas tree and red baubles hanging from ceiling beamscredit

Sideboard with red, green and white Christmas decorationscredit

Decorative cone containing sprig of fir tree with red ribbonscredit

Dressing your windows for Christmas

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Christmas decorations around a front porch

Image credit: Crazy Frankenstein

The way we dress our homes for the holiday season is a big part of the Yuletide fun. Showing others that you’re taking part in the celebrations is a great way of joining in with the festive mood.

Metallic baubles hanging in a windowImage credit: Harpers Bazaar

Where to start

Whether yours is one of the many luxury new homes around the country or an older period property, there’s nothing more off-putting than dirty or grimy windows at any time of the year. So, the best place to start is to make sure your windows are sparkling clean inside and out.

The next thing is to decide if you want to decorate just the insides or make the most of the outside of your windows as well. Obviously this will come down to practicalities as in many cases it might be difficult to get to outside windows that aren’t on the ground floor.

Fir tree snowflake Christmas window decorationImage credit: Britt Willoughby Dyer

Materials

If you can put decorations outside it’s a good idea to let nature help you. You can use holly or other similar classic natural winter greenery which you know can withstand the outdoor conditions.

If you plan to use lights or other electrical equipment outside it is essential to check that they are suited to the purpose and will pose no threat or danger in wet or windy conditions.

Colourful Christmas stockings and decorations hanging in a windowImage credit: Impressionen

Indoors

Whatever the size of your windows, let your imagination run wild!

There are many ways you can decorate the inside of your windows – have some fun with it.

If you have a property with old fashioned windows such as sash windows – you can make them look great with just a little fake snow and glitter. Carefully applied in the right way this can result in a really authentic, classic Dickensian Christmas card look.

More modern windows with large panes of glass can provide a blank canvas for a whole range of ideas. Spraying glitter materials through stencils or other cut-outs can work just as well as using elaborate and potentially expensive lighting set-ups.

Christmas tree in a corner in front of windowsImage credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Tree

One thing that can’t be beaten for maximum effect is simply placing your Christmas tree in front of the window. This not only means you can leave curtains or blinds open to show your neighbours how lovely your tree is, but it also gives you some privacy too.

Christmas is a time of fun and festivity – so get involved this year!

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Etsy List: Hello December!

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'Hello December!' Etsy List curated by H is for Home

Pinch, punch, first of the month! We promised ourselves that we wouldn’t mention the ‘C’ word until December was here. We’re ready to join the throng in checking out what’s on offer around the web this Christmas.

We’re starting our search with Etsy; one of the best places for vintage or hand-made, indie gifts and seasonal homewares.

Hello December!
Curated by H is for Home

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Pick of the Pads: Seasonal Simplicity

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Country Living Christmas magazine cover

We’ve chosen the house of Anna & Jeff Phillips for this month’s Pick of the Pads.

'Seasonal Simplicity' magazine article in the December 2013 edition of Country Living magazine

We wanted something Christmassy and their Sussex home, which is featured in the December edition of Country Living magazine, is just perfect.

Christmas decorations in the 'Seasonal Simplicity' magazine article

It’s homely & warm with quite a Scandi feel – robust and elemental with wood, stone, textiles & flame. The influence of nature is strong, highlighted by the use of seasonal foliage, fruit & flowers.

Shelf and coat rack in the 'Seasonal Simplicity' magazine article

Antique country furniture fills the house with character. There are lovely decorative touches everywhere you look incorporating handicrafts, vintage pieces & found objects – the fairy lights, candles & Christmas decorations give it a magical look.

Montage of beds in the 'Seasonal Simplicity' magazine article

There looks to be lovely natural light in the house, but no shortage of cosy corners either.

Kitchen in the 'Seasonal Simplicity' magazine article

The bedrooms are inviting & peaceful, the dining area sumptuous – and we just love the handmade kitchen with its reclaimed wooden crates, blocks & shelves.

Christmas table in the December 2013 edition of Country Living magazine

What a truly wonderful place to spend the festive season!

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