Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Time to add some seasonal sparkle!!

It seems too soon for Christmas to be upon us, but shops are now crammed with festive ornaments and decorations. I like to add extra festive sparkle by introducing items around the house to amuse and delight; reminding people that good cheer is a key part of Christmas.

A Christmas wreath sets the tone and this stunning brussels sprout version – the most festive of all vegetables – gives a modern twist to an old classic (£19.99 –; 02392 469400). Unfortunately, the wreath is handmade from paper, rather than the real thing – so has to be hung inside, but it certainly gives food for thought.

Fairy lights are also a Christmas staple. The light is cheerful and welcoming, particularly when every other light source is switched off. To add a bit of extra cachet this year, opt for these ice-cube shaped LED lights which come packed in their own ice tray. They are also perfect for dressing your bar area at a drinks reception (£19.99 -; 0845 226 9110).

As drink is likely to flow a little more than usual over the next few weeks, coasters can help protect all manner of surfaces and avoid any embarrassment for friends and family over where to place a glass. Practical and funky Donna Wilson Snowflake coasters are made out of 3mm thick wool felt to soften the blow of any glass and come in natural, lime, turquoise and magenta (£12 for a set of four – ; 01595 694 644).

I aim to use as many ethically-produced gifts and ornaments as possible to ensure the season is not all about mass consumerism. The charitable and fair-trade offerings now available make these choices really easy as they are not only worthy, but also incredibly well designed.

If you have a penchant for Father Christmas and wish to emulate the Russian theme adopted by Chatsworth House this year then consider a set of six nesting, stacking Santas. The jolly design is hand painted by fair trade artisans (£16.95 –; 0845 0099016).

The same company have an innovative version of an eco-Nativity scene, handmade using recycled paper. Each character is approximately 10cm high so will make an impactful display on a bookshelf or mantle-piece (£19.95; details as before).

It is also the time of year to make memorable gestures and I think a wooden heart decoration by eco-chic designer Emily Readett-Bayley which has then been personalised hits the spot.  The hearts are made by village co-operatives from sustainable wood and personalised by hand in the UK (£12.50 –; 01279 447615).

Jamie Hempsall is an award winning interior designer and member of The British Institute of Interior Design. or call 0800 0321 180.
This article was first published in the Yorkshire Post Mid-Week Life & Style Section on Weds 24th November 2010

1 comment:

  1. I just impressed with your inspirational and powerful interior design ideas.