The Art of Christmas

 

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” ―Washington Irving

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I love decorating at Christmas time; that moment you brush off the cobwebs and get your treasured baubles down from the attic. I love the nostalgia that the season brings; decorations collected over the years gone by, passed down from generations. Everyone has their own traditions. Ours is switching on the Christmas playlist, pouring a glass of sherry and eating a mince pie or two. Without it, decorating the tree wouldn’t feel right.

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I’m a believer that at Christmas, bigger is definitely better but that doesn’t necessarily mean going over the top with foil decorations and glitter. I love to make a statement, using seasonal foliage for centre pieces like spruce or fir and bare branches, is simple yet effective.

Laying your table for Christmas need not be expensive or time-consuming. Buying cheap linen fabrics off Ebay to use as tablecloths, and cotton for complimentary napkins will protect your table whilst looking elegant and classic. We all know they will be covered in red wine by the end of the night anyway.

Unusual table decorations like mini wreaths tied off with velvet ribbons, adorned with dried honesty and lagura are quick to do but make such an impact. Using dried ingredients means they will last until next Christmas as well. Changing the colour of the ribbon will make your scheme feel completely different.

To create my large wreath I cut down a wonky looking Christmas tree which was in a bargain bin at my local farm shop, it was £7 and all the proceeds went to charity. I used the branches to create a wild wreath on a vine base which I tied off with velvet ribbon. I then made two very easy centre pieces with the rest of the branches. The first one was a large arrangement in a simple pot, I added cut branches from my garden and also some pussy willow which I picked up from my local supermarket. For the second arrangement I simply laid the cut branches along the centre of the table to look like a garland and then added some of the bare branches to vintage bottles.

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Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
— Norman Vincent Peale
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Gold cutlery was used to give a touch of festive magic, whilst the dark crockery made it feel feel rustic and modern. I then mixed the table with traditional cut glass which used to belong to my grandparents. These combinations created a timeless but striking display.

The gold candlesticks I’ve collected over the years which have come from antiques stores and Ebay. I used black candles to keep it neutral and modern.

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Photographer: Holly Roper

I really hope you have enjoyed this festive display and have a gloriously indulgent Christmas!

Love, Elspeth x