Interior designer Jane Ashton likes creating a cosy and rustic atmosphere by bringing the outside in with a variety of greenery, adding soft fur textures, and lighting candles to make the space feel warm and inviting. Stimulating as many of our fives senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste is the key to composing a seasonal atmosphere.
Read on for a few of her own easy ‘go-to’ ideas Jane shares exclusively with CrunchyTales.
Is the thought of immersing yourself in a month’s worth of Kirsty’s Christmas DIY decor your idea of heaven or hell? Do you just not have the time or frankly the inclination? The truth is whether you do or don’t do Christmas, perfect festive decor can be quite easily achieved without the need to spend hours wiring wreaths and garlands, its really just about spending a little time creating a festive ambience.
Making an entrance
Generating a sense of anticipation of a warmth within is the first step to creating the perfect Christmas scene. I try to make my front door area as enticing as possible. A Christmas wreath, whether made or bought is the obvious way to this, but also think about a potted holly bush or Christmas tree strung with twinkly lights, a little pile of logs, perhaps a tub of white or red cyclamen. Best of all are some candles burning in large outdoor lanterns always feels super welcoming.
Scents bring memories and memories bring nostalgic pleasure
Never underestimate the power of smell it can stir the emotion in an instant. Whatever the season I have a large candle that I burn in the hallway and at Christmas time there is a wealth of choice in delicious Wintery scents. Personally, I like to buy better quality candles because they burn better and they have more powerful scents which means you don’t have to burn them for very long so they do last.
Bring the outside in
Fill vases of different sizes and shapes with seasonal Foliage. Eucalyptus and pine branches, in particular, give off a wonderful festive smell and last well if you keep the stems cut and in a good supply of fresh water. Playing with scale and using really tall stems interspersed with tall twigs in large vases can create real impact visually or group different shaped vessels together in 3’s. Dot small seasonal plants such as poinsettias, cyclamen, Amaryllis and mini potted Christmas trees around the house on shelves, tables and window ledges, the more the merrier.
To Tree or Not to Tree?
If you really can’t do the tree simply taking a couple of large pine branches and putting them in a huge vase, adding some multi-coloured baubles and placing it in a prominent place such as a table or dresser can be just as effective. This way you can even have a mini tree in a few different places. Add a few tasty tree novelties like these fun gin ones from Pickering at John Lewis and tick, job done!
A Bowl full of…
Line different sized bowls with some winter foliage and fill with either baubles, nuts, fruits or sweets and dot them around the home. Large glass bowls and jars filled with a mixture of baubles and battery operated lights can look so pretty. Place on the floor on tables shelves, wherever you have space.
Don’t forget the sense of touch by adding snuggly throws, cushions and sheepskins (real or faux) to your chairs sofas and beds. A Christmassy cushion or two can also be a quick way to decorate. Love these from H&M home.
Something from the Bar
Nothing says Christmas like a pretty bottle of booze and there is such a lot to choose from these days. I love just looking at them in the supermarket aisle, such lovely colours and shapes. I could actually just buy the bottles and never open them! Trays are perfect for creating a minibar, I have one of these lovely lacquered ones from Westelm the smaller ones are also perfect for grouping together different shaped tea light holders. Add some unusual vintage glasses (lots to choose from on eBay) some drinks paraphernalia like this pretty cocktail shaker from Rockett St George and a festive candle.
Nothing creates an atmosphere quite like music. While away some fun time creating Christmas playlists to suit different moods, from Jazz to pop, classical and maybe a little choir music. I use Spotify and they have lots of ready-made ones so you don’t even have to spend any time on it if you don’t want to. This is one of my favourites ‘Mystical Christmas‘.
So light your candles, grab a drink from the bar, kick back and snuggle down in your sheepskin and listen to your favourite Christmas vibes.