Preparing for Christmas: The Five Festive Senses
Ah, Christmas… The period in which to indulge without even a speck of guilt. There’s nothing quite like it for feeding the soul; from festive feasts with family and friends, to lavishly decorated trees and tables, twinkling lights and wrapping up warm by the fire. To ensure that your Christmas is extra special, tune in to your senses and embrace all the things that unite to make us feel festive: colour, texture, light, scent and taste.
Consider your Christmas Colours
You don’t have to stick to the red and green colour scheme that floods the high street and the films taking over our screens this season. Be bold and have a go at setting your own trend; think deep, rich tones that are as indulgent as the festive foods. That’s not to say that you should dismiss green altogether. Green has its place in the holly, ivy and mistletoe; the evergreen of your fir tree and faux wreaths. Try draping garlands along your fireplaces and around your doorways for a feeling of grandeur.
One way to choose a scheme is to pick an inspiration piece from your home, such as some wall art or a patterned cushion, and draw on its colours to influence your palette. Touches of gold glint wonderfully in candlelight and imbue your home with warmth that banishes the winter’s chill. Think gold-gilded mirrors, painted decorations, and brass-edged tables.
Sitting on the opposite side of the artist’s colour wheel, and so the perfect complement, is blue – for something a little unusual it may be just the thing. Blue has long been heralded as a luxury colour, once a pigment rarer and more precious than gold, so allow it to lend your celebrations a regal air. Add a dash of cobalt to your china cabinet with our Kraak Range, or a splash of sapphire in your soft furnishings and decorative features. For an extra trace of wintry whimsy pair it with lustrous silver.
Transfix with Texture
Wrap yourself in warmth and sink into the softest of textures. Velvets, faux furs, silks – these are the materials that sing of opulence and splendour. Mingling different materials is a guaranteed way to make each one a statement of its own. Sofas layered with cosy throws and comfortable cushions offer an inviting repose for post-pub walks; once you’ve pulled off your scarf and peeled off your gloves, yanked off your boots and shrugged off your thick winter’s coat, a snug seat in front of the fire will call to you with open arms. A rug underfoot will be kind to feet, bare and slippered alike, and sets a wonderful stage for the other statement pieces of furniture sat atop it.
Our tastebuds’ favourite time of year; from succulent roasts and rich gravy to decadent chocolates with gooey centres, our food can offer up a fête of flavours over the festive period. This can only be improved by their presentation. On one side, the simplicity of classic white porcelain allows the food to do the talking. Alternatively, you can nod to the fun of the season by opting for something a little more intricately decorated, like the Kintaro Range which features a playful candy cane stripe. Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little celebratory champagne or a full-bodied mulled wine – stock up on glasses for every type of tipple. For the final touch to your tablescape, why not let your guests feel even more special with namecard holders created just for them, arranged for the most stimulating of conversations?
You can never have too much of a beautiful fragrance. Don’t forget this essential feature when decorating for your festivities, for though it may be something that doesn’t cross your mind at first, it is possibly the most evocative element of them all. Christmas makes us think of the woody scent of a crackling open fire, the aromatic waft of cinnamon and cloves, brandy-soaked sponges and of course the fresh pine of fir trees. You may be lucky enough to have all of these aromas in their purest forms, but each can be intensified with the use of candles and diffusers. Our Chronicle Collection includes candles made by the world’s oldest active candle manufacturer, Cire Trudon, and offers a choice of scents, from Ambre Brûlée to Claire de Lune, so that you can pick your personal favourite to infuse your home.
Let There Be Light
Glowing candles don’t only smell incredible, they can also set the mood for cosy evenings with family and friends, wittering away together into the early hours. Place them in pretty holders made from glass or brass, and twine twinkling fairy lights and faux garlands around them for extra ambience. A lamp provides a lovely light, but additionally acts as a talking point with striking shapes and glossy finishes, not to mention pretty pleated and patterned shades. There’s no easier way to set the atmosphere of a room for the evening than to turn the overhead lights off, and the table lamps on – give your room an instant glow. Pairing low-lit lamps with candles can add illustrious illumination if combined with decorations that will catch the light of the flickering flame. You don’t have to use tinsel; anything with a glittery coating or shiny, hammered finish will sparkle splendidly.