Preparing for the Holidays: The Five Festive Senses
Ah, the holiday season… The period in which to indulge without even a speck of guilt. There’s nothing quite like it for feeding the soul, thanks to feasts with family and friends, lavishly decorated trees and tables, twinkling lights and bundling up warm by the fire. To ensure your season is extra special, look to your senses and cater to each one in your preparations; embracing the following elements will make you—and your home—feel all the more festive.
Consider your Holiday Color Palette
You don’t have to stick to the red and green color scheme that floods Main Street and the movies taking over our screens this season. Be bold and have a go at setting your own trend. Think of the other deep, rich tones that echo nature’s hues at this time of year. That’s not to say that you should dismiss green altogether—the color has its place in the holly, ivy and mistletoe; the evergreen of your fir tree and faux wreaths. Try draping garlands along your fireplace and around your doorways for a feeling of grandeur.
One way to choose a palette is to pick an inspiration piece from your home, such as your favorite wall art or a patterned pillow, and draw on its colors to influence your choices for the rest of the décor. 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 color wheel, and so the perfect complement, is blue—it’s just the thing if you’re celebrating Hanukkah or like a more contemporary look for Christmas. What’s more, blue has long been heralded as a luxury color, 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 china, or a splash of sapphire in your textiles and decorative features. For an extra pop of wintry glamour, pair it with lustrous silver or bronze.
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 splendor. Mingling different materials is a guaranteed way to make each one a statement of its own. Sofas layered with cozy throws and plush pillows offer an inviting repose for post-feast walks; once you’ve pulled off your scarf and peeled off your gloves, yanked off your snow boots and shrugged off your thick winter coat, a snug seat in front of the fire will call you to rest your weary legs. A rug underfoot will be kind to feet, bare and slippered alike, and sets a wonderful stage for statement furniture set atop it.
Our tastebuds’ favorite time of year; from succulent roast turkey and rich gravy to decadent pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, our food can offer up a fête of flavors over the holiday season. This can only be improved by their presentation. Simplicity of design and white porcelain allows the food to do the talking. Alternatively, opt for something a little more intricately decorated, such as our Kintaro Range, which features a playful candy cane stripe indicative of the season. Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be quite so festive without a little celebratory bubbly or, for a British twist, spicy 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 golden name card holders 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. The season makes us long for the woody scent of a crackling fire, the aromatic waft of cinnamon and cloves 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. The Chronicle Collection, our home fragrance line that includes candles made by the world’s oldest active candle manufacturer, Cire Trudon, presents a choice of scents, from Ambre Brûlée to Claire de Lune, so that you can pick your personal favorite to uplift your home.
Let There Be Light
Glowing candles don’t only smell incredible, they can also set the mood for cozy evenings with family and friends, chattering 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 even more 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.