A Casual Christmas
November 21, 2016
This year I noticed the minute Halloween was over ‘Christmas fever’ broke out in a big way. For the mid-term break I visited family in the Lake District in England and even the little boutique gift stores sprinkled throughout the quaint villages had their Christmas decorations out and windows twinkled with fairy lights. I have to admit I did get a little excited as I love this time of year.
I love changing things up in my business, it’s the passion for interior design and the challenge that drives me. My husband Nigel says “never a dull moment” since he met me and he is right. For better or for worse he thankfully is always happy to go with the flow, I wonder if that is to do with being a Pisces…
For this festive season we are opening a bijou showroom which is situated beside our design studio in Dublin. The idea began when we started to plan for our Christmas photoshoot, we had the opportunity of using the Farmhouse Project as our location. I wanted to have a new range of accessories and pieces of furniture to photograph (any excuse!). All of a sudden we couldn’t move with the amount of boxes and goodies that arrived so we decided to open our showroom which is now full of stunning furniture, accessories and unique Christmas decorations.
Alongside this we are also about to go live with our online-shop which will include some of my favourite furniture and antique pieces. Most of the online pieces will be available to view at our showroom in Dublin.
As ‘change’ seems to be the recurring theme here at Minnie Peters, our Christmas shoot at the Farmhouse Project gave me the chance to show you something completely different in style. The Farmhouse is casual country and is in sharp contrast to the opulent Georgian Villa location we used for our last Christmas photoshoot.
For the Farmhouse interior colour scheme I chose the perfect backdrop of chalky old whites and soft greys so as not to detract from the stunning original decorative windows, antique beams and aged oak wooden floor finishes. For our Farmhouse entertaining scheme I decided on a palette of deep muddy greys and taupes for the base of our festive dining table-setting through the French earthenware, linen napkins and the linen tablecloth. These tones were selected in order to make a dramatic contrast against the gleaming glassware, lush greenery and sparkling silverware.
To complete the Farmhouse table I collected a mixture of greenery from the garden. Mixed with ivory candles along the center of the table and against the muted tones of all our casual French and Belgian accessories, it allowed the greenery and glow from the candles to stand out.
It is so easy to collect natural cuttings from the garden (or a friends garden) as you can find stunning greenery with different coloured berries and even the traditional Holly mixed with other greenery can make a fabulous natural statement. Add as many candles as you can find and don’t be afraid to add in hints of gold and brass with the silver and greenery. You can refresh the greenery for each dinner party throughout the festive season.
Fireplaces are high up on my list for decorating, in fact decorating just the fireplace can add the desired drama in a room. Nothing is better than a soft glow surrounding the mantelpiece at Christmas time with a roaring fire.
I continued the theme throughout the Farmhouse and used natural foliage decorating the fireplace in keeping with its rural location. You can also mix natural with artificial greenery and if it is a large mantle or you want a more decorative look you can add in fairy lights, baubles and a bucket of glitter!
I love subtle and simple ways of making an impact in a room for Christmas, quirky trays for coffee tables or consoles are always easy to dress and can be filled with greenery or acorns which are a great way of adding that Christmas ambiance. Add some dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and tealight holders to give a perfect subtle glow and delicious aroma. Acorns are available to buy already scented but you can also buy your own scented festive oil and add drops to the acorns and refresh when needed depending on the strength of the scented oil.
Hanging festive wreaths on doors inside the home adds the wow factor instantly. Other fun things to add to your home is the obligatory mistletoe to surprise guests, or a quirky Christmas decoration hanging from a door handle, all adding to the effect.
I like to buy from mostly bespoke companies that do beautiful decorations, accessories and scented candles. Placing candles around the house also adds to the Christmas ambience, candles are like shoes, you can never have too many! Make sure when buying for your own home to buy the same scent, if you buy three different types it mixes the scent of each candle together throughout your home. I tend to place two or three of the same scented candles through the entertaining areas of my home.
So here are just a few tips for a Casual Christmas this year:
-For the dinner table- when using neutrals like greys and taupes as your base colours it gives you the opportunity to amp up the glitz through silverware, glowing candles and antique gold tealight holders. You can also add an accent of a colour through subtle accessories that can change year to year.
-Go Al Fresco! Your centerpiece can be found in your own back garden. Going with fresh greenery allows you to change it up for every dinner party, so let your creative juices flow!
-The more fairy lights on a tree the better, I know I have said it before but if you think you have too many lights on your tree- add a hundred more.
-If you are building or renovating always bear in mind socket locations for Christmas time. Add sockets near the fireplace for your mantle garland, near your kitchen canopy and exterior sockets to make your garden a winter wonderland.
If you have any questions regarding decorating for the holiday season do not hesitate to ask and please feel free to visit us in our Showroom. Opening hours are 10am- 4pm, Monday to Friday.
For those of you who live outside of Ireland- Dublin is a marvelous city to visit!!
Happy decorating and entertaining!