A HAND­CRAFTED CHRISTMAS From the wreath to the tree and cre­ative ta­ble set­tings, make your own beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tions

Fes­tive dec­o­rat­ing is re­de­fined at the Cape Town home of stylist Shel­ley Street where tra­di­tional el­e­ments, hand­made touches and a nod to mono­chrome Scandi style com­bine for a fun hol­i­day sea­son


For stylist and cre­ative con­sul­tant Shel­ley Street and her teenage daugh­ter, Phoebe, Christmas is full of pos­si­bil­i­ties. “We love this time of the year but aren’t big on cel­e­brat­ing the tra­di­tional way, espe­cially here in South Africa where our sum­mer is so hot,” says Shel­ley. “We like to make the sea­son feel spe­cial though by do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent with the fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions each year.” The ‘some­thing dif­fer­ent’ this time is a strik­ing mono­chrome pal­ette that Shel­ley has fash­ioned by in­cor­po­rat­ing lo­cal crafts with or­ganic el­e­ments – a sig­na­ture that un­der­pins her per­sonal dec­o­rat­ing style as well.

There’s no more apt a de­scrip­tion of Shel­ley’s home than a sanc­tu­ary for the senses. We’re talk­ing the whole check­list: all-white sun-drenched spa­ces an­chored by a care­fully com­posed black-and-white pal­ette, soar­ing ceil­ings, tactile tex­tures, large sash win­dows of­fer­ing glimpses of pot­ted green­ery and a view of Ta­ble Mountain, an art­ful mix-and-match of fur­ni­ture, art­works and fam­ily heir­looms and, from the kitchen, the pleas­ant aroma of cof­fee and lemons – the en­tire scene set against the hushed back­ing track of the ra­dio tuned to the lo­cal clas­si­cal mu­sic sta­tion. “I love the mono­chrome look as well as Scandi de­sign and its as­so­ci­a­tion with light wood, so I cre­ated a Scandi-Afri mix,” says Shel­ley of her Christmas theme.

Shel­ley’s black lac­quered turned-leg pine ta­ble (a for­tu­itous junk shop find) is al­ways the fo­cus of the fes­tiv­i­ties each year. “The start­ing point of the whole theme was a col­lec­tion of black-and-white plates by ac­claimed lo­cal ce­ramist Mar­tine Jack­son – I just love her loosely stylised African-in­flu­enced pat­terns,”

WARM WEL­COME See page 57 for de­tails on how this one- of-a-kind wreath is made.

Hand-carved tim­ber birds make the tree feel more like an art in­stal­la­tion than decoration.

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