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.