The collection of illuminated trees created by the designer Susie Reid Thomas lends festive glamour, both inside and out. Giles Kime is dazzled
Photography Alun Callender
Susie Reid Thomas is a vocal advocate of the transformative possibilities of light, not from lamps or candles, but gently emanating from the branches of her artificial trees, which add a magical glamour to the outsides of houses and their gardens.
her first encounter with illuminated trees was in hong Kong, where she was hunting for a sculptural piece for the courtyard of the house that she and her husband had recently bought in hampshire. ‘i was immediately drawn to them, not just by the mesmeric glow of the light, but also by the fact that they have a presence that completely transforms their surroundings,’ she says.
‘The trees offer huge opportunities to add focus to a garden or outdoor space’
Back in hampshire, the reaction from friends and family was so effusive that she decided to design a range of her own like living trees that would look natural and unassuming, but magically come to life at twilight. They’re used in a variety of different ways, both inside and out. one of the most popular is to position a pair on either side of a front door, adding drama and enhancing the symmetry of a building.