THE COUN­TRY DEC­O­RA­TOR

Put the fire­place at the heart Of your scheme this Christ­mas with ideas to make it sparkle

Country Homes & Interiors - - CONTENTS -

Make your man­tel­piece the fo­cal point of your liv­ing space this win­ter with a few sim­ple, fes­tive touches

1 grand gar­land

Give an or­nate fire­place a show­stop­ping fes­tive treat­ment that be­fits its grand­ness. Add to a col­lec­tion of gilt-framed art­work with a glit­ter­ing line-up of gold, sil­ver and glass can­dle­sticks in an ar­ray of shapes and sizes. Drape green­ery along the length, dec­o­rated with cones, berries and hang­ing dec­o­ra­tions. ‘A beau­ti­ful gar­land is a key fes­tive in­gre­di­ent,’ says Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Com­pany. ‘Make one your­self by wind­ing a va­ri­ety of green­ery around a length of wire.’

2 Vin­tage Vi­gnette

Set up a fes­tive still-life ar­range­ment of bric-a-brac dis­played in glass jars and bot­tles. Keep it sim­ple with pine cones, leaves and berry sprigs, mixed with wooden cot­ton reels, dolly pegs, paint brushes and postcards. Use a mir­ror as a back­drop for your dis­play, lay­er­ing jars and bot­tles in a line-up with a string of fairy lights laced in be­tween, so the sparkle catches in the mir­ror’s re­flec­tion.

3 Show­case Style

Com­ple­ment dusky-coloured walls with luxe metal­lic pieces. Dark greys, deep blues and vivid greens make a per­fect foil for rich-toned metallics in soft gold, warm bronze and rich cop­per. Start your ar­range­ment with a strik­ing gilded feather wreath, hung low. For a whim­si­cal touch, line the man­tel with moss and twiggy branches, clus­tered with can­dle­sticks, or­na­ments and twin­kling lights.

4 Per­fectly Pack­aged

Cre­ate a hol­i­day fo­cal point by fill­ing an empty hearth with a stack of beau­ti­fully gift-wrapped pack­ages in co-or­di­nat­ing foils and rib­bons, topped with baubles and hand­made gift tags. Keep the man­tel it­self sim­ple with a row of coloured glass can­dle hold­ers and mini tea lights. Hang a few of your favourite cards from a length of satin rib­bon and fin­ish off with a gar­land of green­ery above.

5 Win­ter Won­der­land

Go full-on with an en­chant­ing for­est-themed ar­range­ment of pa­per Christ­mas trees and can­dles in an all-white liv­ing room. Cut out a stack of fold­ing trees from white pa­per, lin­ing them up in front of an over­man­tel mir­ror to boost the ef­fect. Then dot LED tea lights among them for a mag­i­cal at­mos­phere. Bal­ance your ar­range­ment by fill­ing the hearth with can­dles in var­i­ous shapes and sizes.

6 Star turn

Take a less-is-more ap­proach to your decor by ditch­ing the tin­sel and baubles and opt­ing for a more min­i­mal, mod­ern look. Set off weath­ered woods, rus­tic pan­elling and time­worn paint­work with sim­ple white can­dles and fairy lights for a calm and invit­ing look. In­stead of clut­ter­ing up the man­tel, go for just a sin­gle ac­cent piece – like this lit-up wired star – for an eye-catch­ing ef­fect.

7 Berry Brights

Cheery red berries and green­ery are firm fes­tive favourites, so put them at the heart of your scheme with a rus­tic coun­try fire­place trimmed with fo­liage and fir. Cre­ate a wreath by dec­o­rat­ing a shop-bought gar­land with for­aged berries, rose hips, pine cones and green­ery. Pair this with a thin­ner gar­land trailed along the man­tel with fairy lights, and a clus­ter of berry-red pil­lar can­dles.

8 Flo­ral Flour­ish

A bold ar­range­ment of cheery poin­set­tias, fes­tive berries and fo­liage looks strik­ing in a clas­sic scheme. The clean lines of the fire­place, over­man­tel mir­ror and sym­met­ri­cally po­si­tioned lanterns is soft­ened by the vi­brant colours, full­ness of the flo­rals and the slightly off-cen­tred ar­range­ment. Add ex­tra colour around the room with scar­let blooms and red glass can­dle vo­tives.

Can­dle hold­ers, from £20 each; Ivy and Pussy­wil­low gar­land, £65, allThe White Com­pany. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar clip-top bot­tle, £2.24; Kil­ner clip-top jar, £4.50, both John Lewis. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar feather wreath, £18.39, Zucker Feather Place at Etsy.Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar win­ter birch twig tree, from £139, Bal­sam Hill. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar over­man­tel mir­ror, £189, Ay­ers & Graces.Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar star sil­hou­ette light, £55, Cox & Cox. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Sim­i­lar wreath, £16, B&Q.Use the Ownable app to shop now

Metal and glass over­size lantern, £65, Laura Ash­ley, is sim­i­lar. Use the Ownable app to shop now

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