Living Etc


Our panel of tastemaker­s reveal their decorating secrets

- Lucy St George, co-founder, Rockett St George

Tastemaker­s share their secrets

1 all booked up

We will be creating our ‘tree’ out of stacked books. It will be as dainty or as huge as we dare, starting with a wide base and getting narrower up to a single book at the top. It might be a colourful version with the spines of each book facing out, or a neutral version with the pages of the books towards the outside. We’ll decorate with warm white fairy lights and a simple star, an angel or a large pine cone placed on the top.

Angus Buchanan, creative director, Buchanan Studio

2 conscious collab

Our Christmas table will have a natural, other-worldly feel. It’ll be sustainabl­e: I’m using offcuts of a William Morris Golden Lily fabric to make a tablecloth and napkins – it’s cream, green, red and gold so it feels festive. I’ll layer it with green and cream patterned Burleigh plates; my green snake vases filled with hydrangeas, holly and spruce from the garden; amber and green glassware; burgundy and orange candles in brass candlestic­ks; and place cards backed with wallpaper made by my daughter and written by my son with his calligraph­y set. Frieda Gormley, co-founder, House of Hackney

3 rich tones

I love jewel hues such as deep aubergines, soft pinks, chartreuse and berry shades. I use baubles in all shapes and sizes and tie them with coloured ribbons in long dangly bows from the Christmas tree. Fairy lights

4 soft and light

I’m going for a delicate, ethereal, fluttery floral theme with dried hydrangeas in rusty reds and dusky blues, and dried pampas and silk grasses in soft pinks, pale purples and olive greens in clear glass and Carrara marble column vases along the table, with old man’s beard (wild clematis) trailing in-between.

Mairead Curtin, co-founder, Rebel Rebel

are, of course, a must, in warm white on a very slow twinkle setting. We buy a real tree – as tall as the ceiling will allow. It’s always the most exuberant element of our Christmas decoration­s.

Tiffany Duggan, founder and director, Trove

5 flower power

This year I’m stripping it back and going for gorgeous individual gold vases dotted down the table and filled with different flowers to give lots of height to tie in with the tall candles. I may even ditch the tree and go for a ‘wall tree’, created by taping individual flowers in the shape of a Christmas tree as it ticks both the stylish and eco boxes.

Alex Head, founder, Social Pantry

6 magical thinking

In my hallway, I create quite a dramatic look with bright pink, white and grey honeycomb tissue paper balls in various sizes. It makes such an impact when you enter the house and creates a fairy tale-like atmosphere. I drape string lights with Moroccan-style lamps around the paintings and staircase – everything together looks absolutely magical.

Eva Sonaike, designer

7a stitch in time

We are traditiona­l and always hang Christmas stockings for the children by the chimney. I make new ones every year with

8 let it glow

I love the subtle drama of fairy lights – and they’re not just for the tree. With Christmas lighting, my motto is the more the merrier. We drape them everywhere from furniture to mirrors and the mantelpiec­e. I go for warm white but the most important tip is to make sure they don’t flash. It’s the difference between a soft, magical wonderland theme or a stress-filled fairground nightmare.

different upholstery fabrics – I don’t think they have to be red and green and often pattern is much less expected. For me, they embody the true English Christmas spirit. This year’s stockings will be made from a Jennifer Shorto fabric – I’m using the Etoiles pattern, which is available in a range of beautiful colourways.

Isabelle Dubern-mallevays, co-founder, The Invisible Collection

9memorable moments

I love decorating the dining table with a long arrangemen­t of flowers and foliage that almost overtakes the space – it adds to a true feeling of abundance that helps bring the season alive. I dot candles along the middle of the table and for every place setting I add a sprig of greenery on the napkin and place name cards with the name of the person on the front. Then, on the back I write something about my favourite moment with them that year – it’s a truly personal and personalis­ed touch that creates real sentimenta­lity.

Shalini Misra, interior designer

10 personalis­ed paper

I’ll be wrapping presents in my hand-marbled papers, so each family member and friend will have their own unique piece of wrapping paper. We always have one present at the table for lunch for everyone, so the marbled packages will make for a pretty Christmas table. Maximalism at its best.

Susi Bellamy, artist and designer

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