Real Homes


- amelia smith co-editor @ameliahele­nsmith alison jones co-editor @alisonjone­s103

When does Christmas start for you?

Are you raring to go and dress your home with eucalyptus and fairy lights as soon as November hits? Or is your house a Christmas-free zone until December 20, when a few refined decoration­s make a short but sweet appearance?

As both of us have early December birthdays, the festive celebratio­ns have to wait until after our personal ones. But then we fully embrace all the sparkle of the season. For us, the acts of digging out old treasured decoration­s from the loft, wrapping foliage around the bannister and seeing the Christmas tree lit up for the first time, are all parts of the magic of the season, and these much-loved traditions bring a sense of comfort and stability.

If you’d like to extend your Christmas collection this year, our round-up of the latest decoration­s and trends (page 35) features the most beautiful designs on the market. Whether you’re drawn to the luxurious mood of Midnight Party or the riot of colour that is Rainbow Brights, just a few new additions can completely lift your festive scheme.

Speaking of which, how gorgeous is the one on this month’s front cover? When we came across Vikki’s home on Instagram (@little_savage_life), we knew her living room would make the perfect classic yet contempora­ry Christmas scene of dreams. Our style editor, Anna, and senior art editor, Emily, pulled the shoot off with just a few day’s notice, and we couldn’t be more pleased with it. Explore her lovely home on page 18.

On a more serious note, if the thought of Christmas this year sparks worries around money, you’re most certainly not alone. The question of how much of a Christmas we can afford is one that will be uppermost in many people’s minds, as we all face rising prices. Jennifer Morgan offers advice on how to cut down on the stress of Christmas (page 106) by embracing simpler pleasures, and suggests that just spending time with others could be the greatest gift.

However and whenever you start celebratin­g this year, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, and we hope you enjoy the issue.

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