The staycation of 2020 has kept the spotlight firmly on home life and how important it has been to create a haven for the family, dedicated work zones for everyone, as well as space to relax and unwind together. I have been busier than ever in the studio working with my clients to help them reorganise and refurbish their homes.
One of the most exciting large scale projects this year was the refurbishment of a City penthouse, a London pied a terre. Built almost entirely of glass, the challenge was to create intimate spaces for relaxing and entertaining, without detracting from the dramatic river views.
I have devised a colourful, contemporary scheme which is in-keeping with the existing architecture, and equally reflects the client’s love of bold, brave colours, incorporating some iconic design pieces such as the Louis Poulsen Artichoke light, Kartell’s Ghost Table and the Tired Man armchair by Lassen. The fabrics are rich in texture, using velvets for the sofas, dining chairs and headboards and contrasting embroidered fabrics for cushions from suppliers such as GP & J Baker and Zimmer and Rhode. The statement patterned rugs are from The Rug Company and Harlequin at Style Library.
Image of Tired Man Armchair By Lassen
I am holding a second online cushion sale on 19th November, this time to raise funds for the Charlie Waller Trust, as mental health is such an important subject at this time. I find the cushions make wonderful Christmas presents, each one unique, made using fabrics by my favourite designers such as fabrics by Lewis & Wood and Guy Goodfellow.
Without doubt I love this time of year as we gather momentum towards Christmas and the promises of the New Year ahead. Christmas may look a little different this year but I have decided we have to embrace it with even more enthusiasm. For our own families, for ourselves, we all need to regroup and channel some positive energy for 2021.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without festive lights and candles. I take the fairy lights beyond the tree, winding them around long stems of twisted hazel in a statement vase in my entrance hall. I also drape them down the staircase, threading them through my garland which tumbles over the banisters, twisting around the spindles.
My Christmas garland is inspired by my mother in law. Every year her banisters are laden with foliage and festive touches such as cinnamon sticks, orange peel, pine cones and fairy lights. My own is a combination of a faux garland from The White Company and my own foliage foraged from the garden. I like to use the faux as a base as it doesn’t dry out with log fires and central heating, and then I add to it to make it realistic and abundant.
I love getting the boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic. It’s an annual ritual, and one that takes me back to childhood. My boys join in, unwrapping each little decoration, all of which have their own story of where they came from. For me the decorations have a history and evoke a memory, and I try to add to my collection every year.
I love my over-sized etched mercury bauble from Nkuku. It makes a real statement.
Setting the dining table is a family ritual, inspired by my father who makes his own look so beautiful. I keep to a small palette of colours, and because we’re in a rural setting, I feel it is in keeping to use pine cones, ivy and foliage from the woods.
I love my festive Nina Campbell fern napkins which I bought last year, and my beautiful pink twisted water glasses which are also from Nina’s collection. It’s a classic setting but breaking from the tradition of red.
More than ever I feel think we all need to regroup for a family Christmas this year, to pause and reflect on what has been a year like no other.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and hoping that 2021 brings us all some positive energy in the New Year.
Stay safe and well.
All best wishes,