During the lead up to the holiday I start to add natural touches first, with snippings from the hedgerows, pine cones and berries.
Regular readers will know my affinity with Sweden, sadly I haven't managed to get there this year but my blog on Swedish Christmas Markets still gets a lot of hits and my influences with how they decorate is pretty obvious.
One of the main features of a Swedish Christmas is lights in the windows, this began as a tradition to light the pavements for passers-by in the short dark winter days. Even shops in Sweden have a candle outside their front door as a sign of welcome, and if you are having guests over then it's essential to have your outside candle lit. I would love if we did that here in the UK
The two main features of Swedish festive decorating are the star and the candleabra, both taking centre stage in the windows at this time of year.
Some of my regular sponsors have sent me fab decorations this year to play with. There are black paper stars from Rose & Grey, simple stylish and perfect for anyone who decorates in a monochrome Scandi style.
The large glass Christmas Tree is hollow with a lid so you can fill it with whatever you like and can be found over at One World Trading. I thought, oh I will start with some baubles and lights and then try some other things, however, it took me a while to get all those baubles into place and I loved it so much I couldn't bear to change it. I'd be interested to see how it looks with natural greenery clippings and cones inside. You can buy fairly lights which run on batteries from my blog shop, this gives you the chance to have lights when your object isn't near a plug and saves having cables all over the place.
Above my table I often hang this ring and weave ivy and berries into the willow. It has a dish resting inside, right now I've just put candles but in a few weeks I will plant some hyacinth bulbs.
If you follow me on instagram you will have seen that we have been tarting up the front of the house. God, it's been long overdue much to my shame but the truth is that I can't do it alone and it's taken a few years for my other half to be in the right mood to go up the ladders!!
Anyway, I showed him some photos on Pinterest and said I would like some wooden facia on the roof pointy bits (technical term), and a painted front door. I will be doing a post soon about front doors as I discovered that colours have different meanings and suspicions attached.
The final thing was to add brackets to hold window boxes upstairs and two bay trees either side of the door. I've wanted two trees like this for so long and luckily for me, my local nursery had them really cheap, probably a third of the cost anywhere else, so I snapped them up. They have solar powered fairy lights in them, these don't really work very well but it was my only option. I think the front doesn't get a lot of sunlight so the solar charger never really gets charged enough.
These little nibbles bowls are on my blog shop too, they have a lovely rustic look to them and the grey speckled colour works very well with scandinavian themes on the table.
One of my personal traditions is to go shopping in London, have afternoon tea somewhere and see the lights. We particularly like to go around St. James (Burlington Arcade and Fortnums) and Marylebone High Street where my favourite shops all happen to be.
To find the paper stars go to Rose & Grey at http://www.roseandgrey.co.uk/
For the hollow glass Christmas Tree find it at One World Trading
I'm hoping that in the next week I will be able to write a post about how to choose a tattooist, random maybe, but as someone with a lot of tattoos I get asked A LOT of questions so I thought it might be of interest to a lot of you out there.