Deck The Halls With Boughs of Holly – My Decorations Wishlist.

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Similar to a small child, Christmas makes me feel giddy and excited. It is such a sensory overload, the sights and smells are a true sensualists dream.

My first acknowledgment of this is my excited perusal and horde planning of decorations for the home. And as advent has officially started I have already begun to hang the first of my Christmas decorations.

Here are my favourites of the year, from bright and shiny to white and understated, like all other areas of home decor I love eclecticism in my Christmas touches.

Winter Wonderland:

Winter Wonderland Deer, pine cones & Birch star Decoration

If there’s one thing Cox & Cox excel at, its classic Christmas items, the top two items are their staples which have been available for the last few years and they just don’t date. Birch Scatter Stars £9.50 and the Birch Stars Pinecone Garland £15.50, I have one of these for the mantlepiece and one to entwine on their willow wreath. Adorable  Deer Figurines available from Angel at My Table and these bargain Deer Magnets £2 each in store at Tiger.

Paper on String:

Paper Hanging Christmas DecorationsI just love these stars made by Danish company House Doctor, hanging these stars from the top of window frames looks particularly effective. You can get them from many places online, I found the cheapest was through Design Vintage and Rockett St George’s collection.The Meri Meri Pinwheels are £15.95  from Selfridges. All Retro Honeycomb Paper Decorations made by Miss etoile are available at Rockett St George.

White Christmas

White ChristmasI bought this Ceramic Fox Bauble last year, its very expensive but just exquisite, available through Notonthehighstreet for £19.95. Another Cox & Cox classic, the opulent wreath for £45, but their Willow Wreath for £14.50 is a better cheap option. I just love this Pearl in Oyster Decoration from the V&A shop. And lastly the Xmas Lace Bauble £6.95 from Selfridges

Christmas Kitsch

Kitsch ChristmasI love a bit of Xmas tackiness and tat, these are all fabulous examples of supreme kitsch. Snow Doll Candles £19.95 from Rockett St George. Deer & Holly Tealight Holders £6 from Cath kidston. Nutcracker Figurines £9.41 for 8 available on Etsy. Horse and Rider Moulds from Pedlars. Cute Guardian Angel Candle Holders 8 for £40 via Rose & Frank. Pink Reindeer £2.50 from Paperchase.

Bauhaus Baubles – Geometric Xmas

Geometric Bauhaus Christmas BaublesI love these Xmas geometrics, they are super stylish and interesting. Red & White Geometric Blocks from Sketchinc on Etsy. Gold Geometric Decorations £15.95 from Selfridges.

All That Glitters is Gold….

Gold Shoes & Gold Concertina Globe Christmas DecorationI don’t tend to do gold very much in the home, it tends to remind me of eighties fleur-de-lys and the like but at christmas I make an exception. There is nothing so stylish as white and silver but also nothing more Christmass-y-joyful than shouting-sunburst-gold. Gold Slipper Decoration £3.95 from Graham & Green. Gold Concertina Globe Decoration £4.95 for two, Rockett St George.

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String:

Christmas TrimmingsWho doesn’t love fancy trimmings and wrap adorning their presents? These are my favorites of the year, all would look incredible tied around craft paper, best quality cheap wrap is from Tiger in my opinion, but Ikea comes a close second. Merry Christmas Black Printed tape £4.50 from Selfridges. Hot Pink Velvet Decorative Ribbon on Spool £6,.50 from Oliver Bonas. Neon Coral Ribbon with Stars £16, Rockett St George. Multicoloured Bakers Twine available through a plethora of sellers on ebay.

Now time to crack open the second door on the advent calender….

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Treasuries in Miniature – Snow Dome Decorations

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Snow Globe decoration Anthropologie 1 Sometimes, something which you’ve been thinking of suddenly pops up everywhere you look! Either you have unconsciously tapped into a zeitgeist subliminally absorbing a trend, or you are noticing objects because of a connection already articulated in recent memory. Now I’m sure there is a very cynical marketing answer to this, but at the beginning of Autumn I found myself rueing a wonderful collection of snow globes I threw away several years ago.

Low and behold, some weeks later, there are a zillion Christmas hanging decorations on the market which take their cue from traditional snow globes. Much like the stags, bells, Nordic prints & owls of yesteryear, it is nearly impossible to look at any high street stores  decorations in 2013 without finding a knowingly kitsch cloche style hanging decoration or snow globe.  I pretty much adore all of them, on the same principle as I love terrariums –  as miniature treasuries of display, curiosity or sparkle.

Some are absolutely enchanting. I bought the deer globe at the top of this post for £12 from Anthropologie (also retailing at more than double the price in Selfridges!). Here is an assortment of my favourite globes currently bombarding the market, from the kitsch to the pretty, the simple to the ornate:

Party Dog Cloche Angel at My tableMarks Spencer Snow Globe Christmas
Party Dog Mini Glass Cloche £15 from Angel at My Table.
Nativity Scene Dome, £25 from Marks & Spencer.
Anthropologie Snow Globe Christmas  Decoration1original_ornamental-party-dog-christmas-globe
Castle Globe Decoration £16 at Anthropologie.
Bulldog in Gold Top hat Globe £12 from Heals.
Rockett St George Snow Globe Christmas Decoration Butterfly Bauble M&S
Bird in Glass Dome Xmas Decoration, £9.50 Rockett St George.
Long Butterfly Bauble £6 from Marks & Spencer.
French Bulldog Sequined bauble SelfridgesMarks & Spencer  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
French Bulldog Sequined Bauble, £22.95 Selfridges.
Robin Bell Jar Decoration, £6 Marks & Spencer.
Paperchase Tree Snow Globe DecorationJohn Lewis Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
Christmas Tree Snow Globe Decoration, £6 from Paperchase.
Vintage House Dome Decoration, £4 from John Lewis.
Paperchase Kitsch Snow Globe DecorationgRAHAM & gREEN  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
Set of 3 Snowglobe Characters, £15 from Paperchase.
Polar Bear Snow Globe, £12 Graham & Green.
gRAHAM & gREEN  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration 1Selfridges Forest Owl Glass Bauble
Penguin Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green.
Forest Owl Glass bauble, £26.95, Selfridges.
graham & Green Snowglobe.Selfridges Woodland Scene Bauble
Snowdoll Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green.
Woodland Scene bauble, £24.95, Selfridges.

And for those who like a Christmas craft to keep them occupied on wintery evenings, here are some online inspirations for d.i.y cloche displays and mason jar snow globes. I don’t know how, but you may be able to guess I have a slight propensity for deers in the holiday season!

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Deer-in-SnowOr, for a super easy personalised display, brilliant company RE (whom I adore), have brought out a lovely clear bauble with lid for £3 for you to fill with whatever you fancy. I’d fill mine with glittery acorns, what would you do?Re Glass Bauble decoration with lid

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Chasing the Winter Blues away at Liberty

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With the weather getting dark and icy and with the yearly arrival of minor ailments and hibernational moods, I decided it was time to take myself on one of my twice yearly sojourns to Liberty to get lost in their cathedral of consumption for a couple of hours.

Like many girls of my generation, Liberty is a byword for the beautiful, it is one of those stores that across its four floors still maintains the feel of intimacy in small wood panelled spaces that feel like treasure troves to the particular, whilst collectively encompassing its original conception as a nineteenth century bazaar built on a grand scale, a true example of Zola’s Ladies Paradise.

Liberty London Store Shop Floor Patterned Sofa & Telescope 2013 Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Crates QueueLiberty London Store  Shop Floor Inteer-war feel display 2013

The store is such a sensory overload, everything is chosen and curated to within an inch of its life, but still there is something chaotic and charming about all the beautiful things on displays and it is quite possible to spend many hours looking and holding a million different kinds of objects of desire.

I am continually astonished by how successfully Liberty manage to update their look and products whilst still maintaining their old world innocence and charm. Only in Liberty would you happen upon original 19th century toy theatre’s from a London museum in display cabinets casually beckoning the eye away from the comparatively mundane selection of Christmas cards they stand next to.

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They stock the store so cleverly, there are exorbitant but unique and beautiful pieces for people with large wallets alongside beautiful fabrics bi-annually updated from their archive for the home sewer and also many charming items at obtainable prices for the casual shopper. I bought some beautiful pieces from very chic and accessible Danish company Bloomingville’s new china collection, including this particularly charming creamer for £7 and a wonderfully kitsch white elephant teapot for £14, alongside the Fish’s Eddy tray I’ve had my eye on for some months for £9.95.

Bloomingville Cup Saucer Creamer 2013 PatternLiberty London Store BIA BRH Collection Elephant Teapot Liberty London Store Fish's Eddy Admit One Tray

It just isn’t possible to visit Liberty in Winter months without spending some considerable time getting lost in their Christmas department. I have a decade long tradition of going with my two best friends and picking out a couple of decorations for each other. Lovely Kathryn is currently away in the far warmer and exotic climbs of Buenos Aires so instead I wandered on my own, here is what I saw in this years Liberty Christmas bonanza:

Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Painted Holly Glass bauble Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Retro Peg Fairy Decoration Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Fabric Sppol Sewing Reel Decoration Liberty London Store Christmas Baubles 2013 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Liberty London Store Christmas Decorations  2013  Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Nordic Deer Decoration


Final mention goes to my very favourite purchase of the day, this Zoetrope wrapping paper. I don’t own a zoetrope (working on it) but I am totally in love with this and am going to have to find a space to frame it somewhere.zoetrope

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An Aladdins Cave of Objects of Desire – The Paint House.

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Paint House Northcote Rd Convex Vintage Mirrors
Amongst the endlessly mundane interiors stores of South West London churning out the same gift-store-style homewares there is one store that uniquely charms me. It is rarely not on the money and there is always something surprising and eye catching. The items range from the purse pinching to the extravagant. This weeks entry is a passing nod to emporium of faultlessness  – The Paint House on Northcote Rd, Battersea.

The buyer at this store has such a good eye when sourcing stock, I have bought so many items from them over the last 18 months, many of which are designed by French company Atelier D’ambiances Chehoma. Here is a brief photographic reconnaissance of the style  inspiration I took on my last visit there a fornight ago.

Paint House Northcote Rd Starburst Mirror for Mantlepiece Paint House Northcote Rd - sea anemone coral vase
This Starburst miniature mirror on stand is a brilliant concession to
 a trend I am not daring enough to embrace on large scale and I love 
this sea anemone coral vase.
Paint House Northcote Rd Chrysler Building Model Pewter lookPaint House Northcote Rd Porcelain Pineapple
I just couldn't leave the store without buying this kitsch Chrysler 
building model cast and the Pineapple and paperweight on the right 
are both gorgeous.
Paint House Northcote Rd Artichoke Salt & Pepper Paint House Northcote Rd Porcelain Mice Cheese plate
I bought some Lobster salt and peppers here last year, this artichoke 
version is gorgeous. The porcelain mice cheese plate - beyond divine.
Paint House Northcote Rd Ornante Lighting Bus Blind Paint House Northcote Rd Ostrich Feather Dusters
This light is a bit too high-end-opulent for our flat, but it is
 beautiful all the same. Who doesn't need an ostrich feather duster 
in their lives!
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The Paint House, Exterior.

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Window Licking The New Season

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

It’s that time of year again where everything re-launches, there’s a green glint in my eye, and I am looking longingly at everything. Forget the September issue of Vogue, or the edit from London Fashion Week, it’s the new season in home design and I feel like a child in a sweetshop! Although I can’t actually justify buying any of these items I am vicariously browsing the online emporiums, I believe I have mentioned this before, but I am indulging in what the French term window licking – far closer to the truth than the banal English term window shopping I think!

This is my personal edit of the best of the new season, no trend alerts, just a long and fabulous list of over 20 covetable things! The  Anthropologie items are sourced them from their American site, but keeping fingers crossed that some make their way across the sea (or not as ones bank manager may dictate).

Top of my Lust List:

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Brocante Cabinet in Turquoise, £650, from Graham & Green.

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Hand carved Contractor Table, an eye watering $798.00 from Anthropologie.

Industrial Chrome Utensil Rack, $298.00, also Anthropologie.

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Fishs Eddy Admit One Tray £9.95 at Liberty.

Glass display globe, £19.95 from Rockett St George.

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These cushions are actually quite old stock, but oh so cute,

£44.50 & £29.50 respectively by Nikki McWilliams.

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Pinta Vase, quite pricey at £50, from the new collection at Habitat.

 ZitaGreys Throw, £60,  again new in at Habitat.

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24682999_007_b J25682014_010_b Abate Slatted Mirror $298, Anthropologie.

Ceramic Pelican Stamp $14.95, again Anthropologie

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Small Square Framed Round Mirror,  £120, Graham & Green.

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2013-08-08 15.18.54 Belgian Industrial Tool Cabinet sourced from Textile factory, POA, from The Old Cinema.

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Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker, £34, Rowen & Wren.

Cartouche White Rimmed Boards, £76, Rowen & Wren.

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These exquisitely expensive, but equally exquisitely beautiful cushions, from American firm Design Legacy $158-185, available from The Designer Pillow Shop.

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Light Industrial 789 Sideboard Cabinet, £250, from Rockett St George.

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baileys2Coca Cola crates £45.00 at Baileys Home.

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ss13chis509000698-nocolour Model of the Hoover building, £135,  available from Liberty.

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