How my home feels at Christmas is important to me. No flashing multi-coloured lights (sorry Dad, I know they’re your fave). I love candlelight, soft cusions, and making sure that the house smells like an Alpine lodge in a Wham video.
Here is my edit of twelve products to help you feel snug this Christmas.
Get the candles out
“Beeswax Candles Tall” by Camphill Community.
Irish dipped beeswax has a luxuriously rich colour to it. The gentle, natural taper that the traditional candle dipping method produces is reason enough to group these beauties all along the mantle. Special mention to the Irish shop that sells them, Makers and Brothers. They have keen eye for well made, timeless products. The shop resides in (purposely unpolished) converted stone outbuildings just up the road from where I grew up in Dublin. www.makersandbrothers.com
“Christmas Candle” and “Heima Block Candle Holder” by Anne Lehmann and Francis Cayouette respectively.
This candle will count down the days to Christmas with you. Much prettier than chocolate advent calendars… though i’m certainly using both. The holder designed specifically for the candle significantly improves the outline and balance of the product. www.normann-copenhagen.com
Decorations, for me, work best with simple shapes and repetition to get the best effect in a room. Though ‘full on’ traditional does have appeal to me too.
“Christmas Decorations” by Sebastian Cox
Cox’s team have individually turned the British grown wood for these hanging ornaments meaning you don’t get to chose the shape when buying online, but you can specify a type of wood. Not knowing what you’re getting would be half fun I think, as they’re all stunning. It would be your very own christmas surprise from the Cox team. www.sebastiancox.co.uk
“Origami Star Decs” by Deja Ooh
These stars look easy enough to reproduce at home if you’re crafty, but who on earth has time for it the week before Christmas? Maybe set the kids on the task and put their adorable, tangley messes on the tree every year, like my parents still do. If no tiny helpers are available supporting a small business like this is always a good thing. www.dejaoohfurniture.co.uk
“Eleven Inch High Julbock” by Straw Shoppe
Swedish Santa is a goat don’t cha know?! Same beard, much cuter. www.strawshoppe.com
“Spanbaume” by The Erzgebirge Glaesser Factory
Traditional decorations have been made this way in Erzgebirge, east Germany, for centuries. This Spanbaume (Christmas tree) is being made by a worker in the Glaesser factory in Seiffen. Spanbaume are made from one piece of doweling, carved by hand, to produce remarkable uniformity. Photo Credit: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters. www.glaesser-seiffen.de
“Metallic Ceramic Bauble” by Twenty Seven
The matte ceramic surface of Twenty-Seven’s baubles are fantastically tactile. And the unassuming bump that the decoration hangs from is a refreshing change from plastic cap style tops that eventually lose their grip on the bauble itself. http://www.twenty-seven.co.uk
The Smelly Stuff
Here are a couple of things to entice that scamp George Michael into your imaginary log cabin with wafting aromas of Christmas.
“Log Cabin Incense Burner” by Paines
A simple enough mini structure to be on just the right side of kitsch. The real ‘balsam fir’, condensed logs burning in this cabin will fool the noses of us folk not lucky enough to own a house with an open fire and rolling forest out the back. www.cabingeneralstore.ca
“Dried Orange Slice Ornaments” Amanda at Small Home Big Start
How simple and beautiful can you get for a decoration? Homemade too, this is one I definatly will have time for. Pretty much slice the orange, leave it alone and you’re done. You could stick a few cloves around the edge for extra oomph. Space them out though as the fruit slices will shrink as they dry. www.smallhomebigstart.com
Year Round Comfort and Joy
Three things caught my attention will last year-round. Two of which I have long coveted. I’ll start with those two.
“Candle holder” by John Pawson
Holy Moley. This candle holder, from the When Objects Work collaberative, makes my heart skip a beat. I’ve been sneaking to Pawson’s site late at night since my university days, just to make sure its still for sale. It is. For €242. I’ll keep checking in… www.designobjectshop.com
“Crest Bottle Opener” by Fort Standard
Fort standard designed these handsome, solid brass bottle openers that got a lot of press recently, and for good reason. They are ultra glam and at the same time feel very industrial. No mean feat. They are made for casually waving around at drinks parties feeling like the king of the castle. www.makersandbrothers.com (again!)
“FaLaLa Pillow” by Bright July
Caitlin Halberstadt’s new cushion seems obviously festive but if I saw it in June I would be thinking of running around singing, in a sun drenched field of wheat, not Christmas tunes. The script lettering is appliquéd, not printed, a good indication of quality. www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BrightJuly
Do you like the simple stuff or the traditional decorations? Will you buy me a €242 candle holder? You’ll be really, really glad you did. Promise.