AN EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT THE SEVEN DECORATING THEMES THAT WILL BE BIG NEWS AT JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS FOR CHRISTMAS 2020
Christmas is a time of self-expression, inspiration and shared experience, a communal moment of joy and wonder that shares more than a few similarities with how we, as a community, react to great art. Which is why this year’s decorating schemes at John Lewis & Partners have taken inspiration from key art movements. ‘This year’s themes have been inspired by the colour and ideas within art and the belief that art is for all,’ says Jason Billings-Cray, Partner & Junior Buyer, Christmas Shop. ‘Christmas is a time for being creative, whether that means the time and effort put into preparing your home or simply bringing friends and family together to make great memories.’
Join us on a tour through our Bloomsbury, Art of Japan, Renaissance, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Post Impressionism and Pop Art-inspired themes and bring a touch of fine art into your home this Christmas.
HEAD TO EUROPE AND THE CLASSIC PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND DECORATIVE ARTS OF THE 14TH-17TH CENTURIES FOR OUR RENAISSANCE THEME
With this theme, you’ll discover ornate decorations with references to literature, music and religious iconography used in a contemporary way. With a lovely soft palette of blush, mint and warm neutrals, this is a luxe look, thanks to its copper and gold accents.
‘I love our artificial flower sprays,’ says Jason. ‘They are a great way to add more volume to a tree.’ Feathers are also key to the look, while the tree topper is the most wonderful fairy. ‘This theme has our most expensive decoration,‘ says Jason. ‘Priced at £50, it’s a mouth-blown and hand-painted Renaissance Carriage.’
This look is perfect for adding a touch of luxury to Christmas. Drape garlands, beads and sprays over banisters and mix with beautiful pastel accessories. Try grouping a few ornaments – like the angel and the bird – on a side table, creating a display moment away from the tree.
GIVE YOUR TREE A QUIRKY LOOK WITH THIS THEME INSPIRED BY THE POST-IMPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT
‘This art movement, with its famous names of Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau and Paul Cézanne, placed emphasis on abstract qualities and vivid colours, often with the thick application of paint,’ says Jason.
‘Our Christmas theme has a richness to it, with green and hints of gold, as well as lots of fun with tropical birds, animals and insects that form an imagined fantasy land,’ he adds. ‘I love koala bears, and our Blue Koala is fab! This theme is full of quirky tropical animals from all over the world – and the decorations make great gifts as you will be able to find your, or your family’s, favourite animal in bauble form.’
This jewelled theme works really well with decadent velvets in similar colours, with plenty of gold and metallic accents. The palette builds from greens to yellows and oranges with splashes of blues and reds. Think ‘more is more’, with hand-blown glass and painted ceramics alongside embroidered stockings and alternative tree toppers.
GO ALL-OUT BRIGHT WITH OUR POP ART THEME FEATURING DECORATIONS DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU SMILE
Taking its inspiration from Pop Art and other modern art movements, this theme is vibrant, bold and exciting. ‘Think of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline,’ says Jason. ‘They all experimented with new ways of seeing, with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and the function of art.’ This look allows you to be brave and have some fun with your decorations.
‘You’ll also find our collection of decorations for children in this theme,’ says Jason, with art materials, diggers and dinosaurs among the curated set. ‘Pop Art was a time when anything goes, so don’t be surprised to see Santa on a balance scooter,’ he adds.
There are also plenty of reflective materials, which allow you to play with light and colour to add to that sense of fun and vibrancy. Santa-on-a-scooter aside, Jason loves the Artists Paint Palette decoration, while there’s plenty of eye-catching decorations away from the tree, including our Neon Star and the Rainbow Sequin Deer Figure. ‘Last year, we saw a resurgence of neon lighting – I love the idea of completely filling a space with light,’ says Jason.
OUR EVOCATIVE TAKE ON THE MOVEMENT TRANSLATES INTO A COOL AND WINTERY THEME
Impressionism captured the changing qualities of light and the passage of time through small, but individual brush strokes. Our theme makes use of an imaginative impression of all of the colours of snow.
‘Impressionism is my favourite theme for 2020,’ says Jason. ‘The Impressionist art movement contains some of my most-loved artists, including Monet. They’ve given us a new take on the traditional snow theme, capturing the idea that snow isn’t just white, but has an iridescent quality – it can be white, pink, blue, green and purple.’
For Jason, no Impressionist tree would be complete without a water-lily decoration, although his personal pick from the theme is a glass bauble filled with a dried flower. Bring the look into the dining room – it’s a great way to bring sparkle to existing white tableware, while the faux fur adds texture and the coloured glass has a shimmering quality.
JOIN THE BLOOMSBURY SET THIS CHRISTMAS WITH OUR WARM, INVITING CHRISTMAS THEME
Inspired by the Bloomsbury Set, a group of artists and writers living, working and studying together in London in the early 1900s, this look is characterised by the group’s literature, art and thought-provoking modern attitudes. ‘This movement had a soft illustration style, usually found in interior settings, which inspired many of our Bloomsbury decorations,’ says Jason. ‘The designs have a cosy, nostalgic feel, with warm copper tones paired with bold, complementary colours.’
The theme has a rich, jewel-like colour palette of purple, red and blue. ‘Don’t miss our Hot Air Balloon decoration, which captures the story perfectly,’ says Jason, who also loves the Grand Piano bauble. ‘It just captures the creativity of the group so brilliantly, it’s mouth-blown and hand-painted.’
Get the whole look with leather and wooden furniture paired with richly coloured and patterned rugs – this is a Christmas space that you won’t want to leave, and it looks even more dramatic come evening time.
ART OF JAPAN
ART OF JAPAN
TRAVEL TO THE FAR EAST THIS CHRISTMAS WITH OUR RED AND GOLD LOOK, A CONTEMPORARY TWIST ON THE FESTIVE CLASSIC
Discover the traditional icons of Christmas – the mistletoe, the berry and the robin – drawn in a contemporary way, alongside kokeshi dolls, Japanese cats, cherry blossom, fish and lanterns. ‘Art of Japan is inspired by the Japonism movement of the mid-19th century,’ says Jason. ‘These artists used elements of Japanese art and updated the composition and layout in a modern way.’
‘I have many favourites in this look, but I do love the Green Teapot,’ he continues. ‘It’s such a beautiful colour and references the Japanese tradition of tea. Hang it on our new Kyoto tree, with its stylised molded tips and pale green/jade colouring. And best of all, it comes in a pot so there’s no ugly stand to cover up.’
The colour palette for this theme moves from bright red through to fuchsia and metallics. Look out for touches of cherry blossom for an easy update to a red-and-green tree. You’ll also find the in-house blossom and robin designs on Christmas linens, tableware and glassware, helping to give your festive table a contemporary Japonism feel.
RICH MATERIALS AND EXTRAVAGANT ACCESSORIES MAKE OUR OPULENT ART NOUVEAU TREND REALLY SPECIAL
Think of the architecture, painting, jewellery and glass from the highly ornate Art Nouveau period, and you picture its opulence and sense of glamour inspired by names such as Gustav Klimt, Georg Jensen, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Antoni Gaudí.
‘We’ve taken this period and given it an updated, contemporary twist,’ says Jason. ‘It’s all about being highly decorative, which makes this period translate so well into Christmas. Look out for the black Panther bauble with deep gold eyes.’
When it comes to trees, the real show-stopper has to be the Gabriel gold tree. ‘It’s just so glam,’ says Jason. This theme also works perfectly for barware and parties, so look out for the glass Gin Decanter bauble for your tree, with plenty of decadent real-size pieces to add to your bar cart.
Try mixing luxe materials, such as silk, cut-glass, velvet, marble and heavy jacquards against deep blues, yellows and metallics. Away from the tree, you’ll find beautiful wrap to give your gifts that extra special touch.