BE INSPIRED BY A MAGICALWONDERLAND
Pull out all the Christmas stops this year with some grown-up festive glamour that will make your home truly sparkle
Just as we are seeing a return to glamour in Christmas fashion, many of us are ready to bring that glitter home too. After what feels likes an age of restraint and practicality on the home front, dressing up to the max is back and is oh-so welcome. Look to cocktail parties, elegance and old-school charm. More is more in maximalist interiors and this look is all about ramping up the style and being liberal with the shimmer.
‘Our Gemstone Forest theme has opulent glamour and is inspired by magical forests, mythical creatures and a dark and fairytale-like landscape,’ says Jason Billings-Cray, Partner & Christmas Buyer. ‘The forest is full of greens, pinks and beautiful purples that enhance the magic of Christmas and the mysterious and moody palette is lifted by accent brights and flashes of gold.’
Go to town with the tree – in this kind of maximalist scheme almost anything goes. ‘I absolutely love neon lights on each level of the tree as it strengthens the colour theme and really commands attention,’ says Bethan Harwood (@johnlewis_bethan), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘And I’m also a big fan of the decorations for this look. While the colour palette is sophisticated, the decorations are the animals, colours and shapes you find deep in the forest which is playful and fun. It’s something you can potentially work into a family home too.’
A rich jewel-like colour palette works beautifully in a modern interior, bringing moodiness to day as well as night. ‘I love the balance between the bright purple and pink, against the darker greens – it really does sum up the magical, fairytale narrative,’ adds Bethan. ‘For maximum impact, stick to the main colours and go big.’
While dark walls and furniture will amplify the look, you don’t have to get the paintbrushes out so close to Christmas. You can still successfully layer this look over existing decor. Pick up the shades in smaller accessories such as cushions and perhaps a lamp, then build up layers of greenery, nestling in baubles and metallic accessories to add shimmer and shine.
‘For Christmas glamour, go deep with colour and rich with texture,’ suggests Wil Law (@johnlewis_wil), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘Opt for plush velvet soft furnishings in jewel tones, like emerald, plum and burnt orange, then add in light-reflective golds for decorative objects.’
“Glamour is not just about the colour scheme, but also about the finishes and textures of the materials you choose”
Lighting is the perfect partner for a sophisticated mood with table lamps, string lighting and candlelight all contributing to a soft, layered lighting scheme. Wil suggests adding a layer of coloured lights for Christmas as an instant mood-changer that can highlight a new focal point in a flash. ‘Green or purple lights in your tree and on surfaces can look particularly chic while introducing some neon pieces will ramp up the glamour,’ he adds.
He also points to lighting as an effective way to balance a Christmas scheme. ‘The tree is almost always going to be the main focal point but you need other points to counter that. A striking mantel display with lights and decor that echoes your tree will bring balance – try taking the embellishment up and around a mirror to add height,’ he adds.
Little light-up festive vignettes on side tables will also add interest but see how your existing lighting might work into the mix too. An armchair with a reading light will make a dark corner welcoming without need for any extra embellishment. Simply add a velvet cushion if it needs drawing into the scheme.
“The forest theme is full of greens, pinks and beautiful purples to enhance the magical feel at Christmas time. Decorations include fairies, butterflies and dried flower baubles”
The luxe look is all about being guest-ready so do a final sweep and check you have everything you need to support happy hosting. Comfy seats are always appreciated and make sure you’ve left some space for guests to put drinks down.
The bar cart remains a favourite for cocktail parties as it has a sense of occasion and lets you show off your glassware too. ‘I love to see surprise touches of luxe such as gold cutlery or regular lamp shades changed to dark velvets,’ says Bethan.
For Wil, bold and brilliant is a tonic. ‘This kind of scheme can be a winter mood-booster – an antidote to the dark nights and cold weather,’ he says. ‘It will uplift and delight you every time you walk in the room. If you want to go completely overboard and throw all sense of taste out of the window, do it. The festive version of the room will only be in place for a short time so enjoy it to the max.’