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Festive GLAMOUR Modern homes dressed to impress BLING IT ON!






Cool ways to cosy up


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COVER STORIES Our cover stories are highlighted by a spot Cover photography: Simon Bevan

[ News & views ] 17 NEWS This month, we’re gifting ourselves Buster + Punch’s edgy Heavy Metal chandelier, House of Holland’s limelight-stealing glittered Thunder boots and John Derian’s delicious cake pedestals

[ Shopping ] 29 TREND The Midas touch Get ready for all that glistens

128 DESIGN PROFILE Creatives talk tables Florist Nikki Tibbles,

30 EDITED CHOICE Tree toppers Fabulous finishing touches

retail expert Mark Winstanley and designer Jonathan Adler reveal their slick tricks for creating an inspirational festive dining scheme

33 EDITED CHOICE Baubles From investment pieces to natural

170 #PLANET LIVINGETC A peek behind the scenes at the team out and about putting the issue together

wonders, you’ll want to keep these forever

37 EDITED CHOICE Drinks trolleys Serve up a big dose of style

38 EDITED CHOICE Wreaths The perfect garnish for your front door 42 EDITED CHOICE Snow globes It’s shake or break time 45 DESIGN CLASSIC Alessi’s Scoiattolo nutcracker is an Xmas must-have

81 TREND INSPIRATION Festive reboot Trad decorating ideas get an epic modern makeover

144 EDITED CHOICE Ovens and range cookers Super-sleek appliances guaranteed to deliver a festive feast / December 2016





[ Food & Travel ]

[ Modern Homes ] 46 NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS… Lucy’s semi is decked out in fairy lights all year round, but there’s always room for more glitter and sparkle, especially at this time of year

90 WORK OF ART It may be a gallery-like space, overflowing with epic art, but Louisa’s house is most definitely a family home

100 MORE THAN A BIT OF HO HO HO! Quirky theatrical props and vintage finds are the stars in actor Alastair’s dazzlingly inventive, whimsical loft apartment

110 GLAM ROCKS Once a secret hangout for cool Sixties creatives, Joanna and Mark’s manor house flat still boasts a good-time vibe 6

December 2016 /

Save up to 50% on the price of an annual subscription! For the perfect Christmas gift, call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6, or visit

[ Design Ideas ] 63 DECORATING Step into Christmas With exotic birds, a riot of pattern and buckets of glamour and glitz, it’s show time!

125 DESIGN NEWS Product launches and hi-tech innovations

135 PROJECT INSPIRATION 8 ideas for a beautiful winter bedroom Tap into the trend for deep drama for the sleeping space of your dreams

145 STYLE CLASSIC Why exposed beams are back in the game

146 FESTIVE TRUFFLES Keep them for yourself or gift them to friends – Donna Hay’s Christmas chocs are totally yummy

150 HOLIDAY HAVENS Make all your Xmas wishes come true at these sparkling, ready-for-Chrimbo hotels in New York, Paris, Cornwall and Devon

[ Offers & Info ] 12 SUBSCRIBE for top offers 154 READER OFFER Enjoy 20% off the latest furniture, accessories and lighting ranges at iconic homeware store Graham and Green*




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EDITORIAL EDITOR Suzanne Imre Deputy Editor Neil McLennan Creative Director Dina Koulla Associate Editor Sarah Spiteri Acting Editorial Assistant Brittany Dawson (020 3148 7443) Contributing Style Editor Hannah Franklin Acting Style Editor Jo Bailey Style Assistant Jesse Harris With thanks to Nonci Nyoni Houses Editor Mary Weaver News Editor Amy Moorea Wong Deputy News and Houses Editor Thea Babington-Stitt Senior Designers Stephanie Allingham and Christina McQuillan With thanks to Rebecca Rhodes and Jonathan Sellers Chief Sub-editor Paula Rodney Deputy Chief Sub-editor Steven Efstathiou With thanks to Dawn Chapman and Elaine O’Neill Web and Development Editor Stephanie Hendries Video Producer Karmen Zografou Editorial Production Manager Nicola Tillman Art Production Designer Chris Saggers

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GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR, LIFESTYLE Fiona Dent PA to Group Managing Director, Lifestyle Donna McConnell



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ast Christmas, I put my son in charge of the tree decoration – traditionally, it’s a big moment in our household, one that requires carols and pine-scented candles and not a little styling nous. The result was perfect in the eyes of a six-yearold, with all the lights bunched around the lower branches and the decs hung in clumps, according to colour. Meanwhile, I was biting hard on my knuckles, resisting the urge to swap the monogrammed glass bauble at the back of the tree with the spray-painted cotton-wool balls given pride of place by my son. And then I reminded myself that this is exactly what Christmas is all about – relaxing, having fun and being with loved ones. So throughout this issue, we bring you our guide to the perfect Christmas and that doesn’t mean symmetrical fireplace displays or meticulously coordinated baubles, but rooms decorated with wit and warmth – cacti strung with fairy lights, bookshelves supporting neon strip lights in the shape of a tree and oversized decs hung randomly at the windows. And we’ve asked some leading names in the creative industries to share their ideas of ‘perfect’ too (page 128). From designer Jonathan Adler’s colourful festive table to florist Nikki Tibbles’ roses-on-roses theme, they’re rooms decorated with love – and at Christmas, that means everything!

Suzanne Imre, EDITOR

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GIVE A SUBSCRIPTION 12 ISSUES FROM JUST £28.99 The perfect Christmas gift! Celebrate the festive season with a subscription to Livingetc, for yourself or a loved one. Subscribe now and you’ll be first to discover style trends and decorating ideas that inspire you to create a beautifully relaxed modern home. With great houses to ogle, brilliant shopping and expert tips, Livingetc is essential reading for every homeowner, delivered every month. Enjoy!

Suzanne Imre, EDITOR

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MOR N I NG BLISS If there was ever a sofa for opening presents on, it’s Habitat’s Hendricks chaise design. There’s room for all the family, its wide arms are perfect for balancing newly unwrapped selection boxes on and there’s no nicer prospect than settling into its lush emerald velvet for The Great Christmas Bake Off. No no, don’t get up. £2,400 (

STAR BUY It’s a cracker, but not as you know it – Fortnum’s has given it a bit of an overhaul. All the best bits are still there – the explosive noise, the paper hats, the hilarious jokes – but the tubes have merged into one, star-like hybrid, so there’s more room for the prize! Which, in this case, is a fun-filled activity for the group, so everyone’s a winner. £65 (fortnum

DINNER DATE Resplendent enough as it is, imagine how good the Gordon Deep Wood table by Cattelan Italia’s going to look with that organic turkey you pre-ordered two months ago resting on it. Hewn from pieces of Canaletto walnut in all of their natural, irregular glory, the edges are darkened to create a smooth, bark-like finish, so it’s like you’re looking at one colossal plank. The smaller version seats 12, so you might need to get out those extra dining chairs from the garage. From approx £4,567 (

[ Flash… A-ah! ] Storm through your office party in these aptly named Thunder boots by House of Holland. A striking mix of Seventies glam rock and festive sparkle, the leather and glitter-effect footware is not for the faint-hearted – there’s absolutely no hovering at the edge of the dancefloor in these bad boys. £270 ( / December 2016



PARTY TRICK Though this Coupe Stack may look like a major achievement, the six glasses stand solidly atop one another thanks to a small ledge inside each one, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no need to be scared at trying it again after youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a few sips. Just fill with a full bottle of fizz and watch as your guests look on in amazement. ÂŁ70 (

DI V I N E DECS The retro baubles at Dobbies Garden Centres will have you casting your mind back to the days when people really did get coal in their stockings. The palette of reds, turquoises, blues and limes is a throwback to Fifties pop art, with classic shapes such as teardrops and concave balls sitting happily alongside cars, planes and robots, making for a very jolly affair indeed. From ÂŁ3.99 each (

TRUE GRIT Thought chandeliers were all delicate cut-crystal? Think againâ&#x20AC;Ś Add some edge to your lighting with Buster + Punchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heavy Metal version. LED bulbs in gold, smoked or clear glass sit in hunks of solid metal and fall for up to 6m in either a neat diamond shape or this rather more wild cascade formation. Rock on. From ÂŁ2,999 (

[ Hand stand ] [ Vrooom! ] Long an under-the-tree staple, the ride-along toyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been given an ultra-modern makeover courtesy of design superstar Piero Lissoni. 3DUWRI ,WDOLDQEUDQG.DUWHOO¡V IXQĂ&#x20AC;OOHGFKLOGUHQ¡V UDQJHWKH Ferrari-red tinted plastic of the Discovolante Go-Kartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only set of wheels your kids should be crashing into the Christmas tree on this year. ÂŁ502 (


Misshaped robins and unidentifiable Christmas puddings? Not this year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; make every day a delight with one of these alternative calendars. Whether theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re filled with truffles, peanut butter cups or a Scandi take on the Advent candle countdown, dark December mornings are looking up.


Your Christmas cake will look even more delicious than usual on these John Derian dĂŠcoupage stands. With imagery taken from the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge archive of vintage and antique prints, each piece is handmade in New York by artisans, who cut and collage on to hand-blown glass. Definitely worth a slice of your Chrimbo decorating budget.(designers

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Cut Flowers stacking cake d 95; an pedestal, ÂŁ4 acking Grid petite st al, ÂŁ250 cake pedest

/7, Christmas 24 annÂŁ9.90 (norm .com) copenhagen


Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 18

December 2016 /

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Selfridges â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the glittering star on Oxford Street


Douse your dinner in soft lights like this glowing extravaganza by The White Company. Mercury tea-light holders let a gentle glimmer suffuse on to the table, which bounces off gleaming silver accessories and the glittering garland centrepiece. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the surrounding area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alight with cascading fairy lights too. Fairy lights, ÂŁ60; sparkle garland, ÂŁ20; and tea-light holders, ÂŁ10 each (

@Selfridges # WELOVE Selfridgesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attitude this Christmas, which is going for a full-on festive rave. Think daily confetti cannons exploding through the atrium, giant disco balls and an insane amount of glitter. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motto is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gather, give and get on downâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind if we do.


# WEWANT A SELFIE with Father &KULVWPDVZKR¡OOEHURDPLQJWKHà RRUV with his elf and Polaroid camera.


[ Fan-tastique ]

What do you get if you cross floral subscription service Bloom & Wild with beauty delivery giant Birchbox? A tiny, real Christmas tree covered in mini make-up products, delivered to your door in a letter box-sized parcel, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what. ÂŁ33 (bloom

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just trees that need embellishing at this time of year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dress up your Diptyque candles too, with the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carrousel decoration. Fitting on to any of its 70g candles, the golden fan rotates with the heat of the flame making the birds dance. Only one question remains â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are they partridges or turtle doves? ÂŁ30 (diptyqueparis.

Glitter bauble, ÂŁ5.50 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just one of the dazzling items available in-store this Christmas

# WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;D LOVE to dance in the windows, which transport you to a raucous Alpine EDQTXHWSOXVDEDXEOHĂ&#x20AC;OOHG-DFX]]L

# WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;REG-R-REAT, according to our personalised Kelloggâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cereal boxes, which are among the clever pieces you can stamp your name all over this year. #WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL FEAST in the Forest Restaurant & Bar up on the roof, about to be transformed into a winter wonderland â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a bottomless prosecco brunch surrounded E\WUHHV'-VDQG\HWPRUHJOLWWHU

# WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;VEGOT TICKETS to the Sink the Pink performance at the in-store theatre from 9 November â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be the most glam panto of the year... Decs in all the colours of the rainbow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; plus a few youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never dreamed ofâ&#x20AC;Ś

[ Glitter queen ] BROLLY GOOD Dust the snow off your brolly and stash it in the Bacco umbrella stand, which will welcome you home in style, thanks to its sleek architectural lines, pitch-black steel and solid Corian tray. Never has a rain accessory had such a fine abode. From ÂŁ1,638 (

Have a party on your dressing table with YSL BeautĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rouge Clash the sparkle editions Pur Sparkle of YSL BeautĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lipstick classic products. The Touche Ă&#x2030;clat and Rouge Pur lipstick packaging is dipped in gleaming gold and silver glitter, and the lipstick is Ă&#x20AC;QLVKHGZLWK imprinted stars. Who cares if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re staying in tonight â&#x20AC;&#x201C; get dolled up anyway. From ÂŁ26 ( / December 2016



FA NTA SY TH AT! Pack your bags for the land of Ostravia, John Lewisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2016 festive fantasy world, where opulence, eccentricity and a pretty pastel palette reign. The general rule while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;more is moreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; flamingos, poodles, ice-cream trucks, musical instruments, light-up feather boas, giant glittering stagsâ&#x20AC;Ś Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably best to get one of each of the 100 decorations in case you miss out something vital. Decorations, from ÂŁ2 each (

SHOW STOPPERS T FROM RIGH CLOCKWISE stag, ÂŁ150, Gold sequin pre-lit fluffy draped with le, camera baub 0; ÂŁ1 , nd rla ga ÂŁ15; and ÂŁ6; tree, from er, ÂŁ4 flamingo hang

SILVER SERVICE Ta-da!! Visitors canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fail to be impressed when you wheel out M&Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s magnificent Stag cloche and tray, even if your nut roast has caught a little around the edges. With golden antlers as handles and intricate silver detailing around the rim, whateverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s underneath it will barely get a second glance. ÂŁ120 (marks

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not usually ones to save that last glass of Sauv Blanc for tomorrow but with William & Sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s semi-precious stone bottle stoppers, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re much more likely to resist temptation. Made from Brazilian amethyst and crystal, and finished with handcrafted glass, they should keep a lid on our drinking habitâ&#x20AC;Ś ÂŁ80 each (

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BIG DRAW Nothingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to get small bodies ready for bed quicker than the prospect of donning their own fashion creations. Lala & Beaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ultra-soft organic cotton PJs come with a set of neon Dylon pens for kids to get designing with. Just think â&#x20AC;&#x201C; today, doodled pyjamas, tomorrow, haute coutureâ&#x20AC;Ś ÂŁ34 (

[ Table manners ] Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the most stylish spot to present Santa and Rudolph with their Christmas Eve mince pie and carrots. Flexformâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brig small table combines a smooth, solid-wood frame ZLWKD WRS LQD FKRLFH RI ZRRGV RUPDUEOH Ă&#x20AC;QLVKHV,W¡V Ă&#x20AC;QH IRUD reindeer to eat off that, right? )URP DSSUR[  Ă H[IRUPLW

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 22

December 2016 /

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DECK THIS OUT Known for its elegant, subtle shapes, Georg Jensen has deconstructed the wreath for its 2016 bauble collection, flattening the leaves to create delicately patterned decorations. Whichever way the mood takes you, choose a ring of tiny gold or silver leaves, or a reversed cut-out version on a gleaming disc. From £15 each (

TOTES AMAZE Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no need to say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cheers!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; when carrying your personalised Kate Spade New York bag â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just point at it and keep on drinking. In fact, it can say anything you want. Simply choose your metal letter stickers and set to work spelling out your message. Small Dody bag, £165; set phrases, from £25; and letters, £6 each (


ROLL UP, ROLL UP! The big topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s come to town with Alessiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vibrant new Circus range, a 29-piece collection of tableware designed by ringmaster Marcel Wanders. Bowls, trays, mugs, containers and more have been dressed in the jazziest of patterns, ready for the performance of a lifetime (at your holiday party). Applause please. From £14 for a mug (

STAKE OUT Guide Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and crew in the right direction with these gigantic light-up candy canes. The 62cm-tall twisted, sugar-like sticks go straight into grass and will make damn sure that Father Christmas doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out your house. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lick them. £20 each (


Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 / December 2016



HEADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S UP If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re too busy to go out and catch yourself a unicorn, head over to Liberty, which has some of the magical creatures ready to go. Created by New York-based designer Tamar Mogendorff, who makes dreamlike, sewn â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;soft-sculpturesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a playful update on the classic stagâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head â&#x20AC;&#x201C; plus, they have more sequins. ÂŁ600 (

[ Hard to Beat ]

NICE BIT OF FLUFF The pompom, a classic winter accessory, has moved from clothes to jewellery just in time for the festive season. Mangoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s necklace certainly has a Christmassy twist â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who needs Rudolph? You can guide the sleigh instead. ÂŁ15.99 (

Mirror, mirror on the wall, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the fairest of them all? Oh, you are! Gallotti&Radiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Black & White Beat mirror is crafted out of 42 single pieces of glass, some simply hand-polished and others painted black, put together in a masterpiece thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost 2m wide. Might be hard to fit into a stocking, thoughâ&#x20AC;Ś ÂŁ13,968 (

OFF-PISTE Even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not living it up in a chalet this year, channel your inner ski bunny with House of Fraserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s A Winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tale collection. Firs are flocked with snow and wreaths decorated with pine cones, while neutral tones and soft bronzes create a glam-yet-natural ambience. Wrap yourself in a (faux) fur throw and pretend youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the Alps. Whistler tree, ÂŁ230; wreath, ÂŁ50; throw, ÂŁ120; and decorations, from ÂŁ6 each (

FROM CLOCKWISE rland, RIGHT Felt ga .uk); .co ÂŁ24 (westelm Ăąata, e pi Christmas tre tters. tfi ÂŁ12 (urbanou , ÂŁ15 rs com); wrestle ious. dcur an na (lu ch ea ctus com); and ca ran (con bauble, ÂŁ20

SACKS APPEAL Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about time the Christmas sack got a stylish makeover, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to hand it to screen-printing whizz Thornback & Peel for giving us a modern alternative to the moth-eaten thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been in our attic for 25 years. A forest of elegant fir trees and snowflakes decorates the outside, making us almost forget about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s within. Oh, and it comes with that ribbon too. ÂŁ29 (

C U R R ENT MOOD [ Mexican Christmas ] Ditch the snowmen and sledges and warm yourself up with the Mexican Christmas trend thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shining down on us. Dig out your sombrero, deck the tree with colourful wrestlers DQGFDFWLĂ&#x20AC;OO WKH SLxDWD IXOO of chocolate coins and get started on the turkey tacos.

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 26

December 2016 /



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Forget polishing the silverware for Christmas Day, there’s only one metal we want to see this year and it’s the very brightest of golds. The autumn/winter 2016 catwalk was gilded to perfection, with Erdem’s runway a flurry of gold fringing, while all Lanvin was missing was the frankincense and myrrh. In the home, embrace the trend with Yuletide decs and statement gold pieces that’ll work all year round. MDF Italia’s lustrous table will make any meal a glamorous affair, especially when eaten with Nordic House’s gleaming cutlery. How many carats do you want with that turkey? 24, of course!

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Ilse candle holder, £85, Georg Jensen Tense Material table, from £4,310, MDF Italia at Viaduct Furniture

Words and research ⁄ Amy Moorea Wong / December 2016




Feathered owl tree topper, £40, Anthropologie

Gold glitter crown tree topper, £7.99, Dobbies Garden Centres

Tree topper, £9.50, M&S

Glittering star tree topper, £52, Kurt Adler at Selfridges

Shangri-La Patricia Peacock tree topper, £12, John Lewis

Star tree topper, £72, Flemming Eskildsen for Georg Jensen

Angel tree topper, £29.95, Harrods

Gold tree topper, £5, George Home

Holiday Joy tree topper, £100, Lladró

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 Research / Jesse Harris 30

December 2016 /


Crown your Christmas tree with a real show stopper



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Add to your collection with one of these modern statement designs

Birds decoration, £21 for two, Iittala

The Queen decoration, £42.50, Aerloom London

Jewel geometric bauble, £15.95, Liberty

Carretto print decoration, £115, Dolce & Gabbana at

King & Queen decoration set, £58, Jonathan Adler

Dressed for X-mas decoration, £16.95, Marcel Wanders for Alessi

Tea tray decoration, £25, Fortnum & Mason

Diamond decoration, £14.95, Harrods

Foiled wreath Christmas decoration, £22,

Research / Jesse Harris / December 2016




Hedgehog twig decoration, £8, Gisela Graham at The Conran Shop

Bark hanging star decoration, £15, The White Company

House decoration, £3, Waitrose

English sycamore decoration, £14, Sebastian Cox

Skier tree decoration, £9, Dregano for Lunar & Curious

Natural pine cone decoration, £5, John Lewis

Sphere decoration, £4, Future and Found

Snowflake decoration, £1, George Home

Bear decoration, £8, House of Fraser

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6


December 2016 /


Look to nature with these crafted decorations


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Add a dash of glamour to your party this Yuletide with these cool bar carts

Jane Danger trolley, £1,450, USM at Aram Store

Shoreditch drinks trolley, £125, Rockett St George

Manhattan drinks trolley, £710, Neptune

Stirling drinks trolley, £299, Atkin & Thyme

James bar cart, from £2,674, Stellar Works at


Hourglass drinks trolley, £295, Graham and Green

Brewer drinks trolley, £355, Abigail Ahern

Modern trolley, £349, Kaymet at John Lewis

Riki trolley, £1,016, Gallotti&Radice

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6

Research / Brittany Dawson / December 2016



Forget the holly – adorn your door with a fabulous festive garland

Christmas wreath, £250, Linley

Sugarplum wreath, £295, MacKenzie-Childs at Harrods

Petit lapin wreath, £88, Anthropologie

Snowdrop wreath, £26.95, Liberty

Peacock feather wreath, from £50.99, Gisela Graham

Money-leaf wreath, £45, John Lewis

Himmeli wreath, £36, Authentic Nordic at Etsy

Faux-succulent wreath, £74, Oka

Snowy berry wreath, £35, M&S

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 38

December 2016 /



Festive snowflake wreath, from £80, Wildabout

Mistletoe wreath, £15, Paperchase

Pressed-metal leaf and flower wreath, £45, RE

Multicoloured honeycomb wreath, £45, The Conran Shop

Daska Christmas wreath, £65, Sophie and Luna at

Faux-antler wreath, £25, Cox & Cox

Anngarsk multicoloured bauble wreath, £30, Habitat

Butterfly lit wreath, £25, Next Home

D-Donut wall décor, £167, Krools at

Research / Brittany Dawson / December 2016




Christmas Tree snow globe, £8, George Home

Deer snow globe, £15, M&S

Flamingo snow globe, £15, John Lewis

Wonderball Toucan snow globe, £11, &Klevering at Aram Store

Nativity snow globe, £12, Paperchase

Lovers snow globe, £10.50, Rockett St George

Herringbone snow globe, £53.50, Patterned Things for Zazzle

Cool snow globe, £49.95, Harrods

Winter Scene snow globe, £30, Linea at House of Fraser

Livingetc makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit or call 0330 333 1113 and quote code BCF6 Research / Jesse Harris 42

December 2016 /


’Tis the season to shake up a style storm



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Designer Andrea Branzi, 2010. Details Stainless-steel and wood nutcracker, £69.95, Alessi. Background In design circles (yes, that means us), the term ‘a perfect marriage of form and function’ is frequently used to describe an object – one that melds together the creative instincts of, say, an architect (whose head is often somewhere in the clouds) and the more prosaic attitudes of an engineer, whose sole concern is that his product actually works. So an architect who also happens to be a professor of industrial design, should, in theory, be the perfect exponent of these two competing disciplines. Step forward, then, Signore Andrea Branzi, who brought that theory thrillingly to life with his iconic Scoiattolo (squirrel) nutcracker. Known for his radical questioning of the relationship between nature and culture, origins and product (his Trees series of furniture, for example, features tree trunks embedded in each piece), Branzi’s Scoiattolo is as pure an example of form meeting function as you’re likely to find. Does the job and also looks pretty darn cute. Honestly, what’s not to love?

Words / Steven Efstathiou / December 2016



CHR ISTMAS... As co-founder of a top interiors emporium, Lucy’s design default setting is for sparkle and glitz all year round. So it’s hardly surprising that she’s in her element at this glittering time of year

Photography ⁄ Alexander James


Production ⁄ Jo Bailey


Words ⁄ Lola Borg

HOMES / ETC FRONT LI V ING ROOM This reception area is dressed for the season, although many of the decorative elements are permanent features in Lucy’s scheme. ‘At Christmas, the cherub statue gets a crown and some fairy lights,’ she says. Get the look The Balsam Hill tree is topped with a crown from Hobbycraft. The wrapping paper, here and throughout, is from The coffee table, cushions, illuminated letter and some of the Christmas decorations are from Rockett St George. The sofas are vintage Ikea. This is Tom Dixon’s Mirror Ball pendant. The Ikat Bamboo rug is from The Rug Company. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue estate emulsion. / December 2016


‘Oh, it’s always Christmas in our house,’

H A LLWAY ‘The ivy, eucalyptus and pine garland is fake, but looks amazing,’ says Lucy. ‘The baubles can just be weaved in. I change the theme and add different baubles every year.’ Get the look The Balsam Hill garland is twined with artificial eucalyptus from MiaFleur. The baubles are from The Contemporary Home. This is a John Lewis stocking. The eucalyptus and winterberry wreath is from The White Company. The bubble wreath is by Habitat.


December 2016 /

says Lucy St George, pointing to the flashes of gold, sequins and the dusting of glitter dotted around the interior of her family home in London. You don’t have to look very far to see evidence of celebrations 12 months of the year. ‘I have stars and fairy lights in here all the time,’ she says. ‘I think it satisfies my inner disco queen!’ As one half of the furniture and accessories emporium Rockett St George (her partner is Jane Rockett), she’s naturally a dab hand at dressing an interior. And she’s right, there is a subtle sparkle in every room, including decorations she never takes down because she likes it that way. But greenery, as well as the baubles, is just as important at this time of the year. Lucy was a florist in a previous incarnation, ‘so I learnt how to make an impact on a room. You can go in with plants and flowers and shazam! I’ve brought a lot of that to my interiors. Our house is filled with plants and plants make things come alive,’ she says. ‘Look around, though, and the real is mixed with the faux. Because I work full time and have three children to take care of, faux plants work for me.’ Careful editing is what Lucy does both at home and work – Rockett St George was set up nine years ago after she met Jane at a fancy-dress party and realised they were kindred spirits. It was born, says Lucy, ‘out of our passion for all things interiors. We both had small children at the time and would sit around looking at Livingetc and constantly lusting after things we couldn’t really afford.’ Today, the pair’s brief for each item they sell is to choose things they both love, that are affordable (important after all those years of lusting) and not widely available. ‘These are three huge challenges,’ says Lucy. ‘We don’t really stick to a style or a trend – we just go for interesting pieces and seek them out. And we’re very lucky. We travel the world to source products, which is fun, especially with your best friend.’ Come the festivities, however, and Lucy stays put in the house with her partner Paul and their children. It’s strictly traditional (the kids won’t tolerate any deviation), followed by flopping about between Christmas and New Year. The weeks before are the most hectic time at work. Afterwards, Lucy says, ‘I collapse into a heap for three or four days. We’re working until Christmas Eve, so I come home utterly exhausted, my mum steps in and we do lunch together.’ Decorations are squeezed in during the run-up to Christmas. Each member of the family has their role and all pitch in together. Lucy’s job – no surprise – is to make the house look festive. She and Paul bought their home three years ago. They were sold on it as soon as they saw the communal garden at the back – the perfect space for children and teenagers to hang out. It is shared between some 40 other families, who have an annual carol service out there at Christmas. The duo immediately saw the potential of the house as a sociable space for family and friends. Once it was theirs, they ripped out the old conservatory, got rid of the ubiquitous Eighties feel, then opened up the top floors to maximise the panoramic views of north London. All this involved a year of building work when the pair felt they were ‘glamping in our own home’. A solid Edwardian house, it looks ordinary from the exterior, but the interior – part boho with a side order of rock ’n’ roll – is testament to Lucy’s inventiveness. There are certain themes: the greenery, the palms that she loves, round or convex mirrors in virtually every room, faux birds (‘just because I love them’), dark colours, an eclectic mix, a touch of Morocco here and there. And dream catchers. ‘Dream catchers are having a bit of a moment for us because we went on holiday to Mexico,’ Lucy says. She has a real eye for collating objects and an awesome talent for upcycling bargains. She loves nothing better than spending weekends ferreting out goodies and is the kind of woman who can’t walk past a skip without having a rummage. ‘I’m always looking – I’m always on the hunt,’ she says. ‘I like to find unique items and that’s my buzz, so I buy one-off things for myself. I’ve been like this since forever. As for Rockett St George, I’d describe us as treasure hunters. We try to bring things home from our travels that we think other people will like… And we always only choose things we love.’ Learn more about Rockett St George at; the company’s products are also now available at Liberty For information about adopting a rescue dog, visit


HOME PROFILE THE OWNERS Lucy St George, co-founder of online interiors outlet Rockett St George, her partner Paul, a property developer, and their children Ella, 18, Grace 13, and Ollie, ten, plus Molly the rescue dog and Roxy the cat. THE HOUSE An Edwardian semi in north London. On the ground floor are two living rooms, a kitchen-diner and study. The children's bedrooms and two bathrooms are on the first floor, with the master bedroom, bathroom and games room on the second floor.

R E A R LI V ING ROOM This is where the family congregates. ‘We have a horseshoeshaped sofa, so everyone can fit on it,’ Lucy explains. ‘The sequined cushions and fairy lights are here all year because I like the flash of light – the large star is from Ikea and has been there since last Christmas.’ Get the look The Habitat sofa was bought on eBay and the pouffe was found in Morocco. The faux cactus is by Abigail Ahern. The print of Slim Aarons’ Poolside Gossip and the vintage wall lights are from Rockett St George.


KITCHEN DETAIL Lucy and Paul designed the cabinetry and fittings themselves, transforming a standard kitchen into something that looks bespoke. Get the look The cockatoo ornament, Fabulous wall light, mounted in the shelving, Eames House Bird for Vitra and Anatomical Heart vase are all from Rockett St George.


December 2016 /

HOME TRUTHS What do you plan to wear on Christmas Day? Pyjamas until lunchtime and then something black and sparkly. What’s more important – food or decorations? That’s a tricky one. They are both favourite things, but I think food definitely tastes better in a well-decorated room. All you want for Christmas is… A homemade gift. The children make really thoughtful presents and cards. Is Christmas shopping a chore or pleasure? A pleasure. I love shopping and the challenge of getting someone a gift they’ll love. Finally, give us your ultimate Christmas decorating tip. Snake a faux-pine garland down the dining table, packed with your favourite decorations, candles, flowers and foliage. It will add instant impact to the scheme. Who cooks the lunch? You or Paul? My mother, she makes a fabulous roast. It’s her signature dish! We all pitch in and help. When designing our kitchen, we put the hob in the island, which makes the chef part of the action. So we all sit at the island while my mum cooks the Christmas lunch.

K ITCHEN ‘I like the industrial look,’ says Lucy. ‘We wanted to have a plain brick wall, but because we had an extension, the bricks didn’t match. Painting it the same colour as the sliding patio doors made it work.’ Get the look These are Crystal Bulb pendants by Lee Broom. The light above the sink unit is vintage Jieldé. The large star is from The White Company. The crackers are from John Lewis. The panettones and mince pies are from Fortnum & Mason. The bar stools are from Rockett St George.


DINING A R EA DETA IL ‘The house is made up of objects that we love,’ says Lucy. ‘There are many pieces from Rockett St George, naturally enough, but these are mixed with eBay and car-boot finds.’ Get the look The vintage sweet shop cabinet is from Eras of Style. Find a faux zebra head on eBay. The faux cacti are by Abigail Ahern. The Warhol print is from the Art Car Boot Fair; the others are from Rockett St George.


December 2016 /

DINING A R E A ‘This table, which we found on eBay, is amazing,’ says Lucy. ‘It’s not too big, but, because of the shape, we can fit 12 or 14 around it at Christmas.’ On the wall behind is a vintage train-reversing mirror, bought from an antiques dealer when covered in rust. ‘The vendor promised it would look amazing and, luckily, I believed him,’ says Lucy. Get the look These are Eames DSW and DAR chairs for Vitra. The ribbons are from Hobbycraft and the crackers from John Lewis. The sheepskin throw and cowhide rug are from Rockett St George.














‘We worked out the look of this space between the two of us,’ says Lucy. ‘Most of the time, though, Ollie isn’t here – he's playing outside with the other kids.’ Get the look The skateboard wallpaper is from Rockett St George.


LIVINGETC LOVES The moody colours that make the house cosy, cocooning and just a little bit sexy. Lucy’s witty touches. Fake birds? Baubles? Fairy lights all year round? But of course! The hits of glam in every room. Glitter, sequins and metallic flashes add a frisson of rock ’n’ roll sauciness to what could have been a traditional family home. Those huge round mirrors that can be seen throughout the house (we especially love the one in the kitchen). The über-functional kitchen cabinetry – because not every space has to be sultry. Sometimes you need to be practical too. That lush greenery. Even if it's just impossible-to-kill palms – or even fake – they all add a sense of Seventies exotic. 54

December 2016 /



See more great rooms at



HOMES / ETC M A STER BEDROOM ‘I wanted the room to be dark, so it’s all about the view outside – the decorators thought I was crazy,’ says Lucy. ‘The bedside table was found on a buying trip to India. Originally, it was a different colour and we asked if they could make it in black.’ Get the look The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black estate emulsion. The bed linen is from The Linen Works. The bedside table, Pineapple table lamp and Moroccan wedding blanket are all from Rockett St George.


IDEAS TO STEAL NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS… KEY FEATURE Deep-set skylights In order to flood the seating area with light, Lucy and Paul installed deep-set skylights into the roof of their extended kitchen-diner. The depth between the ceiling and windows adds even more height to the room and turns this practical decision into a chic design feature. The white walls and ceiling boost the brightness, while the powdered grey floor softens the glare. For subtle frames like these, try Simply Roof Windows ( It offers a wide range of Velux windows and can fit bespoke solutions to suit your needs. Expect a job of this size to cost from £2,500, including installation.


FROM LEFT Terrazzo floor tile in Mitri, £295.20 per sq m, Fired Earth; Midnight Navy matt emulsion, from £13 for 1.25l, Crown; and Drops 17243-005 cotton, £142 per m, Dominique Kieffer for Rubelli

Aviator mirror, £1,325, Timothy Oulton at Harrods

Lit Alphabet wall plaque, £20, Next Home

Container dining table, £3,119, Marcel Wanders for Moooi at Houseology

Zebra-printed cowhide rug, £595, Amara

Hand-knit chandelier, £519.95, Anthropologie



Faux-leaf garland, £23, Rockett St George

Austerlitz chair, £129.90, Maisons du Monde

Research / Nonci Nyoni 56

December 2016 /

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SHOP FOR STYLE Revamp the look of your dining room with and Livingetc’s latest furniture and accessories collection

Betty round marble dining table, £749; Rochelle dining chairs in Birch Grey and Birch Blue, both £229 for two; Rankin tall storage unit, £499; and Yolanda faded Persian Jacquard rug in Petrol, £159, all with Livingetc

Betty round marble dining table, £749; and EAT light, £199, with Livingetc


Rankin tall storage unit, £499; EAT light, £199; and Yolanda faded Persian Jacquard rug in Charcoal, £159, all with Livingetc

Ilaria cluster pendant light, £179; Rochelle dining chairs in Birch Grey and Birch Blue, both £229 for two; and Yolanda faded Persian Jacquard rug in Petrol, £159, all with Livingetc

Discover more at / December 2016





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Step into Christmas

From marbling to exotic birds, we’re throwing everything we’ve got at this year’s festivities

Photography ⁄ Simon Bevan


Styling ⁄ Marianne Cotterill

Set the scene for a dazzling event with a customised feathered wreath. Fraser fir wreath with candlelight LEDs, £89, Balsam Hill. Feathers, from £2.50 per pack; and glitter, from £1.50 for 20g, Hobbycraft. / December 2016


ABOVE LEFT 3-D star decorations, £11.99 for three, very. Foil garland, £10, Talking Tables. Tinsel, £2.49 for 2m, Wyevale. Battery-operated pillar candles, from £12.99 for three, Games Room gift wrap, £1.50 per sheet, Wild & Wolf. Festooning, used as a ribbon, £3.49, Pretty Little Party Shop. Gold bell decoration, £2 for eight, George at Asda. Stair treads painted in Stiffkey Blue and Purbeck Stone floor paints, both £59 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Stair risers painted in Leather floor paint, £61 for 2.5l, Little Greene. For details of the wall panels, see right. ABOVE RIGHT Dog tent, £250; and dog cushion, £60, Raj Tent Club. Gold foam star, on the tent, £1 for six; and star card, on Santa’s gift, £1.50 for five, Hobbycraft. Osby star lights, on the door, from £12.99 each, Metal bird, £8, Rockett St George. ‘Joy’ knitted word, from £20, Marbleised balloons, £2.69 each, Pretty Little Party Shop. Paper decoration, £3, RE. Impressions rug, from £600, Plantation Rug Company. For details of the wall panel, see right.


December 2016 /

OPPOSITE PAGE Wall panels covered in Leopardo Cubana W6805/01 wallpaper, £82 per roll, Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. Hanging from the ceiling: iridescent honeycomb decorations and iridescent star decorations, both £10 for three, Talking Tables. Osby star lights, metal birds, ‘Joy’ knitted word, gold foam stars, balloons, 3-D star decorations, foil garland, tinsel and paper decoration, all as before. Star lamp, £19.99, Paper star decorations, hanging on the knitted word, stylist’s own. Sequined wicker baskets, from £21 each, Rockett St George. Sparkly plimsolls, £25, Wild & Gorgeous. Fade rug in Navy Blue/Ink Blue, £1,265, Stepevi. Stairs, as before.

Max wears Cowboy onesie, £57, Stella McCartney Kids

Create a riot of pattern and texture in the hall with cascading iridescent decs and a fabulous peacock/leopard print.


Dress your tree with unusual shapes and eye-popping colour – dipping feathers in glitter is a sure-fire way to add more glitz. TOP LEFT Crystal H ornament, £19.95, Tinker Tailor, exclusively at Harrods. TOP RIGHT Star-filled ball, £2.99, Wyevale. LEFT Gift wrap book (includes paper, tags and bows), £14.95, Ted Baker at Wild & Wolf. Gold ribbon, £7.50 per spool; and ribbon, £4 per pack, Talking Tables. Glitter star sticker, £2 per pack, Hobbycraft. Feathers and glitter, as before. OPPOSITE 9ft Fraser fir tree with candlelight LEDs, £879, Balsam Hill. Peacock topper, £49.95, Liberty. Baubles include, Blue star, £2.99; iridescent glass drop, £5.99; star-filled balls, as before; blue iridescent snowflakes, £2.99 each; glittered finials, £4.99 each; hummingbirds, £2.99 each; and glitter stars, £1.99 each, all Wyevale; Martini glass decoration, £19.95, Tinker Tailor, exclusively at Harrods; and Le Palle Presepe baubles (gold, with Nativity scene faces), from £15 each, Alessi. Games Room gift wrap, as before. Dots wrapping paper, £2 per roll, Hobbycraft. Floral and paisley wrapping paper, from £2.95; and satin ribbons, £1.95, Liberty. Giant cracker, £19.95, Rockett St George. Giant present wrapped in, and cracker made of, Delahaye PDG715/01 wallpaper, £59 per roll, Designers Guild. Paper decorations, from £3 each, RE. Glass fairy-light orbs, £22.99 for three, Palms rug, £6,142.50, Florence Broadhurst for Knots Rugs. Balloons, feathers, festooning and gift tags, all as before. Walls painted in Plaster III pure flat emulsion, £42.50 for 2.5l, Paint & Paper Library. For details of sofa, cushion and wall decorations, see overleaf.


December 2016 /


To create a Christmas-in-the-tropics vibe, layer-up palm prints, leaf motifs and swathes of fluttering butterflies. Peacock topper, tree, tree decorations, feathers, paper decs, wrapping papers, crackers and ribbons, all as before. Crepe streamers, £1.49 per roll, Pretty Little Party Shop. Giant baubles, £30 each, Raj Tent Club. ‘Perfect Day’ knitted words, from £20 each, Lampert velvet sofa, from £3,395, Jonathan Adler. Cushions, from left, Rock and Versailles Multicolore, £110; Dona Jirafa Opiat, £90; and Bagatelle Rúglisse, £100, all Christian Lacroix at Designers Guild; and Wild Blue World, £125, Kristjana S Williams at Liberty. Quad sheepskin rug in Ivory, £335, Celtic & Co. Glass table, £600, Circus Antiques. Champagne glitter-leaf garland, £23, Rockett St George. Chandelier, from £1,000, The Vintage Chandelier Company. Walls painted in Plaster III pure flat emulsion, as before.

Max wears Cowboy onesie, as before


Magnetic butterflies, £7.50 for 12, Pompom & Twiddle. Olive-tree branch (sprayed with gold paint), £6, Hobbycraft. Bird decorations, £10 each; and elephant decorations, £8 each; and leopard decorations, £12.50 each, in the branch, Raj Tent Club. Gold palm branch, £12, Rockett St George. Hand-painted baubles, approx £18 each, EatPrayPedal at Etsy. Bored Now tapestry, £700, Iain R Webb. Fontaine Butterfly day bed, £3,539; and cushions, from £79 each, Duresta for Matthew Williamson at Harrods. Partridge, £29.95, Liberty. Tree, tree decs, feathers, paper decs, wrapping papers, crackers, balloons, ribbons, rug and wall paint, all as before. Teddy bears, from £120 each, Steif. / December 2016



With a tree made entirely out of paper, up the luxe factor with marbled walls, exotic animals and lashings of gleaming gold. TOP LEFT Honeycomb decorations, from £3 each, RE. Butterfly, £3.50 for six, Hobbycraft. TOP RIGHT Wall papered in Delahaye PDG715/01 wallpaper, £59 per roll, Designers Guild. Leopard wall vase, £29.95, MiaFleur. Feathers, as before. Chin Chin banner, £10.50, Rockett St George. The Rockstar cocktail bar, £3,700, Buster + Punch. Butterflies, as before. Glass on Brass wine glass, martini glass and champagne coupe, £125 each, Lee Broom. Rose Gold and Gold Prosecco, from £26.99 each, Bottega at Gold glasses, £9 each, Debenhams. Ostrich serving bowl, £148, Jonathan Adler. Gold party straws, £4.50 for 24; Star trays, £37 each; and champagne bucket, £48, all Rockett St George. Wine bottles, stylist’s own. LEFT Palmeral dinner plate, £40; and teacup and saucer, £55, House of Hackney. Lirio canapé plate, £8, Anthropologie. Brushed-gold cutlery, £16 for a set of four; and palm branch, as before, all Rockett St George. Feathers and butterflies, as before. Gold ant, £28.95 for two, MiaFleur. Christmas cracker, £50 for 12, Designers Guild. Tea lights, £16 for 40, RE. Round tea-light holder, £39.50, M&S. Caracas dining table, for details, see opposite.


December 2016 /

Tree made of tasselled honeycomb decorations, £12.50 for three, Talking Tables; paper and honeycomb decorations, £3-£14 each; and fan decorations, £2 each, all RE. Butterflies, as before. Walls papered in Emerald Delahaye wallpaper, as before. Papier-mâché swan and papier-mâché crane, £68 each, Pompom & Twiddle. Glitterati party hat, on the swan, £7 for six, Talking Tables. Caracas dining table, £3,700; and Maxime dining chairs, £1,400 each, all Jonathan Adler. Palmeral dinner plates, teacups and saucers, Lirio canapé plates and cutlery, all as before. Dreambirds cake stand, £78; Dreambirds pitcher, £98; plumed-crest napkins, £28 for four; and monogram glasses, £14 each, all Anthropologie. Sculpture cake, price on request, Kia Utzon-Frank for KUFstudios. Stork candleholder, £25; and Stork tea-light holder, £29.50, M&S. Tea light, as before. Glass fairy-light orbs, £22.99 for three, Lotus rug, from £305, Maria Starling. Flicker garlands, used as a blind on the window, £11 each, Talking Tables.

Take your cue from Santa’s travels and show off festive favourites from across the globe in a series of spectacular displays. TOP LEFT Palm tree floor light, £540, Rockett St George. Decorative birdcages, from £85 each, Orchid. Faux tropical birds, £11 for six, Talking Tables. Envelopes, from £1 for five; and glitter, as before, Hobbycraft. LED fairy lights, £16.99, Bell Jar lamp, £49, Rockett St George. Butterfiles and tea lights, as before. Wall painted in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion, £39.50 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Seventies console table, for details, see opposite. TOP RIGHT Tropical bird, envelope, glitter, fairy lights, Palm tree floor light and birdcage, all as before. LEFT Bell Jar lamps, butterfiles and tea lights, all as before. Seventies console table, Christmas church and baubles, for details, see opposite. RIGHT Seventies console table, £700, Circus Antiques. Bell Jar lamps, butterflies and tea lights, all as before. Krakow Christmas churches, from £70 each, Raj Tent Club. Baubles include, Sela Graham beads bauble, £7.95; sequin cluster bauble, £12.95; Tinsel Town bauble, £7.95; Gisela Graham jewel bauble, £9.95; and hot-air balloon decoration, £12.95, all Harrods. Peacock decoration, £125, Liberty. Party kids gem ring, £1 for 12; and feather, as before, Hobbycraft. Olive-tree branch and wall paint, as before.


December 2016 /





Pink and gold make an enchanting combo – add a seasonal spin to the scheme with some shimmering illuminated balloons. Hoxton velvet-upholstered four-poster bed, from £5,685, And So to Bed. Biella duvet cover, £165; pillowcases, £24 each; Issoria Jade throw, £210; and Bagatelle Rúglisse cushion, as before, all Designers Guild. Animalia Parrot cushion, £325; Animalia Ostrich cushions, £275 each; and multicoloured Globo table lamp, £995, all Jonathan Adler. Brielle side table, £995, Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam. Mini tree, £9.50, M&S. Fairy-light orbs, pillar candles, butterflies, olive-tree branches and Osby star lights, all as before. For wrapping paper and gift details, see overleaf. Silk pyjamas, on the floor, £225; and Falke socks, £28 per pair, all Liberty. Hanging mirrored balloon lights, £18.95 each, Nest at Pegs, £4 for 12, Talking Tables. Glitter Spot garland, £7, Rockett St George. Sequin slip dress, £705, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Metal wings, £40.50, Onlybeautifulmirrors on eBay. Gold Star teapot, £45; and cup, £16, Rockett St George. Impressions rug and Fade rug, as before. Walls painted in Plaster III pure flat emulsion, as before. / December 2016



Gift wrapping gets a glamorous twist with rings, bells, feathers and beads. It really is the thought that counts… Gift wrap book (includes paper, tags and bows), £14.95, Ted Baker at Wild & Wolf. Embroidered ribbons, from £7.50 per spool; and silk ribbons, from £4 per pack, all Talking Tables. Party kids gem rings, £1 for 12; bead string, £1; and glitterdipped feathers, £2.50 for ten, all Hobbycraft. Gold bell decoration, £2 for eight, George at Asda. Animalia Ostrich cushion and Biella duvet cover, as before.


from Livingetc


December 2016 /




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FESTIVE R EBOOT Kick-start your celebrations with these contemporary takes on Christmas style Photography ⁄ Paul Massey


Styling ⁄ Jo Bailey

Shake up the scene with a modern snow globe filled with mini architectural marvels. Cross Base terrarium, £39, West Elm. Inside terrarium: London chess set, £95, Rockett St George; Frosted pine mini tree, £4.99 for two, Gisela Graham; and faux snow, £11.40 per kg, DZD. Mini mirror ball, £8.99 for 12, Gisela Graham. For details of the mirror wreath, mirror, fairy lights and console table, see overleaf. / December 2016



A luxurious wreath draped around a mirror offers a clever rethink of the classic door feature. Handmade mirror wreath, £300 per m, Philippa Craddock. Hollywood mirror, £475, Abigail Ahern. Victoria console table, £2,418, Lema. LED fairy lights, £4.99, Perpetual calendar, £25; and Menu JWDA table lamp, £129, Future and Found.


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Light-filled metallic globes and lashings of marble and gold add a luxe edge to a Scandi scheme. Metal spheres, from £29 each, West Elm. LED connectable fairy lights, £19.99, Honeycomb decorations and snowflake decorations, from £3.95 each, Pipii. Faux-eucalyptus sprays, £25 for three, Cox & Cox. Glitter fern-leaf sprays, £5.99 each; and gold ribbon, £8.99 per roll, Gisela Graham. Talia bench, £180, Habitat. Marble wallpaper, used as wrapping paper, £59.95 per roll, Ferm Living at Naken Interiors. Twine, £2 for two rolls, Hobbycraft. Normandy Fir foliage, £84.99 for a 7ft tree, Star object, £29, West Elm. Demijohn vase, £35; sheepskin rug, £475; and sheepskin decoration, on presents, £12.50, all Cox & Cox. LED fairy lights, as before. Fluffy sneakers, approx £260, AGL. Parachute pendant, £446, Ligne Roset. In background: Ingmar chair, £2,250, Jonathan Adler; and Caretti rug, £1,145, Designers Guild.


Re-create the Nativity in abstract shapes and bold hues, overseen by a latter-day angel.. Colour Nativity set, £85, Sebastian Bergne. Modular media unit, £1,271, USM at Aram Store. Toy Minis, £6 each, Hamleys at House of Fraser. Chocolate coins, £1 per bag, Sainsbury’s. Kate Moss by VeeBee limited-edition framed print, £600.84, King & McGaw. Hanging star, £50, Heal’s.


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For hip, urban style, dress your space with glowing neon trees and eye-catching accessories. Linea lights, £60 each, Seletti at Graham and Green and Amara. Neo Geo obelisks, from £198 each, Jonathan Adler. Balmoral sofa in Designers Guild’s Varese Alchemilla, £3,195, Heal’s. CH22 lounge chair, £1,878, Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn at Twentytwentyone. Turning table, £349.95, Menu at Aria. Bows, from 50p each; and wrapping paper, £3, Paperchase. Ribbons, from £1.05 per roll, Hobbycraft. Triangle Tile dhurrie, £595, The Conran Shop. Car, £85, Hedgehog. Rainbow crackers, £59.99 for six, Selfridges. Plattan headphones, £45, Urban Outfitters. Alphabet brush pots, on shelf, £40 each, Pentreath & Hall. Kate Moss print, as before.

An offbeat combo of animal curios and opulent colour adds spice to the festive table. Bird Skull jewellery keeper, £25, Suck UK. Arc dinnerware, from £50, Richard Brendon. Brenna Concho chargers, £395 each, Ralph Lauren Home. Tablecloth made in Forenza 7558/27 velvet in Bayberry, £57 per m, Romo. Ostrich-feather pen holder, £12.50, Quill London. Royal Swan tree decorations, £9.99 each, Historic Royal Palaces Shop. Silver Jewel tree decoration, £54.95, Harrods. Duna cutlery, £278 for a 24-piece set, Cutipol at Amara. LED fairy lights, as before. Wood Table, for details, see opposite.


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Bold furniture and witty nods to history give a traditional setting a modern makeover. Hanging candelabra, £124, Iron and Clay at House of Fraser. Feather pheasant, £22.99, Gisela Graham. Candles, £5.49 for ten, Bolsius at Amazon. Handmade hanging wreath, £300 per m, Philippa Craddock. Wood Table, £3,971; and Wood Benches, £1,649 each, Barber & Osgerby for Vitra at Harrods. Fan chair, £1,300, Tom Dixon at Harrods. Feather pen holder, tablecloth, dinnerware and cutlery, all as before. Bird Feet Claw candlesticks, £54 for three, Rockett St George. Kipper the Pelican object, £65, Wyld Home. Make a Wish cake tray (with gold lustre), £537.70; Narcissus cake cover, £964; and Make a Wish cake tray, £276, all Imagery Code. Oro wine glasses, £40 for two, LSA International. Pheasant decoration, £12.95, Harrods. Starry crackers, £40 for six, Cox & Cox. Metallic fan, £9 for three; Tassle honeycomb decoration, £12.50 for three; and Party reindeer, £7, all Talking Tables. Gold wrapping paper, £3.95 per roll, Pipii. Twine, £2 for two rolls, Hobbycraft. Sheepskin rug, £130, Heal’s. Embellished velvet slippers, £645, Dolce & Gabbana at My Theresa. Black star, £7 for two, Rockett St George. Wave of Peace by Mariana Heilmann artwork – see more examples of her work at John Jones.


Cartesio table, from £2,135; Aida Plus chairs, £363.50 each; and Cathedral candleholder, £103.50

Tweet coffee table, £319; Pom Pom light, £156; Lazy chair, £2,445; and Connor storage box, £67.50


A FESTIVE EVENING WITH CALLIGARIS Discover expert secrets to a stylish Christmas with Livingetc and Calligaris


hristmas is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate and there’s no better place for this than round the dining table. With most of the entertaining undertaken there, it’s crucial that your setting makes the desired impact, from the table and chairs to the festive sparkle and theatrical flourishes. To help impress guests and make your Christmas lunch a stylish affair, Livingetc has teamed up with luxury Italian brand Calligaris for an exclusive evening filled with design advice, style tips and expert discussions. Taking place on the evening of 7 December, the event will be hosted by regular Livingetc stylist Marianne Cotterill, who will take inspiration from this year’s key festive trends to create a selection of stunning table settings. Showcasing Calligaris’ incredible range of dining solutions, Marianne will discuss her ideas, before offering easy-to-follow hints and


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tips on how to re-create her looks at home. There’ll also be the chance to quiz Marianne on the interior trends to come during 2017. With prosecco and canapés adding to the glamorous occasion, guests will receive a sneak preview of the Calligaris flagship store in all its festive glory. Plus, all attendees will receive a goody bag containing an exclusive gift from the brand’s accessories collection and a 20 per cent discount voucher. What’s more, there will be an opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win a striking floor lamp, worth up to £1,000. This is a fantastic chance to browse, shop, discover and gain festive inspiration in an exclusive setting. Tickets are FREE and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register interest and avoid disappointment, simply email, highlighting Livingetc Event in the subject line. For further information about Calligaris, visit

EVENT DETAILS WHEN: 7 December, 7.30pm WHERE: Calligaris, 177-178 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NY FREE TICKET INCLUDES * Prosecco and canapés * Q&A with stylist Marianne Cotterill * Exclusive Calligaris goody bag and gift * 20% discount voucher




It’s not just the pictures on the wall that set Louisa’s awesome house apart from the crowd

100 MORE THAN A BIT OF HO HO HO! Alastair’s quirky loft is rather jolly whatever the time of year

110 GLAM ROCKS Once a party pad for Sixties stars, Joanna and Mark’s home still has an epic vibe / December 2016


WORK of ART Can a family live happily in a home thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost an art gallery too? Yes, if like Louisa you weave in plenty of colour, warmth and inspiring ideas


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Photography ⁄ Paul Massey


Production ⁄ Mary Weaver


Words ⁄ Lola Borg

GA R DEN ROOM ‘I wanted a room full of light,’ says Louisa. ‘In the winter, this room is beautiful because it has underfloor heating. I didn’t want this to feel like the cold, draughty room, but a proper part of the house.’ Above the sofa, which inspired the renovation of the entire house, is an eclectic group of pictures, including postcards by artists such as Billy Childish, from the Royal College of Art’s Secret sale. ‘The pouffe and sofa work brilliantly together, but that’s luck as they were bought four or five years apart.’ Get the look For details of the Trombé glass extension and the lamp, see Ideas to Steal. The sofa, rug and cushions are by Designers Guild. The Donna Wilson pouffe is from SCP. Similar art can be found at london., where you can browse the postcards and register as a secret buyer. / December 2016



W GA R DEN ROOM The copper box was a sterilising box for dental tools found in an antiques shop on the Isle of Wight. ‘It was a lucky find and it fitted on that bookshelf perfectly,’ says Louisa. Get the look This is the Network bookcase by Casamania.

HOME PROFILE THE OWNERS Louisa Warfield, an art consultant, her husband Troy, a customer service director, and their children Eliza, 12, Annabel, 11, and John, nine. THE PROPERTY A Thirties house in southwest London, around 2,500 sq ft, arranged over three floors. On the ground floor is a living room, kitchen-diner, garden room, TV room and office. Upstairs on the first floor is the master bedroom suite, including a walk-in wardrobe, plus two bedrooms and a shower room. On the top floor are two further bedrooms and a bathroom.


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hen you are totally redesigning your living space, what’s the starting point? For Louisa Warfield, it was one sofa that sparked an entire renovation. ‘I know people usually go in and rip everything out,’ she says, ‘but when we moved into this house, although it was totally in need of renovation, I just painted the kitchen white, then got on with raising the kids and having a busy life.’ Fast-forward nine years and Louisa was walking past Designers Guild in Marylebone High Street when a sofa, on sale at a hugely reduced price, caught her eye. ‘I wasn’t looking for a sofa, but I saw it and loved it,’ she says. She placed her new purchase in the empty space that had been the children’s playroom (a draughty, leaky conservatory) and then – just like that – decided to renovate the entire house. ‘So really, that green sofa gave me the oomph to get started,’ she says. ‘I created the whole interior, weirdly, around an impulse buy.’ In fact, Louisa and her home had a rather chequered history. She’d once driven past it and said to her husband Troy, ‘I tell you one thing – I’m never going to live in that house.’ But London property prices meant she gave it another glance. An Art Deco family home in a corner plot, with higgledypiggledy add-ons, the house had no lovely period features, unlike the grand Victorian houses around the corner. So it all came down to three words: space, space (and more) space. ‘I have three kids and you do need 100 per cent more space than if you have two,’ Louisa says. ‘These Thirties homes offer that in spades.’ The house was, she adds, ‘a pretty good blank canvas’. She may not have changed a thing for nine years, but Louisa had plenty of ideas when she did get around to it. Having lived in Australia for several years – Troy is an Aussie and they met when Louisa was working there in her previous incarnation as a marketing executive – she loved the aesthetics of contemporary Australian minimalism and knew she wanted an inside-out feel, whatever the London weather threw at them. ‘Australians are the masters at seamless indoor-outdoor living,’ she says. The very day she put the sofa in place, her first call was to someone who could install a sophisticated glass box instead of the rattly room that had been the playroom. Thanks to underfloor heating and thermal glass, the ‘garden room’ is now toasty even in the middle of winter. What makes the house so special is Louisa’s eye for colour, executed with a sure hand. (‘I’m not frightened of colour at all’, she says.) There are quirky touches everywhere: the roll of paper with a ‘quote of the week’ for the children to mull over and the roller blinds in her son’s room (one an Aussie flag and the other a British one) that express his dual nationality. Then there is the seamless way she uses the interiors as a backdrop against which her art collection can star. She has her own business that supplies ‘beautiful bespoke art solutions for private clients’. Her passion started with the RCA Secrets, where postcard-sized works, often by well-known artists, are auctioned. ‘Over the years, that’s become a major addiction and I’ve struck gold a few times,’ she says. Some works of art were pivotal as starting points for the décor. The blue-green ceramics in the kitchen are by potter Derek Wilson and were given to her architect, so that the Corian work surface could be colour-matched. Louisa commissioned more hand-thrown pots for a display in the kitchen. Her bedroom scheme was designed around a photograph that could only fit in one place in the house, which was above the bed. ‘So, yes, I planned the room around one picture,’ she says. ‘Isn’t that what everyone does?’ Louisa executed the decorating of her house with a very singular idea of what she wanted to achieve. Some areas, such as the kitchen, were ‘painful’ to get right. (For example, after trawling every kitchen shop, she used an architect friend to design it.) But were there no mistakes at all? ‘No, I don’t think so,’ she reflects. ‘I’d lived here for nine years. So I knew how the house functioned, I knew how I used it, how my kids used it, what the shortfalls were.’ Louisa takes great pleasure in her house, but has a refreshingly matterof-fact attitude towards the interiors. ‘I love this place,’ she says, ‘but at the end of the day, it’s just four walls and some stuff. What really matters to me is the health and happiness of my family.’ Learn more about Louisa’s art consultancy business at, or visit louisawarfield_artconsultancy on Instagram

‘The plants all over the house are to bring the garden in – I love the indoor-outdoor thing’

SITTING ROOM ‘This is my solace room, where I go to when the kitchen is a mess and everyone is driving me mad,’ says Louisa. ‘In the winter, we tend to sit here and move nearer to the log burner. If I get the fire on early enough, the children will come and sit and read their books.’ Get the look This is an SCP sofa. The rug is from Designers Guild. These are Serve tables by Hay. The copper tray was found during a trip to Buenos Aires. Hanging above the wood burner is a painting by Australian artist Ian Grant. / December 2016


‘The ceramics have been accrued over the years –they’re like little friends’


December 2016 /

HOMES / ETC K ITCHEN Louisa wanted a kitchen that was quirky with a Scandi feel. ‘I’m delighted with my kitchen, but it nearly killed me,’ she says. ‘It was the finish that was so hard. Often, the hardest things to get right are the most enjoyable.’ Get the look The cabinetry is by Interior Elegance London. The light-wood floor is from The Natural Wood Floor Company. The stools are from Ikea. The ceramics above the stove are by Derek Wilson; and most of those on the open shelving are by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion.

K ITCHEN DETA IL ‘This is a little bit more relaxed than I’d have once gone for,’ says Louisa. ‘I used to be quite OCD, but I’m learning to let go of that.’ Get the look The plant pots are from The basket is by Ikea.

HOME TRUTHS When was the last time you cried? I always cry when I’m watching anyone win or lose anything. Sports day, the Olympics, it doesn’t matter about the event – I’m guaranteed to have some tears. What’s your favourite comfort food? Roast beef with all the trimmings. I love a roast. What one piece of advice do you give your children? Seek progress not perfection. Are you a laid-back or hands-on mum? Hands-on aspiring to be laid-back. Which work of art would you like to own? I’d love a piece by Swiss artist Miriam Cahn. They’re wonderful paintings, strongly political and feminist and, of course, fab colour! But I don’t have a wall or budget large enough. Are you a frustrated artist? Absolutely not. I cannot paint for toffee. I once did a drawing course and realised that drawing can be taught, but being an artist cannot. / December 2016


HOMES / ETC DINING A R E A If Louisa finds a good quote, she writes it up on the roll of brown paper hanging in the dining room and changes it weekly. ‘I use this to subliminally teach my children about values,’ she explains. ‘I normally write quotes from people such as the Dalai Lama or Muhammad Ali. Do they take it in? Oddly, they do.’ Get the look Capture inspiration on a brown paper roll from New Zealand brand George & Willy. This is a Loop Stand table by Hay. The white House chairs are from John Lewis. These are the Piña chair by Jaime Hayón for Magis at Aram Store, left, and the Carbon chair by Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders for Moooi, right. The paintings created using Post-it notes are by Katie Lips.

JOHN’S BEDROOM ‘My son loves his room,’ says Louisa. ‘One of his blinds in this room is an Australian flag and one is the British flag, but you can’t see the Australian flag. I know my husband will be disappointed that you can’t see it here.’ Get the look The Warwick high sleeper with day bed is from Aspace. The bespoke blinds were designed and made by Lisa Gomer. The cushion and globe are from Ikea.


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M A STER BEDROOM The entire bedroom was planned around the picture above the bed. ‘We bought this years and years and years ago from a New Zealand photographer and it was the only place it would fit in the house,’ says Louisa. ‘I felt the floral blinds were a bit granny-ish, a bit insipid at first, but then once I got the cushions – which are the same fabric but in a different colourway – I was happy. It needed a bit of punch.’ Get the look Doc Ross’s photography can be found at The headboard of the Hästens bed has been re-covered in a Designers Guild fabric. The lamp is from Lightyears. Resprayed and with glass tops made to match the bathroom, the bedside tables are from Ikea. The rug and cushions are from Designers Guild.


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Suspended just behind the bath is a verre églomisé (or gilded glass) mirror; attached on the other side is a functional mirror over a basin unit and a cupboard ‘for all your gubbins’, says Louisa. ‘Actually, I got the idea for the verre églomisé from a house I saw in Livingetc.’ Get the look The roll-top bath is from The Water Monopoly and the mirror is by Ochre. These are Minoli floor tiles. The glass panel is by Dominic Schuster. The shower screen and fittings are from West One Bathrooms.




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IDEAS TO STEAL WORK OF ART KEY FEATURE Floor-to-ceiling glazing Louisa wanted a room full of light to marry the indoor and outdoor spaces of her home. Architects at structural glazing specialist Trombé ( created a room reflecting her love of modern Australian minimalism. Its underfloor heating and thermal glass make it welcoming year-round. ‘We produce design-led glass architecture,’ says Trombé’s design director Alan West. ‘How you want to use the installation, whether it reflects the fabric of your house or is a feature, and comfort are key considerations.’ A similar project would cost approx £45,000, excluding building work.


FROM LEFT Tate Bute oak herringbone flooring, from £114 per sq m, Solid Floor; Turquoise Blue absolute matt emulsion, £38 for 2.5l, Little Greene; and Deco Glass faux-antiqued mirror wall tiles in Pewter, £174.60 per sq m, Fired Earth


Carafe, £91, Mud Australia at Selfridges

Euan floor lamp, £225, Matthew Long for Habitat


Arctic cushion, £75, Donna Wilson

Sunset bed set, from £139, with Livingetc

Oxidised mirror, £45, Rockett St George

Bumble stool, £280 for two, Loaf Jemima cotton-velvet sofa in Turquoise, £1,844, Love Your Home

Research / Jo Bailey / December 2016


More than a bit of ho ho ho! Rules are for

breaking in actor Alastair Cumming’s witty loft apartment, where quirky theatrical props juggle with vintage finds and design icons

Photography ⁄ James Merrell


December 2016 /


Production ⁄ Mary Weaver


Words ⁄ Jenny Tucker

HOMES / ETC LI V ING A R E A With such a huge expanse of floor space to play with, Alastair has clustered furniture at different points in the loft to create what he calls ‘pit stops’. Many of these are practical, others are intriguing and some are there simply for sheer merriment. Get the look The vintage Percival Lafer seating is from Alfies Antique Market and was reupholstered by Ainsworth Broughton. The Willy Rizzo Bar table for Cassini was found at The Furniture Cave. The Twiggy floor lamp is by Marc Sadler for Foscarini. The rug is from SCP. The graffiti, opposite, is by the loft’s former owner, Mickey Wiggs. This is the Drift bench by Amanda Levete for Established & Sons at Liberty. / December 2016


HOME PROFILE THE OWNER Alastair Cumming, an actor, plus Italian greyhound Roxy Roo, Wheaten terrier Bear Face and rescue dog Angel. Fifi, another Italian greyhound who belongs to a friend, often comes to stay. THE PROPERTY A duplex loft apartment within a former Victorian bank depository building in east London. On the lower floor is a living area, kitchen-diner, studio, master bedroom, guest bedroom, bathroom, utility room and shower room. The upper floor houses a self-contained studio apartment and terrace.

LI V ING A R E A The oak flooring was laid at a diagonal to counteract the uneven shape of the walls and ceiling – all of which adds to the kaleidoscope atmosphere around the loft. Get the look The flooring is from The Natural Wood Floor Company. The Papa Bear armchairs by Hans J Wenger for PP Møbler are from Themes & Variations and were reupholstered by Ainsworth Broughton. The upcycled stainless-steel travel trunk is by Birgit Israel. This Polish version of the New York, New York movie poster was found in Berlin.


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t’s the time of year when the streets of London pulsate with more Christmas bling than Santa’s grotto. However, in a corner of the East End, there’s a loft apartment that literally dazzles with its own brilliance. Not only is it a home that integrates a tantalising collaboration of whimsical and wonderful style, but there’s a general feeling of ho-ho-ho that isn’t confined to the festive season. Actor Alastair Cumming is the man responsible for chucking out the interiors rule book by teaming stripped-back brick with ornate gold leaf and quirky theatrical props with vintage furniture. ‘I love the unexpected and I always want to throw a bit of humour in,’ he says. ‘For me, it’s important that a home is optimistic and fun. I love adding the personality, and, as soon as December comes around, I festoon the place with strings of lights. If you stand on the street below and look up at the windows, it’s lit up like some kind of children’s fun fair. Completely magical.’ Alastair bought the loft ten years ago from an artist. He was struck by its vast expanse of space, but had an inclination to add even more. So he worked with renowned architect Gerald Levin to create a whole new floor at rooftop level, including more rooms and a huge outside terrace. ‘It was a major project,’ says Alastair. ‘We had to take off the original roof and scaffold the entire building. But although it took 18 months to complete, it went surprisingly without stress. I particularly love that stage of a renovation, when you’re at the very start of figuring out how it will all work. That’s when you feel anything is possible.’ Back then, this part of the East End was still a bit battered, just on the cusp of becoming one of London’s most desirable postcodes. ‘I’d always loved this part of town,’ admits Alastair. ‘I’m fascinated by its history – the links with Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper, the Blitz… When I moved in, there were still areas of wasteland and it was a lot quieter. Now, with Christmas just around the corner, it’s full of party people. From ten at night to three in the morning, it’s a crazy place.’ But way up high, Alastair can retreat. As the festive season escalates, he buys the biggest real Christmas tree he can find (‘It has to kiss the ceiling’) and invites friends over for an outdoor rendezvous on his humongous terrace with views across to the Gherkin and St Paul’s. At every turn in the apartment, there’s something gorgeous and quirky and distinctive to tickle your fancy. It’s a continual process of adding and editing to keep the feel of the place ever evolving. ‘I’ve always got an eye out for the next acquisition,’ Alastair says. ‘And I don’t like keeping things static. I’m forever rearranging… A chair will be moved to change the essence of the room, or I’ll swap the art around to give visitors a new surprise when they come in. It’s funny, though – I love interiors, but I hate shopping. When I decide to buy something, I’m like a guided missile. Source it, pay for it!’ With a shriek of laugher, Alastair concedes to being something of a design daredevil. He has no qualms about mixing materials (concrete with wood and gold leaf), or layering textiles to create a riot of colour. It so shouldn’t work – but it so does. ‘Sorry, I don’t do neutral,’ he says. ‘I’m punchy with colour and I’m daring with my choice of what goes well together. There’s no science to it – I just do my thing. As long as a space has energy and humour, I’m happy. Saying that, though, I’m pretty strict about things serving a purpose. It’s important to me that interiors are either practical or comfortable.’ So where does the show-stopping big heart graffiti fit in? ‘Its purpose is to make me smile,’ says Alastair with a grin. And if that isn’t a good enough reason to be included in this treasure trove of a home, then we don’t know what is. Contact Gerald Levin Associates on 020 7831 9582, or email If you like Alastair’s style and are pining to escape the winter cold, check out his rental in fabulous Rio de Janeiro at


K ITCHEN-DIN ER A raised floor gives the prep area a sense of separation from the living space, while the primarily white scheme radiates calm. Get the look The table (with a lazy Susan at its centre) was made by a designer in SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil. This is the Big Bang pendant by Enrico Franzolini and Vicente Garcia Jimenez for Foscarini. The rubber floor is from The Rubber Flooring Company. / December 2016


LI V ING A R E A The 19th-century maharajah day bed is a recent addition. ‘I realised one end of the space was looking a bit bare, so I added this and immediately it felt more inviting,’ says Alastair. ‘Visitors can’t help lounging on it.’ Get the look The day bed is from Opium. This is a David Seyfried ottoman. The rug is from SCP. The reversed mirror is from M Goldstein – it was originally used at an American airport during the Forties to reflect light for incoming planes.


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HOMES / ETC STUDIO ‘Art is my primary pleasure,’ Alastair says. ‘You can tell a person’s personality by the stuff on their walls.’ Get the look The series of four photographs is by Rio de Janeiro artist Chico Fernandes. The Fifties military desk was upcycled by being lacquered by a car paint sprayer and the top was re-covered with gold leather. The floor lamp is from Atomic Antiques.

HOME TRUTHS What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received? Growing up in Singapore, at age seven I got a fish tank. It was like being the master of a parallel universe. I’ve still got fish in the terrace pond for good feng shui. And the worst? A soap bar still rankles. Describe your typical Christmas tree. I’m a traditionalist, but I also like to hang colourful Mexican lanterns on my indoor walnut tree. What will you be eating for Christmas lunch? I’m lucky enough to have a home in Rio, so tuna ceviche and salted-cod stew and then a swim at Ipanema. What’s your favourite online store for presents? Etsy still does it for distinctive one-off gifts. Celebratory hot toddy or hot chocolate? I prefer a hot toddy with a spicy rum rather than whisky and I’d also add a squeeze of orange, lemon and a bit of honey. / December 2016


M A STER BEDROOM ‘I had a complete re-think about this room,’ Alastair says. ‘It’s been transformed into something really rather gorgeous with the gold-leaf ceiling, one raw concrete wall and lacquered green elsewhere. I love the mix-up of modern and traditional.’ Get the look The gold-leaf ceiling was applied by Clare Lewis. The Christy duvet cover and Biba pillowcases are from House of Fraser. The Infamous Sex Etching in the Boudoir print is by LE GUN at Cob Gallery. The parquet floor is antique charred Japanese ash from Victorian Woodworks.

BATHROOM With its coffee and caramel shades exuding a Seventies feel, this bathroom is a luxe take on the warmest of hues. Get the look The marble floor is from Via Arkadia. The marble wall tiles are from Geology Ltd. The bath was found in an Essex salvage yard. The fittings and radiator are from Thomas Crapper. This is an Eames Rocker for Modernica.

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The roof-top garden boasts some astonishing views of the city. Get the look The Peacock chair is from Dandy Apple Vintage on Etsy. / December 2016



IDEAS TO STEAL MORE THAN A BIT OF HO HO HO! KEY FEATURE Steel factory windows With its commercial past, Alastair’s home boasts many industrialstyle features that are now highly coveted in modern domestic settings, not least these beautiful 12-panelled windows. Reminiscent of the designs we all remember from our school days, they swivel open from the top, allowing plenty of fresh air to flow into the flat as well as a huge amount of light. Finding similar salvaged pieces isn’t easy, but specialist window restorer Fabco Sanctuary (fabco offers replica casements or bespoke steel designs as required. Expect to pay from £700 per sq m, including installation.


FROM LEFT Spitalfields brushed-oak flooring, £83.85 per sq m, Ecora; Green Smoke estate emulsion, £39.50 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball; and Monkey Business F0998/03 cotton/linen-mix, £38 per m, Clarke & Clarke


Truman task floor light, £69, Wall storage unit, £1,732, Peter J Lassen for Montana Møbler at Aram Store

Colca rug, £349, West Elm at John Lewis Potted fauxbay tree, £350, Cox & Cox

Budapest three-seater sofa, £1,499, Swoon Editions

Sleeping greyhound, £75, Oka

Research / Jo Bailey 108

December 2016 /


Time Maze wall clock, £125, Daniel Libeskind for Alessi

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Glam ROCKS With its rock starmeets-manor house credentials, Joanna and Mark’s family home is a celebration of luxe grandeur

Photography ⁄ James Merrell


December 2016 /


Production ⁄ Mary Weaver


Words ⁄ Jo Leevers


HOME PROFILE THE OWNERS Joanna Shipton, a former model who’s now a full-time mother, her husband Mark, a company director and co-owner of Hertford House Hotel, and their children Emmie, nine, Harrie, six, and Hardy, four. Betty the French bulldog also lives here. THE PROPERTY The ground-floor apartment of a Hertfordshire manor house. There is an open-plan living/dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, children’s bedroom, family bathroom, dressing room, utility room and WC.

DINING A R E A Tom Dixon pendants find their natural métier, set between contemporary drawings and the Georgian room arch. Joanna and Mark found stacks of drawings in the basement and hung them over the dining table, along with a modern painting. ‘It felt right that they should be on display here,’ says Joanna. Get the look The dining table is by Ligne Roset. The vintage dining chairs were imported from Norway and upholstered in vintage leather by The Mint List Interior Design. The drawings are by Barry Daniels, while the artwork on the far left is by Neil Gall. The flowers are by Love Flowers.


Previous design eras are toasted in style. ‘My parents had an étagère when I was growing up – but it wasn’t anything like this glam number,’ says Joanna. Get the look The Seventies brass étagère was imported from Holland and the Fifties German side chairs were reupholstered, all via The Mint List Interior Design.


December 2016 /

ick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix partied in our living room and Rod Stewart wrote Maggie May in one of the bedrooms, so it would be a crime not to throw a Christmas party here,’ says Joanna Shipton. She and husband Mark live on the ground floor of a rambling Hertfordshire manor house that was a hush-hush hangout for cool creatives back in the Sixties. Pop art greats including Peter Blake lived here. Ken Russell wanted to film Women in Love here, but was turned down in order to preserve the secrecy of this particular bohemian enclave. Think a more discreet version of Keith Richards’ country pile, but minus the police raids. ‘We bought it from the son of the artist Barry Daniels, one of the original free spirits who founded the Danad Design collective and made everything happen here,’ says Joanna. ‘It definitely feels as if an air of creativity is still floating around in the ether.’ Remnants of the lives of previous inhabitants – from paintings to furniture – were still piled up high in all the rooms when they first visited. ‘It was hard to see past it all, but slowly, the place revealed itself, like a hidden gem,’ says Joanna. When it came to finding a style to suit the house’s glam back story – not to mention the older architectural flourishes added by Sir John Soane in the 18th century – Joanna and Mark called up Camilla Kelly, who runs The Mint List Interior Design. ‘We had a lot of fun together,’ says Joanna. ‘Camilla has an eye for sourcing pieces that exude a grandeur that fits in with the surroundings, but without going at all “National Trust”.’ The sheer scale of the ballroom-like spaces was initially daunting. ‘We moved here from a more “normal” house and our style was more slick, contemporary furniture,’ says Joanna. A few pieces were invited along on the short road trip to their new home, but, overall, Joanna and Mark’s style needed a total rethink. Textures needed more depth; furniture needed added stature. And the overall effect needed to be cast through a more glamorous filter. ‘Camilla helped us to turn what could have been several cavernous spaces into a cohesive flow,’ Joanna says. The family’s central space is an open-plan living room with a dining area, united and softened with rich velvets, a gleaming étagère and layers of lush curtains. Large-scale Tom Dixon pendants add a sense of drama that suits the high proportions. Then there’s the children’s zone: a vast nursery space the couple wanted their kids to share, rather than carving it up into separate rooms. But they also didn’t want it to feel like a draughty Victorian dormitory. Camilla’s solution was to define three cosy spaces with scaled-up headboards and a cool illuminated initial over each bed. A shared play area is there for when they want to hang out together. ‘It’s a dream room for kids,’ says Joanna. ‘I can already imagine them all waking up on Christmas morning…’ This will be the family’s third Christmas here and 24 are invited for lunch. ‘It really is a fab space for family gatherings,’ says Joanna. ‘Last year, I cooked for everyone, but this time, everyone’s bringing one dish, so hopefully, I’ll escape potato duty. I must have peeled 150 potatoes last year.’ Just as well for Santa’s imminent arrival that the original fireplace surrounds have been restored, along with the period mouldings. But the house’s grand entrance, designed by Sir John Soane, is the architectural star, with stately Ionic pillars that were prototypes for his design for the Bank of England. ‘That view of the entrance from the long drive had us hooked from the start,’ says Joanna. Given its Grade II-listed status, the couple have ‘left the architecture to speak for itself.’ Joanna says: ‘With a house like this, you feel as if you’re looking after it for the next generation.’ And finding out more about its past lives has been part of that pleasure. In the basement, Joanna and Mark found stacks of paintings left by the artist Barry Daniels and asked his son if they could have them framed. Hanging in a row beneath ornate 18th-century cornicing, these drawings are a perfect homage to the house’s creative past. ‘When you walk in, you can feel that good things have happened here,’ says Jo. ‘Now we’re here, I reckon there are plenty more good times to come.’ Check out The Mint List Interior Design at themint


LI V ING ROOM Moody blues and pale greys highlight the graceful outlines of mid-century armchairs. ‘We wanted a relaxed, untraditional feel in here,’ says Joanna. ‘This house has always been a bit out of the ordinary.’ Get the look The chairs are by Brissi via The Mint List Interior Design. The ottoman is from The cushion on the floor is by Timorous Beasties. The artwork – bought online – is by an unknown artist. The small print on the mantelpiece is by Pure Evil.

‘We wanted to create a cosy, family feel inside this incredible architectural framework’

HOMES / ETC ENTR A NCE H A LL Betty makes a point of checking over all visitors to the house. The entrance and hallway were designed by Sir John Soane, adapting the previous Georgian architecture.

K ITCHEN An old-school Aga sits inside an original hearth. ‘It cooks a Christmas turkey to perfection – you just leave it in overnight,’ says Joanna. Get the look The lights were bought via The Mint List Interior Design. Head to Aga for a range cooker.


December 2016 /

MASTER BEDROOM ‘Our Eames lounge chair was one of the few pieces that made a smooth transition from our previous home to here,’ says Joanna. The room’s proportions are matched by a tall French mirror. Get the look Find the Eames lounge chair and ottoman for Vitra at Heal’s. This is a Jacaranda rug. The mirror is from Gloss Reclaim. The limitededition artwork, called Reggae Soundsystem, is by American artist Maya Hayuk.

HOME TRUTHS What’s your favourite tipple? A chilled bottle of Whispering Angel rosé. Who are your dream dinner party guests? Iron Man for Hardy, Luke Skywalker for Harrie, Zoella for Emmie, Shawn Stussy for Mark and Mel and Sue for me. If you could go back in time, where would your time machine take you? Our house in the Fifties. Do the kids believe in Father Christmas? 100 per cent yes! What are you hoping to find in your stocking this year? Three happy children and something that sparkles! Christmas tree – real of fake it? Always real. And the bigger the better.

M A STER BEDROOM ‘The height and grandeur of this bedroom has totally spoilt us,’ says Joanna. ‘When we go and stay at hotels, we think, “Meh, it’s ok, but…”’ Get the look The printed ottoman is from The side chairs, curtains and headboard are from The Mint List Interior Design. The side tables are from Zara Home. Find a print of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe screenprint at

CHILDR EN’S ROOM A central play zone works for the kids and their friends, while beds feel like more personal spaces. Get the look The rug is from Heal’s. The star light is from The Mint List Interior Design.

FA MILY BATHROOM The mirror-on-a-mirror is a clever detail. ‘It just reminds you that you’re in a historic setting, but with lots of modernity in the mix too,’ says Joanna. Get the look The basin and shower are from Heritage Bathrooms. The smaller mirror is an antique Venetian design from The Mint List Interior Design. The Tarovine wallpaper, soap dispenser and tumbler are by House of Hackney.

EXTERIOR ‘The house has a dream entrance – we loved it before we’d even stepped inside,’ says Joanna.


December 2016 /



Super-tall headboards/ pinboards with illuminated initials for the children personalise this large shared space. ‘They help soften the whole room,’ says Joanna. Get the look The bespoke headboard panels with lights are by The Mint List Interior Design, using Barneby Gates fabric. The storage is from Great Little Trading Co. The rug is from Rockett St George. The bed linen is from Smallable. Find similar bedroom furniture at M&S.






See more great rooms at



IDEAS TO STEAL GLAM ROCKS KEY FEATURE Extra-high double doors Part of the elaborate period features Joanna and Mark inherited with their home, these impressive doors were probably installed during the refit conducted by Sir John Soane during the 18th century. ‘They really are stately,’ says Camilla Kelly, who refurbished the apartment for The Mint List Interior Design ( To re-create the look, Kelly suggests visiting top-end salvage sites such as Retrouvius ( or English Salvage ( Originals won’t be cheap, but the latter company stocks a pair of very similar, extremely tall vintage French designs, priced from £750.


FROM LEFT 18th- and 19th-century French oak planks, £330 per sq m, The Reclaimed Flooring Co; Andaman Sea matt emulsion, £39.50 for 2.5l, Fired Earth; and Kuba Cay Z418/10 linen-mix in Seal, £95 per m, Zinc Textiles


Infinity light, £55, Next Home

Tiered Tower bookcase, £649, West Elm

Untitled 1 by Jamie Derringer framed print, £157.44,

Sheepskin rug, £35, John Lewis

Valentin cotton-velvet footstool in Canary, £390,

Jacob velvet accent chair in Midnight Indigo, £999, The Lounge Co. Research / Jesse Harris


December 2016 /


Brass Bell pendants, £918 each, Ligne Roset

From upholstered furniture to festive decorations, Next Home has everything you need to create a beautiful home this season

Baubles, from £2.50 each; garlands from £25 each; cushions, from £10 each; Milano matt velvet footstool, £375; gold diamanté stag, £25; trainers, from £17; oriental rug, from £60; gold lantern, £25; Christmas wrap selection pack, £6.50; LED star light, £55; and beanie, £11.50, all Next Home


December 2016 /





hristmas is the p e a k s e a s on for entertaining. From neighbourhood drinks parties to family get-togethers, it’s the time to open your home to friends and family. So it needs to be looking its best. Prepare for this busy time for socialising by ensuring you have enough furniture to accommodate all your guests comfortably, then create a welcoming atmosphere by giving your home a festive twist. Next Home has everything you need to furnish a modern home, from beds to sofas, dining tables to mood-enhancing lighting, plus a fabulous trenddriven accessories range, which ensures your space is dressed in Wreath, £28; and baubles, the style of the season. This year, from £3 each, Next Home it’s all about drama, with plush velvet upholstery in rich berry shades, quilted and embroidered textures and damask patterns in rich jewel colours such as teal and garnet. Scatter a few metallic accents into your scheme to add just the right amount of festive bling before finishing everything off with an abundant wreath, some twinkly lights and an array of opulent baubles. So whether your plan is to host a lavish feast for friends and neighbours, hunker down with the family or hibernate with layered throws in chic, sophisticated shades, Next Home is your one-stop shop for all your Christmas shopping.

Baubles, from £2.50 each; jewelled garland, £30; wine glass, £24 for four; crackers, £12 for four; genie bottle, £26; swallow plaque, £25 for two; feather sculpture, £12; candle, £4; tea-light holder, £14 for three; cloche candle, £14; cards, £4.50 for 20; and Brookshire console table, £225, all Next Home

Damask wallpaper, £15 per roll; faux-fur throw, £65; Tula chair, £250; Tula footstool, £135; Woodland pine Christmas tree, £200; Christmas wrap selection pack, £6.50; Geo rug, from £100; and baubles, from £2.50 each, all Next Home

Shop the Next Home Collection instore nationwide, from the Next Directory by calling 0333 777 8000, or online at* / December 2016





Product innovation and reviews of the latest launches



PROJECT INSPIR ATION Bed down for winter by turning your boudoir into a welcome retreat from the cold

128 DESIGN PROFILE Three inspiring style makers share their insider tips for creating a festive dining scheme




Warm up the most comforting meals with these top models

We explore the history of the exposed beam / December 2016



DESIGNNEWS Kitchen advances and bathroom indulgences

[ Drink smart ] Crack open a bottle with Joseph Joseph’s innovative Barwise collection. The Corkscrew twists corks free without force and the Waiter’s Friend will pop corks in one pull. Cheers! From £15 each (

HIDE A ND SEEK Running out of room in the kitchen? Then it’s Neil Lerner’s island to the rescue. The seemingly unassuming worktop (which comes in an array of materials, such as composite stone or granite) slides aside to reveal the hob hidden beneath, while simultaneously adding to the surface space. The party’s in the kitchen then. From £8,500 (

PLUMB THE DEPTHS Settle back for a soak in the Oyster bath by Glass 1989. Made from natural materials, such as sand, quartz and marble, it’s crafted into a gentle elliptical shape that defines relaxation to a T. Present wrapping? Food shopping? Yeah, it can wait. From approx £3,522 (

FALL INTO LINE Breakfast just got a boost with the De’Longhi Avvolta collection, wrapped in its spiralling lines. Chrome details mix with coloured resin to create a layered architectural effect, making even tea and toast an indulgent affair. Toaster and kettle, £99.95 each (

FACE TIME You’ll be majorly surpassing your twominute’s tooth brushing if Balineum’s Gotham washstand has anything to do with it. With gleaming ball-bottomed rods, the industrial-meets-Victorianstyle metal frame comes in gold, chrome and bronze, and features a low shelf and towel bar. Why would you want to leave the bathroom? Frame from £1,849 (

[ On tap ] ,I WKH GLIÀFXOW choice between white, black and green marble bases wasn’t enough, CP Hart’s Marmo collection of basin, bath and shower mixers also comes in brass, chrome and rose-gold ÀQLVKHV,WPLJKWEH time to add a few more bathrooms to your house. Mono basin mixer, from £510 (

Research / Amy Moorea Wong / December 2016



DESIGNNEWS Inspired updates to traditional ideas and products

[ Light relief ] The fairy-light revolution has arrived, thanks to Zaplites. Controlled by an app on your phone, these lights can be customised in colour, brightness and speed. They also react to sound and will sync with music being played, as well as the sound of Rudolph et al landing on the roof... £115 (

OPEN-ANDSHUT CASE Bask by the flames of Morsø’s 6843 stove, the most stylish way to bring some warmth and light to chilly winter evenings. After you’ve gathered and chopped your logs, stash them in the base. Throw wood on the fire, let the self-closing door do its job, then sit back and admire the elegant Danish curves. Father Christmas might not fit down the flue, though. £1,600 (




[ Branch out ] Rockin’ around the Christmas tree just got literal with B&Q’s Rockingham Bluetooth musical tree. It will play your festive favourites through a speaker hidden among its branches, and the integrated lights flash in time to the beat. Say goodbye to silent nights. £148 (


December 2016 /

This year’s must-have gifts do more than just look good. Teens will get a kick out of drawing again by adding a 3-D element with 3Doodler’s possibility filled Create pen, which extrudes instantly setting plastic. Let all ages explore fascinating universes with Samsung’s Gear virtual-reality headset. Or get them creating when they’re young, building hundreds of electronic accessories, such as race cars, with LittleBits’ enormous Gizmos & Gadgets Kit. Repeat: I must not forget batteries. I must...

Create pen, £99.99, 3Doodler at Firebox



Gear virtual-reality headset, £79, Samsung at John Lewis


Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, £190, LittleBits

Never run out of essentials again with the ingenious Amazon Dash button. Paired with your product of choice, one click on this tiny device will order your must-haves and deliver them the next day via Amazon Prime. Stick a few of them in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet, and click when stocks are low. £4.99 each (


THE HEART OF THE HOME The kitchen is more than just cupboards and worktops. It’s the place where friends and family gather, while quality appliances help make the memories Built-in appliances blend seamlessly into your home, enabling you to relax and enjoy your space with friends and family

Stainless-steel gas hob, £399, Patricia Urquiola for Leisure


s the hub of any home, your kitchen provides the backdrop to your life, the place where family memories are made. So whether you’re planning to install a new cooking space or replace existing appliances, it’s key to make sure you do your research, check your measurements, decide on what you want and where you want it to go, then work with a trusted supplier who knows exactly what you need from the journey. Remember, planning a kitchen isn’t just about choosing your cupboards and worktops. Equally important is the kitchen kit you use to prepare the party snacks, chill the wine, cook the Sunday roast, bake the birthday cakes... Of course, it has to look chic – ideally built-in to blend with the rest of your units – but it also must be of superior quality you can rely on. So rather than focusing solely on units, why not build

Competence stainless-steel built-in electric oven, £449, AEG

Planning a kitchen doesn’t have to be a minefield. Whether installing or replacing appliances, arm yourself with the right information and it’s very easy to get right. your dream kitchen around the oven that can bake, roast, grill and then clean itself? Plan in an über-stylish fridge, which not only has an industrial-luxe look, but also holds 20 sorbets. And consider maximising workspace so you can include a stand mixer that looks great on your work surface and can whip up a meringue in two minutes flat. And don’t forget about a dishwasher that takes care of (most of) the clearing up. The friendly experts at online electricals retailer can provide all the

tips you need to create the perfect kitchen. They’ll guide you through the wide range of trusted brands stocked – from Miele, Neff and Bosch to KitchenAid and Samsung – offering advice and answering any queries to ensure you find one that’s right for you. Everything you need is available on the site, whether you’re embarking on a major refit and are looking to research your range of options or are simply replacing an existing electrical appliance and wish to double check dimensions to ensure it fits seamlessly into your kitchen. The whole process, from browsing to purchase to delivery, is simple and stressfree, leaving you free to relax and enjoy your stunning new space. For more information on choosing the right appliance for your kitchen and for all the latest offers, visit / December 2016


CREATIVES TALK TABLES Three inspiring style setters reveal how they design their own festive dining scheme


‘Candles and twinkling lights create atmosphere and a palette of white, soft silver and greenery works in any home’



lthough he originally trained as a textile designer, Mark has spent his career in retail, working for various international lifestyle brands developing and evolving their ideas. His current role as chief creative officer for The White Company chimes perfectly with his neutral and elegant approach to style. Here, Mark reveals how he creates a warm and welcoming Christmas scheme in his West Sussex cottage.

How would you sum up your style at Christmas? My focus is on making the house feel welcoming and comfortable – candles, roaring fires and as much greenery as I can gather from the garden, with white hyacinths and narcissus scenting the rooms. It’s natural and not too colourful, which somehow manages to take the stress out of last-minute preparations. Does the type of event you’re hosting determine how you finish your rooms? For me, it’s all about creating an overall mood for the house and making sure each room has a focal point. A particular event only really determines how we style the table. This is guided by how many guests we have and what we are planning to cook. What’s your advice for working with neutrals? Keep it simple and have a consistent style throughout the house so that nothing jars. Candles and twinkling lights create atmosphere and a palette of whites, soft silver and greenery works in any home, whatever its style. Remember too, that neutrals need some subtle contrast, such as varied textures, something natural. Think of it as layering for the home. What’s the best way to build a Christmas scheme? Think about the trees first. They make the most impact, so how you decorate them is key to setting the style. Keep it simple by choosing three or four decorations along with a mix of tree fillers, in other words, a few statement pieces with lots of smallerscale ones. For a softer, more natural look, use white porcelain, handmade felt and zinc decorations. If your style is more ‘sophisticated sparkle’, choose antique mercury glass and jewelled pieces. How do you bring texture to a table? We use old French linen sheets cut in half for our table – they add that lovely knobbly texture. Elements of greenery layered with the napkins continue the theme of bringing the outdoors in and make each place setting feel unique. What’s your favourite festive flourish for a table? We live in an old house with beams, so I like to take


December 2016 /

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE Mark covers his tables in old French linen sheets. For an alternative place setting, use a tree segment sourced from your local florist as a charger. Artisan Stoneware dinnerware, from £10; Luxury Fine Fragrance cracker, £60 for six; and Winter Star tea lights, £20 for four; and large glass baubles, £45 for 12, all The White Company

advantage of this and have either a hanging branch or canopy of greenery above the table. This creates a real statement in the room, but also keeps the table free for us to indulge in delicious food and wine. Which other shops are your go-tos for finishing touches? Besides The White Company, we try to shop locally, so will buy flowers from Anna at Quince in Brighton, pick up something lovely from Alex and Zoe at IGigi in Hove and visit Liz at No1 in Lewes for antiques. And if you weren’t going to be at home for Christmas dinner, where would you have it? Last summer, we went to a wedding in Normandy at an Arts and Crafts house called Les Bois des Moutiers, designed by Edwin Lutyens with a garden by Gertrude Jekyll. The interior is stunning and would be a wonderful location to host a Christmas party. (


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Mark hangs fresh garlands from the ceiling to free up space for food on the table; a bauble customised with initials makes a charming name-place setting; and foliage accents add texture and depth to an all-white dining room

Photography ⁄ Simon Bevan


Styling ⁄ Jo Bailey


Words ⁄ Sarah Spiteri / December 2016



How would you sum up your style during the festive season? Generous. I love generosity in everything and Christmas is the perfect time for this. Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than seeing my tree, fireplace and staircase embellished with an abundance of decorations. Do you do the same sort of thing every year, or do you follow trends? Christmas is a time for tradition, however, my creative director and amazing events team are always surprising me with new and unique ideas. When it comes to decorating my own home, I stick to tones that complement the interior, but like to create something different and inspiring each year. My home is already bold and vibrant, so I like to have fun with the decorations – lots of greens and golds, dramatic gold candelabras and, of course, a vast amount of fresh flowers! Does the type of event you’re hosting determine how you style your space? Absolutely. If I’m hosting a smaller dinner, I will throw together a mix of antique vases and vessels filled with flowers, berries and foliage, plus an abundance of scented candles. In order to create that ‘wow’ factor for my Christmas Day dinner, I dress the staircase in a bespoke garland, ensure my tree is a beautiful focal point in the room and adorn the f ireplace with gold asparagus fern, viburnum berries and sweetly scented garden and spray roses. What are the golden rules when decorating with flowers? The first thing to consider when choosing fresh f lowers is the palette of your existing interiors and your chosen


December 2016 /

THIS PICTURE A handwritten menu adds a personal flourish to the table – the calligraphy is by Olive & Reid Studio. BELOW Moody wallpaper by Ellie Cashman is brightened with gold asparagus fern and pretty roses



ince founding Wild at Heart in 1993, Nikki has built the business into a national success, with two London shops, a concession in Liberty and a thriving delivery arm. The darling of celebrities, with clients ranging from Tom Ford to Poppy Delevingne, Nikki isn’t afraid to go for the unexpected and has a flamboyant approach to styling. Here, she shares her secrets for the perfect Christmas table at her west London townhouse.

DESIGN / PROFILE FROM LEFT A real tree, decorated in gold fern, makes a dramatic focal point, while an oversized candelabra centrepiece brings drama to the table; and loosen the mood with a dusky pink linen napkin. The hit of green brings energy – this is the Malachite plate, £130 for four, L’Objet at Amara

‘My home is bold and vibrant, so I like to have fun with the decorations – greens and golds, Christmas colour scheme. My and, of course, room is dramatic and moody, with dark floral wallpaper, so I a vast amount of like to use pale tones and golds in flowers’ this space to create clear focal points.

Photography ⁄ Simon Bevan


Styling ⁄ Jesse Harris


Words ⁄ Sarah Spiteri

I tend to keep the flower choice simple and so I use just a few components of striking seasonal varieties and foliage. My advice is to follow nature – pine cones, larch, bay, mistletoe and ivy are all around at this time. Are there any decorating no-nos? Christmas is all about personal taste, although I would advise not to be overzealous with colour. Commit to a specific palette and add interest with texture and decorations. Don’t feel as though you have to buy everything. The beauty of this time of year is that gorgeous foliage can often be found in your garden. I love using fragrant pine and willow, which can either be kept natural or spray painted to suit your colour scheme. Talk us through how you style your tabletop. I love the drama a large gold candelabra has as a statement centrepiece. I never use a tablecloth, as I love the way my marble table brings a dimension of pattern. With this acting as the base, I then introduce lots of different elements, such as clashing plates, elegant glassware, linen napkins, gold detailed crockery and handwritten menus and place cards. Gold asparagus fern is a Christmas favourite of mine and I always keep the style wild and generous. To add another layer, I then build on this with flowers and berries. And what about your personal style on Christmas Day – festive finery or comfy PJs? Cosy, lazy Christmas mornings opening presents and cooking with family, friends, my rescue dogs and a burning fire is a must. I do, however, enjoy making an occasion of the day and dress up for Christmas dinner and evening drinks. ( / December 2016


Photography ⁄ Guillaume Gaudet


Words ⁄ Sarah Spiteri



he New York-based potter began his career back in 1994 with a single order from Barneys department store. He now produces everything from furniture to lighting and is famous for his explosive use of colour and irreverent attitude to design. Here, he explains his approach to the festive decorating of his Manhattan apartment. How would you sum up your entertaining style? Simple – modern American glamour with a soupçon of irreverence. We always think, ‘What would Hyacinth Bucket (from Keeping Up Appearances) do?’ We channel her and try to host the most fabulous candlelit suppers. Is the festive season any different? The truth is, I’m kind of restrained throughout the year, but during the holidays, I find my inner Kardashian and unleash a world of layers and ornaments and glitz and it’s kind of great. Can you offer some advice on creating a scheme for a party? I like to think of my house as if she was a gorgeous


December 2016 /

FROM ABOVE LEFT Jonathan loves to host riotous candlelit suppers in his New York apartment – create a room that screams chic and whispers fun with witty designs, such as the Eve candelabra, £398; and Eve two-tier tray, £298, both Jonathan Adler; and defaced photos of guests add a touch of irreverence. These are Jonathan Adler’s Maxime dining chairs, £1,400 each

woman – she always needs a few bits of gold jewellery to add a little sizzle. What’s the secret to nailing that ‘bold’ look? Tread carefully! Fun should only make up one per cent of your interior design scheme. Your room should scream chic and whisper fun. Do you have any no-nos around working with colour? When it comes to colour there are no ‘nos’ – as long as you love it, it’ll work. Life’s too short to look back and see an endless haze of beige. Wait, I do have one rule – no mauve. I’d be happy never to see mauve again. What do you go for in terms of a centrepiece? I would never be against a big bowl of metallic balls on the dinner table. They’re unexpected, they glimmer and you don’t have to move them out of the way in order to make conversation with the lucky person across from you. Tell us about your most significant styling indulgence when it comes to table setting. Irreverence. Instead of putting some ornate, calligraphy-laden name card on the table, I find


CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT Set the party tone with a moveable bar – this is the Jacques cart, £1,450; and Rocket decanters, from £148 each, all Jonathan Adler; pops of gold and vases of feathers add a fanciful touch to the fireplace; and Jonathan’s festive table is set with the Metallic Sun ornament, £28; and 1948 tableware, from £32, all Jonathan Adler

‘Throughout the year, I’m kind of restrained, but during the holidays, I find my inner Kardashian and unleash a world of glitz’

the most embarrassing picture I can of each of my guests and deface it. It’s a great conversation starter (not to mention a highly passive-aggressive move that I can’t recommend enough). Besides your own, which shops are your go-to spots for finishing touches year-round? A hardware store is my forever favourite. I’m lucky to live with a window dresser who sees possibility in every item high and low. What’s your single top tip for achieving a stunning Christmas scheme? Easy – mood lighting. Dimmers and candlelight hide a multitude of sins. And, finally, who would be on your invite list to this dream dinner? Dame Edna because she’s the only person on earth funnier than my husband. The Queen, as long as she brings her corgis (all I really care about is dogs). Andy Warhol because… Andy Warhol. But, really, I’d give anything to have my dad back for just one night. ( / December 2016



ZEST FOR LIFE Cool, uncluttered and on-trend – your wardrobe requires the same attention to detail as your interior space. And that’s where Dash comes into its own, with a stunning easy-to-wear autumn/winter collection

[ WIN! ] Livingetc is offering five lucky readers the chance to win a £100 gift voucher to spend on the A/W collection in Dash concession stores. To enter, visit

Jacket, £99

Striped dress, £49; and socks, £10


Coat, £129; and scarf, £25

his is the way it is with your space. You think very carefully about every item you choose, where it goes and exactly what it says about you and your lifestyle. You know exactly the message you want to give to the world, the look you want to achieve and how to express your personality. Then you pull it all together, safe in the knowledge that it looks amazing, but beyond even that, everything is functional and it all just works. So why would you be any different about what you wear? Fashion brand Dash knows exactly what we mean, with a range of clothes selected for women who need to look good through every aspect of their demanding lives yet with minimal effort. The kind of stylish, multitasking woman who carefully selects pieces that will take her from the beginning of the day to the end. At Dash, you can find on-trend, deceptively easy-to-wear clothes and accessories, which give a knowing nod to the season’s trends, yet have small but telling details that mark them out as a little bit special. For a seasonal update, check out the latest waxed jackets, easy tops and warm knits or treat yourself to must-have accessories. Or for something special, there are bespoke, original prints created by Dash designers and inspired by their travels. With Dash, you can get dressed in the morning and muster the confidence you feel when you know you look just right. And then? Simply get on with enjoying the rest of your day…


December 2016 /

To explore the Dash autumn/winter collection or to discover more about its range of clothes to live your life in, head to




From textured throws to dark, moody schemes, the key to creating a cosy sleeping space is to go for deep drama. Hunker down with the latest ideas…

Words / Lola Borg


1 HOT FLASH Always in style, a flash of metallic can up the glamour wattage anywhere in the house, but it has a very special place in the boudoir. ‘Mix dark colours with metallics for a sexy, grown-up bedroom,’ says Lucy St George, cofounder of Rockett St George. They can also give a contrasting hard texture to the room’s soft fabrics. Unless you want a full-on showbiz vibe, use gold, silver or bronze sparingly – a little can go a long way. That said, metallics can offset an overly neutral or Scandi interior, adding a little oomph when spaces get that bit too refined. Project details Without its über-bold gold metallic headboard, this room at the Hotel Borgo Nuovo in Milan would be tasteful, but a tinge pedestrian. Metallics can provide a fabulous focal point – approach designer Rupert Bevan to create a similar bespoke bed to this. / December 2016


2 LIGHT WORK There’s probably nowhere more important to get lighting right than in the bedroom – too little and it won’t work, too much and it kills the vibe. And here, of course, it’s all about creating mood. Plan for a bedroom to have two lighting schemes – one with down or spot lights for function, such as choosing outfits or putting on make-up, and another for ambient, atmospheric illumination. Use wall fittings, bedside lights or spots on a dimmer to create clusters of light and a relaxing environment. Project details Bedside lamps don’t have to sit on a side table – these pendant drop lights are practical, but provide a stylish, sexy alternative at The Norman Tel-Aviv designed by David d’Almada. Try Atelier Areti and Apparatus for similar fittings.

‘Lighting can make such a huge impact to a room and it’s also easy to take with you if you move. If it’s not vintage, I love the simplicity of Michael Anastassiades’ designs’ Ebba Thott, interior designer, Sigmar

Project details Statement lighting adds drama to an understated interior and draws attention to the ornate mouldings in this Victorian house in London – the ceiling light here is the Flos Zeppelin by Marcel Wanders, £2,823, at Houseology.


December 2016 /


3 FINDING HEADSPACE Get on board with the increasing trend for unusual headboard ideas. More than in any other room, bedrooms are about getting textures and tactile qualities right. The feel of different materials is all-important here â&#x20AC;&#x201C; textures also change the acoustics of a room to make it softer and more user-friendly. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;For headboards, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d always suggest a soft wool or a sumptuous velvet, then you have the contrasting textures against crisp white sheets, which looks good and feels amazing,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Lynda Tillotson, interior designer and founder of L Maison. Think outside the box for where to lay your head â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a headboard doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be square or padded, even carpets hung behind the bed can provide a soft area. Alter London can build a bespoke headboard of your design, with prices starting at approx £525 for a single bed. Project details This headboard proves that neutral doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always have to mean plain. Although itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a romantic shape, the light grey breaks up the pattern on walls, cushions and bed linen. Try Otto Turtle Dove cotton-mix, £69 per m, Romo. The wallpaper is by Zoffany and the wall light is Shear, £363, by Bert Frank.

Project details Featured in a room at Hotel Henriette Paris, this headboard is a vintage leather gym mat hung on simple hooks behind the bed; try for similar. For pendant lights such as these, see Uniqueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 4-metre Globe Rope, £93 each.

[ DESIGNER KNOW-HOW ] Discover Kelly Wearstlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tips for style-driven winter bedrooms.


* Colour helps to convey mood and

tone within a space. A pop of a vibrant KXH FDQEH D TXLFN Ã&#x20AC;[ WR UHIUHVK DQG uplift a space. For a bedroom, think layers of decorative pillows or a chromatic throw. Or take a bolder leap and paint the walls a new colour. * Dark colours work beautifully in small rooms, making them feel DOOXULQJDQGH[FOXVLYH * 0L[LQJWH[WXUHVis a great way to give dimension and add sensuality to a bedroom. Rich woods, marble DQGPL[HGPHWDODFFHVVRULHVDUHP\ favourite elements to add movement and soul to a space. * I always encourage my clients WRLQYHVWLQOX[XULRXVOLQHQ,W·VRQH of the easiest bedroom updates and an indulgence to enjoy every day. * Bedrooms are intimate and SHUVRQDODQGWKHUH·VQRWKLQJVH[LHU than the right lighting. It truly changes the energy and feel of DVSDFH,OLNHXVLQJDPL[RI silhouettes that embody organic and architectural forms and work together cohesively. * Create a collection of small treasures and showcase them in catchalls and trays on your bedside table or atop a vanity. Personal belongings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; jewellery, photos, SRVWFDUGVYLQWDJHÃ&#x20AC;QGV²DGG life to the room and are a constant source of joy. / December 2016


During the winter, nothing feels quite as indulgent as a fireplace in the bedroom – the perfect excuse to stay there all day. The ultimate luxury is a real fire. ‘Wood-burning stoves and fires add warmth and ambience to a room like nothing else can,’ says Dave Saunders, technical and standards manager at Stovax. ‘Bedrooms needn’t be excluded from having a fire as long as the space allows.’ A built-in wall-mounted wood-burner can create an interesting, less traditional look; prices start at approx £1,000 from Stovax. For those with period details in their home, opening up the fireplace can make a huge difference to the space and adds a punctuation stop in an interior. Burn different woods, such as fragrant pine, to add a heady scent to the room.


December 2016 /

Project details An interior as pared back as this – a 200-year-old blacksmith’s workshop in Copenhagen that belongs to Noma restaurant co-owner René Redzepi – can take a dramatic woodburning stove. Morsø sells similar. Find the CH24 Wishbone chair by Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn at Aram Store, £499. The floors are by Dinesen.




5 OOH LA LA Indulge your inner Marie Antoinette with something French, fun and sexy. The classic curvy lines of Louis XV beds and chairs have been in style for centuries. Modernise the Rococo look by adding a bold French floral, rather than a girlie one, to walls or cushions – or a contemporary toile to keep the look punchy. Limit the palette to the palest greys, blues or pinks, with stronger flashes of darker shades – deep blues, hot pink – to add some ballast. Other touches (though perhaps best not used all at once) include studded padding with everything, damask walls, dramatic silk drapes that create pools of fabric on the floor, gilded mirrors and the biggest, most opulent chandelier you can find. Project details A painterly wallpaper, such as Jade Temple in Cornflower by Designers Guild shown here, £248 per roll, creates a tranquil atmosphere in a bedroom. This is the Provencal Louis XV bed from The French Bedroom Company, £1,060. The Button sofa, with a back rest upholstered in Nabucco velvet in Turquoise, is by Designers Guild. Project details Use a backdrop of gunmetal grey to ground dusky pinks and sensual silks. This corrugated metal-inspired wallpaper is Palmer in Steel, £77.90 per roll, by Andrew Martin, This is the Lymington chandelier by Vaughan, £10,792. The Memo bed is by Carlo Columbo for Poliform, £2,560.

‘Be brave and choose patterns and colours you really love. Dark hues, in particular, create a moody and warm winter scheme’ Lee Thornley, creative director, Bert & May


6 THROW OVER Textiles can add instant drama and soften all-important bedroom acoustics – a room that sounds plush feels plush. Many designers change looks according to the season, adding thick rugs to wooden floors and heavier silk or velvet curtains at windows. Cushions, throws and pillows up the snuggle-factor and also convert the room instantly from a summer space to one that’s autumnready. ‘In winter, we naturally want to cosy-up the home and the simplest and most effective way of doing this is to add warm throws,’ says L Maison’s Lynda Tillotson. ‘Faux fur is good. Change the cushions too, from summer linens to cosy alpaca, velvet or wool.’ Limit the colour palette, vary textures and layer fabrics to achieve more interest in a neutral room. Rugs and throws are the most cost-effective way to alter a look.

Project details Bedrooms can take dramatic colour schemes that would drown less intimate rooms. Here, in this scheme created by Jo Berryman Studio, a riot of different fabrics and designs – metallics, silk, wool, brocades and lace – is pulled together by a punch of hot pink in the chair and the curtain. The curtains and cushions are by Kevin O’Brien Studio and the wallpaper is Lustre Tile, £89 per roll, by Zoffany.

‘Bring a winter neutrals look to life by funking up textured wood furniture and chunky ecru knits with hits of chalky pastels or brass accents’ Lynda Tillotson, interior designer, L Maison

Project details A touch of boho is added to the mix of natural materials at the Casa Cook hotel in Rhodes. Straw mats and lamp shades and locally woven cottons introduce rustic influences to the midcentury vibe. Bohemia’s Super Tassel blanket, £225, is similar to this throw.


December 2016 /

7 CHALET CHIC A touch of Alpine glamour can work well in bedrooms. The basic principles are to keep materials natural and neutral – scrubbed or bleached timber floors and walls, pale colours, raw wood furniture, soft white chairs or sofas if you have room. Then layer up with textures to create a cosy scheme – soft wool throws, cashmere cushions, animal skins on exposed floors... Lighting is important too – as it always is in bedrooms – use soft side lamps and lots of candles or tea lights. For true authenticity on a snowy morning, light a fire.


Project details This Somerset barn conversion features floors made from old scaffolding boards bleached and scrubbed to give an Alpine-tastic touch. The reindeer throw completes the look. This is the Brooklyn pendant, £69, from Industville. The horns above the bed are from Astley House.

Project details Bert’s Box at The Pig Hotel in Hampshire features reclaimedoak wall cladding, which creates a cosy cabin feel. Use the same material on floors to enhance the effect. Bert & May sells similar wall cladding, £120 per m. / December 2016



[ STYLE RULES ] From trends to tips, here is some must-read design advice

* Indulge your fantasies. Bedrooms are the most private area of a house, a place where you can run riot. Want a jungle theme? Or an intimate, 18thcentury boudoir? Just do it.

* Think sumptuous, sensual fabrics. This seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s velvets and damasks in MHZHOFRORXUV%ULWLVKĂ RUDOV or Arts and Crafts patterns work deliciously in bedrooms. Go for luxurious damasks on one wall or an over-the-top print behind the bed. Bedrooms donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t KDYHWRĂ&#x20AC;WWKHPRRGRIWKHUHVW of the house. They can have a totally different personality. * Black out. Make sure your blinds or curtains are fully lightproof to ensure sleep.

The trend for dark interiors is here to stay â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and where better to experiment with moody looks than the bedroom. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Deeper shades, such as Farrow & Ballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pitch Black, can make bedrooms really dramatic, but also cosy,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Rockett St Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lucy St George. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Having dark walls means your views, accessories or artwork become the focus of the room. They make homeware come alive.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; If you need to add relief to deep grey or navy walls, lighten the mood with white bed linen or metallic lamps. Think of textures too â&#x20AC;&#x201C; velvets and leather work well with these colours.

* Go crazy with few structural costs. The bedroom is a space to be completely indulgent in and one where the budget might justify a totally extravagant purchase â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the to-die-for wallpaper or opulent silk pillowcases.

* Add luxury with an excess of fabric â&#x20AC;&#x201C; let curtains fall into puddles on WKHĂ RRUVRUSLOHXSFXVKLRQV and throws. * Introduce softness. Too many hard surfaces create a QRLVLHUVSDFHVRPXIĂ HVRXQG with padded headboards and soft fabrics and furnishings.

* Go for restful colours. This seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greens, deep blues or greys are soft on the eye â&#x20AC;&#x201C; white is always right too. A limited colour palette creates a more soothing room.

Project details Team inky hues with pops of green to get the same smouldering feel. This is Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arbre du Voyageau 77321039 wallpaper, ÂŁ313.30 per roll, by Casamance. The bed is the Burdock moleskin bedstead, ÂŁ545, Button & Spring; upholstered in Lorimer F6600-17 faux leather, ÂŁ49 per m, Osborne & Little. Project details Strong, sultry navy blues, mixed with the clean lines of wood furniture, can give a muscular vibe, as in this Ace Hotel New Orleans room. Plimsoll pure flat emulsion, ÂŁ42.50 for 2.5l, Paint & Paper Library, is similar to this paint colour.


December 2016 /





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Research / Brittany Dawson 144

December 2016 /






Background You only need to search for ‘Rustic farmhouse + exposed beams’ on Pinterest to know how much of a thing wood rafters are. Once the mainstay of timber-framed houses, for centuries beams were hidden away, only ever encountered on forays into the attic. Essential, but rarely seen – they were the architectural equivalent of showing your underwear in public. But when the Seventies nostalgia movement heralded a revival of all things olde worlde, the exposed beam found its place in the style pantheon. More recently, the clever juxtaposition of modern materials with raw timber has seen the exposed beam graduate from the Tudorbethan pub to hip barn conversions and urban loft developments, plus improvements in insulation mean we’ve no need for such space-depleting extravagance as a false ceiling. Today, the exposed beam is a great example of new functionalism – the design world’s antidote to minimalism, which is all about showing your workings instead of hiding it all away. See also: bare brick walls, exposed light bulbs and untreated floorboards… Get the look Lucky enough to already have a fine set of beams? Revamp them at Back from Black Beam Renovation, from £60 per sq m. You can also invest in faux beams, with prices starting at £45 for a 6ft design at Oakleaf Reproductions.

Words / Brittany Dawson / December 2016


festive TRUFFLES Donna Hay’s Chrimbo chocs are decadent delights

White chocolate candy cane truffles Makes 45 cream * 125ml singlebutter , * 40g unsalted chopped chocolate * 550g white buttons small candy canes * 10(120g) , crushed icing sugar, * 160gsifted

* Photography ⁄ Ben Dearnley


December 2016 /


Styling ⁄ Steve Pearce

Put the cream and butter in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl and top with the hot cream mixture. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the candy canes and mix to combine. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until just firm. Spread the icing sugar on a large baking tray. Roll teaspoonfuls of the truffle mixture into balls and roll in the sugar to coat. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm.


Coffee amaretti truffles

Eggnog truffles

Makes 45

Makes 30

single cream * 180ml strong instant * 10g coffee granules dark chocolate, * 600g ÀQHO\FKRSSHG coffee liqueur * 60ml200g crushed * amaretti biscuits coffee beans * 20g (optional)


Put the cream and instant coffee granules in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl and top with the hot cream mixture. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the coffee liqueur and mix to combine. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until the truffle mixture is just firm. Spread the crushed amaretti biscuits on a large tray. Roll teaspoonfuls of the truffle mixture into balls and roll in the amaretti, pressing to coat. Decorate each truffle with a coffee bean, if using, and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm.

Filled with festive flavour, these yummy truffles make treasured gifts

cream * 125ml single chocolate * 750g white buttons 60ml brandy * ground * ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ground * ¼ teaspoon nutmeg * 200g store-bought Madeira cake, crumbled 1 tablespoon *vegetable oil


Put the cream in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put 225g of the chocolate buttons in a medium heat-proof bowl and top with the hot cream. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, add the brandy and mix to combine. Put the cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix to combine. Put the cake in a food processor. Add the chocolate mixture and half the spice mixture and pulse until smooth and combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until firm. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls, place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm. Put the oil and the remaining chocolate buttons in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir, using a metal spoon, until smooth. Insert a toothpick into each truffle. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Stick the truffles into a piece of Styrofoam or thick cardboard. Dust with the remaining spice mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until set. Remove the toothpicks from the truffles to serve. / December 2016


Rum and raisin truffles

Christmas cake ice-cream truffles

Makes 50

Makes 25

raisins, chopped * 75g 80ml dark rum * single cream * 180ml600g dark * FKRFRODWHĂ&#x20AC;QHO\ chopped * 100g Dutch cocoa



Put the raisins and rum in a small bowl and set aside. Put the cream in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl and top with the hot cream. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until melted and smooth. Add the raisin mixture and stir to combine. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until just firm. Roll teaspoonfuls of the truffle mixture into balls and place on a large baking tray. Dust with the Dutch cocoa to serve.

December 2016 /

250ml vanilla ice *cream, chopped 200g store-bought * Christmas fruit cake, crumbled milk chocolate, * 400g Ă&#x20AC;QHO\FKRSSHG 1 tablespoon *vegetable oil


Put 2 large baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper in the freezer to chill. Put the ice cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 1 minute, or until creamy and smooth. Add the cake and beat until just combined. Spoon into a loaf tin and freeze for 2 hours, or until just frozen. Scoop teaspoonfuls of the ice cream into balls, place on the trays and freeze for 1 hour, or until firm. Put the chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until melted and smooth. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Working quickly, insert a toothpick into each truffle. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off and reserving the remaining chocolate. Stand the truffles up on a piece of thick cardboard or Styrofoam. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes or until set. Remove the toothpicks from the truffles. Place on a lightly greased wire rack set over a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Slowly drizzle over the remaining chocolate, reheating if necessary, and return the truffles to the freezer for 10 minutes, or until set. Keep frozen until ready to serve.


Choc-cherry truffles with salted coconut Makes 50 desiccated * 160g coconut glacĂŠ cherries * 300g single cream * 60ml360g white * FKRFRODWHĂ&#x20AC;QHO\ chopped 160g desiccated *coconut, extra teaspoon sea * ½VDOW Ă DNHV 400g 70 per cent * GDUN FKRFRODWHĂ&#x20AC;QHO\ chopped 1 tablespoon *vegetable oil


Put the coconut, cherries and cream in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Put the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using a metal spoon, stir until melted and smooth. Add the cherry mixture and mix until just combined. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until just set. Put the extra coconut on a large tray, sprinkle with the salt and set aside. Put the dark chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using a metal spoon, stir until melted and smooth. Roll teaspoonfuls of the cherry mixture into balls and insert a toothpick into each truffle. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Roll the truffles in the salted coconut to coat, remove the toothpicks and place on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until set. Serve. / December 2016


HOLIDAY HAVENS Rediscover the Christmas spirit at these Bah Humbug-zapping sparklers

Words ⁄ Steven Efstathiou and Paula Rodney

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Soak up the style in The Beekman’s grandiose lobby; the buildings original brick and terracotta façade; and luxe living in The Studio Suite


f all you want for Christmas this year is to not have to slave over a hot turkey/mountain of washing-up, or if you just want to do your present buying somewhere a bit less manic than Blighty, we know just the place. Maybe you’re dreaming of Christmas in the Big Apple? If so, the old-school service at classy New York joint The Beekman is a revelation – and don’t get us started on the shopping opportunities. Need to stock up on bonbons for Granny or a wow frock for your New Year’s Eve bash? Blissful Hôtel Providence is within easy reach of all things yummy and trendy in Paris. For a Chrimbo staycation with bells on, toasty The Pig in Devon is jolly good, while Penzance’s comfy-luxe Artist Residence is ho ho ho… homely heaven. Pick any of these gems and that’ll be your gift to self sorted.

The Beekman New York, USA The lowdown Downtown’s architectural icon gets a five-star revamp. Best for Anyone in need of some old-fashioned festive pampering. If you adore being welcomed by an eager-to-please bellhop after a spot of ice skating in Central Park or from gawping at the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree, The Beekman is the place for you. Once known as ‘that abandoned building’, the Gothic-style former business premise has seen its fortune revived in spectacular fashion with the renovation restoring many of its original 1883 features, including the grand skylight and the amazing atrium. Now, the 287 rooms include 45 suites and two ‘Turret’ duplexes that open out on to the roof. Inside, the décor ranges from leather-clad walls in the public areas to marble-topped bureaux in the guest rooms. The Christmas feast will be suitably awesome, courtesy of two heavenly restaurants headed by chefs Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern) and Keith McNally (Balthazar). And if you fancy checking out the newest shops in this up-and-coming ’hood, the concierge is, of course, an encyclopaedic local guide. It’s all part of the sterling service… Book it Double rooms from approx £550 (


December 2016 /


[ Art class] The Artist Residence group of hotels – there are eclectic-hip outposts in Brighton and London too – takes its name from its owners’ passion for art. Try to book one of the ‘arty’ rooms during your stay, each of which features an original mural designed by a different British artist.

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE Sweet dreams are a given in the Artist Residence’s Super Comfy Luxe room; enjoy a soak in the Comfy Luxe room’s roll-top bath; dine in rustic style in the Lounge; enjoy hearty smoked cuisine in The Cornish Barn; a cosy corner in the Bar and Lounge; and name your poison…


Artist Residence Penzance, Cornwall The lowdown A quirky-cool seaside hangout. Best for Families and friends wanting a seriously chilled Chrimbo. Looking for Christmas dinner and all the yummy trimmings in a warm and unpretentious atmosphere – and by the sea to boot? Then this place is for you. Hidden in the historic part of town, the 19-room Artist Residence is a Cornish jewel. Decorated in a relaxed, ‘comfy luxe’ style – think upcycled armchairs, rolltop baths, reclaimed wood cladding, epic local art and wood burners – you’ll have no trouble hunkering down in this homely haven. Food-wise, pop down to in-house smokehouse joint The Cornish Barn for hearty rustic fare, knock back a cocktail in the Bar and Lounge or pull your bespoke crackers in the wood-clad private dining room. And if you’re planning a slap-up Xmas with a large family or bunch of friends and want all the pluses of a hotel while not actually being in one, hurry up and bag yourself a stay in Artist Residence’s dreamy, newly refurbed three-bed Cottage. Book it Double rooms from £90 b&b; and from £250 b&b for The Cottage, based on four sharing ( / December 2016


CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE You may never want to leave Hôtel Providence’s Deluxe room; the communal lounge is chill-out central; The Suite is the essence of laid-back lounging and even has its own turntable; enjoy regional cuisine in the dining room; and knock back a cocktail in the buzzing bar

Hôtel Providence 10th arrondissement, Paris The lowdown A beyond-cool boutique hotel brimming with style. Best for Yummy mummies and daddies in need of some serious ‘we’ time. Where better to tackle your Christmas shopping list while enjoying a whirlwind romantic break than Paris? So if there’s the teensiest chance you can leave the little ones with the grandparents so you can scoot off to wickedly good Hôtel Providence, grab it! Billing itself as a ‘grown-up fairy tale’, staying in this 18-room confection, housed in an epic 19th-century Haussmannian building, is like entering another, wildly inventive, world. The brainchild of Paris bar magnate Pierre Moussié, the extravagantly decked out space is a bold mishmash of styles and eras – from the printed-velvet House of Hackney wallpaper to the vintage objets and Seventies-style show stoppers. Our fave bit, though, was the bespoke in-room bar, complete with everything you need to shake up a rocking cocktail party à deux. Be warned – you may be so busy enjoying the delights of this seriously cool crash pad (complete with delicious regional cuisine), you might need to remind yourself you’re actually here to shop… Book it Double rooms from £140 (


December 2016 /


CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE The Pig hotel’s idyllic setting in the Otter Valley; enjoy afternoon tea in the stunning sitting room; the spacious Hayloft suite; private dining in the Georgian Kitchen; and the stairwell retains its Elizabethan flavour

The Pig at Combe Combe, Devon The lowdown An Elizabethan pile set in a lush, secluded landscape. Best for Couples and their kids who enjoy romps through the snow. The latest arrival in the group’s litter of beautiful boutique hotels, The Pig at Combe offers a spectacular bolt hole in the heart of the West Country. The Elizabethan manor house is surrounded by a 3,500-acre estate, but if that sounds a little too grand for your taste, don’t worry – it’s all about laid-back elegance here. The entrance sets just the right tone, as instead of a lobby, you walk straight into a glittering, Santa-goes-glam cocktail bar, complete with cosy sofas. The 27 rooms follow the same rustic-luxe aesthetic ladled up with a dash of festive style – super-comfy beds, roll-top baths and a ‘larder’ stocked with Christmas goodies. The food and drink is locally sourced – porcine recipes are a speciality, but veggies are well catered for, with fresh salads always on the menu. One piece of advice, though. Try to get back from your walks in good time to grab a spot by the fireplace. With a hot toddy in hand, it’s the only place to be. Book it Double rooms from £145 ( / December 2016

153 153



ENJOY 20% OFF AT GRAHAM AND GREEN Give your space a festive refresh with the latest furniture, lighting and accessories from the iconic homeware store

Claim your 20% discount at Graham and Green with Livingetc Present this voucher at the till when you make your purchase Full name Email address Telephone no

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shine with marble finishes. So whether you’re looking for bespoke sofas and upholstery, design-led lighting or unique Christmas decorations and gift ideas, Graham and Green has everything you need to style your space. Visit its boutique emporiums in London’s Notting Hill and Primrose Hill, relax in the flagship store in the heart of Bayswater or browse online from the comfort of your own home. If you’re outside the capital, take a trip to the scenic Georgian city of Bath to explore Graham and Green’s new store on Walcot Street. See you there!

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR 20% DISCOUNT ONLINE Visit and enter the code * XMASETC at the checkout. BY PHONE Call us on 01225 418 200, quoting the code * XMASETC before you buy. IN-STORE Complete the voucher on the left-hand side of this * page and hand it in at the till when you shop. VISIT US AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS… Notting Hill store – 4 Elgin Crescent, W11 2HX Primrose Hill store – 164 Regents Park Road, NW1 8XN Bayswater store – 2 The Colonnades, 36 Porchester Road, W2 6ES NEW! Bath store – 92 Walcot Street, BA1 5BG *TERMS AND CONDITIONS The 20 per cent off discount is available from 1 November 2016 until 24 December 2016 inclusive. Graham and Green reserves the right to reject any application and withdraw the offer without notice. The coupon must be presented in store to validate redemption. There is no cash alternative, in whole or part. The offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. The discount is not valid on sale or reduced items, gift vouchers, p&p, Kartell products or Andrew Martin wallpapers. For full details, visit



o celebrate the season of goodwill, homeware company Graham and Green is offering Livingetc readers a fabulous 20 per cent discount online and in-store*. The perfect destination for Christmas decorations, unique gifts and home décor, the company’s new collection is inspired by eclectic European cultures. From beautifully British charms and elegant rustic French furniture to jewel-toned accessories, the range combines rich velvets with natural timbers, metallic

Wellington sofa in Midnight Blue; cushions, from left, Tretchikoff, Palma Wave and Velvet and Linen in Light Blue; Insect prints; Cockatoo on perch; and Peter Penguin, all Graham and Green

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#PLANET LIVINGETC Take a peek at what team @Livingetc got up to while creating this issue

Kid you knot News editor @AmyMoorea gets a bit tangled up attempting to arm-knit @johnlewisretail #vitallifeskills Style assistant Jesse perfects her pendants on the @Madedotcom shoot (page 60)

Photographer @SimonBevan peeks in on the gift giving at the Step into Christmas shoot (page 63) Deputy news and houses editor @TheaBryanna cosies up with Saint Nick @Harrods #christmasshorts

Tea cosy The one time it’s okay to chew on your personalised Christmas jumper @BiscuiteersLtd

Hat trick Party-hat style tips from @Bodenclothing’s press show polar bear #stayingcool

Christmas previews can be such a drag @Selfridges #whoruntheworld #girls

The @JoMaloneLondon Christmas Collection launch was a rather decadent affair

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