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Posts Tagged ‘christmas decorations’

One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Cambridge is to go for a stroll around the centre of town when the lights have been put up and everything is just feeling a bit more Christmassy. We’re lucky to have some lovely independent shops in Cambridge selling some great homeware finds, take a walk down some of the quieter streets and you’re sure to find sweet little shops full of trinkets and treasures.

Buying your Christmas presents can be a little bit traumatic, especially if you’ve got a big list to work with, and sometimes it’s all too easy to do your shopping online from the comfort of your sofa, but if you’re looking for something a little bit special, for a few lucky loved ones, there’s nothing better than gifting them something unique that they wouldn’t be able to find themselves. I spent the day going around some fantastic independent shops in Cambridge, and found some wonderful gift ideas to inspire you.

If you nip past the market and over to Peas Hill there lies Ark, whose tag line is ‘gifts for interesting people’, and they sure did hit the nail on the head. The shop is full of beautiful colours and textures, it’s like falling into the middle of a treasure chest, with all sorts of goodies to explore. The first thing that caught my eye was a beautiful display of carrot tree ornaments. If you’re not into the usual Christmas motifs, having your Christmas tree sport a few festive veggies may be just want you need!

And spotted on the other side of the store, where these fabulous glittery snail ornaments, which are perfect if you like your Christmas decorations with a sense of humour.

There is all sorts in Ark that would make wonderful gift ideas, as well as some light-hearted stocking fillers. These mugs have some unusual designs on them, so if you know someone who loves a cup of tea, but isn’t really into the whole cutesy vibe, then a few of these might be a great gift this Christmas.

If you’re looking for something to display across a window sill, mantelpiece, or perhaps you need a few adorable stocking fillers, Ark have some lovely pewter animal figurines in stock. They’re a fun little present and a great way to *almost* follow through on your child’s wish for a pet for Christmas.

After Peas Hill if you nip round the corner you’ll find yourself on Bene’t Street, where you can find two terrific shops, Podarok and Cambridge Contemporary Crafts. Podarok, which has a sister shop in Oxford, is full to the brim of quirky and exciting homewares, accessories and jewellery. Something I spotted in the corner of the store was a warm and welcoming lantern display. The lanterns would make great bedside table lamps, and with a range of different designs you’ll be sure to find the perfect lantern for someone.

Just by the lanterns was this little fella just waiting to be bought. The smoke glass effect gives the quirky design a sophisticated edge. It would make a great gift for someone with a cheeky sense of humour when it comes to their home.

Likewise are these rather wacky lampshades, their colourful designs make them hard to miss, they’d be the perfect finishing touch to a kid’s bedroom (or a playful adult!) The shade in the top left-hand corner is absolutely stunning, the wintery landscape would make an excellent Christmas gift.

Just across the street from Podarok is the wonderful Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, with a huge collection of handmade crafts that are perfect gifts if you need something really special and unique. Made by artists all over the UK there is a wonderfully eclectic range of styles and pieces, from big to small. I first thing that I spotted in the window from the outside were these little dainty vases with gold heart shaped rims. They’d make such a sweet gift for anyone really, a partner, sister, daughter, or even yourself, if you simply can’t resist.

In the back of the shop are some beautiful plates by the artist Clare Nichols. The bird designs are truly a unique look, the detail shows how much thought and time has gone into these pieces, and the gold rim is the perfect finishing touch. If you’re in need of a gift that is equally as special as the person you’re giving it to then one of these plates may be just the thing.

Neil Tregear is another artist featured in the gallery, he specialises in hand thrown stoneware, and uses the landscapes of the Isle of Wight as his design influence. These flying bird vases are the ideal piece to accompany a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or some Pussy Willow for a wintery look.

If you stroll down King’s Parade, you become rather spoiled, with a breath-taking view of King’s College on one side and a lovely collection of shops and cafes on the other it’s a real treat. About half way down is Nomads, bursting at the seams with gorgeous items from the Middle East and Asia. The ceilings are littered with these wonderful paper lanterns, but this embossed, nine point star steals the show.

Just a little further down King’s Parade is the ever wonderful Byard Art. From exciting paintings and sculptures to smaller intricate items that were made for gift giving, there is a whole range of items to get enthralled by at Byard Art. I love these little leafy paper bowls, that come in either small or large.

Green Street is a little walk away but once you’re there, you’re in the company of some wonderful shops. Catesby’s is a really favourite here at Angel + Blume. The shop is filled with gorgeous, sophisticated items that are almost too tempting. These paired bowls are so sweet, in fact I walked away with my own set!

This pestle and mortar they have in the back room, is a perfect gift for anyone with has a flair for style and a love for cooking, when not in use the kitchenware looks almost like a piece of art.

There are all sorts of wonderful pieces of ceramics in the shop, it’s almost hard to pick a favourite!

A few shops down from Catesby’s is Homestuff with History, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s almost like rooting through a car boot sale, except someone has already done the hard work for you and picked out the most interesting pieces. Their cabinet of little glass bottles is not only full of great things to buy, but styling inspiration at the same time! In fact I couldn’t resist grabbing myself a few little bottles for a shelving unit.

Upstairs, is another load of treasures, including this impressive collection of tins, a perfect gift for someone who loves a bit a vintage gem.

Over on one of the shelving display was this cheeky jester statue, which would look great mixed into a few other ornaments in a display cabinets, or perhaps peeping out of the bushes in your garden.

Cambridge is full of exciting, sweet shops that have all you need to get the ones you love something special this season, now all you need to do is resist the urge to keep all the goodies for yourself!

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Whether you rejoice at the news that Christmas is just around the corner, or tremble with a little disbelief at how fast the year has gone, there’s no denying that the festive season is upon us, and what better way to embrace it with with some fab decorations. I tend to pull a bit of a face at the masses of tinsel you usually find adorning every possible surface at this times of year and other conventional styles of decorating you home, so this year I wanted to make it my mission to find some decorations that not only are full of festive glamour, but could also be worked into an interior all year round. Whatever your style there’s something for everyone that’ll turn your home into an ultra-glam setting 365 days of the year.

If you’re not into your traditional red and green Christmas colours, opting for a crisp all-white theme will really add some style to your home this year. A great way to make sure that your decorations are suitable for all year round use, is to find pieces that don’t follow a seasonal motif too closely. These paper stars from Rose & Grey are contemporary way to kit out your home. Hang them from a high ceiling to make a fairy-tale style feeling, and pair with these lovely lanterns from Rockett St George to really get into the spirit. Once the Christmas season is over, the paper lanterns are the perfect decorations to create a dreamy bohemian-style room, or to dress up a child’s bedroom.

‘Nine Point Paper Stars’ from Rose & Grey.

‘Set of Three Paper Lanterns’ from Rockett St George

This carved skull from Angel & Boho is perfect for all year round use. It’s a fun and interesting way to play around with the animal head trend, the carving detail is a sweet addition, and the bright white colour means that you’re free to add some individuality to yourself, even decorating it horns with some tinsel if you really wanted!

‘Tribal Carved Skull’ from Angel & Boho

For a little rustic charm, a few rattan stars from Holly’s House are sure to do the trick, they’ll look great on a shelf or mantel, surrounded by some fairy lights at any time of the year.

‘Set of Three Natural Rattan Deco Stars’ from Holly’s House

To give your home a touch of luxury this Christmas time, why not go for some decorations that are full to the brim with glamour and exotic style. If you’re less into shepherds and sheep and more into glitzy, romantic settings something like this lanterns from Angel & Boho are perfect. Surround a dining room table for an extra special Christmas meal, or dot around various surfaces for Christmas drinks, and then for a dramatic and romantic year just simply keep them there!

‘Tall Filigree Lantern’ from Angel & Boho

‘Venezia Oversized Gilded Lantern’ from Angel & Boho

The ideal companion for some striking lanterns, are some extravagant candlesticks. You can mix and match the lanterns and candlesticks around the room to create a beautiful, romantic setting, or fill a table up with a wonderful arrangement of candlesticks to set the tone. This set from Graham & Green come in all different sizes, which is a good idea if you don’t want your arrangement to look too stiff. Their antiqued glass style can work with various existing styles from bohemian to traditional to glamourous contemporary.

‘Mercury Antiqued Glass Candleholders’ from Graham & Green

Decoration doesn’t have to always be about adding extra drama to your interiors, it’s also a great way show off your fun side and add little hints of quirk and playfulness to a room without going overboard. This Llama from Graham & Green is just the ticket if you want to have a good laugh this Christmas (and everyday afterwards!), and is a good twist on a traditional reindeer. It’s perfect for hanging decorations off of and for being a wonderful decoration itself. It’ll make a great addition to your home if you enjoy not taking life too seriously, positioned over a fireplace or perhaps a bed.

‘Pom Pom Llama Mount’ from Graham and Green

These painted hearts from Re-Found Objects will make wonderful colourful decorations this festive season, and can go on to brighten up your home afterwards. For Christmas time, place them in a more concentrated area, decorating a dresser, or staircase. For the rest of the year, a collection of them would make a lovely touch scattered around a wall, it’ll add a youthful and fresh take to your home, plus they’d go rather nicely with the llama!

‘Hand Painted Hearts’ from Re-Found Objects

If you like fun festive decorations, and want to find a quirky alternative to tinsel, you might want to take a look at finding some pom poms! They are absolutely everywhere these days, so you’re bound to find some in a style to your liking. These red and orange poms from The Conran Shop are oh so cute, but they use contemporary colours, therefore avoiding an overly twee feeling.

‘Pom Pom Garland Festival’ from The Conran Shop

At Christmas time, you can get away with going a little overboard if you fancy, and if you like going all out over the holidays, chances are you probably like doing it all year round too. If you want to add a bit of nature to your interiors, you might not want to stop at just a Christmas tree. These indoor outdoor trees from Cox & Cox are adorable and add a theatrical element to a room without being too dark or mysterious. They can be used inside to get into the holiday spirit, and then when the New Year comes by, place them outside to really enchant your garden.

‘Indoor Outdoor Birch Trees’ from Cox & Cox

The same can be said for these lights from Cox & Cox, use them to decorate your interiors over Christmas and then afterwards they can be used to light up a garden, or transform an archway.

‘Indoor Outdoor Twinkle Light Garland’ from Cox & Cox

There are all sorts of way to create a wonderful winter land this Christmas, and even more ways to get creative and make magical interiors all year round!

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Christmas is nearly at our doorsteps, so here are a few more little treats that will be the icing on the cake of your decorations and Christmas celebrations this year.

If you want to spruce up your tree there are some absolutely lovely decorations and baubles around at the moment and here are a few of our favourites.

‘Five Metal Pressed Feathers in Silver’ from Cox & Cox

These feather decorations from Cox & Cox are a subtle, contemporary addition to a tree if you’re looking for something simple.

‘Six Magical Tree Baubles’ from Cox & Cox

Another charming, inventive touch from Cox & Cox to add to your collection, these Christmas trees in baubles are brilliant.

‘Large Party Chihuahua Decoration’ from An Angel at my Table

We couldn’t resist adding in this Chihuahua decoration from An Angel at my Table, a great find for those who like to keep things a little less traditional and a little more quirky. If this is a tad too left field for your taste but you’re still looking for something with a fun edge, these owl ornament are marvellous!

An Angel at my Table Vintage Owls

‘Pair of Vintage Style Brown Owl Decorations’ from An Angel at my Table

If the rest of your house isn’t looking as festive as you might have liked there are plenty of ways to add a little oomph to your surroundings.

These thistle tea light holders from ANTA are divine, I especially love the cup and saucer combo.

‘Cream Thistle Orange and Cinnamon Tealight Candle’ from ANTA

Decorate a window sill with these beautiful antique looking metal birds, perfect for Christmas and all year round!

‘Three Little Birds’ from An Angel at my Table

Treat yourself to some pretty copper pieces from Cox & Cox with these lovely bells and lights.

‘Copper Jingle Bell Garland’ from Cox & Cox

‘Copper Maroq Lights’ from Cox & Cox

Get into a contemporary Christmas mood with these creatively designed paper star decorations from Bodie and Fou, they’re great if you’re not too keen on embellishing your home with all things sparkly.

‘Paper Stars in Black and Grey’ from Bodie and Fou

I love this rather special card from An Angel at my Table, it’s an elegant way to do Christmas in style, and if you don’t want to send it to someone it would make a lovely, understated decoration in your home.

‘Pop up St Paul’s Cathedral Card’ from An Angel at my Table

Not to leave your kitchen feeling left out, this sweet robin and holly tea towel from Thornback & Peel is a delightful addition, the design is also featured on aprons, oven mitts, crackers and many other things in case you want to spoil yourself!

‘Robin & Holly tea towel’ from Thornback & Peel

Last but not least, make your gifts extra special with some beautiful wrapping paper, this starry designed paper from Cox & Cox is marvellous!

‘Mini Stars Wrapping Paper’ from Cox & Cox

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, full of wonderful household treats!

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As soon as the clock strikes 00:01 on December 1st it seems that Christmas decorations are being put up left, right and centre. If the thought of seeing a house covered head to toe in flashing lights fills you with an ever-growing Scrooge type feeling then don’t worry there are hundreds of alternative ways to decorate your home other than the dreaded red and green tinsel!

Whether you’re busy ordering a turkey, buying presents or figuring out how on earth you’re going to house all those guests and you don’t have time to scout about for the Christmas decorations then don’t worry as we’ve put together a failsafe list of beautiful adornments that are not just quick fixes to getting into the festive spirit, but are pieces that will look good all through winter, and in some cases all year round!

‘Black and Gold Tassel Garland’ and ‘Assorted Black and Gold Pinwheel Decorations’ both from Rockett St George

These decorations are a really great way to vamp up your home for the holidays without going overboard. The tassel garland is a modern alternative to tinsel and both sets of decorations add a touch of sophistication and simplicity to your home, allowing you to steer clear of the stereotypical tinsel and glitter. They’re perfect for a last minute festive spruce or for an impromptu gathering or party.

Usually when we hear the words Christmas and decorations in the same sentence we do not immediately think of understated glamour, but there are some beautifully elegant decorative pieces out there at the moment that will enhance the existing elegance of your home instead of demolishing it with garish colours.

‘Ultimate Beaded Star’ from The White Company

This star from The White Company is minimalist elegance and minimal effort. If you’re not big on the bling, this is the perfect piece as it isn’t overtly festive and can be incorporated into an already existing scheme and can be the subtle hint needed for an understated, laid back Christmas look.

‘Evensong Lanterns’ from Anthropologie

Another way to create a festive atmosphere without using traditional Christmas ornaments are with these stylish Evensong Lanterns from Anthropologie. They are a beautiful way to create a welcoming ambience in your home and will look just as lovely all year round.

If you’re panicked about having all those extra guests come to stay this year, the best way to relax is with a nice glass of wine and where better to keep those extra bottles you’ll be in need of this Christmas than with a lovely portable wine rack like this one from Oka Direct.

‘Pyramide Wine Rack’ from Oka Direct

Another stunning addition is this Bamboo Tray from Oka Direct, ideal for passing around cheese and crackers or coffees, and is a great item that can be used over and over again in everyday life when Christmas is over.

‘Bamboo Tray’ from Oka Direct

Centrepieces for the table at Christmas are a great way to set the tone, and having some wonderful candle holders can make your style mark without being over the top.

Anthropologie Aristocratic Animal Taper

‘Aristocratic Animal Tapers’ from Anthropologie

I absolutely love these Animal Tapers, they remind me of Wind in the Willows, something that I always used to watch as a child every Christmas, and they will make gorgeous table decorations that are the perfect combination of fun and sophistication for everyone at the dinner table to enjoy.

For a contemporary feel to the table, Houseology has some excellent candle holders, that are suitable for all year round use as well.

‘Design House Stockholm Lotus Hurricane Lantern’ from Houseology

‘Eichholtz Okhto Black Candle Holder’ from Houseology

The hurricane lantern is perfect for those who love all things minimal and contemporary and the black candle holders would look magical dotted around a table, creating a dreamy atmosphere.

These eye-catching pieces from Anthropologie are beautiful and the metallic element creates a glamourous festive spirit.

‘Dipped Mercury Glass Hurricane Lanterns’ from Anthropologie

Hopefully we’ve given you not only a few ideas about how to decorate your home this holiday season, but some lovely decorations for all year round, as a beautiful home is for life, not just for Christmas!

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I know you don’t want to hear it but there are just six weeks to go until Christmas. I too have been in denial but the arrival of the Rockett St George Christmas catalogue has finally stirred my festive spirit. It is a lovely collection of things we don’t need but really want and I have picked some of my favourites for you below – three of which I have already placed an order for. So that’s my Christmas shopping underway then.angel wings

Of course we want these for the Angel and Blume tree!2 snow doll candles - stargazer and wishmakerTwo snow doll candles – Stargazer and Wish Maker

silver glass christmas trees

Glass Christmas Trees – sold separately but they look great as a trioKasbah Morrocan Led fairy lights

Moroccan inspired fairy lightsquare stickers

Christmas Stickers which look great on plain brown paper

gold candle wall sconce

Fabulous gold wall sconce – this is not going to be taken down after Christmas!

christmas tree tea light holder

Lovely tea light holderchristmas cards

I bought these fab cards but what I really want is the gorgeous box they come in!gold wreath

Lovely metallic Christmas wreath

Nut crackerA must have Christmas item

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As the big day approaches, we bring you our pick of this season’s best wrapping paper and accessories, for putting those final touches to your Christmas shopping.

We are loving these stylish papers designed by Esme Winter at The Original Pop Up Shop.  Printed in London using vegetable based inks, the colours are unusual, beautiful and the small geometric print is bang up to date.

Esme Winter paper

Set of 3 wrapping papers £7.50  www.esmewinter.co.uk

red gift tags Paperchase

Tie up parcels using some plain string or twine and label with these jolly red gift tags, £1.75 each from Paperchase.

The White Company wrapping paper

lace spool

For an understated alternative this elegant, hand made, screen printed Champagne and Mini Floral paper, £14 a roll  from The White Company is so simple and teamed with  pretty lace ribbon,£5  from Anthropologie will make quite delightful looking parcels.

misteltoe stamp set

If you’re feeling creative or  are looking for a Christmas project to keep the children entertained, then you might like to make your own gift tags using luggage labels and this adorable little stamp kit from Anthropologie. £22

normal_festive-tapes-wrap-set

And continuing with the DIY theme, this Festive Tape and Wrap Set, £13 from Notonthehighstreet.com, will allow you to create stylish and individual parcels which will look fabulous under the Christmas tree.

Xmas ribbons

As will these very jolly Christmassy ribbons from The Contemporary Home at notonthehighstreet.com Christmas Ribbons £5.99

sally-swannell-christmas-houses-favour-boxes

And lastly, the most lovely idea for those little table presents, often quite fiddly to wrap.  No glue or tape required, so simple to assemble and will look gorgeous on your Christmas table.  Favour boxes from Sally Swannell £4.95 for 6.

This blog originally appeared on the Cambridge News website

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Fed up of drooping Poinsettias and dropped pine needles?  Then consider these fabulous, faux alternatives from Bloom, in traditional and modern designs that will last year after year.

 

Large and small poinsettias £65

Two different sized poinsettias potted in charmingly aged terracotta pots that look as if they have come straight from the back garden.

Bloom narcissus

This is a lovely little narcissus arrangement in a moss filled silver pot, which at only 27cm high makes a perfect centerpiece for the table.  £25

Bloom Christmas Treet

To make things even easier, this 5’ pre-lit Christmas tree comes already decorated with a constellation of little LED lights so all you have to do is plug in and switch on! £159

Bloom twigs

For a more up to date alternative to the traditional fir tree, these twiggy stems would be very useful where space is limited. £19

Bloom topiary

As would this elegant Cedar topiary spiral in its sac-cloth wrapped pot. £49 from Bloom

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