Search results for 'christmas house'

House tour: Christmas Scandinavian style

3 Dec

December is here so festive planning has well and truly begun chez Decorator’s Notebook… and it also means I can share the first Christmas house of the season with you! It’s a Swedish villa that been decorated in quite a subtle style with lots of layered textiles and natural elements to create an oh-so-Scandinavian feel. A gentle introduction to all things festive.

scandinavian house in snow

hallway with small Christmas tree

scandinavian Christmas decorations

The white painted look inside (and out!) might be too clinical for some, but I like how the owners have included lots of antique furniture, rugs and seasonal foliage to take the edge off the stark backdrop.

Christmas table decor with natural touches

white painted scandinavian kitchen

cream painted kitchen Scandinavian style

The house belongs to Marie, a stylist and her husband Fredrick, a carpenter… how handy when taking on a renovation! I really love the handmade kitchen with its little drawers painted with the names of garden plants to give it that apothecary vibe.

white bedroom decorating ideas

glamourous vintage bathroom

{Photographs Marie Delice Karlsson for Lantliv}

How will you be decorating your home this Christmas? Will you go traditional and be decking your halls with boughs of holly or going to town with tinsel and glitter?

House tour: white and Christmassy Danish home

12 Dec

This wonderfully white home is from Danish Bo Bedre, so I’m afraid I can’t offer you much by way of a story to go with it. But then when a house is this simple and pretty, it can probably speak for itself!

white Scandinavian Christmas house

Christmas table flowers

Christmas dining table

Scandinavian home interior

Christmas gift wrap ideas

Danish home decor

Christmas tree white living room

paper heart tree decoration

white kitchen scrapwood wallpaper

Christmas holiday decorations

hall with bamboo wallpaper

simple Christmas decorations

metal bath tub

arts and crafts villa Denmark

{Bo Bedre}

I’ve been pondering the virtues of Piet van Eek scrapwood wallpaper quite a bit recently, and it looks great in this kitchen. I remember weaving little heart-shaped paper baskets for the Christmas tree at school and I like the idea of a grown-up version made with offcuts of wallpaper. It’s something I always seem to have rather a lot of! If you can’t remember how to make them, here’s an easy peasy paper heart decoration tutorial.

Homemade Christmas wreath with a contemporary twist

18 Dec

Homemade Christmas wreath with eucalyptus DIY

Homemade Christmas door wreath contemporary foliage

{© Decorator’s Notebook}

I absolutely LOVE Christmas – not so much for the day itself but for those leading up to it. The little rituals mean so much to me: choosing the tree, making the cake, planning how I’ll decorate the table and waiting excitedly for everyone to arrive. And now this year I have a pretty homemade wreath on the door to greet them!

On Sunday Lou arranged a tasty lunch and a crafty afternoon for a handful of Westcountry bloggers and kindly invited me along as a newcomer to the group. My little network of blogging friends is one of the few things I do actually miss about London, so it was lovely to meet some kindred spirits in my new/old area. Xanthe from Ivory Flowers supplied us with a beautiful array of foliage and decorations to use and we had spent a relaxing afternoon chatting while binding clumps of earth-scented moss, lush pine, orange slices and dried flowers onto our wreaths. With such a fantastic array of ingredients to choose from it was fun seeing all the finished results… I opted for a bit of contemporary style using eucalyptus, cheerful billy buttons, cotton heads and cinnamon sticks.

Now every time I arrive home I have a reminder of a lovely afternoon and a special welcome for our Christmas visitors!

For more ideas, visit my fellow bloggers and admire the beautiful wreaths they created too: Lou at Littlegreenshed | Lottie at Oyster & Pearl | Cathy at Bristol Parenting Cafe | Kat at Housewife Confidential | Laura at Circle of Pine Trees | Natalie at Thistle Apples

Is it too early to mention *whispers* Christmas?

7 Nov

Well, not if my blog searches are anything to go by – the eager beavers amongst you have been looking for Christmas decoration ideas for weeks already, so now that November is upon us I reckon it’s finally acceptable to jump in and share a little festive inspiration once again.

But for those who are likely to be drawing a sharp intake of breath at the thought of tinsel and baubles when we still have 47 days to go until Christmas I’m hoping today’s house tour post is a nice gentle introduction for you.

Not a bauble in sight! This subtly sparkling Scandinavian schoolhouse (try saying that one after a couple of G&Ts) belongs to calligrapher Ylva Skarp. The building hadn’t been used for teaching since the 1940s and most recently it was a tin museum which Ylva remembers visiting as a child. The little graphic poster in the photo above is the last remaining trace of its former use.

The house couldn’t be more Swedish if it tried, with its big open plan rooms, grey and white walls and wooden floors, and Ylva’s kept it equally simple with her Christmas decorations. A few sprigs of spruce and flickering candles take the chill off and homemade decorations add a personal touch. I love the paper Christmas trees on the coffee table (instructions here) and I’m tempted to opt for a basic branch  instead of a real Christmas tree too this year.

Ylva’s love of calligraphy is evident throughout her home – this linen cupboard is painted with her favourite phrase “yes, but why not?” and the rugs, cushions and crockery are her designs too. Nordic Bliss sells a selection of Ylva Skarp prints and textiles in the UK.

{all Magdalena Björnsdotter for Lantliv}

Such minimal Christmas decorations aren’t going to feel festive to everyone… does this house say winter wonderland or bleak midwinter to you?

Wait! 5 ways to decorate with fairy lights all year round

6 Jan

As soon as the decorations come down on Twelfth Night it always seems to me that a previously homely house looks suddenly bare. It’s just too depressing! So whilst I don’t suggest we become strange Christmas people who never take down their tree and eat turkey 365 days of the year, I am going to wriggle free from the grip of superstition just a little by offering a few mildly rebellious ideas to enjoy the magical twinkle of fairy lights in your home, whatever the season. Will you join me?

Fairy lights over bed curtains

{via we Heart It}

four poster bed with fairy lights

{Photograph: Leela Cyd}

photographs clipped onto fairy lights

{via PB Teen}

Single string of fairy lights

{Photograph: Jeska Hearne}

workspace office with fairylights

{Photograph: Michelle Halford}

I’m also considering rebranding my Christmas wreath as “winter wreath” to avoid taking it down… or perhaps that’s a step to far?

Food Week II: Whole Larder Love

28 Jun

You probably all know by now that in less than a week I’m shipping out of The Big Smoke and heading back to rural Somerset to camp with my parents for a while and get the Decorator’s Notebook Shop off the ground. In the midst of packing up Le Flat I have started daydreaming about getting back to my countrygirl roots. I think all this has a good deal to do with why Whole Larder Love makes such a fitting end to Food Week.

Rohan Anderson Whole Larder Love

mushrooms cooking on open fire WLL

eggs whole larder love

Ever since I was tiny I’ve been interested in wild food. My Granny taught me too look for a dark red dot in the centre of lacey cow parsley flowers – the signal that a fragrant wild carrot could be found under the soil below. In autumn we’d pick miniscule bilberries and gobble them straight from the bush and in summer Dad would take Joe and I mackerel fishing off St David’s Head. I still think there’s no better breakfast than quiveringly fresh fish cooked under a gassy caravan grill. Growing up, I never thought anything of it. I thought this was how all children spent their weekends and holidays. But after seven years living in London I have an enormous appreciation of – and nostalgia for – those early culinary adventures.

crab apples whole larder love

whole larder love wild cookery

cooking pot whole larder love

Rohan Anderson’s Whole Larder Love blog is more about discovering, hunting and gathering ingredients than the recipes you can make with them. I adore the idea of being led by what you can find and coming up with something good to eat afterwards rather than starting with a cookbook. His photos are so perfect you can almost smell the damp earth and woodsmoke drifting up from your screen.

enamel mugs WLL

camp bed in cabin whole larder love

gathering walnuts whole larder love{all Rohan Anderson for Whole Larder Love}

If I lived just a little bit (!) nearer to Australia I’d sign up for one of Rohan’s foraging workshops in a heartbeat. Not for the squeemish, the dropdown booking form offers the choice of “I’d like to skin a rabbit” or “No thanks, I’ll just watch.” Love it.

As soon as I discovered Whole Larder Love it went straight on my Feedly and I’ll be putting the book on my Christmas list too. I hope you enjoy exploring this blog as much as I do.

Have a great weekend everyone x

15-minute make: mulled wine syrup

14 Dec

perfect mulled wine recipe

Here’s an odd quirk of mine – I really dislike wine (red, white, rose, sparkling – everything) but I love mulled wine. I’m not sure what that says about my taste buds, but it makes perfect sense to me! So, today’s 15-minute make is a gently-spiced mulled wine recipe that just tastes like Christmas… and makes your house smell like it too. There’s a little more to it than the regular teabag-in-a-pan method, but you end up with a lovely syrup base that can be bottled and used on another occasion. A bottle of this mulled wine syrup would make a nice last-minute homemade Christmas present too.

mulled wine syrup recipe

Mulled Wine Syrup 

Makes 12 servings

1 orange
1 lemon, peel only
150g golden caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods, gently bashed
5 cloves
Pinch grated nutmeg
Splash of red wine
 
Add to…
2 bottles of fruity red wine
150ml ginger wine
Orange slices to garnish
 

1) Squeeze the juice from the orange and place in a large pan together with the orange shells, lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add a small glug of wine (just enough to cover the sugar) and heat gently  until the sugar has dissolved, stirring every now and again. Bring to the boil and bubble for 5-8 minutes until you have a thick syrup. At this stage you can leave the syrup to cool slightly then pour into a sterilised bottle. If you’re thirsty now, carry on…

2) Turn the heat down and add the red wine and ginger wine to the saucepan. Warm through gently, giving it a stir occasionally Have a taste and add a touch of sugar or lemon juice if you need it. Serve in heatproof glasses garnished with orange slices.

mulled wine ingredients{Photographs Hannah Queen / Recipe adapted from Felicity Cloake}

Put another log on the fire for me

5 Dec

Brrrrrrr, it’s getting nippy out!

rooms with open fires

{via Bonytt / Planete Deco / Devon Fires / Living Agency}

Every house I grew up in had a roaring open fire, so when the weather turns, central heating just doesn’t do it for me. Nothing feels cosier than gathering around the hearth on a chilly evening and to my mind, living rooms just don’t have a natural focal point without one.

fireplaces

{via HK Living / Keltainen Talo Rannalla / Oh, Pioneer / Bo Bedre}

Looking at these welcoming open fires makes me feel that a working fireplace has to be on the ‘must haves’ list for my next home. In the meantime, I’ll have to make the most of the woodburner at my parent’s house while I’m home for Christmas… if I can wrestle the dog out of prime position on the rug that is!

Stay warm peeps xxx

Festive foliage au naturel

28 Nov

After many years of studying Christmas decorating behaviour, it is my theory that we all fall into two camps: magpies and purists. If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all it won’t come as a surprise to learn I’m the latter. Give me armfuls of holly and pine, a box of candles and the odd plain glass bauble and I’ll happily get to work creating a pared-back festive haven.

{via Greige Design, Blomsterverkstad, Toast, Johanna Vintage, Karen Mordechai, La Petite Cuisine, The Gifts of Life}

Are you a purist or a magpie?

Explore a quirky Brighton home

4 Jan

After all the embellishment and lavish decorations of Christmas have been packed away, I find myself drawn to simpler styles as the New Year begins. I spotted this quirky Brighton home before Christmas but wanted to save it, as it’s a perfect example of the relaxed, reclaimed look I’m coveting at the moment and I didn’t want it getting lost amongst all the glitter and glitz.

I really like the idea of using a wooden trouser hanger to clip up a scrap of wallpaper. I’m all for adding pattern without commitment! They’re good for hanging artwork too.

Apparently the owner of the house found the flower painting on the fireplace leaning against the side of a skip… why does this NEVER happen to me??? If you’ve ever managed to pick up something amazing on the side of the road I’d love to know what you found. What am I doing wrong?

I have a small woven rug with a pattern similar to the one on this sofa that I bought in Bolivia years ago. It’s somewhere in a cupboard or drawer somewhere at my Mum’s house and I meant to dig it out while I was there over Christmas. Unfortunately I was too busy guzzling mince pies and sloe gin and completely forgot.

Note the desk made from an old scaffolding plank and hooks made from vintage drawer handles screwed onto a bit of wood.

More junk shop handles in the kitchen, mixed and matched on the plain shaker-style units. I like the vintage posters pasted into the glass door panels for privacy too… a nice old-fashioned alternative to window film.

{all Holly Jolliffe via The Guardian}

My Granny’s collected vintage jelly moulds for years (though I suppose lots of them weren’t actually vintage at the time she bought them). She’s planning to move into a smaller house this year and I’m hoping to take a few off her hands, dutiful Granddaughter that I am! Perhaps one or two of them might find themselves upcycled into something like this light. Did you spot the apple crate bedside table too? Simple and perfect.

Don’t forget to comment with your best skip finds!

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