During December the festive feel gets more&more ALIVE! I notice some of my friends & Family get stressed with the pressure of the festive season, however I personally feel we have to embrace the magical happenings during the lead up-to Christmas and Chanukah! The design visuals, smells and flavours of December really make the end of another year worth while!
Some of the design elements we work with at Ginger&Lime in weddings can be adapted to the home, I personally get excited when it's time to light the fire, hang a garland, pin the stockings up & pop a wee wreath on the front door! Of course while this is all happening I MUST MUST MUST! have a pot of mulled wine brewing on the stove, of course this helps take all the stress away from preparing the home for those loved ones visiting.
A few simple D.I.Y tricks that will bring the festive season into your home this winter, which will assist you Embrace the Festive Season like a Designer...
The festive smell...
Sliced clementines placed on a fancy bowl and displayed on the coffee table will create a very festive scent around the home. After a couple of days the clementines will begin to dry-out, which should be fine as they will continue to give the festive aroma and continue to look great as a decoration on their own!
If you are fortunate enough to have an a wood burning fire then pop some cinnamon sticks into the flames, they will begin to smoke and burn while leaving the aroma of festivity behind!
For those without a wood or coal burning fire, I would recommend cooking a batch of fresh cinnamon sticks with Cardamom & Cherries in water until they boil. Strain the liquid and pop into a spray bottle to create a festive room mist.
The Festive Look...
In my home I decorate the fireplace with a festive garland, this is pretty simple to achieve when making a small one for the home, you can purchase them pre-made, however I would recommend you pop into the garden or local park and prune some conifer branches and string/wire together.
By adding some sliced clementines, pussy willow, festive ribbons or even something a little more sparkly will really open-up the room and WOW your guests over the festive season.
personalised stockings are a perfect finishing touch for the festive look & are great for everyone in the family! Over the festive season I am not ashamed to admit that I most certainly have one, along with my beautiful little Pug Stella! When ordering one, this should be done no later than the beginning of December as companies get overly busy!
Craig's Mulled Wine:
A little more flavourful, stronger alcohol content and a touch more zesty!
- 2 x Bottles of Tempranillo Red
- 80g Demerara Sugar
- 2/3 x clémentines (sliced)
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Pinch of Clove
- 3 x Slices of fresh Ginger
- 3 x Cinnamon sticks
- 1 x Zest of Lime
- 1 x Table Spoon of Treacle
- A good pour of Cointreau
- Handful of Cherries
Heat the sugar & treacle in the pan on a LOW heat, after a few minuets add the bottles of red wine and stir. Add all other ingredients and rapidly bring to the boil, once boiling turn to low heat immediately as the alcohol will begin to flame! Sometimes I personally add a little extra glug of cointreau once the alcohol has burned off to get that kick! Simmer for 20mins and then ENJOY!!! but don't drive...
Remember to have fun this festive season and don't get stressed, it really isn't worth it! This is a time to reflect our yearly achievements and enjoy the company of those closest to our hearts!
Of course, it's also a time to enjoy good food, be a little creative and have FUN!
I hope that my home ideas can give you some inspiration for bringing the festive look, smell and flavour into your home!
The great thing about using fresh products for decoration, is that you can cut these from your own back garden!
I hope you have fun creating a look suited around your home! For those that make my mulled wine, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!