The final festive touches

December 15, 2017

A few final festive touches | These Four Walls blog

December seems to be flying by, and I can’t believe Christmas is now just over a week away. Although I put most of our decorations up a while ago (blogging means doing it a lot earlier than I used to!), a few additional festive touches have crept in over the past couple of days.

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Simple Christmas table styling

December 13, 2017

Simple Christmas table styling | These Four Walls blog

I’ve always loved dressing the table for Christmas. It was my job as a child, and I’d spend much of Christmas morning in my parents’ garden with a pair of scissors, decimating their holly bushes in a bid to find the prettiest sprigs. It’s a task I take very seriously to this day, and even though we’re not hosting Christmas this year, I still want to create a festive atmosphere for December meals with family and friends.

As with the rest of our decorations, I’ve kept our Christmas table simple and elegant, with a grey, white and green colour palette, flickering candlelight and lots of natural foliage.

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Festive minimalism from Ferm Living

December 11, 2017

Festive minimalism from Ferm Living | These Four Walls blog

Each winter I look forward to seeing the different takes on festive decorations from my favourite homeware brands, and one Christmas collection that always catches my eye is Ferm Living’s. The Danish company has nailed it again this year, and I couldn’t resist sharing some photos to provide a bit of extra seasonal inspiration.

Ferm’s 2017 festive range echoes the brand’s signature style, offsetting minimalist lines and geometric shapes with sumptuous materials such as brass and velvet. There are hanging tealight holders, Christmas-tree skirts, foil-printed wrapping paper and gift tags, and stockings in earthy, on-trend hues like rust-red, rose-pink, olive-green and mustard-yellow. They look wonderful mixed and matched with pieces from the mainline collection, including the ‘Ripple’ carafe and glasses, the sculptural ‘Balance’ candleholder, the soft grey-greens of the ‘Neu’ tableware, and the textured clay ‘Sekki’ cups and bowls.

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Recipe | Sprout, bacon & chestnut risotto

December 8, 2017

Recipe | Sprout, bacon & chestnut risotto | These Four Walls blog

Brussels sprouts: you either love ’em or hate ’em. I normally sit on the ‘hate’ side of the fence, but I still find myself forcing a few down every Christmas just because it’s tradition (well, in the UK at least). I’m always looking for ways to make them more appealing, but I haven’t found any sprout recipes I like – until now. This festive risotto from Kym Grimshaw of always-inspiring food blog On The Plate pairs them with smokey bacon and sweet, woody chestnuts – a wonderful combination. It makes a great December supper or even an alternative Christmas Day dinner if you fancy doing something different this year, and it really is delicious.

So, even if you can’t stand the thought of sprouts, please do give it a go – it won me over, and that’s no mean feat!

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Simple but stylish Christmas gift wrapping with The White Company

December 6, 2017

Simple but stylish Christmas gift wrapping with The White Company | These Four Walls blog

Wrapping gifts is one of my favourite Christmas rituals. Each year I set aside a whole afternoon and evening, put on some seasonal tunes, help myself to a tipple and a mince pie, and lose myself in a mountain of paper, ribbon, twine and tags. It always helps me get into the festive mood, and I love making presents that little bit more meaningful by putting time and effort into the way they look.

I always shy away from bright wrapping paper and opt for something more minimal instead. For the past few years I’ve used plain Kraft paper, but this year I wanted to add a bit of pattern into the mix. Few places seem to stock patterned wrapping paper that isn’t garish or overpowering, but The White Company’s range is perfect – understated and elegant, with just the right amount of sparkle.

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How to make a minimalist Christmas wreath

December 5, 2017

How to make a minimalist Christmas wreath | These Four Walls blog

Nothing says Christmas like a wreath brimming with fresh, fragrant greenery, but you don’t have to opt for the traditional look. If you prefer Scandinavian-style simplicity then this minimalist version is for you. It’s quick and easy to make, and it looks beautiful hung in a window, on a door or above a fireplace; you could even cluster several together to create a striking display. And for a particularly festive look, just add a flickering candle.

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Home tour | An elegant Swedish apartment in soft shades of grey

December 4, 2017

Home tour | An elegant Swedish apartment in soft shades of grey | These Four Walls blog

It’s been a while since I last featured a home tour, but I couldn’t resist taking a little break from Christmas-related posts to share this beautiful Swedish apartment.

Located in central Stockholm, it’s painted in soft shades of grey that give it an airy, elegant feel. The wall colours work beautifully with the pale parquet floor, and they’re offset by striking artworks, statement lighting (including a stunning ‘Vertigo’ pendant lamp by Constance Guisset for Petite Friture in the hallway) and plenty of iconic Scandinavian furniture.

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Christmas styling with Rose & Grey | Part 2 – natural greenery

December 1, 2017

Christmas styling with Rose & Grey | Part 2 - natural greenery | These Four Walls blog

It’s the first day of December, which I reckon means it’s officially OK to start dressing your home for Christmas, and today I’m sharing the second part of my festive styling with Rose & Grey. Yesterday’s scheme was a minimalist alternative to conventional decorations; this time I’m taking a slightly more traditional approach with lots of natural greenery and a full tree, while still keeping everything pared-back and fuss-free.

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Christmas styling with Rose & Grey | Part 1 – contemporary minimalism

November 30, 2017

Christmas styling with Rose & Grey | Part 1 - contemporary minimalism | These Four Walls blog

December is very nearly upon us and I’ve begun to dress our house for the festive season, starting with the living room. For the second year in a row I’ve teamed up with Rose & Grey, who can always be relied upon for a beautiful selection of decorations, to share some inspiration for easy Christmas styling. This time around I’m going to be sharing two schemes – both very different but both inspired by Scandinavian style, with a focus on understated shapes, muted colours and interesting textures.

First up is a minimalist, contemporary alternative to the traditional festive look. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to create something a little bit different this year, or for those who are going away for Christmas and so don’t want to splash out on a full tree. It’s also a good option for smaller rooms which might be overpowered by more excessive decorations.

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A cosy breakfast in bed with Sainsbury’s Home

November 29, 2017

A cosy winter morning with Sainsbury’s Home | These Four Walls blog

Like many people who work from home, I’m guilty of not knowing when to stop. With no set hours or daily commute to worry about, I tend to tap away at my computer long into the evening, only shutting down if I’m going out (or if my husband decides enough is enough and pulls the plug!). One thing I’m strict about, though, is not working at weekends unless it’s completely unavoidable. For me, Saturday and Sunday downtime is precious – the chance to slow down, clear my mind and look at something other than a screen.

One of my favourite weekend rituals is a long, lazy breakfast in bed, and at this time of year I like to ramp up the hygge factor with lots of snuggly textures and soft colours. So, when Sainsbury’s Home asked if I’d like to try out a few pieces from its new ‘Nordic Skies’ collection, which was designed with cosiness squarely in mind, I of course said yes.

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