A little break in NYC coverage today as I wanted to share the great new additions to my flat thanks to Next.
This Christmas is going to be a different one for me - its the first Christmas ever that I won't be spending the holidays in Scotland (shocker) and as well as that instead of heading to one of our parents to be pampered for a week, myself and GB have found ourselves hosting our very first festive get together for the family! (Scary? you bet!)
It kind of happened by accident if I'm honest. What with New York so close and lots of expensive hen do's and weddings coming up in the New Year for us both (I know what you are thinking- surely all of your friends must be married by now? I ask myself the same question regularly but alas) another trip up North at Christmas just wasn't feasible so we made the decision to stay in London. When my brother mentioned he was also going to be staying down South it seemed silly not to invite my parents down and get the family together despite a different location to what we are used to.
Of course although I'm super excited about seeing everyone and having some much needed time off together to eat, drink and be merry, our London flat as the destination for said merriment does come with it's own problems. For starters it's a small one bed which we are hoping to fit five people into. Secondly our oven can barely get a roast for two in it so when my mum mentioned a 6kg turkey I did raise an eyebrow, and having just returned from holiday and had our living room repainted, our flat is in no fit state to welcome guests.
With Christmas less than a week away, very little shopping done and no sign of either a tree, a single crimbo decoration or an ounce of food to feed people with you'd think I'd be feeling more than a tad stressed at this point but in some miraculous fashion I'm surprisingly calm - as long as we are together that's all that counts right?
Anyway as far as dressing the flat goes, the lovely folks over at Next came to my rescue and offered to send me a few interior bits and pieces to spruce up my rather sad looking flat in time for festive season. I was challenged with picking three pieces from their homes collection and giving three home styling tips for winter. I decided to focus on three different areas of the home and pick a piece for each.
My first choice was this beautiful marbled glass punchbowl. The one thing my kitchen is lacking when guests come over for cocktails and drinks is a large enough jug/ punchbowl to serve them from. We've had a fair few parties at this flat and I always find myself saying 'if only I had a punchbowl', well now I do! Having the whole family over (and also deciding to invite friends round on Christmas Eve for drinks just to make things even more difficult) means that any products which can make hosting easier are welcomed in my book. I'm planning to make a big batch of mulled wine in this on Christmas Eve to keep everyone going and then re- use it as a chic table centre for Christmas Day! So my top tip with this one is something I stand by in most of my shopping; multiple uses = multiple brownie points!
BB's Top Tip - choose products with multiple uses and change depending on the occasion.
My second choice was for the bedroom and I can't tell you how pleased I am with this item. I like nothing better than a cosy bedroom to come home to after a long day in the winter cold so I decided to get some new autumnal bed covers to make the bedroom feel a bit warmer. I fell in love with these tartan numbers which came in a pack of two for only £40 (for a double bed) which I think is really reasonable. Each design is reversible so you are essentially getting four different designs including pillow cases to choose from. This tartan check with stripe reverse is my favourite of the two and was straight on the bed as soon as it arrived. It's perfect and makes me feel cosy just looking at it!
BB's Top Tip - Keep your bedroom cosy by choosing warm colour schemes in the colder months.
Our flat can get really dark in winter so good lighting is really important to set the right mood. I find overhead lights far too harsh so love table lamps and standing lamps to brighten up our living room. For my final choice I fixed on this table lamp with glass base for the living room (although it's pictured in the bedroom here where it looks equally at home). It has a beautiful cracked glass base which throws a great shadow across the room and will be the perfect side lamp for evenings in over Christmas.
BB's Top Tip - use soft lighting to create warmth in a big room.
Thank you Next for helping make my flat looking a bit more homely this Christmas!