A change of season opens the door to all sorts of possibilities and is the perfect time to refresh the home, embrace rituals and connect to natural cycles. Seeking beauty and special moments is important in every season and there is much to celebrate in winter. Crisp mornings, winter walks, cosy times at home and warm comfort food are all gently uplifting. Creating rituals around mornings and evenings such as lighting candles, savouring hot drinks or a warm bath, frame each day and help with the transition into spring.
The home plays a vital role in how we feel and function and creating areas to embrace the season can inspire and nurture. A coffee table is a good canvas for creating seasonal displays which can be easily updated every few months. An arrangement of books that allude to the cosiness of the season set the scene for an inviting and relaxing space. Gathered flowers and foliage celebrate the natural world and create a calming and inviting environment. Creating a simple bathroom sanctuary with a wooden bath board and beautiful, natural products provides the perfect opportunity for quiet moments to unwind and reset.
We hope this entry inspires you to greet winter with a renewed perspective and breathe a little new light and life into your home. You can read our other seasonal posts; winter gatherings and winter flowers here.
Winter bulbs and blooms are a simple and natural highlight of the season that make our homes feel fresher and brighter in the darker winter months. Hyacinths, paperwhites narcissus and amaryllis are just a few examples of beautiful winter flowers which bring colour and fragrance into the home when most houseplants are slowing in growth. Paperwhites are one of the easiest bulbs to grow inside and can be grown indoors from late autumn to early spring. The paperwhite’s flower and leaves are stored inside the bulb ready to emerge and do not need any additional nutrients or soil.
Follow these simple steps to grow paperwhites:
Select a container such as a jar, tureen or bowl and fill half way with small stones or pebbles.
Add water to the container so it barely reaches the top of the stones.
Place the bulbs on top of the bed of stones with the tips facing up and add moss around the bulbs if desired.
Position the container in a bright, warm room and watch for growth.
Monitor water levels so the water is always just barely reaching the top of the pebbles. You do not want the bulbs to sit in water as they can rot.
Fragrant blooms of snowy white flowers should appear within four to six weeks of planting.
Consider planting a new container every two to three weeks for a continuous display of blooms to enjoy all winter.
Alternatively visit local florists or green grocers for bunches of flowers or forage for dried foliage to create your own winter bouquet. Oversized branches and twigs can also be gathered and make a great statement piece in a large container for a hall or table. Bringing nature indoors and filling corners of the home with plants and flowers of any variety is a wonderful way to add colour and life during winter time, not only contributing to the look of the room but also changing how it feels to spend time within it. The correlation between plants and wellbeing has indeed been highlighted through scientific research time and time again.
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AT HOME | A SIMPLE FESTIVE DECORATION
Taking time away from the hustle and bustle of the season to gather foliage, berries and seed heads from the garden and hedgerows is a wonderful way to engage with the outside world and bring nature into your home. Decorating with natural materials does not necessarily require a great deal of effort and need not be expensive. It can also form part of family traditions to be enjoyed each year in the run up to Christmas.
A swag is a simpler alternative to a wreath and can be displayed inside or outside to bring freshness to a door, mantel or wall during the festive season. Follow these simple steps to make a decorative festive swag decoration for your home:
Gather together different types of fresh foliage foraged from the garden or hedgerows alongside any acquired Christmas tree offcuts.
Trim with garden shears and layer different lengths into a loose bundle, ideally arranging longer pieces on the bottom and shorter ones on top.
Secure with garden twine or florists wire and finish with a decorative ribbon.
Add accent pieces such as pine cones, baubles or bells to embellish the swag but keep the overall appearance simple and natural.
To hang the swag create a hanger out of wire, twine or ribbon.
Hang on the front door to welcome guests or display inside to be enjoyed during the festive season and beyond.
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AT HOME | WINTER GATHERINGS
As the colder months draw in and the festive season ensues, many of us look forward to spending more time inside our homes with family and friends. Gatherings are made memorable by the small touches that make our homes feel special and the food that we share with those that matter the most. Simple, intentional details spread throughout the home go a long way towards fostering a beautiful and welcoming gathering.
Looking to nature for inspiration and incorporating gathered seasonal flowers and foliage provides natural colour and texture, and adds a touch of the season. From foliage to flowers, berries to fragrant herbs, plants can be displayed in vases or pots, arranged across the table, shaped into garlands and wreaths or wrapped with twine and velvet ribbon to create simple place settings. Subtle, natural details give an elegant, festive feel without being overbearing and can be left in place all season.
The soft glow of candle light imbues a space with warmth and is especially atmospheric in the darker winter months. Elegant dinner candles, scented candles with evocative wintery scents or simple pillar candles all create a calming ambience and are the mark of a truly cosy gathering. Integrating music, perhaps a favourite playlist gently playing in the background is another small detail which engages the senses and helps to create a memorable experience.
A limited colour palette creates visual cohesion and the feeling that everything has been put together with care and consideration. Neutral linens ground and soften the table and allow for colour and texture to be brought in by natural elements and food. Cheese and charcuterie boards are simple to prepare and can act as a decorative centrepiece on the table. Old wooden boards laden with an assortment of cheeses and cold meats and all the accompaniments add a festive feel as well as forming part of an indulgent winter feast. Similarly, bowls of foods such as seasonal fruits and nuts provide a beautiful, simple form of decoration and celebration and can be left for guests to enjoy before meals are served.
Accents of silver, gold or copper bring a touch of opulence and layering cushions and cosy wool blankets on chair backs infuses the space with a luxurious and comfortable feel, perfect for special winter occasions. A gentle mix of handmade, old and new pieces, collected slowly over time help to create unique and personal spaces. Gathering versatile, considered items which can be used across the seasons is a good way to ensure things have longevity.
We hope this journal post will inspire simple and memorable winter gatherings in your home throughout the season.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell
IN STORE | DISCOVER OUR CARD COLLECTION
Alongside antiques and homewares we have always incorporated a range of photographic greetings cards in our collection. Inspired by beautiful, tactile papers and soft palettes, our cards celebrate our love of the English countryside and printed stationery. Each card is designed in our rural studio, printed on thick white textured card and paired with a luxury coloured envelope which gives a special, high quality feel. All materials have been responsibly sourced and are FSC certified inline with our ethos for sustainability.
In an increasingly digital world we hope to encourage others to send a thoughtful message, celebrate special occasions or stay in touch with family and friends. As they are without text, our cards can also be displayed around the home on a mantelpiece, mood board or frame.
Creating a home takes time, allowing spaces to evolve gradually and organically. Whilst it can be tempting to rush the home-making process, homes crafted slowly over time, in accordance with the needs and values of the people who live within them are more likely to have longevity. This slow approach supports the values of sustainability and preservation. A thoughtful and unhurried approach to decorating and furnishing the home is more likely to encourage repurposing and buying less but better quality, thus having more consideration for our planet.
If we allow ourselves the time to layer our homes slowly and mindfully, and consider what we truly need, we can create spaces that reflect us and the life we want to unfold within them. Taking time to seek out things that are considered, well made and beautiful rather than driven by trends, reduces the demand for fast, throwaway pieces and rash purchasing mistakes. Vintage pieces are always a good choice, and are better for the environment than buying new. They add character and help to create spaces which instantly feel lived in and comfortable.
Creating a home slowly does not mean moving slowly but rather taking time to plan, consider, iterate and refine, allowing our homes to grow and evolve with our changing needs and the rhythms of our life. We need to savour the process as much as the results, embracing the notion that our homes will never truly be complete. Sitting with an unfinished home requires patience and self-restraint. It is a humble act of acceptance that all valuable things take time to unfold and that the more care invested in crafting a home, the better it will serve us.
Simplicity seems to be the best safeguard against passing trends. The simpler a design, the more likely it is to have a timeless quality and remain classic. We always strive to source simple, beautiful pieces for our home and store that will endure in to coming years.
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