By now you’ve probably seen plenty of pictures of the gorgeous Christmas window at our London showroom and I hope I have given you some ideas for how to create a cosy cocoon to nurture yourself through the tough British winter! Today I would like to give you a little peek at how we prepare for Christmas on the other side of the world, at our Caribbean showroom in St. James, Barbados.
I make several trips to Barbados each year to meet with clients, visit design projects and spend time at our showroom. The run up to Christmas is my absolute favourite time to visit as the season is underway and the island is full of life!
The main elements for a Caribbean Christmas are the same as anywhere else in the world – family, friends and feasting are the order of the day. The difference is that most of the entertaining takes place outside under blue skies and pink sunsets. As darkness falls it’s important to bring outside areas to life with soft candle light to create a beautiful, festive ambience. The hurricanes in our Barbados showroom are all marine grade stainless steel – anything less would simply rust in the salty sea air! The dining table is the centre of attention at Christmas time and at our Barbados showroom you’ll find inspiration for creating some beautiful table settings.
I always think a good table setting begins with a place mat and in our Barbados showroom we have some stunning mats to choose from, each individually hand crafted from shimmering beads and shells. Keep the feeling light and fresh with soft silver and gold tones which allow the natural, sandy colour of the shells to really shine. Once you’ve chosen your placemats a charger followed by smaller plates will help create a layered look with plenty of depth – I find this really creates a sense of anticipation about the gorgeous meal to come. Shell shaped plates made from glass like the ones sold in our Barbados showroom will allow the beauty of the beaded placemats to show through and keep the feeling light and fresh. Just like in the UK, I always top each place setting with a beautiful bauble or scented candle which makes a lovely keepsake for your guests. Napkin rings are another opportunity to add a beautiful, tropical accents to your table scheme and one made from a highly polished shell like the one I’m holding above will shine under candle light!
Sticking to a palette of soft metallics means that your place settings will harmonise with any other accent colours that you wish to add – our damson champagne flutes, sundae dishes and cut glass votives add just the right amount of jewel like colour to help set the scene for Christmas.
I hope I have given you some ideas for your tropical Christmas décor! Our Barbados showroom will be open every day in the run up to Christmas – from 9.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Saturday and from 11.00am – 4.00pm on Sunday the 20th December so there’s plenty of time to pick up those last minute gifts and finishing touches! Our friendly and knowledgeable showroom team will be happy to help you choose the perfect gift or select accessories to complement your scheme beautifully. You can contact the showroom directly by telephone on +1 (246) 432 0989 or by email at email@example.com.
Christmas at our London and Barbados showrooms is my favourite time of the year – in Barbados, the season is by now in full swing and those with holiday homes on the island fly in with friends and family to celebrate Christmas the Caribbean way – at beach BBQs and pool parties across the island. In London the weather is decidedly colder but the inviting glow of candle light and the promise of mulled wine mean that no one minds and thoughts turn towards making one’s home feel as cosy and inviting as possible.
Today I’m excited to share my ‘ultimate gift guide’ – 22 fantastic present ideas for every age and every budget! Gentleman can often be very tricky to buy for so I’ve included plenty of inspiration for masculine gifts such as the fantastic book ends or burgundy decanter with matching glass. Teenagers and grownups alike will adore our fabulous fluffy slippers and pom pom shoe clips whilst the lady in your life is sure to be over the moon with a stunning jewellery box – available in a soft salmon pink or pale aqua faux lizard skin.
When you visit either our London or Barbados showrooms in person you can benefit from the expertise of our friendly and knowledgeable showroom team who will be happy to help you pick the perfect gift. Our showrooms are the perfect place to escape the bustle of busy town centres at this time of year and are a beautiful environment in which to shop. At our UK showroom from now until Christmas you can take advantage of our free Christmas gift wrapping service – let us do the hard work while you relax with a glass of bubbles!
1) Exquisite Swarovski crystal scented pear candle in rich damson red with gold twig detailing. Perfect to use as a trinket box once the candle has been burnt, or simply as a beautiful objet. £450
2) Beautifully embroidered tiger cushion on a snow white background (45 cm square) includes man made filler. £85
3) Crimson Red and silver votive which radiates a warm candle light £9.95 (Height 7 cm)
4) Purple ombre champagne flutes (height 26cm) £35 for the pair
5) Dazzling dyed sliced Agate pendant, surrounded by Zircons with an onyx bead necklace £99
6) The ultimate warm and cosy faux fur slipper in size 5-6 for those cold winter nights £59.95
7) Pretty sachets, filled with rose buds, handmade with antique lace and satin (15cm x 13cm) £14.50 each
8) Dramatic gotham orb book ends in black nickel, stainless steel and granite (W14.5cm x D14.5cm x H12cm) £305
9) ‘Naughty and Nice’ A gorgeous duo of two candles in black glass containers (height 10 cm) housed in a sleek black gift box with gold lettering. The ‘naughty’ candle contains fragrance notes of cinnamon, orange, clove freesia, vanilla, amber, spicy cedarwood, musk and patchouli. The ‘nice’ candle contains fragrance notes of blood orange, grapefruit, nectarine, jasmine, peach, orange peel, vanilla and sweet musk. £59.95
10) A classic Italian design, this decanter is crafted from pewter and glass with a matching burgundy glasses. Decanter height: 27 cm, Glass height: 24 cm. Decanter £295, glass £85.
11) The ultimate bar keepers guide to spirits, mixers and cocktails £14.99
12) Gorgeous soft velvet purple cushion, backed with neutral linen and man-made cushion filling (W55cm x H35cm). £65
13) A vivid red version of our soft velvet cushion, finished with a linen back and man-made cushion filler. (W55cm H35cm). £65
14) A lovely faux lizard salmon pink box, perfect for jewellery, letters and treasures. (W24cm x D16cm x H10cm). £39.95
15) Dusky blue pom pom shoe clips that can be attached to any shoe whether it’s a pair of high heels, flats or pumps. A great way to turn a plain shoe into a ‘party shoe’! £29.95
16) A soft aqua version of the faux lizard box. A great place to keep all of your most prized possessions! (W24cm x D16cm x H10cm). £39.95
17) Decorative purple and clear cut glass votive or shot glass (Height 6.5 cm). £14.50
18) To match the votive are these elegant purple sundae dishes (H12cm x 11.5 cm diameter). £35 each
19) Snow white faux fur comforter throw (W90cm x L145cm). £145
20) Jessica Russel Flint small make up bag (23cm x 18cm) in soft pink with Caribbean pineapples. This can be used at the poolside or even beach parties as a clutch! £49.95
21) This is a firm favourite of mine! This large Jessica Russel flint jungle print bag is a really useful size which can be used as a makeup bag, beach bag or lingerie bag. (39cm x 25cm) £99
If you’re unable to visit us in person don’t forget that you can always contact our London showroom by phone on 0208 943 4144 where Showroom Director Chrissie Marshall and Showroom Manager Sian Davies will be happy to assist you. For the Barbados showroom contact Emma Blanc on 001.246.4320989 or 001.246.2668099. We can help you choose the perfect gifts this Christmas and arrange to have them delivered to your door! You can also purchase a selection of our beautiful items online via our Trouva boutique.
With the countdown to Christmas well and truly underway, don’t forget that a selection of gifts from our UK and Barbados showrooms are available to order online via our Trouva boutique! Of course, visiting our showrooms in person is always well worth it in order to browse our full collection and benefit from our friendly and knowledgeable showroom assistants who will be happy to help you with all your Christmas gift requirements.
When you order through our Trouva boutique, your items will arrive beautifully gift wrapped and ready to put under the tree, leaving you with more time to spend with your loved ones this Christmas. With worldwide delivery, 1 hour shuttle service for local customers or the option to ‘click and collect’ in store, we have Christmas quite literally ‘all wrapped up’.
Don’t forget to pop by later in the week when Jenny will be sharing her favourite home accessories and gifts from the London and Barbados showrooms in her ‘Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide’!
1) Le Dame aux Camelias is a beautiful fragrance with floral notes presented in a traditional atomiser which looks stunning as a dressing table ornament. £95
2) Our exclusive Jenny Blanc notebook has the words of wisdom ‘Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much’ embossed in gilt lettering on the front cover. £41.50
3) This fern print notice board makes a useful addition to any home and works perfectly in kitchens, studies and sitting rooms. £75
4) Our sumptuous embroidered cat cushion is the purrrrrrrfect gift for the cat lover in your life! £85
5) These delicate tea light holders emit a soft glow through their clever leaf shaped design. £29.95 each.
6) Our crocodile magnifying glass makes a fantastic, quirky desk accessory. £26.95
7) This stunning, hand blown glass dish is a beautiful object which looks perfect on a sideboard or large dining table. £235
8) This oyster shaped letter opener comes complete with a beautiful pearl. £39.95
9) This ice blue glass decanter is the perfect combination of form and function and makes an eye catching centrepiece for festive entertaining. £165
10) Our hand blown glass vase looks wonderful on its own or alongside the matching glass dish. £325
11) La Pomme Grande Scented Candle contains the fresh and uplifting notes of crisp Fuji apple, vetiver, oak moss and patchouli. £120
12) Give the gift of serenity this Christmas with our elegant Thai Buddha statue. £75
13) Crafted in Italian pewter, this lobster salt and pepper cruet will bring a smile to everyone’s faces at the dining table this year. £450
14) Our scented sachets contain a soft, feminine fragrance suitable to use throughout the home. £35
15) Jardins D’Ecrivains candles are hand crafted in the heart of Paris. The Casanova bedside candle contains notes of almond and magnolia. £16
17) Our yellow Swarovski clutch is the perfect pop of colour for the darker months in the year and very popular with the daughters and granddaughters that visit our London showroom! £135
18) This beautiful ‘reach for the moon’ snow globe is the perfect gift to commemorate that special first Christmas! £80
When it comes to table settings, Christmas is a time to pull out all the stops and create a sense of occasion with candles, flowers, small table gifts, seasonal napkins with beautiful napkin rings and – if you are lucky enough to have them – your antique glassware and best china.
Inspired by the beautiful Christmas window at our London showroom which features a festive dining table, today I’m pleased to share with you some thoughts on table settings that you can easily put into practice at home using items you are likely to already own! As is so often the case with interiors, the key is to build up layers – a small candle or sequinned place mat might not look like much on its own but when combined these touches can really elevate your dinner table into something magical!
Tea lights in beautiful glass holders are essential to create a sense of wellbeing and warmth. Aim to create a soft, golden glow to dispel the greys and blues outside and watch as the tiny, flickering lights are reflected in the glasses, sequins and silver that make up your table decoration, bringing the whole scene to life.
Scented candles are another important part of your festive lighting scheme as they not only add beautiful ambient light but their fragrance will complement the decoration with hints of spice and citrus.
Antique glassware such as my collection of cranberry glass (including the beautiful decanter pictured above) really comes into its own at Christmas time where it creates a wonderful sense of occasion and ceremony. Now is the time to pull out your most special glasses and pieces of china and really relish the beauty they bring to your table.
Fresh flowers are often in short supply at this time of year – resist the temptation to buy something straight from the hot house at your local florist and look to the British countryside for inspiration. Greenery such as laurel leaves, ivy and of course holly can all be used to create a natural looking display. Even plants that you might usually think of as ‘weeds’ such as seed heads can look beautiful as part of a display on the Christmas table. I personally think that a slightly rustic and natural looking floral display is the perfect counterpoint to a glamorous and beautifully laid table.
Layer your place settings by using a charger followed by an antique china plate and soup bowl to really make an impact. I always top each place setting with an individual present – a beautiful votive or bauble for the adults and a small wrapped gift for children is always well received, especially if the children’s gift contains an activity such as a magic trick to learn or a joke book to keep them entertained!
I hope I have given you some ideas for ways to create a dining table your friends and family will remember this year! My most important tip of all though is to relax and enjoy yourself – as soon as the guests are seated, take time to look around you and savour the moment. The hard work will be (mostly) done and after all, you’ll have plenty of helping hands should you need them!
Our London and Barbados showrooms are both full of beautiful items with which to dress your table at every price range – we look forward to welcoming you in the run up to Christmas! To help ease the stress of the inevitable last minute preparations, our London showroom will be open until 7pm on Thursdays and on Sundays 11.00am – 5.00pm.