Tips to make your Suffolk home fantastically festive
PUBLISHED: 14:28 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 13 December 2017
When it comes to adding some festive sparkle, for almost 50 years, generations of homeowners have headed to Snape Maltings' Christmas emporium. Head buyer Heather Fortmann has the task of filling it each year with gorgeous things. She offers her ideas and inspiration for your home
Q. What’s the best approach to decorating your home for Christmas?
A. We create Christmas themes at Snape Maltings, to help give customers ideas, and possibly inspire them to do something completely different. Or just buy what you fall in love with, and if you always do that, over time you can create your own unique theme.
Your home will influence the style of Christmas you fall for. If you’re a lover of minimal contemporary design, for example, you’ll be drawn to our Scandi-luxe theme of simple shapes and clean design. I live in an old cottage and the more eclectic and colourful the decorations are, the better for my home.
I particularly love the colours of our Indian glass and hand painted Kashmiri pieces, which already have an aged look, so sit comfortably in my old house.
Q. What are the trends for this year?
A. Our new look for this year is a collection made in bronze and old gold tones mixed with natural feather and pure white enamel. But anything goes! The days of red, green and gold combinations only are over! Always buy the decorations you fall in love with, and go with your gut instinct.
If that sounds daunting, hopefully our curated collections might help you decide. We have five distinct themes this year – Homespun, Kitsch, Scandi-luxe, Winter Wonderland and Ethnic.
Q. What are the essentials?
A. A beautifully decorated tree of course! But it doesn’t have to be a traditional fir – it could be a collection of decorated branches. We have trees resembling silver birch, some with little lights all over them, and trees encrusted with glitter. Don’t forget to dress your table too.
Q. How can I make the entrance and hall look really festive and welcoming?
A. A wreath on the front door is a wonderful way to make an entrance feel festive. Often halls and entrance ways can feel a little dark, so why not add some strings of lights? Little sparkly LED lights can look beautiful as garlands or cascades.
Q. I have a real tree- what are your tips for decorating it?
A. My mother always told me to put the larger decorations nearer the bottom of your tree, and the smaller ones nearer the top! I’m sure the secret is balance. Step back from your tree occasionally as you decorate, and try to look at it as if it’s the first time. I’m sure anything odd will jump out at you.
Q. And man-made trees - what’s the trend this year?
A. We have a whole host of man-made trees – white trees, glitter trees, snow covered brown trees, wooden, felt, and peacock coloured tinsel trees. The choice is the largest ever.
Q. What’s the alternative, if you don’t want a tree or don’t have room?
A. A tiny little man-made tree on a table top, decorated with tiny decorations, should have real impact in a room. If you have a fireplace you could decorate it with a garland of lights and Christmas candles.
Q. I’m planning a really special meal this year. How can I make the table look spectacular?
A. Arrange strings of table lights, metallic coloured candles in sticks, and a row of little glass tea lights down the centre of your table. Sparkly table confetti, handmade crackers and cotton napkins in beaded rings will add to the visual feast.
Q. What will your home look like over the festive season?
A. Our house will be decorated with an eclectic mix of the decorations I have collected over the years. Every year I can’t resist adding to our collection, and I will definitely be buying the decorations handmade by volunteers supporting St Elizabeth Hospice, which we have for sale in our craft shop.
Each piece is different and charming in its own right, and it’s all for a very good cause.
Q. What do you love about Christmas in Suffolk?
A. I love the gathering of family and friends around decorated tables covered with delicious food, the sharing of gifts and all the tradition. There’s nothing like a brisk walk by the sea on a winter’s day, and especially at Christmas.
Suffolk is such a rich source of delicious produce, and Christmas is the perfect time to indulge!
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