During our recent Creative Session with stylist Selina Lake, she shared with us how to create an ethical and timeless Christmas. Selina said how, at Christmas, we all become stylists whether we realise it or not. Reaching for our box of festive props, styling our mantelpieces and trees and creating an inviting table for our guests. It’s so true and building a ‘prop box’ over many years is a lovely way to create a special collection of cherished objects; adding to it either with handmade decorations, items that having particular meaning or special finds we’ve treated ourselves to.
To help you along with finding some timeless pieces, we’ve searched high and low for stores and brands offering Christmas decor with considered and refined design so you add to that perfectly curated collection of Christmas decorations that you will use year after year. We bring you a list of 10 independent brands and shopping destinations, each with a range of beautiful decorations to help you express your personal festive style.
Mon Pote – Bristol store and online
Translated from French as ‘my friend’, Mon Pote is truly your best friend when it comes to scoring some lovely Christmas decorations, as well as homeware for all year round. With a brick-and-mortar shop in Bristol and an online store for those not local, Mon Pote boasts an impressive roster of brands with a penchant for Scandinavian design. And if we’ve learnt anything while looking for some stylish Christmas decor ideas, it’s that no one does it better than the Scandinavians. Hence, you can stock up on the likes of accordion paper baubles in various shapes and colours from Danish interiors brand Bungalow, gold-tone metal mistletoe wreaths from a fellow Dane label House Doctor or quirky ornaments by London-based Sass & Belle, taking on the form of anything from a waving lucky cat to a carolling fox.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.monpote.co.uk/collections/christmas-decoration
Ferm Living – online or various stockists
Sticking with the Scandi influence, and more specifically Danish, we cannot go without mentioning Ferm Living. Founded in 2005, the brand got its start when founder Trine Andersen couldn’t find a wallpaper for her new house that would fit her taste and instead made 10 of her own designs and launched Ferm Living with it. Based in Copenhagen, the aesthetic of this brand is rooted in its Scandinavian background while always bringing a touch of the unexpected to the designs of its furniture and home accessories.
And the same goes for the Christmas collection which borrows from Danish traditions and blends them with the brand’s modern touch. Like in the case of the popular kalenderlys, also known as the Christmas calendar candle, displaying numbers from one to 24 along its length, initiating the countdown to Christmas as it is lit every evening leading up to the big day. Elsewhere, minimalist doodle-like tree ornaments made from white-painted ceramic are an abstract and contemporary representation of winter icicles.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.fermliving.com/collections/christmas-collection-2021
Broste – various stockists
Another Copenhagen brand that we simply cannot get enough of is Broste. Of course, that sentiment extends to the company’s Christmas collection too. Founded in 1955, Broste is backed up by long heritage but while it draws inspiration from Nordic tradition, bringing a sense of familiarity to interiors, the brand also makes sure to stay modern and on trend to some extent.
Bearing that in mind, we particularly enjoy Broste’s Christmas calendars, a contemporary and more personal version of an advent calendar made with cotton and resembling a decorative tapestry, which can be filled with anything from little toys to treats and Christmas decorations. But the embroidered and padded bird ornaments and paper Nordic stars are just as appealing.
FIND A STOCKIST: www.brostecopenhagen.com/store-locator
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.brostecopenhagen.com/products/christmas/c-80/
Winter’s Moon – Chichester store or online
Getting back to home turf, where better to get your Christmas fix than a place called Winter’s Moon? The Chichester-based store is just as charming as its name. But if you can’t make it all the way down to Chichester, the online store is there to provide. Describing itself as ‘beautiful things for living and giving’, Winter’s Moon started by selling vintage pieces and while vintage is still part of the business, there is plenty of other handmade, ethical and Fairtrade merchandise on offer.
The store honours its name by presenting a lovely Christmas collection from a plethora of brands, whether that’s Fairtrade Christmas star ornaments and garlands handmade from palm leaves or traditional and rustic straw decorations made in Germany. In our opinion though, the real stars of the show are those handcrafted Christmas stockings, giving off a very wholesome spirit. Choose from either a patchwork design, made with vintage fabrics, or a gingham style trimmed with little pompoms available in different colours to choose from.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.wintersmoon.co.uk/collections/christmas-decorations
Emporium Julium – online only
Emporium Julium is an Edinburgh-based brand of ceramics handmade by Slovenian-born artist Julija Pustovrh. Julija is endlessly inspired by nature when creating her pottery, perhaps influenced by her background in landscape architecture. The brand’s current collection is based on the beautiful nature that Scotland has to offer, from hilly landscapes to coastal sceneries. Much like in nature, every mug or vase that Julija produces is unique in terms of the colour of clay, being crafted from a mix of recycled clays, and speckling as every piece incorporates sands from remote Scottish coasts.
The latest addition to Emporium Julium’s offering, available from the 1st December, is a range of little bell ornaments, just in time for Christmas. Crafted in the same way as the rest of the collection, the ceramic bells come in marbled and speckled designs, true to artist’s style. The inspiration behind these decorations is a very personal one, evoking fond memories of similar bells belonging to Julija’s grandmother that she used to play with as a child.
The Little House Shop – online only
The Little House Shop’s founders Jenny and Guy Warrington describe their online store’s style as ‘relaxed industrial living with a hint of rustic Scandinavian influence’. And upon browsing through their offering of homewares and gifts, you understand exactly what they mean. Mixing old with new, vintage with modern and minimalist with rustic comes naturally to the husband-and-wife duo, which is also reflected in their Christmas collection with pieces from brands like party-ready Ginger Ray or eco-friendly home accessories label Nkuku.
Some of the decor we’re lusting over is House Doctor’s large Nordic Christmas stars in neutral shades of white and grey, house-shaped porcelain tea light candle holders and another reinterpretation of an advent calendar, this time in the form of a wooden sign with numbered holes, waiting for little treats to be suspended from them.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.thelittlehouseshop.co.uk/collections/christmas
Marmor Paperie – online only
A trained illustrator Lucy McGrath discovered the art of traditional Turkish marbling, also known as ebru, while on holiday in Istanbul and felt an instant connection to this centuries-old craft. Upon returning to the UK and taking a course in marbling, she learned that it is a dying art, classed as endangered with only a handful of professionals practising marbling in the UK. Lucy launched Marmor Paperie, a London-based brand of marbled stationery and objects, in 2015 in the hope of giving a new lease of life to the craft. And with the growing popularity of the pattern in recent years, it is certainly enjoying a come back.
While journals and diaries form the majority of the brand’s offering, it is the ceramic baubles that keep Lucy busy in the run-up to Christmas as she hand-marbles every single one of them in various colours from blue and pink to red and gold.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.marmorpaperie.co.uk/collections/ceramic-baubles
Nkuku – Devon store or online
Inspired by a year-long trip around the world, Nkuku is named after a village in Zambia as founders Ali and Alex Cooke built their business on appreciation for the hard-working artisans they met on their travels who now produce their handmade home and lifestyle products. The company’s sustainable collections are made exclusively from recycled, natural or eco-friendly materials, from cotton sourced from old T-shirts to hemp which doesn’t require any pesticides to grow.
Nkuku’s Christmas collection adheres to the brand’s ethics and values, as well as its rustic aesthetic. Antique-inspired baubles made from hand-blown recycled glass come in warm tones of copper, rust and gold, matched by delicate leaf-shaped decorations in brass or a reusable house-shaped advent calendar, which you can customise by filling it up with little gifts and sweet treats.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.nkuku.com/pages/christmas-shop
Botanique Workshop – london store or online
Botanique Workshop is a store combining floristry with plants and handcrafted gifts, as dreamed up by founder Alice Howard. Set on Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market in the heart of London, the shop is a natural haven surrounded by plants out front, with a ceiling covered in hanging dried flower bunches and fresh flowers down below set against light wood. But if you can’t make it to central London, Botanique Workshop’s online store offers nation-wide delivery of its stunning bouquets or, more fitting for Christmas, its imposing wreaths.
And while you are welcome to order any of its classic ready-made Christmas wreaths, the store also offers a variety of DIY kits which allow you to get involved and make your own wreath yourself, with all the necessary components provided. In keeping with the natural floral theme, Botanique Workshop also makes stunning clear glass baubles filled with stems of dried flowers, making them last for years to come.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.botaniqueworkshop.com/collections/christmas
Tea + Kate – felixstowe store or online
We’re finishing on a high with Tea + Kate, a homeware and lifestyle concept store carefully curated by founder Kate Bradbury, based in the seaside town of Felixstowe in Suffolk. The concept is all about conscious living and consuming, investing into well-made beautiful products with good design and a story behind them, instead of throw-away things. That way, Kate has built up a unique list of brands, designers and makers whose products she stocks, often favouring a minimalistic aesthetic over wild and extravagant styles.
Looking at Tea + Kate’s Christmas selection, we are particularly drawn to minimalist porcelain baubles with hand-drawn black lines produced in small batches by Homefolk Ceramics, sculpture-like abstract tree ornaments by Forge Creative, made from wood off-cuts or white paper garlands with flag-shaped cut-outs by Atelier Sukha, crafted by women’s Fairtrade empowerment group in Nepal.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: www.teaandkate.co.uk/collections/christmas-2021