Tips for the holidays

Forgive the late post, I had dinner last night with Heston Blumenthal in the private dining room at the Ten Bells with a bunch of fabulous people and it was a bit of late one.  Two coffee's later and a ton of orange juice and I'm beginning to feel slowly alive again. In January lots of exciting Heston news to tell but that's for January lets concentrate on today. One week to go until Christmas, until yesterday the house was adorned with trees and foliage on mantles and fairly lights everywhere for the master classes so I have been leaving and breathing Christmas since early November it feels. Then yesterday a film crew came round and needed everything gone so here I sit in my studio and it feels a little bare. The worst thing my schedule is so insane next week that I'm not actually going to put any of it back, which is a little strange i know. Enough about my strange world  everyone else is decorating and getting excited about the holidays so I wanted to show you a couple of inspirational tips for the holiday. First up and the most fabulous is this lovely idea for the dining table - simple as anything all you need are bottles and taper candles. The bottles can be the same height or different but if they are the same the trick is to vary the height of the tapers so you get a lovely rhythm going on. Just like in a room the more you play around with height the more interesting the space becomes. Next up a very simple flower idea - works for any flower parrot tulips are shown here, as they are quite textural - in a straight line down the table. If you house them in t-light holders instead of vases you need less flowers and the effect is just as good. Fairly lights (am obsessed with the things) add instant glamour to a space I've draped over mirrors, apples crates, mantles and so forth. When the light drops they add an almost magical note with their glittering shimmering light. Below is the home of my friends Graham and Jo Atkins Hughes (Graham shot the image) and you can see how it totally and utterly ups the style ratings. Happy weekend, mine is work based and not so relaxing but I'm on the countdown to Christmas Eve when I stop for two days - cannot wait!

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