All is Calm, All is Bright, All is Warm

This year, I decided to spend my Christmas between Copenhagen and Helsingborg for an original and authentic Hygge Christmas

Column by Marie Soliman

Throughout the past eight years of my life I have found myself working: running constantly from back to back meetings, building my business, conference calls, designing, painting, picking up my daughter from school, running to her ballet, horse riding classes, shopping for glamorous furniture and accessories for my clients, until we reached December then suddenly the Christmas buying panic begins. Just writing it all down makes me feel the festive stress already.

This year I decided no shopping, and no excessive gift buying. This year, the real gift is to just chill and relax, to laugh, play, walk and to write more. I will be buying just one good, meaningful Christmas present and I’ll be going to the city that invented Hygge. I decided instead of looking at things, I will look between things.

My decision to have a calm Christmas centred around my small family, friends and my very beloved one strolling around Copenhagen streets, drinking my favourite hot chocolate and Glögg at Strøget, could well be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

This year has been so good to me and I have rounded off the year by moving house and acquiring my dream studio to live and paint to my heart’s desire. The eight metre high ceiling which can accommodate the most enormous of canvasses is simply a dream come true.

Throughout this process, I learnt that moving house is an experience that generates more good than bad, from throwing away old items to having the strength to part with the ridiculous things that we accumulate over the course of our lives but actually only hold material value. I once read a wonderful quote which I now live by, “Be a ruthless editor of what you allow into your home. Ask yourselves, ‘What does this object mean to me?’” Nate Berkus

Home should be a warm, liveable place that is alive, a place to please the eye and sooth the senses in scale, curves, colour, pattern and textures. The design of our homes, workplaces and public spaces has been dominated in recent years by how they look, with insufficient attention to how they feel. When we Hygge, we focus on atmosphere and good materials to make changes to shift imbalance.

Always remember whether it’s a new house, or existing house, whether it’s Christmas time or any other time of the year, it is so important that you make your home feel alive, warm, natural and full of human touch, combined with comfortable, functional and timeless pieces of furniture and art. I think I wrote this in a previous column but I truly believe that art is so important in a home. Art and colours have saved my life on a regular basis, both financially and emotionally. Art helps your mind to relax and unwind.

One of my favourite galleries in London is The Interior’s House, where I go and seek inspiration from the art, furniture, light and beautiful craftsmanship. The gallery has a very helpful team offering a wonderful service, helping you make your dream house a reality.

This Christmas why not transform your house into a cosy wonderland using simple ideas and methods to transform the space. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Panels of vintage lace hung on windows look glamorous with the addition of perforated big brass stars of light. It helps filter the light and provide privacy
  • A large statement piece of furniture, such as a matt soft cotton velvet sofas and a cashmere throw on top
  • A few sets of candles from somewhere such as the White House Company
  • A sheep skin rug under the coffee table creates a nice textured feel
  • Pay attention to detail. Install subtle elegant light switches, door handles and drawer knobs. There is a very affordable range at SA Baxter, Trauva and Zara home; we use them every day and they really lift the appearance of the room.
  • Timeless elegance is all about the quality of life and not necessarily brand new expensive materials, so shop in both antique shops and on the high street when putting together a cosy look.

Things to be excited about this December…

  1. The glow of the first fire
  2. Cinema dates with popcorn
  3. Grey and taupe sheepskin rugs
  4. Christmas light
  5. Christmas tree smell
  6. Warm baths
  7. Handmade Christmas cards because you care
  8. Kiss more
  9. Cosy coats and cashmere scarves
  10. Glögg and marshmallows

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