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The Alternative Blog

With the countdown to Christmas, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking to dress up our homes with some Christmas decor and festive cheer. We asked a few of our Alternative friends what’s on their Christmas wishlist and any to share any holiday traditions.

Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell @paddy_od_1

We stepped inside the stunning Worcestershire home of Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball’s esteemed Brand Ambassador. It was wonderful to discover how he decorates and his magical colour choices. It was great to see how Alternative’s natural floorings seamlessly complemented his curated interior schemes.

What is your favourite part of the festive season?

Stuffing (always with apricots, pistachios and loads of lemon zest to cut through the richness) and bread sauce- so many delicious things we tend to eat at this time of year but I do love the whole cooking aspect and the conviviality of it all- our social diary gets quite busy in December, visiting friends for lunch, drinks parties etc and it’s always quite full on at Christmas re family as my sister has her birthday on Christmas Eve and my mother’s on Boxing Day so 3 days of celebrating.

Do you have any Christmas traditions (unconventional or not)?

Boxing Day walk to clear the cobwebs (and escape the cloy of central heating) and buying a new decoration for the tree – this year we have a glorious brass holly leaf from Jess Wheeler but have bought decorations every year as used to travel a lot in November and December for Farrow & Ball so have baubles from Milan, Kiev, NYC, Stockholm etc so every new addition has a memory attached.

Quite a collection!

What are your plans for this year’s Christmas decor?

My 1st foray into tinsel this year but it’s beautifully understated eco tinsel made from paper and glorious colours. Pots of narcissi Paperwhites everywhere and as it’s my mother’s 90th birthday we’re dressing everything, even the ceilings are going to get gloriously bright large paper balls and bells from Re Found Objects.

Are there any key pieces are you lusting after for Christmas?

Volga Linen pillowcases please & beautiful slipware ceramics by Patia Davis from Tinsmiths.

Thank you for using our Sisal Herringbone Herne flooring so beautifully.

Melissa Warnock

Melissa Warnock @honeybeeandhollie with our Wool Milkshake Raspberry carpet.

We chatted with Melissa Warnock aka @honeybeeandhollie about her recent upstairs renovation and her flooring choice – our Wool Milkshake Raspberry carpet. Her unique style and love for florals, colour, pattern, and wallpaper have made her a true inspiration in the world of DIY.  Melissa shared her top decorating tips and inspirations behind her schemes.

What is your favourite part of the festive season?

I enjoy the build up to Christmas the most. I love the Christmas vibes when out shopping or going for coffee or a bite to eat with friends. I love the Christmas school concerts and the Carol services and all the events that promote community and bring loved ones together. I think it is a very special time.

Do you have any Christmas traditions (unconventional or not)? 

Every year Santa wraps the door from the hall into the living room. My children sit eagerly at the top of the stairs waiting to rush down and burst through the paper. We capture this on camera each year and we always note how the children have grown and my decor keeps changing.

 What are your plans for this year’s Christmas decor? 

I think I am going to go floral this year with my Christmas decor. I’m excited to be able to dress my stairs this year as I have decorated this space over the last year and I cannot wait to add some Christmas cheer.

 Are there any key pieces are you lusting after for Christmas? 

We can see why Melissa loves Projekt I Tyyny.

I have been lusting after gorgeous striped bows and stockings from one of my favourite companies Projekt I Tyyny.

Christina Horspool

Christina Horspool @houseofhorspool

Being a part of the House of Horspool’s stunning Aberdeenshire renovation journey has been a real pleasure for Alternative. Manar House is a true gem, and it’s exciting to see such a historic property being brought back to its full glory. We’re thrilled to have provided the perfect flooring for this grand Georgian home. We can’t wait to see what exciting projects Christina and her family undertake next – be sure to check out @houseofhorspool on Instagram for more inspiration.

What is your favourite part of the festive season?

The build up is always wonderful with the girls they love decorating the tree, making and writing cards and sending their letters to Santa. So really it is simply spending quality time with friends and family.

The beautiful sweeping staircase at Manar House with Alternative’s Iconic Herringbone Newman carpet with Cotton Herringbone Border in thistle.

Do you have any Christmas traditions (unconventional or not)?

We love to have a little family pyjama party on Christmas Eve with party food, Christmas songs and dancing. The girls’ grandmas both love creating Christmas Eve boxes for the girls so they have a little present to open too – normally new pyjamas/ slippers/ hot chocolate and a Christmas reading book. On Christmas Day we love to get out for a walk in the forest and then relax with a traditional Christmas Lunch then it’s very much time for Christmas games and movies!

What are your plans for this year’s Christmas decor?

We are very lucky to have a lot of holly and foliage this year in the grounds so I’m planning to keep it pretty simple and sustainable. To mostly use what we have and simply add bits from the garden.

There are abundant opportunities to discover beautiful natural elements for Christmas decorations in this garden.

Are there any key pieces are you lusting after for Christmas?

A renovated kitchen! This will be our third Christmas at Manar and although the current kitchen has done well it really is in desperate need of renovating… so I’m looking forward to planning, designing and executing the Kitchen! Otherwise, I’d be absolutely lusting after the Ganni Barbour coat … practical but chic is how I’ve described it to Dean and it would last forever, perfect for the cold winter dog walks!

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The Edit - home style by Alternative