Gone are the days of throwing tons of Christmas baubles and decorations into the cart and hoping for the best. These days it is all about choosing some new decorations wisely and taking care of them so they will last for years.
Christmas Gifts from Brown Thomas & Arnotts and seasonal buyer Claire Charlton says one of the themes this year is “Natural Glow,” which includes toffees and caramel tones. At Arnotts there is Willy Wonka–A trend inspired by candy canes and oversized candies.
The return to nostalgic and traditional themes this year, Charlton says, ties in well with the memories people create at Christmas.
There’s also a natural trend for 2022 that’s “all about textures and beautiful neutrals that blend with current home decor trends.”
Søstrene Grene is always an interesting and affordable place to pick up Christmas decorations. This Christmas, says Christina Kierkegaard, the brand’s chief design officer, it means classic colors and nostalgic motifs combined with calm Nordic vibes and botanical designs.
“To add a dash of something new, we worked with three trends,” she says. “This includes patchwork textiles where small patterns are mixed in different colours, creating a homey feel and homemade look. We also worked with elements like stars, mistletoe and other Christmas ornaments where the details are formed by small, shiny beads that give it a shimmering look.”
The brand has also tapped into the trend for everything homemade, Kierkegaard says, with a range of handmade delicate glass ornaments as well as mouth-blown glass Christmas tree ornaments.
In contrast, the Oriana B independent store team chose to focus on bright pink. “With the world filled with what seems like a constant stream of bad news, this Christmas we’re opting for joy in the form of bright, colorful décor with a fun side of humour,” says Creative Director Alannah Monks.
Oriana B looked into the world of fashion and found inspiration in the blush pink of Valentino’s AW22 collection. “We chose to lead with a pink motif punctuated with pink ribbon, teal nods and white paper stars,” Monks says.
At Meadows and Byrne, retail manager Helen O’Dwyer says their themes this year include Midnight Ice – a dramatic adult look in dark green, black, pewter and aged gold.. “Natural theme – Nordic Noel – featuring winter green and off-white tones “. Elsewhere, you’ll find Christmas Glory featuring classic Christmas colors of dark red and gold and a whimsical popular theme – Holiday Folk – featuring bright red, vivid green and white.
At Kilkenny Design, senior buyer Laura Pasquetti says this year’s decorating is “a story of two halves”: “We see two themes dominating the seasonal style stakes. The first is traditional Christmas with gorgeous reds and greens throughout. Bursts of pale gold offer a sense of luxury while Red and white candy canes anchor the traditional look of Christmas.”
The second Kilkenny trend is what Basquitti calls Blush Blush. “This trend sees a dusty pink or blush color across everything from ornaments to wreaths and table settings, mixing it with muted greens and silvery tones.”
When it comes to entertaining, Maria Reidy, founder of Maria Reidy Events and Signature Editions, knows a thing or two. “My approach to dining tables this year is simple, modern, and classic,” says Reidy.
“I’ve designed more muted tablescapes than before with a real nod to Nordic inspiration. Decor-wise, a simple, handmade garland or garland is the approach I take—with gorgeous glass ornaments, Irish linen tablecloths, and cutlery that can be used all year round.” And of course, lots and lots of candles.”
“For me, Christmas is about the people I’m with and sitting around a table enjoying great food,” Reddy continues. “I like a table to be warm and inviting, but I also like the experience to be stress-free, so my advice this year is to be organized and plan ahead but also to keep your décor and food simple. Adding tall taper candles will elevate any table.”
Tara O’Connor of The Designed Table always encourages people to mix and match the old with the new and embrace their personal style. This season, she chose table linens in festive hues of red, green, navy, white and gold — all complemented by eye-catching accessories in metallics, jewel tones and lacquered wood.
Again, shades of pink can be found here with O’Connor’s beaded floral tablecloths.
For those who want to elevate existing napkins, why not update them with O’Connor napkin rings in a choice of pearls, velvet bows, golden reindeer, or wooden robins?
When it comes to Christmas decorating, why not make your own ornaments out of old magazines or opt for a potted Christmas tree from Colm’s at Christmastree.ie in Mahon, Co Cork?
Many independent stores across the country stock homemade decorations and eco-friendly Irish candles made from ecological beeswax or soybeans. Some of our favorites include Brookfield Farm’s natural beeswax candles and those made by residents of the Dunshane Camphill Community at We Make Good, where you’ll find plenty of great Christmas gifts made by socially challenged people.
To fill your home with the scent of Christmas, why not choose a FieldDay Winter Candle or a Fir Candle? The brand includes a labeled topper with every candle and also donates to the Ulster Wildlife charity. Bearded candle makers make their candles using kosher certified soy wax that is sustainably sourced in america. With evocative names like Midnight Mass and Christmas in a Tin, their candles also make great gifts.
At Irish Design Shop, owners Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey prepare for the busiest time of the year. They have lovely Irish motifs such as Crochet Delights by Anna Ahearn, ceramic pots by karoArt and wooden animals by Cork-based Pat Murphy.
“We believe that buying beautiful, homemade ornaments gives our customers a feel-good factor because they are supporting local businesses. Knowing that someone made that ornament with love and hand gives it extra meaning,” says Grennan. “Many customers buy ornaments to give to friends and family. It has become almost a tradition for some. In addition, our customers often want unique decorations that can’t be found anywhere else or made in small batches.”