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See inside the top 10 Christmas homes on Homes to Love

Article by Homes to Love

Every year we feature beautiful houses on Homes to Love, decorated in stunning Christmas style. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best to inspire you this December 

These 10 homes decorated for Christmas will inspire all the festive feels

We’ve had a look through our Christmas archives and found the top 10 houses filled with Christmas spirit. From nature-inspired to all-out colour, take a look at the festive homes below:

1. Fiona Hughes’ Whitford farmhouse

Christmas for Fiona Hughes is all about “the magic”; the finding, making, sharing and preparing that ultimately builds up the feeling of childhood excitement. She loves to create a natural (yet fantastical) setting for her Children, and she says, “it’s all in the details.”

In this Christmas set up she bought a blue-spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca’) tree for its Northern-Hemisphere style colour and branches, which are firm enough to hold some of my collection of abandoned birds’ nests that Fiona had collected over the years and filled with chocolates.

In Fiona’s opinion lights are the most important decoration. In the past years, she’s decorated with lights alone. She especially loves wire seed lights because they can be easily manoeuvred. “I always use warm white as I prefer the soft, golden candle-like glow,” she says.

2. Tamzyn Adding’s Riverhead home

Tamzyn Adding, founder & creative director of Miss Lolo lives in Riverhead with husband Ben Adding and children Poutu, 12, Caitlin and Nikita, 11, Cedar, 7, and Bowie, 5.

Tamzyn isn’t the only craftsperson in her house. She’s married to builder Ben who owns a construction company, so it’s no surprise that the pair are serial renovators. In fact, they are so used to moving and renovating that December 2017 marks the first time they will have spent two consecutive Christmases in the same home.

3. Vanessa Nouwens’ Auckland home

Preparing her home for the festive season has always come naturally to Vanessa Nouwens, an Auckland stylist and designer whose amazing styling and shopping talents help create many of Your Home and Garden’s beautiful photo shoots. Since she was young she’s had a passion for this time of year, and part of that enjoyment is bringing a home to life with a stylish theme.

“I have always loved Christmas,” she says. “As a child, we had the biggest box of festive decorations for our tree and home. I would spend hours adorning the house; I even had a small Christmas tree in my bedroom.”

This look was created to be more pared back and mirror her interior style. As my style has evolved, I’ve gone for less-is-more,” she says. “I’m very selective. I used to have all my bits and pieces that I loved on display. Now I’m picky. I’ve honed my style.” Elements of felt run throughout the revamp and Vanessa decided to tie this into her Christmas look. “In our new interior, we used a bit of grey felt on chairs, cushions and on the window seat so I decided I would extend the felt idea into our new Christmas theme. I’ve used felt for Christmas napkin rings and coasters for the dining table setting, as well as for decorations and tags for wrapping.

4. Gemma Yeoman’s Waiheke cottage

This modern cottage on Waiheke is owned by Gemma Yeoman, botanical stylist at Flora n Fauna and Greg Yeoman, director and designer at Stormwater360. Gemma has kept her Christmas styling pared-back and botanically influenced. She created a simple tree out of ruscus leaves, which stay green for a long time.

“I always have quite an alternative tree,” she says. Presents and decor have a natural, rustic look, with nothing being too “Christmassy”. This year they are camping with family up north for the holidays, but they look forward to hosting a Christmas at their newly renovated house soon.

Gemma suggests using what is around you and in your garden for Christmas styling. “Be creative with your Christmas tree and come up with new ways to display it each year,” she says. “A two-dimensional tree will free up more space in your home. Think of simple ways to wrap presents, such as using upcycled paper and ribbons or accenting with dried foliage.”

5. Virginie and Stephane Fontes’ apartment

Even without the additional shine of Christmas decorations, it is hard to imagine the home of Virginie and Stephane Fontes looking anything other than chic. But when the couple, originally from France, bought the two-bedroom apartment more than seven years ago, it was in a dire state. Virginie was keen to renovate and, with Christmas approaching, give it a festive look.

Virginie gravitates towards a French country style with industrial features. She has translated this idea into her Christmas decorations, too. Just as Virginie loves renovating homes – she’s keen to start another project – she enjoys pulling out her collection of Christmas decorations to create a festive atmosphere for their two sons, Lucas and Sacha.

As the couple’s families are back in France, there are some traditions that they are keen to maintain – namely eating foie gras and duck, as well as ‘bûche de Noël’ (Yule log) and delicacies from southwestern France, where they’re from. The decorations are all in keeping with Virginie’s French country aesthetic – lots of linen and natural materials. It’s about striking a balance between the best of two worlds.

6. Reuben and Fiona Lamont’s Remuera villa

For Fiona and Reuben Lamont, Christmas is a time for family, friends and traditions – following the old and creating the new. Fiona has attended a vigil mass on Christmas Eve with her family since she was a child. “It’s absolutely my favourite festive tradition,” she explains. “All the aunts and uncles, grandparents and grandchildren, great-aunts and cousins come together. It’s a wonderful way to start the celebration of Christmas.”

A more recent tradition is ‘Elf on the Shelf’. “Our elf, ‘Ralph’, comes to stay on 1 December, the day we put up our tree,” explains Fiona. “He moves around the house each night after his visit back to Santa to report on the children’s behaviour for the day,” says Fiona. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, ‘Elf on the Shelf’ is a delightful and magical way of encouraging good behaviour, although it’s not always potent enough to get excited children into bed on Christmas Eve.

7. Michael Duddin and Helen Riley-Duddin’s Oamaru villa

Michael Duddin and Helen Riley-Duddin, (designer and owner of Tinch and curator of Guild in Dunedin) live in a 100-year old Oamaru villa with children Jemima, 8, Rowan, 3, and Sylvie, 10 months. For Christmas decor, just like their interior decor, Helen chose a contemporary look to bring light and fun into the grand old homestead.

A white Christmas tree decorated with gold baubles and tassel garland bring the Christmas spirit inside and large gold Christmas paper star accompanied by gold baubles in the fireplace compliment the look.

8. Sharon Clarke’s Doubtless Bay container bach

This container-style bach in Doubtless Bay is owned by Sharon Clarke and was designed and built with her family in mind. For their holiday theme, they chose a bright and bold summery style with pops of orange and yellow throughout the decorations and furnishings.

The Clarkes enjoy the lead-up to Christmas Day and together they’ll sort through the large collection of Christmas decorations they have accrued over the years. “It’s always fun pulling them out and remembering which ones were your favourites when you were young and seeing those tatty, homemade ones you made in primary school that somehow still make it into the storage cupboard every year.”

Natural tones, lounge, living room, Christmas

9. Sandy Cubitt’s Dunedin villa

As an interior designer and owner of home and giftware institution Moi on George in Dunedin, Sandy Cubitt has her finger on the pulse when it comes to style, trends and design ideas. She has chosen a strong Scandinavian aesthetic for her villa. It’s no surprise, then, that Sandy’s minimalistic Nordic approach extends to the Christmas styling of her home.

The tree is pared back and simple with elegant ornaments, and the gift wrap on the presents beneath has been kept clean and uncomplicated to create a beautiful and effortless Scandinavian theme.

Christmas in the Cubitt household is exactly how the festive season should be, revolving around family, traditions, food and festivities. Sandy, whose love of Christmas is equal to her love of Scandinavian design, sets two dining tables (one inside, one in the courtyard) simply with elegant white candles and beautiful floral arrangements by local florist Carly Jones of Joseph Jones.

10. Alana Haysmith’s Family Epsom home

As one of seven kids, Alanna Haysmith knows there’s never enough room for the whole family to sit around the dining table on Christmas Day. Fortunately, her parents’ spectacular Epsom home is the perfect party pad. For the Christmas decorations, she put a spin on the traditional Christmas look and the result is what she calls a “tropical luxe” theme, full of playful elements. “That’s the thing with Christmas in New Zealand,” says Alanna. “You try to incorporate all these traditional elements and they don’t really work for our lifestyle. The property is a tropical paradise so we wanted to put a spin on the traditional Christmas look.”

Alanna chose glamorous golds, coppers and lush greens for the main living area. “Luxe doesn’t need to mean expensive,” she says. “We wanted to mix very high-end pieces with homemade or budget, store-bought items.” Rather than a traditional Christmas pine tree in the living area, Alanna was determined to use a native tawapou.

Inside, Alanna and Lisa chose glamorous golds, coppers and lush greens for the main living area, yet the decorations still feel whimsical. A large glass pineapple by artist Luke Jacomb provides the dining table centrepiece, offset by quirky flamingo motifs on the table runner and Christmas crackers, both made from wrapping paper. Japanese elements have been incorporated into the table setting, with oval plates and origami napkins. Recycled candle votives were used as vases.

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