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  • Inspirations

    Univers :  Christmas and Holidays

    Christmas and its decorations.
    Christmas remains a traditional festival, and its symbols are so rich that they can be endlessly interpreted. We may vary on the symbols or the colors of Christmas, but we won't abolish them. Natural, artificial, or stylized, the Christmas tree remains the Christmas tree. The same goes for the nativity scene and for Christmas decorations, symbols of renewal. Originally, apples were hung on the tree: these apples have become artificial ornaments. The holly, green and red, adorned the mantelpieces and festive tables: it too has been replaced by garlands. From these origins comes the opposition of the symbolic green and red of Christmas. Traditions intertwine: the Christian celebration commemorating the birth of the Baby Jesus, Saint Nicholas, which was, for a long time, in the entire northern Europe, the time for gift-giving, and the character of Santa Claus, created in the United States from the figure of Saint Nicholas in the first half of the 19th century, gradually adopted by Europe and the entire world.

    If the excesses of flashy Christmas are definitively over, four major trends are emerging currently: a return to traditional decorations and vintage-style accessories; a taste for decorations made from natural materials; a baroque style that multiplies wings, angels, and gilding; and finally, stylized forms that reduce traditional motifs to essentials. It is also noteworthy that Christmas decoration is no longer limited to the tree or nativity scene but is a themed decoration dominating and spreading from the fireplace trim to the festive table: the decorative ornaments hang everywhere, on windows, walls, and decorations are placed on window sills and tables. This recreates the atmosphere of an enchanted forest, that of an old-fashioned Christmas with its wooden toys and Nutcracker, that of a white Christmas dominated by snow, hoarfrost, and angels.

    Traditional Decorations.
    For the most traditional Christmas tree decorations, the colors remain green and red, the shapes are those of the apple, the heart, the reindeer, the Santa Claus's sack or the Christmas stocking, of the teddy bear, or the Nutcracker: wooden ornaments, following the tradition of Germany or Eastern countries. The trend also includes decorations from Alsace: the "Arts et Traditions d'Alsace" house reissues old-fashioned decorations, fabric hearts of kelsch, and colorful wooden subjects. The table garlands or Advent wreaths will be adorned with apples, holly, red fruits, berries, and red and green satin bows, while the tablecloths play with white, green, and red, showing borders of Christmas roses, reindeer, holly, or pine cones. The trend also includes the reissue of old-fashioned glass mercury balls, cross-stitched or inspired by old patchworks, and vintage Santa Clauses, derived from the early American representations. Traditions are spreading today from one country to another, and although one is not originally from a particular region, one can decide to celebrate Russian, Alsatian, or Provencal Christmas. For a Provencal Christmas, one will adopt the thirteen desserts, Provencal tablecloths or boutis, the nativity scene, and its famous santons.

    A Very Natural Christmas.
    The other trend is for a natural and refined decoration, inspired by Scandinavia: decorations of woven straw Christmas trees, driftwood wreaths or pinecone wreaths, birch bark balls, wire stars, tree decorations that reflect nature: bird, cage, bundle of wood, pine cone. Witness, the bird from "Maisons du Monde" reissued every year: with its body made of cotton and its feathers made of twigs, it is all grace and fragility. Advent wreaths will be reduced to their simplest expression: branches of driftwood, fir, boxwood, or olive, while the reconstituted tree may consist only of twigs or pieces of wood preventing any decorative overload. As for the nativity scene figures, distant from any anecdote, they can be represented by stylized silhouettes in cardboard, terracotta, or cut wood.

    Major White Symphony.
    Still in the sense of simplicity, white continues to dominate. A major white symphony with birds, angels, feathers, snowflakes, and frost flowers. The trend is for white Christmas balls, playing with all soft materials to recreate snow and frost, faux fur, felt, and feathers. People also like flowers, white roses, or hellebores that decorate wreaths and garlands. Long feather boas, angel hair, rhinestone stars, or glass pendants complete the airy and refined look of the tree, and Santa Claus himself is adorned with a pristine coat. For the table, a white tablecloth with old-fashioned pleats and enhanced with a touch of gold will be perfectly elegant.

    People also love a certain baroque style because Christmas is the festival of light and abundance. Gold, glass, and crystal are found on tablecloths, plates, and Christmas tree decorations, where pendants and sequins are hung. Candelabras will be multiplied on the tables, large silver Christmas candlesticks or chandeliers will be lit. The queen figure of this baroque style is that of the musical angel: inspired by Quattrocento paintings or 17th-century cribs, carved wood or plaster, it takes flight or announces the Good News by sounding the trumpet. The nativity scene, too, must be opulent, inspired by Italian cribs, with characters dressed in flowing draperies.

    Modern Variations on Christmas.
    As mentioned, symbols are not abolished
    Royal Copenhagen VILLEROY & BOCH Nathalie Requin Un Esprit En Plus Options Smythson Graham & Green

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    Yiannis Ghikas
    Designer Creator
    Alexandra Bennaim
    International Public Relations
    Philippe Demougeot
    Interior Designer
    Emmanuelle Morice
    Decoration Editor

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