It’s December, which means it’s time for Ten’s The Living Room Christmas Challenge! This year stylist, author & designer Shannon Fricke took on The Living Room’s James Treble, and their challenge was to create two different looks using the same furniture pieces. We talked to Shannon and James to find out more about the looks they created, their creative DIY ideas, and how to make it all work together. Remember, if you love what you see you can shop the looks in our special The Living Room sale event! First up, Shannon Fricke.
I’d describe my Christmas look as: My look is recycled vintage with a touch of twinkling fairy lights. A little bit girly, a little bit magic with a touch of Scandi…
The key ingredients for this style are: Soft muted tones, layers upon layers and soft twinkling fairy lights.
Styling secret to get the look: Keep to a palette of only 3 colours and go for textured materials and patterns to create interest and depth in the space
What to avoid: Hmmm…perhaps traditional dark racing green and bright red. Too old-fashioned for me. Christmas is a time to let your inner creative free!
My favourite piece from the challenge was: My suspended twig light, strewn with fairy lights and flowers
Tell us more about it! Oh, well this is my favourite piece – it’s what I call a folly! It’s like a fairy grotto suspended from the ceiling. I can see Tinkerbell all dressed up in a floral ensemble – no really! I haven’t been drinking too much eggnog! Promise…
What cocktail I’d serve in this space: This look has a Scandi feel about it – I imagine snowflakes outside and the family cosying up inside – so I’d have to say mulled wine.
My playlist would include: Well, there would be dancing on that coffee table – so some Beyonce, Kanye perhaps some Jay Z and Iggy Izalea – moving onto Moby into the wee hours
Next up, we caught up with James Treble…
I’d describe my Christmas look as: Firstly, in case you don’t know, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I always have – the preparation, the spiritual nature of the religious celebration and the time of year for everyone to get together to celebrate no matter where you come from or who you are. My Christmas look this year was all about recycling but I especially played on decorating with print and the written word! So I’d call it “Celebrate and spread the word.”
The key ingredients to this style are: I would suggest keeping the palette simple and neutral which further expresses the natural and ‘back to basics’ nature of reusing and recycling. To keep my print theme, I used old newspapers as my wrapping, old books from the Salvos to make my fan tree decorations, and old Scrabble letters on jute string for my hanging decorations. My stockings are from old hessian bags, but well sewn with some glossy black ribbon for a bit of glam.
Styling secret to get the look: Keep the palette simple – just white, black and neutral – and add interest through texture and form with different shapes and silhouettes. I looked for simple patterns, natural finishes like timber, leather and metal, as well as ceramic hand painted vases and woven wicker accents
What to avoid: As everything was recycled and reused, it was important to retain a finished and refined look, allowing everything to look important and done with purpose. If you’re too free and loose it can end up looking like a pile of old rubbish!
My favourite piece in the challenge was: I am totally in love with the candlestick vignette in the fireplace. It worked perfectly in the room and candles are so special at any time of the year, but completely perfect for Christmas. I also love my Scrabble decorations – they came out even better than I had hoped and the simple power of words written on the tree evoke feelings and thoughts which are perfect for this time of reflection.
Tell us about the gift-wrap concept you created for the look: I have actually wrapped my presents in newspaper since I was about 16 years old. I did it first due to my tight budget as a teenager, and the realisation that everyone rips open the paper and throws it away. By adding beautiful ribbon or natural jute string, newspaper can take on a simple and very stylish look, and the gifts always stand out under the tree. I added to that idea this year by spraying old biscuit and chocolate tins. They are a great way to repurpose old tins which I also love and collect, and you can spray them whatever colours you’re working with this year
What cocktail I’d serve in this space: I’d recycle and oldie but a goodie and have a Daiquiri, the classic variety of Ernest Hemingway. Rum, lime juice and simple syrup shaken and served neat! Fresh and stylish, the perfect way to start preparing for the busy day ahead so Id start with one of these with Christmas breakfast! YUM!
My playlist would include: I love all of the ‘Chillout Sessions’ CDs and the will play them throughout the day But it is Christmas, so I have to have, Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, ‘Noël’ by Josh Groban, and a medley from the classic Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. And of course the amazing ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by Mariah Carey.
Create your own Christmas wonderland – shop the Living Room sale event today