A FESTIVE INTERIOR: Furnished by Anna Interview
Christmas… just because it’s time to decorate your house with tinsel and trees, it doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable with it. We spoke to Anna Ward of Furnished by Anna to find out what she thinks of decorating for the festive period.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Stunning designs that are liveable – we design homes that you can’t wait to get back to, don’t feel uncomfortable about kicking back in and want to invite all your friends and family over to. Comfortable, colourful with loads of personality and a little bit of an edge.
What is your background?
I studied with a working interior design practice in Bath before setting up the company nine years ago, and I’ve been designing and renovating ever since. I have worked on all manner of projects – from new builds to 15th-century farmhouses – and I love the different briefs, wish lists and wants each home and client bring. I’ve always been creative and had a huge passion for interiors as long as I can remember; my Christmas presents were craft kits, fabrics, sewing and knitting machines and I remember taking up curtains and making cushions when I was young!
What has been your favourite design to date?
I can honestly say I’ve loved every client project I’ve worked on. Every one has its own exciting design elements – from a fantastic sofa, or colours and fabrics, beautiful cabinetry or scouring salvage fairs to upcycle furniture with history; every single design I produce I really do love and get super enthusiastic about! It really is too hard to pick a favourite.
Alongside this, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to refurbish my own home and I love it as we’ve really been able to put our own stamp on it. We bought an old Victorian house and ended up taking down every single wall to redesign the space for a layout that would work for us, mixing modern and old styles together to create the interiors. It’s been a labour of love for us both for a good few years, with my husband spending many weekends doing carpentry and building things, and it’s just getting to a stage where we’re able to relax and enjoy it!
Christmas… how many colours should you have on your tree?
I love colour and Christmas is a time to be brave and make a statement. Personally I love a huge mix of colours for Christmas – with neons, and bright pops of oranges and purples working with any interior scheme and beautiful white fairy lights. Blues are beautiful for Christmas – deep rich blues look stunning and warm. There’s nothing better than a Christmas tree to really sum up your Christmas spirit – just go for it and make it yours!
Are green (fake) trees the way to go? Or are other colours more on trend?
Green trees are a real Christmas staple and you can do whatever you want to them, making them as traditional or modern as you’d like. I love a real Christmas tree – the texture, smell and fact that their shape is not always perfect is just unbeatable and evokes so many Christmassy memories. That said, faux is having a real moment and the quality of the faux trees are really great. Scandi minimalist trees can be stunning in their simplicity. Habitat always have a great range of quite minimal trees that are perfect for when space is slightly limited. I’ve also been known to decorate a huge twig as my Christmas tree – which gained mixed reviews – but it did look fab!
Speaking of on-trend colours, should we be using red and green for our other decorations, or is there another way to go?
I don’t believe there’s a right and wrong to Christmas colours, but whatever you choose, follow it through! Jewel colours like emerald and amethyst look incredibly opulent and elegant, with crystals and coloured glass looking just stunning for a deeper take on a Christmas feel. Red and white is classically beautiful for creating almost a chalet-style look, which you can accessories with sheepskins, and hook in to the hygge trend for super warm and cosy interiors. Metallic copper, gold and silvers, are all stunning for really adding a wow factor to Christmas, and when combined with colours, these can look absolutely incredible.
And it’s not just down to changing colour to achieve a great look – you stick to a very limited colour palette but add tones of interest through different textures and shapes – whether these are shaped baubles, hanging paper decorations or garlands.
Is it possible to be too Christmassy when it comes to decorating the house?
As long as there are key focal points then no, I don’t believe there is such a thing as too Christmassy! For example if you have a fantastic staircase you can pack decorations up the sides but then go sparingly elsewhere to make the staircase really stand out. Likewise, integrate the Christmas tree into the corner of the room by decorating the wall behind it and the ceiling above as well as the tree to make a stunning Christmas corner and a real focal point of your celebrations.
What other ideas can you suggest for Christmas interior décor?
Christmas decorations don’t have to be restricted to baubles and tinsel. Add in foliage to vases instead of cut flowers for a really gorgeous wintery look and piles of nuts and sweets in glass pots are easy ways of mixing decorating and entertaining! Scented candles can go a long way to evoking a Christmas feel, with smoked scents recreating the smell of a real wintery wood fire. The bar cart is having a real revival so you can stock up on Christmas tipples to create your own festive drinks tray, and work this in to your Christmas décor.
And conversely, decorations aren’t just for Christmas. Sheepskins can be added to sofas to bring plenty of snuggliness that’s perfect when hunkering down to watch a Christmas movie, and you can use disco balls, marquee lights, fairy lights on your tree and then move them to a decorate bookshelves once Christmas is over!