Set the holiday mood with seasonal décor and merry gatherings


Changing up home décor with the seasons is a wonderful way to celebrate each one, perhaps none more festive that the winter holidays.

Joanna Buchanan, designer of an eponymous line of luxe home décor and accessories, creates each of her items with the seasons in mind – Christmastime being a favorite.

“I adore the sparkle and shine that comes with the holidays,” Ms. Buchanan said. “The decorating is as fun as walking around the house with a cup of tea and admiring all your hard work.”

Seasonal shine

Inspired by both her global travels and garden at home, Ms. Buchanan’s tabletop décor, bar accessories such as wine charms, cocktails picks and swizzle sticks, and party-perfect napkin rings and place card holders follow the seasons.

“I love to take inspiration from nature, and those seasons are ever-changing, so I feel our decor should also change seasonally,” she said. “Our homes are our sanctuaries and to refresh our spaces in sync with nature seems totally logical.”

From pastel stone objets to tropical beaded placemats, glittering gemstone bugs and butterflies to frosty snowflake tree ornaments, there is a Joanna Buchanan piece to suit every time of year.

“It’s also fun to be inspired and tell a story – set a mood through your seasonal décor,” Ms. Buchanan said.

Setting a celebratory holiday mood is no exception, something that Ms. Buchanan has enjoyed since childhood thanks to her mother’s love of Christmas decorating and her family’s beloved ornament stash.

“It was such a ritual every year bringing down the ornaments from the attic,” she said. “These were pieces my grandmother and great grandmother had collected whilst traveling in Europe so there was always a story to every piece.”

Now, Ms. Buchanan is creating future heirlooms with her own holiday collections of ornaments and décor.

In addition to adding a few new holiday items to her home each year, she loves using paperwhite flowers and greenery to add a wintry scent to every room.

“I like to create multiple moments around the house so that almost everywhere you look there’s a reminder of the holiday,” Ms. Buchanan said. “I love waking up on a cold, dark morning, lighting all the fairy lights and just enjoying the magic.”

Sparkling soirées

Part of the holiday magic for many includes throwing the perfect holiday bash.

“I like hosting really close to Christmas,” Ms. Buchanan said. “Everyone is really in the mood and it’s exciting to get together before people go away.”

To keep things fun and stress-free for everyone, Ms. Buchanan likes to hold an open house with adults and kids coming and going as they please. A buffet table with cold items allows guests to graze as they come and go without worry about when they will eat.

“I also feel a fabulous bar area is something really important for a party,” Ms. Buchanan said.

“I like to use a lot of colored liquors [which are] almost as important as the taste, vintage silver ice buckets, sun cocktail picks and swizzle sticks and I always have some fresh flowers for a flash of color,” she said.

“And, of course, our stripey bee cocktail shaker set needs to be on permanent standby so anyone can decide to whip up a cocktail if they want.”

Non-alcoholic options for non-drinkers and kids, plus Champagne are also necessities for a real celebration.

Glowing candlelight and Christmas carols add to the atmosphere. Of course, guests must leave with the perfect holiday party favor.

“I like to give everyone a dazzling Christmas ornament when they leave, in memory of a good time,” Ms. Buchanan said.