This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Homesense.
I’m really excited to be teaming up with home store Homesense again to show you how I’ll be creating a minimal, monochrome Christmas for less at home this festive season. From easy decoration tricks to smart wrapping ideas to effortless entertaining, for me it’s all about keeping things simple, affordable and stress-free, so you can really enjoy those little, indulgent moments with friends and family to the full.
Homesense, part of the TK Maxx family, used to be my hidden little secret when it came to Christmas presents. It’s like TK Maxx’s homeware department but 10x the size, with bargains and unique finds at up to 60% off. You won’t find cheap tat though – poke around and you’ll discover little gems – quality pieces such as cashmere socks and scarves, designer scented candles, merino wool blankets, crystal glasses and gourmet delights.
I love that you can go to one place, often out of town, find everything for all your gifting and decoration needs, then smugly sit back at home with your feet up safe in the knowledge that you won’t be needing to battle the Christmas shopping crowd on the High Street again (I shudder when I think of Oxford Street in December time). Now that a Homesense has opened near to me in Merton, south London, it’s even easier to tick off my Christmas list nice and early.
Voucher in hand, Homesense tasked me with buying gifts for some of my closest friends and family as well as decorating my home. There were so many lovely things that caught my eye at the Merton store – you could easily while away a couple of hours in there – but once I spotted this graphic, black and white, Christmas tree paper (part of a set of 4, £6.99), I knew exactly the theme I wanted to go for this year – minimal and monochrome.
I want my Christmas decorations to fit with the look and style of my home, so things feel natural, not cluttered or out of place. The round circle garlands (set of 8, £9.99) in pale beige and white tie in with the neutral colours of the sofa, while a hint of silver adds a bit of sparkle. And the good thing about these is that they can be reused for other parties and festivities beyond Christmas.
Around this time of year, I always like filling my home with greenery – bulbs of Narcissus and fragrant hyacinths, bunches of eucalyptus and sprigs of festive foliage. The scent is wonderful. I’ve wrapped these Narcissus plants in the Christmas tree wrapping paper with twine – a really simple trick to jazz up a boring, old plant pot. They’d make lovely gifts too if you were going to friends or family or a party over the festive season and wanted to give a token of your appreciation – much more thoughtful than a bottle.
I love to stock up on candles while I’m in Homesense so treated myself to these two designs, beautifully packaged in black and white boxes. The White Pine one (£5.99) is filling the house with its Christmas scent and getting me in the festive mood. Too good to giveaway to someone else!
I’ve also decked out the bar cart with greenery in a simple, Scandinavian take on Christmas. Instead of a traditional tree taking up a corner of the room, I’ve arranged some branches of foliage in a tall vase and dressed with little striped baubles – that I was so pleased to find as you’ll probably know, I’m obsessed with stripes (pack of 10 for £5.99). It’s so quick and easy to pull together, and a fraction of the price! Plus, it’s conveniently out of reach from puppy jaws and paws 🙂
It still looks the part, especially with a little drinks tray, complete with champagne flutes (set of 6, £16.99) and some golden chocolates for guests to help themselves to.
The monochrome theme really comes together with my Christmas wrapping – black and white paper parcels tied with rich, black velvet ribbon (£2.49) and finished with star gift tags (set of 4, £1.99). Simple and smart with a little luxurious touch.
In terms of gifting, I picked up lots of indulgent treats for my Mum, from cashmere socks made in Scotland and a soft scarf to scented, hand-poured candles and a 2018 diary. And yes they’re all grey! Simple things like arranging items in a cardboard gift box – Homesense have plenty to choose from – or adding a layer of crunchy tissue paper, make the opening experience that little bit more special.
My fiancé Olivier has been recently getting into cooking so I found this huge, gorgeous Nordic cookbook (£19.99) by Magnus Nilsson, head chef at the two Michelin star restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. As a Scandi wannabe, this is as much a present for him as it is for me! Along with scenic imagery of the Scandinavian landscape, there’s a whopping 700 authentic Nordic recipes suitable for home cooking. Beautiful illustrations also provide a fascinating glimpse into culinary traditions, Nordic ingredients and cooking techniques. A really special find.
I also added a couple of little extras to my shopping basket to complement the cookbook – a wooden chopping board (£12.99, can never have enough) and some tasty truffle treats to cook with. I’d be pretty happy with that!
When it comes to festive entertaining there has to be bubbles. Champagne flutes at the ready and a simple yet show stopping Panettone (£7.99) topped with a black star decoration beats any Christmas pud in my book. Add a dash of sparkle with a jingly bell garland (£7.99) and some flickering candlelight and the mood is set. A couple of mince pies and a few presents and we’re ready for guests!
So that’s how I do Christmas – uplifting simple moments together with a few special, considered details and a bit of love and care, so we can relax, enjoy and have an extraordinary Christmas for less. I’ve listed all the items I’ve used below, but as each store receives new deliveries and stock changes every week you better be quick, I know I’ll be dashing back for more of that monochrome wrapping paper!
Featured gifted items from Homesense:
Striped and spotty black and white baubles, set of 10, £5.99
Paper garlands, set of 8, £9.99
Monochrome wrapping paper, set of 4 with ribbons (not seen) £6.99
Black velvet ribbon, £2.49
Black star gift tags, set of 4, £1.99
Black willow blossom and eucalyptus candle, £4.99
White pine scented candle, £5.99
Champagne flutes, set of 6, £16.99
Gold chocolate balls, £3.49
Grey cashmere scarf, £12.99, RRP £26.00
2018 diary, £3.49
Cashmere socks, £19.99
Cedar wood and clove tin candle, £5.99
Small candle in gift box, £2.99
Silver bell garland, £7.99
The Nordic Cook Book, £19.99, RRP £29.95
Wooden chopping board, £12.99
White truffle balsamic vinegar, £3.99, RRP £7.95
Black truffles, £4.99, RRP £8.49
Find your nearest Homesense store here.