This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Kähler Design.
I’m never one for flamboyant displays or over-the-top interiors, so this year when it comes to festive decorations I’m wholeheartedly embracing a simple, Scandinavian-inspired Christmas. To me that means slowing down, retreating more and more into the home, creating a warm, cosy atmosphere and indulging in those little winter rituals, like lighting candles in the evening, cooking and baking, and having friends over for long, lazy suppers. It’s seeking a moment of calm in what can be a crazy busy time, when we’re all dashing around, frazzled as we approach the end of the year.
I’m always on the look out for alternative decoration ideas to traditional Christmas trees and classic displays – things that fit naturally and seamlessly with the look and feel of my home, without overpowering or oppressing it. So I’m delighted to be partnering with Kähler Design, Denmark’s oldest ceramic brand, to showcase some simple, understated objects that can be styled up for Christmas yet have an afterlife in the home beyond the festive season. Because it can sometimes seem a shame to keep beautiful designs hidden away and not get some enjoyment out of them everyday.
For those that are not familiar with Kähler Design, it has a 175-year history. Founded in 1839 by Holstein potter Herman J. Kähler, the first vases were turned in a small ceramics workshop in the city of Næstved on the island of Zealand in Denmark. The company really began to take off when his son, Herman A. Kähler, took over the workshop in 1875. It soon became a melting pot for the great Danish artists of the day, the likes of Thorvald Bindesbøll, Svend Hammershøi and Kai Nielsen, who were given complete freedom to experiment with designs and glazes. Now Kähler’s initials, HAK, are stamped on the bottom of all of the brand’s products.
Today Kähler, still based in Næstved, interprets its ceramic heritage in a contemporary way, collaborating with young talents and established designers such as the designer duo Stilleben. Each piece is handmade, hand-glazed where needed and carefully crafted – they’re objects to keep and cherish. As Kähler say:
‘Always of the highest quality, we aim to create playful yet timeless classics that people want to give a special place in their homes.
Timeless classics to be used not only for those special occasions but also in their everyday lives – in short, we design for life.’
Here I’ve styled objects from three of Kähler’s collections, from endearing miniature houses to delicately engraved vases. I hope these three stylings will give you some inspiration to get creative in your own home this Christmas.
Designed by Mette Bache and Barbara Bendix Becker, the Nobili range comprises a series of hand-decorated, ceramic candle holders. Inspired by the unique Nordic light – and ‘clear frosty nights in a winter forest, when the shadows dance and the stars glimmer in the soft, freshly fallen snow’ – they’re characterised by little perforations that when lit up, cast shadows and allow the objects to glow.
New additions to the range include these flecked with grey glaze. Stopping just short of the unglazed bottom of the cone, the glossy, textural glaze makes them look almost like snow-capped mountain peaks. Clustered together, on a coffee table or styled on a shelf, they take on a festive quality, bringing a sense of cosiness to cold, dark evenings. Happily, they also match perfectly with my grey walls and Persephone books!
The new Nobili decorations are available in three variations and start at £23.
Designed by the Stilleben duo, Jelena Schou Nordentoft and Ditte Reckweg, Omaggio is a mouth-blown glass range defined by thin, engraved lines. The collection comprises various sized vases, a round lantern with a leather handle and a deep bowl, all in plum, clear, steel blue (which you see here) and dusty green. The fluid shape of the design gives a contemporary feel, while delicate engravings add detail.
The smaller vessels can be used for candles and tea lights, while the larger vases are perfect for bigger floral displays. The coloured versions add a bit of decadence and element of luxury to a room. I’ve filled these with fragrant eucalyptus and white snow berries for an elegant take on festive foliage. You could also add some taller twigs with red berries for a more traditional look.
The Omaggio glass range starts at £29
And then we have my favourite, Urbania, one of Kähler’s most popular ranges, and I can see why. Designed again by Mette Bache and Barbara Bendix Becker, these super cute light houses feel very Scandinavian to me. Like the Nobili range they have window-shaped perforations, cut by hand, that create a soft, warm glow when a tea light is inserted inside these little homes.
As well as the classic pitched roof design, this year Kähler has also introduced a miniature version of an old New York warehouse from the 1920s, and a taller design inspired by modern architecture.
Here I’ve used them as a centrepiece for a festive dinner table setting. Together with sprigs of foliage, bottle brush tree decorations and a couple of small silver baubles, they transform into a magical, winter townscape that will amuse and delight any guest.
And it doesn’t take too long to put something like this together, it’s amazing what a bit of candlelight and attention to detail can do for a table display. Even if you just put a little piece of greenery on each person’s place setting, it can uplift something ordinary and make it feel festive.
Prices start from £16.50
So there we go, a calm, cosy Christmas without a piece of tinsel in sight. I’ve really taken inspiration from nature for these displays – as we spend more time at home in the colder months, it’s nice to bring a bit of the outside in. But more than just how something looks, I think it’s also important to consider how a space feels. These pieces by Kähler help bring a sense of warmth and light to uplift those darker days.
All images: Cate St Hill. Disclosure: These items were loaned for the purposes of the shoot. The beautiful foliage and flowers were provided by the lovely people at FlowerBe and were left over from another shoot at my house in the same week.