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linen sheets The magical Kiwi Christmas in a Whitford farmhouse sofa pillow covers
Views: 137 Updated: :2019-09-23

Fiona Hugues creates a magical Kiwi Christmas at her Whitford farmhouse, surrounded by family, friends, and a collection of loveable animals.

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Christmas for me is all about the magic. The finding, making, sharing and preparation that ultimately builds up to that feeling of childhood excitement that is anticipated months ahead. I cherish those feelings as, sadly, it fades as you grow older.

I love to create a natural and fantastical setting for my children and it’s the little details that help keep that magic alive.

My business partner, photographer Jani Shepherdlinen sheets, and I strive to portray this magic in the parties, food and editorials we create together. Jani and I discovered we share the same memories of Christmas – a sleepless night, bubbling with excitement, sneaking a squeeze and a peek at presents under the tree, little stomachs full of butterflies knowing Santa was on his way.

Foraged and found objects feature strongly in our work together, and in how I style my design projects and home. Nature is an incredible designer – why not celebrate with her?

This year I wanted a traditional tree in soft green-grey to suit my colour theme, so bought a gorgeous blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca’). Its Northern-Hemisphere-Christmas-style branches are firm enough to hold some of my collection of abandoned birds’ nests that I’ve filled with chocolates.

I think lights are the most important decoration. In past years I’ve decorated with lights alone. The new wire seed lights are fantastic – you can easily manoeuvre them – I always use warm white as I prefer the soft, golden candle-like glow.


Fiona’s son Vincent, 5, with his friend Alice, 3, check out the tree. Fiona made cookie-cutter ceramic stars out of clay and fired them in shades of blue. Some of her kina collection is tucked into the branches, as are some birds’ nests filled with chocolates. “I prefer to keep my decorations simple to let the tree itself shine,” says Fiona.





Create a New Zealand Christmas table with an elegant French twist with colours typical of a Kiwi summer – sandy parched browns, hessian ecrus and soft sea blues accentuated with vintage gold and warm candles to add a touch of Parisian glamour.


Use mixed up collections of vintage tableware or cutlery and let that lead the way for your table setting – so many gorgeous family heirlooms are left in the back of cupboards unused. Get them out to celebrate again and add a few new small bowls or serving plates, napkins and flowers in a complementary colour tone.




Buy inexpensive white side plates and paint seasonal words on them in gold glaze. Each guest will get one to take home as a keepsake.



Magic Reindeer Food Recipe: Mix together wild bird seed, tiny edible silver cachous (sugar pearls) and some 100s &; 1000s or cake sprinkles.



Create a Christmas keepsake with miniature bottles filled with glitter and found objects like manuka sprigs, tiny feathers and dried flowers – tie a string around the bottleneck and hang from parcels.


Make an advent calendar with 25 inexpensive, small craft boxes from a $2 store. Paint numbers on the lidsand put a small treat inside each box.


Keep an array of edible gifts on hand, packaged and ready to go – like homemade vinaigrettes to take to the beach, fruit cordials and plenty of sweet treats. It’s easy to get caught with someone unexpected dropping off a gift – be prepared with something homemade to give to them in return.


Create a ‘box of whimsy’ for friends or family, filled with bits and bobs, ribbons and handmade things you’ve collected and found throughout the year. They can use it to decorate their own gifts.









Pictured from left is Vincent, 5, Maude, 10, with Rosebud the rescued miniature pony, Fiona with Whinny, Flora, 14, with Maude’s riding pony Bosco and in the foreground, their Pekin laying ducks Ethel and Olive.



Gather pretty?blooms, cuttings and fruit to adorn the Christmas table. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find outside?your door.


Words by: Fiona HuguesPhotography by: Jani Shepherd from Gatherum Collectif, gatherumcollectif.comConcept and styling by: Fiona Hugues

This week’s trip to?the?dollar store was well worth it as it sparked an idea to make a simple mini sand art bottle necklace!

I’ve been asked so many times if LinenMe bed linen, table linen, towels could be used in hospitality sector. The answer is yes. We all know Linen is not an easy fabric to take care of, but if you do it with love, no problem and?the luxury and experience ?it brings to the ?room can’t be matched by any other fabric. Still I must admit not many of my customers were convinced and didn’t want to take “the risk”.

Savina is a new high-rise condominium in downtown San Diego, situated between the city and the bay in a lovely walkable neighborhood. Inspired by the urban waterfront setting, the homes at Savina showcase a timeless mix of natural materials, warm woods and quality modern design — a perfect setting for Room & Board furniture. We furnished one of their homes to showcase how our furniture effortlessly blends with the Savina style.

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