Image: © Nick Stevens/www.picnick.co.uk
December 02 2011
Lucia van der Post
Bespoke is where luxury is at this Christmas. Times may be tough, but what people still seem to want are things that are unique and filled with meaning. And this is as true when it comes to setting the Christmas scene at home as it is when buying presents.
What could be more special than asking Nikki Tibbles, the advertising executive turned florist (picky customers include Chanel, Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren) to weave her magic over your home? Her ability to conjure up something that ravishes the eye is legendary. She likes to go to her customers’ houses herself so that she can take in their colour palette, spaces and art, and devise a scheme – baroque, minimalist, traditional or contemporary – to suit their tastes. And while most people think in terms of the tree, the hall and the living room, Tibbles points out that the garden and house exterior can also be made to look enchanting.
To decorate, say, a hall and an 8ft tree with three sets of lights would be about £500, while a hall and a living room (without the tree) would be £350-£400. But for just £75 you can also get a bit of Tibbles magic in the shape of a mini ready-decorated tree from any of the four London branches of her shop, Wild at Heart. (First pictured: bespoke berry wreath, £50-£200.)
For those further afield, The Christmas Decorators have designers dotted around the country. These festive stalwarts have bedecked many of the UK’s top hotels, including London’s Claridge’s, and can come up with any number of gorgeous garland designs (from £199). For about £300 you could get a very grand tree with hand-blown glass baubles, coloured ribbons or hand-stitched silk flowers. But the pièces de résistance are their bespoke decorations – they can whip up almost anything, from a 20ft Nutcracker to light sculptures (price on request).
Of course, decorating the house yourself is as bespoke as anything the professional decorating houses have to offer, so it could be fun to take yourself off to Judith Blacklock’s flower school in London (second picture), where her one-day workshops include a wreath masterclass (£130) and a traditional English Christmas lesson (£235). Prices include all materials, and, naturally, you get to take some of the decorations home.