In the first few days we had Frankie (back in 2014 now) we learned one thing very quickly: the forest cat in him loves nothing more than to CLIMB. This started with perching on our shoulders and quickly graduated to him scaling the living room curtains (which are 3m high by the way) We built him a 2m tall scratching pole (it’s ridiculous looking, but he LOVES it) and got him a big multi-platformed cat tree.
This did seem to take his mind off of the curtains, but we knew that introducing a tall, glittery object into the house to celebrate the festive season would most likely end in disaster! And now that we’ve got baby Raj in the mix too- we knew that we had to come up with a feline-freindly christmas set up. We’ve never had a real Christmas tree (I feel a bit bad about them being cut down if I’m honest…seeing them on pavements in January is a bit of a downer) so I didn’t feel too sad about trying an alternative form of decorative festive foliage in our home.
This is the second “Christmas Branch” that we’ve had now. The first was a lot smaller (big twig cuttings from our garden) but we found this craggy piece of dead wood by a local pond. It’s covered in lichen (which started off green and has since turned silver-grey) and has become a year-round feature in our living room…partly because it looks so pretty and partly as It’s so brittle now I think it would snap into a million pieces if I tried to take the fairy lights off!
The big white ceramic pot that it sits in has some old (and VERY heavy) radiator bricks inside, which makes it almost impossible to topple over…and the best news is…Frankie seems to LOVE it! Instead of trying to climb to the top, he mostly spends his winter evenings lounging underneath its twinkly lights. Success!
I love getting creative with interiors, and Christmas is an excellent excuse to try out some seasonal ideas. My interior style is quite contemporary, fun and super personal- which is what I always try to keep in mind when I’m decorating for the holidays. Here’s a few of my tips for creating your own (alternative) winter wonderland this festive season:
1. Use your favourite edibles to adorn your tree
Whether you’re opting for a traditional tree or something alternative, using sweet treats as decorations is a win-win! We love Tunnock’s Teacakes in our house (obviously) so these bauble made of real biscuits are the perfect choice. Learn how to make them here.
2. Shop Handmade
This pretty green glass heart is by Glasgow Etsy store KennethMade (he also makes beautiful terrariums) and I love the idea of collecting really well made pieces of festive decor by local makers. It’s all about quality over quantity on this one- and supporting small businesses during festive season is pretty amazing too.
3. Be creative with objects you love all year round
Not all christmas decor needs to be patterned with reindeers and candy candy canes! I knew I wanted to create a pastel festive scene (with a bit of added sparkle, obvs) so I pulled in some cushions that matched the colour palette.
4. When it comes to sparkle…go big or go home!
While tinsel and baubles might not be my thing…sparkle most definitely is! These foil curtains are super cheap on ebay and come in every colour of the rainbow. They’re also really long, so they’re excellent for decorating walls in older houses with high ceilings like ours. Not only does it look twinkly and beautiful when you switch your fairy lights on, it also makes an excellent christmas party booth backdrop!
5. Three Words: Tiny. Pet. Ornaments.
This is a bit of a wildcard, but if you’re as crazy about your feline chum as I am, then you’ll probably be into this too. A super talented lady made this incredibly accurate and mega cute felted Frankie for us last year. We like to think he’s the fairy on top of our tree (but in reality he sits in a glass jar next to the Christmas Branch so that real-Frankie doesn’t chew him up) Isn’t he adorable? Order a miniature of your yet from Yulya vi her instagram here.
Let me know if you opt for an alternative tree this festive season- I’ve popped a list of sources for my decor purchases below. Happy Holidays, pals!
Festive Decor Shopping List
White Ceramic Christmas Branch Pot – IKEA
Silver Foil Curtain – Ebay
Holographic Foil Paper Fans – Meri Meri at Party Pieces
Tissue Paper Fans and Honeycombs – Party Pieces
Felted Pet Ornaments – Yuyla
Coloured Glass Hearts – KennethMade