In this last installment of our Design-It-Yourself Christmas series, I am throwing some simple creative ideas out there. Have some ideas of your own? Share them with us - in fact, we are having a bit of a competition on the Bemz Facebook page. Post your own creative decoration and you could have it featured right here, as well as the chance to write about it and a Christmas cushion cover from Bemz to boot.
Who knew post-it notes could be so festive!
Hang retro paper wheels on thread from the ceiling to create a magical blizzard scene. If you stick to white it not only looks festive but also highlights their delicate structure.
Leave no surface undecorated! Suspend decorations from the back of a chair or baubles on ever lengthening ribbons around a drum shade, securing with masking tape.
Free up your mantelpiece with a simple card display. Wind ribbon around drawing pins to form a star or a tree outline, then use mini pegs to attach cards.
The advent calendar is the biggest hit in our house and really helps kick start the festive season. These make-your-own ones are simple yet clever, the right one is made from matchboxes!
Greet your guests at the door with a simple wreath that smells of cinnamon. Tie lengths of casia bark with ribbon to for a star and attach a small silver bell for a more festive touch.
Crackers and card displays. Keep your best cards and give them their dues by displaying them in frames on your mantle.
Work that Scandi style with fresh baked cookies from ribbon on your tree, or from some potted twigs or why not even from the ceiling to add festive cheer over your dining table? If you're pressed for time, you can pick up ready made gingerbread hearts from Ikea, with a hole in them, ready for hanging!
When I was a child, we always strung popcorn for our tree. I would imagine marshmallows would be a lot easier! And don't forget your outdoors. Oh tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum...
The Bemz team with pre-party enthusiasm; from left to right: Lisa, Ben, Sara, Libby, Lisbeth, Katarina, Lesley and Annika surround some beautiful designer cushions
Phew! The Bemz Inspiration Marathon that ran 24-7 for a week has come to an end and was a great success. Great fun too! However, I think, as with any successful race, a little rest and recuperation are in order. Here are some highlights from the week:
There's the fabric that got over 200 votes during the marathon: Bemz Marimekko Unikko Red
And check this out. The downside to being visible to the world: Sara was caught dipping into the candy bowl - over and over and over again. (Godis is candy in Swedish)
Our final interview from the Bemz Inspiration Marathon was with Lesley Pennington, the woman who one day thought 'Wouldn't it be nice to be able to achieve your own personal look in your home without having the exclusive price-tag attached? Something the whole family could enjoy' and voila! Bemz hit the ground running and Lesley hasn't looked back.
There are also video interviews available with Tina- Bemz customer service manager, Lisbeth- Bemz product manager and Katarina- in-house designer. Just click on the link to watch them.
The inner workings of a designer's mind are a mystery to me. How do they visualize changes to a room? Is it something you are born with or is it down to a trained eye. Get a taste of how it works from Katarina Wiklund, in-house designer at Bemz and fabric connoisseur extraordinaire.
There are also video interviews available with Tina- Bemz customer service manager, Lisbeth- Bemz product manager and Lesley- founder and CEO of Bemz. Just click on the link to watch them.
Next up - How did Lesley come up with this brilliant business idea.
Annika of Sweden posted this picture of her newly covered Göteborg sofa on the Bemz Facebook page. Annika wrote Our old sofa Göteborg feels happy today! I'll bet - I wish someone would wrap me in designer fabric. The Josephine- Graphite Grey, designed by Göta Trädgårdh and custom-made by Bemz, really helps make her room pop. Well done Annika and thanks for sharing!
If, like Annika, you would like to share a photo of your home with the rest of us, please send it along to me at blog[at]bemz[dot]com or post it on our Facebook page.
There's a lot from this throw-back to the 80s rehash that I could probably do without (shoulder pads for one!) but my memories of putting together a mixed tape for a friend (more likely someone I wanted as more-than-a-friend) are heartwarming. I'd spend hours pouring over the tracks, ensuring they reflected my taste and appealed to the recipient's taste. The order of the tracks was critical and timing was down to a science: you didn't want the end of a song to get cut off nor did you want too much dead time at the end of one side of the tape...
There were few gifts you could give that required as much effort and time as making a mixed tape and that's why I think they were one of the nicest, most personal gifts you could give. And guess what? They are back! Just in time for Christmas too...
If you're stuck for the ideal gift for your lifelong dance partner (or someone you'd like to have as a dance partner!) give this a go. Make a Mixa provide you with the nostalgic look without the awkwardness of mixed tape technology, or lack thereof. It looks just like the old tapes but with a hidden 1 GB USB stick. Make a Mixa have really captured the essence of the old world mixed tape era by giving you the opportunity to completely personalize the gift: you get to decide on the color of tape, including a totally retro turquoise, design the sleeve and even include (I quote) fancy pants stickers for that added touch. All that, and delivered in a box for only £19.99 (+shipping).
And let's be honest - copying a playlist from your iTunes directly onto a USB sure beats recording them off old LPs!
This series on how to get creative this Christmas is not only about how to make decorations but also where to put them. And where would we be at Christmas without our traditional wreath?
The wreath on the left is made from rolls of old newspaper! According to Lindsey of Apartment Therapy DC wreaths hang just as well on windows, cupboards doors, cabinet doors and shelves.
You can really jazz things up this Christmas by placing your wreath in a less conventional spot, like in front of a mirror, over a bed or in place of a print on the wall.
There are so many possibilities when decorating with wreaths. Here, from Good Housekeeping, one made from bows and another hung on the outdoor fence.
Having said that though, nothing quite says Christmas like a wreath on the front door. If you want to keep this tradition but give it a personal twist go to town with your own ideas. Add front door impact with a contemporary wreath made of white spray painted pine cones attached to a ring oasis using florist's wire, weave in glittery leaves and ribbons, even add a friendly reindeer! Whatever your idea, the wreath screams Christmas is here.
Find out more about the who, what, where and when of Bemz fabrics and slipcovers in this interview with Lisbeth, product manager, as she walks us through how Bemz textiles are produced and where the slipcovers are actually sewn. We also get a hint of some upcoming products.
There are also video interviews available with Tina- Bemz customer service manager and Lesley- founder and CEO of Bemz. Just click on the link to watch them.
As you know, you can still visit the Bemz Inspiration Store live via webcam on our website, but not for much longer! Only a few days left. In conjunction with that we've been running our Inspiration Marathon where you can vote for your fave fabric and if it gets the most votes then it'll be available at 20% less the normal price: a little pre-Christmas gift for you.
In conjunction with the Marathon we've been taking the opportunity to introduce a few of the Bemzers to you. Here's the interview with Tina, our customer service manager.
Next up, production manager Lisbeth followed swiftly on by our in-house designer, Katarina and then the brains behind the company: founder and CEO Lesley Pennington who will walk us through how it all started. Watch this space.