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Lifestyle, Homes

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide


Top home accessories and gifts to add to your wish list this holiday season

As the festive season draws closer and we start to prepare, the inevitable question arises – ‘What would you like this Christmas?’

Deciding on the best gifts for your loved ones is daunting enough — but then you realise you also have to decide what you would like. Don’t panic. Our expert interior designer, Amanda Hanley, has rounded up some of the most on-trend home accessories and gifts to add to your wish list, many of which you may have had your eye on all year.

Set Your Table in Style

Add a burst of colour to your dining table this year with the beautiful Iznik table mat and coaster collection. These intricately designed patterns will breathe vibrancy and elegance into your dinner setting, especially complementing the natural finish of wooden tables.

The design is inspired by the 12th Century Iznik plate, originating from the traditional ceramic art of Turkey. Reimagined for the modern home, these popular mats come in a set of four, along with a complimentary gift box.

Let The Drinks Flow

Keep your guests’ glasses topped up this Christmas with a sleek and minimalist carafe. This innovative jug is rooted in the traditions of Dutch design, using mouth-blown techniques to achieve the hole-handled structure in aquamarine coloured glass.

Perfect for both everyday use and as an ornament for your shelf, this diverse carafe is carefully produced in small quantities by the best professional craftsmen.

Think Outside the Box

For the person that has everything, how about this gorgeous and unique vase? Its diverse structure is made all the more interesting by a hand-painted finish that gives an aged texture to the white ceramic. Appearing simultaneously organic and other-worldly, this piece will transform a bouquet of flowers in an instant.

Picture courtesy of Andrew Martin

A Heart-Felt Statement

If you’re looking to make a real impact in the home, the Queen of Hearts is the perfect piece for you. This larger-than-life artwork will bring the open walls of a hallway or living area to life. The striking black and white image – printed on aluminium – is punctuated by the red accents of neon tubing. Just like its black and white colour palette, this piece is both playful and sophisticated.

Picture courtesy of William Yeoward

Let It Glow, Let It Glow, Let It Glow!

Whether your home is contemporary or more traditional, the Kristiana lamp from William Yeoward will illuminate your space with warm, bright hues. The stunning design can be tailored to blend with your home, available with three styles of shade and with eight colour options to choose from, in both luxurious silks and smart linen styles.

Picture courtesy of William Yeoward

Serve Up in Style

This fabulously stylish lacquer tray is the perfect gift for the modern practical interior. The high gloss Orange Faux Croc texture is a result of 20 individually hand-polished coats, resulting in the refined finish that is complemented by a black velvet base. The tray is available in several colours and sizes, as well as coming in a beautiful gift box.

Fragrances To Fill the Home

Scented candles have the power to bring calm, to invigorate our spirits and, above all, make your home smell amazing. Amanda Hanley’s bespoke range of candles and diffusers are ideal small gifts for your family and loved ones, as their fresh aromas are both festive and universal. The original ‘Number One’ mix is a warm and subtle blend of autumnal berries, vanilla and evergreens, alongside sweet notes of frankincense, clove and citrus.

Warm & Cosy Comfort

As the winter nights close in, there is nothing nicer than curling up with a hot water bottle. It is therefore not surprising that the luxurious, super-soft feel of faux fur is chosen to cover them, warming up the colder months in style. The faux accessories don’t stop there; throws, beanbags and cushions all come in a breadth of natural colours, creating generous gifts at reasonable prices.

This Christmas season, give and receive gifts that make your surroundings comfortable and diverse, reimagining traditional ideas for the modern home.

Whether you’re organized months in advance, or making last-minute purchases, Amanda Hanley By Design’s brand-new showroom at 33 High Street, Burford is brimming with gift ideas to suit many characters and budgets.


New build houses
Thu 18 Jul 2024

Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting moment. Whether it is your very first home or you are upgrading your current property for something a bit nicer, there is no feeling like it. New build homes are such a great investment. Not only are they brand new for your family but you can feel confident that they have been designed with the future in mind. Many properties come with eco-friendly features which are great for safeguarding your family. Financing a new home can be a bit of a minefield. Let’s take a look at how you could buy your new home as well as some things to look out for along the way. Mortgage Mortgages are the most common financing option when buying a home. Buyers of new builds can benefit from mortgages designed for the intricacies of the new build process. Lenders may be a lot more critical when looking at your application as there is less security for them with a new build. As construction timelines can be subject to delays and issues, be sure to keep in touch with your lender and see if you can extend your mortgage in principal agreement. You may be able to get some help with buying a new build home. If you are a first-time buyer, look into whether you are eligible for a discount under the First Homes Scheme. Incentives from builders It is in the best interest of building developers to sell their new homes, so some may offer you incentives. You may be offered cash towards your deposit which will be transferred to your solicitor on completion. If you do take advantage of this, remember to inform your mortgage lender. For people who have already purchased a home, developers may be able to help you sell your old house. A developer-assisted sale is one where they will aid you with independent valuations, appropriate deals or the actual sale. This is often free, and they may pay for your estate agency fees. Hidden costs Buying a house can come with hidden costs such as stamp duty and moving costs. Delays in the construction of your new build can often be costly too. When thinking about your moving budget, it is wise to incorporate a buffer zone for additional expenses. Advice The home-buying process is not a straightforward one, so seeking help from professionals is prudent. A lot of the process includes legal intricacies which will be beyond your capabilities. Mortgage brokers, for example, will be invaluable when it comes to getting you a mortgage in principle that works for your situation. Not only will you be able to get the best deal and save money, but a broker will save you so much time. Instructing a firm of solicitors will also be worth the expense. They can do land searches, deed transfers and keep everything above board for you going forward.

Endellion Lycett Green - you drifted by
Mon 15 Jul 2024

This summer the Laura Lopes Gallery presents works by botanical artist Endellion Lycett Green in the Tithe Barn at Thyme. Through her art, Lycett Green pays testament to the inspiration she finds in the natural world.

Lydia Millen
Mon 15 Jul 2024

For anyone who hasn’t come across Lydia Millen, she is an influencer-turned-writer who has embraced a life of bucolic bliss. Her debut book, Evergreen: Discover the Joy in Every Season, came out last autumn and encourage readers to be inspired and soothed by connecting with the natural world.

Urban winner   Danny Kidby Hunter
Mon 15 Jul 2024

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has opened its annual nature photography competition for 2024 with new categories and prizes.