Christmas with Rosanna Falconer

Christmas with Rosanna Falconer

From decking your halls to perfecting the party playlist, we’re super excited to have sat down (virtually, of course) with the fabulous Rosanna Falconer. With over a decade of experience in fashion firmly under her (super stylish) belt, she has been busy answering all your Christmas Q&As helping us dazzle our dinner guests and avoid any festive faux pas.

Rosanna is a lady who needs no introduction (okay, okay we can’t resist)….she is an award-winning digital strategist with over 10 years’ experience in the fashion industry as well as co-founder of FashMash. What is more she has accolade upon accolade stretching from ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Influencer Awards to being listed in Drapers magazine’s ’30 under 30′. Wow, just wow.

Anddddd to top it off she knows just about all their is to know about throwing the perfect Christmas party. This year we might not have as many guests packed around the dinner table, but we think that is all the more reason for decadent dining sets and extra Christmassy centre-pieces.

Take it away Rosanna…

How do you make an impressive Christmassy centre-piece suitable for a small dining table? 

I’ve had plenty of small table practice in 2020 with the date nights I did with my husband at our kitchen table! Make one focal point and then ensure the other elements tie together. This week, I loved setting the table with the Tanqueray x Grace & Thorn wreath. I used shades of green throughout the setting – from the plates to the velvet bows tying the cutlery. Of course, if you have time, you can take it further – I painted the menus with foliage inspired by the wreath.

What suggestions and tips do you have for creating a beautiful Christmas table?

At this time of year, festivities are typically awash with scarlet red, forest green and glitzy gold but less typical shades can be just as celebratory. This December, I’ve been experimenting with the contrast of pink and forest green, as well as ruby and dusty azalea. A table in inky blues looked gorgeous against winter pine and white roses.

Overall, there’s a fine balance between too much and just right when it comes to tables. Being a maximalist, my ‘more is more’ approach means I might not always strike it! I think the key is to have a clear colour scheme and ensure everything anchors there. I’ll always aim to have a flourish of personality to elevate the table. I never like my tables to look too perfect – I leave that to restaurants and hotels – this is dining at home and should feel happy and intrinsically linked to the host’s personality!

What do you do with the centre pieces while eating?

I get asked this lots! I don’t serve food at the table, instead I serve guests in the kitchen or we pass the sides round. The ‘family style’ of eating is modern but my table just isn’t big enough. It’s so important the tablescape doesn’t inhibit conversation and fun though: always keep flowers below the eyeline so guests can talk and make sure there’s elbow room between your candles and flowers!

What are your tips for using vintage/sustainable items in Christmas decorations?

I’ve loved finding brooches in charity shops this year and fixing them onto the centre of bows to tie napkins and cutlery. You can also buy a ‘job lot’ of brooches inexpensively on eBay – you receive an eclectic mix of designs. The joy of Christmas is returning to that box of decorations that you use every year. Those decorations that can be passed down from generation to generation are so special. If you do buy ornaments, buy good quality and take pleasure in using them again and again… Christmas comes but once a year!

There is often a lot of waste at Christmas – how do you make your Christmas as sustainable as possible?

The excess and demands around Christmas are palpable. I’m feeling it even more this year: the absence of friends and physical touch mean there’s a pressure to compensate with extravagant gifts. Obviously, there’s always a place for special, thoughtful presents. But I’ve really enjoyed baking gingerbread for the first time and giving that to neighbours, friends and all the incredible people in our local community I’ve got to know this year – from the refuse collectors to the shop keepers. I’ve loved the doorstep chats when delivering it the most! I put together an IG Reel with some more ideas too – I’ve always upcycled brown parcel paper for wrapping. Its simplicity against rich ribbon is so elegant.

Did you make your own Christmas wreath and what flowers would you recommend?

This year, I made my wreath using a tutorial from celebrity florist Simon Lycett on IGTV – that’s one of the positives of 2020, that we can access expertise like that through the click of a button. I used fragrant pine, juniper and berries. They have lasted for 4 weeks (so far!) and smell so evocative whenever I open the door!

I added my personal touch by painting pinecones in the same colours as my wreath ribbons – sage green and pink. Some weeks, if I have some flowers left from a market visit I’ve enjoyed ringing the changes and adding them in. Ranunculus look gorgeous and are quite hardy. Or hydrangea look fantastic even if they dry out. Then a glittery bird from VV Rouleaux for the final flourish!

What’s your stance on home-made Christmas decorations?

Embrace the long nights before winter solstice with some arts and crafts. I’ve found it so meditative this year. Pinterest is replete with ideas… I always love jazzing up pinecones from the park (you can dry them out in the oven first)… Or there’s the fun of paper snowflakes that are folded and cut. I dried out orange slices for the first time this year to hang – the scent is the essence of Christmas!

Who are the guests at your fantasy Christmas dinner?

So hard to choose! For 2020, I think I would go for JJ Martin, creative director of fashion and home brand La Double J. She’s spiritual as well as fantastically creative and colourful. I’ve learnt a lot from her this year (check out her IGTV on everything from anger to dreams). Then I think Matthew Williamson would bring fascinating conversation on design as well as mega dance moves. I would love for my maternal grandparents to join – granny was my style icon (and still is!) while grandpa was just the most wise, kind man I have ever met. Talking of style icons, I’d love Harry Styles and Talitha Getty to join. As she loves Marrakech, let’s add Keith Richards into the mix. But then we are over the rule of 6 so I better stop for now!

What are your top suggestions for Christmas table décor that can be easily found or made at home?

Candles! From tealights to pillar candles, they add such romance and magic. Experiment with how you display them, grouping different heights or popping tea lights in jam jars. I tried out house plants on a table recently, rather than cut flowers. Not only are they more sustainable but they add freshness and interest at a time of year when most flowers are out of season. We all know how house plants help indoor air pollution too! I marbled my plant pots to coordinate with the table colours (as ever, colour coordination is key!)

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