Festive Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's the office party at House Candy HQ and what a bunch of party animals we are. 

OK, truth be told it's just me and a load of animal shaped paraphernalia with ribbons round our necks, but hey, I've been to worse Christmas do's (and the obligatory mannequin challenge is going to be a breeze). 

Here's how the idea for a wilder take on trimming up came about.

Nothing I found in the pile of Christmas decorations stored up in the loft filled me with any joy this year. I took one look at all the tasteful gold baubles, the pretty, frosted white tea light holders, the au-naturel garlands bearing faux mistletoe and any festive spirit that had been there, suddenly drained away.

2016 does not feel like the year for sticking with the norm where Christmas is concerned. As Grazia so perfectly put it this week, it started with the death of David Bowie and went down hill from there. It's been a car crash on a global scale, so no wonder it needs help getting into party mode.  For me, that help has arrived in the unexpected form of a fat little penguin from TK Maxx. Mr Popper here got me thinking...

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My place has turned into quite the ornamental zoo this year. No trip to the second hand market has been complete without an animal themed trophy of some sort, be it a vintage brass heron or a yellow ceramic deer head. These fellas have lifted the tone of my interior to new levels and it occurred to me that they could easily do the same thing with Christmas. 

I'm not alone in my thinking that it's the animals having all the fun this year. John Lewis clearly got the brief and its seasonal squad of trampoline-ing wildlife has captured the nation's heart.

My four legged friends (2 in some cases) can't do party tricks, but my God do they know how to rock a festive ribbon. Let me introduce them to you:

My House Candy Party Animals

1. The Horny Host

Find me at the Baaa?

Find me at the Baaa?

2). Babycham

3). The Grumpy Git Who Loves You Really

4) The Unlikely Pairing

5). Seasonal Stalkers

6). Feathered friends

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

If Christmas Party at the Zoo feels like a totally appropriate theme for your mad house, but you haven't hoarded quite as many animal themed ornaments as me over the last 12 months, worry not. Here's a roundup of some totally gift appropriate festive beasts and where to find them in time for party season. (Just don't forget the ribbon). 

1) Monkey bottle holder

2. Flamingo Wall Hanging

3. Felt tiger head

£69  Uburnara

4. Swan Vase

5. Beagle Bust

£60 Abigail Ahern at  Debenhams

£60 Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

So there, no reason for any of us to feel alone this Christmas and please, PLEASE don't keep your festive fun to yourself. Let me see what fantastic beasts are residing at your place. Share them with me on Twitter or Instagram @myhousecandy using the hashtag #housecandyparty or post a pic on my Facebook page to come and join the party.  

Have fun all!

Claire xx 

 

 

Get your glasses ON! How to train your eye to hunt out House Candy

They call me Hawk Eye. Be it a market stall, a charity shop or someone's kitchen, I can home in on House Candy at 20 paces. Why? because I'm programmed that way.

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

I devour interior magazines, drink up the free catalogues that clog up my letter box and snort Pinterest or Instagram images like they are crack cocaine.

Like my all time favourite vintage pop record, I Just Can't Get Enough. So much so, that I have become a professional House Candy Hunter (HCH). Stuff jumps out at me from a crowded market stall. I get a kind of tingly sensation when I sense House Candy is on my radar. Seriously, I'm weird.

If you like the vintage vibe and also like a bargain, but have not yet had the tingly feels, maybe you need to channel your vision? 

Here's my top 3 tips on what to look out for and the gorgeous, vintage style brands providing the current inspos for all you HCH's out there:

1) Coloured glass

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

I spotted this retro glass decanter peeking out from a market stall full of meh! and quickly realised, this is the power of coloured glass. Look out for jewel hues to add a gem-like beauty to the place and don't let no-stoppers be show-stoppers (see what I did there?). Even without their lids they can make a super cool stem vase. 

Bottles grouped together make a bit of a statement and give you that extra height too (the extra half inch we all aspire to).

Graham and Green know the score when it comes to vintage style accessorising and their new range is bursting with lush greens, emeralds and turquoises. They also have some cool decanter type bottles in their Autumn/Winter offering so if you don't take my word for it, take theirs.

Vintage style green bottle with stopper  www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

Vintage style green bottle with stopper www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

2) Candlesticks

Officially obsessed. Glass ones, wood ones and currently brass whimsical ones. They just DO something to a mantlepiece; y'know? I'm not massively romantic, which may surprise you, but I do love candlelight at dinner parties and Christmases. Oh and Wednesdays actually.

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass accessories are enjoying a comeback so if you spot one of these cherubs looking for a new mummy, or a lovely leafy number (anything palm inspired is HOT) just hand over the cash, you could have the new Pineapple on your hands, you hear me?

Alternatively, purchase Plumo's fabulous monkey candlestick and swing from actual trees at the beauty of them.

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to  www.plumo.com

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to www.plumo.com

3) Mirrors

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

I've always collected vintage mirrors and can never pass up a bevel edged beauty to add to my collection. Some people are put off by imperfect patina. Not me. These are not for applying make-up, they ARE the make up, if you see what I mean. They use daylight to their advantage and make everything look prettier.

Everything Rockett St George sells is nailed on House Candy so take inspiration from their lovely mirror range, featuring antique styles or metallic details. Just LUSH.

Gold leaf effect mirror  www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Gold leaf effect mirror www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Hey, now I've given you all my secrets, maybe you could do me a favour too? If you are on Instagram please tag me in on any junk shop treasures you find and if you're posting a pic of your own eclectic home style please use #myhousecandy so we can all share in your smug HCH glory!

Happy House Candy Hunting, team.

Claire