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Announcing the winner of the Christmas lights Facebook competition

You might have seen that we have been running a competition on Facebook throughout December. It first came about when we ran a survey, asking people what their attitudes to Christmas lights and decorations were. Surprisingly, we were met with a bah hambug approach – no one seemed to want to invest in any Christmas attire at all. To prove these Grinches and Scrooges wrong, we launched a competition on Facebook. By submitting a photo of your Christmas decorations you could win £500 and a subscription to Ideal Home magazine. You can view the entries here.

We thought that our latest ambassador, interior designer Abigail Ahern, would be a suitable judge so we sent her all of the entries and left it up to her to decide the winner. This is what she had to say. Being the design guru she is, Abigail has also been kind enough to offer a dinner party decoration tip which won’t cost you the earth.

The winner

Winner of the Christmas competition

You cannot go wrong with red and green, a perfect Christmas combo. The reason I’ve chosen this as the winner is it’s classy, it’s sophisticated and yet it’s subtle.

The homeowners have got into the spirit of the season without going over the top. I am particularly drawn to the table decorations. Lots of little finishing touches like holly wrapped around candles, beaded napkin rings, a decoration in each bowl etc… turn this table into something special. Also, it totally integrates with the rest of the scheme and doesn’t in any way feel disconnected.

Gold star

Christmas competition runner up

For the runner up, I’ve chosen an exterior – simply because this property shows how by keeping the lighting scheme simple it elevates the outside of a property to a whole other level. Simple is preferable in my book when it comes to decorating outside spaces for the holidays. A string of lights all in the same hue and a lovely wreath and wham bam it suddenly feels like I’m in the back streets of Manhattan where I used to live. Simply done but supremely effective!

My decoration tip

Something I do every year (and as I am so obsessed at hosting all posh dinner parties in my pad) is to grab a bunch of carnations (fear not they do get the baddest rap as flowers go but stay with me) AND chop the stems off so their heads just topple over a vase. I use t-light holders. Then spritz with hair spray and sprinkle over glitter and it looks like you’ve gotten them from the coolest florist in town. It works especially well if you go for bright red or pink carnations and then glitter with a contrasting hue – so with red flowers I plump for pink glitter and vice versa. Cheap as chips but looking like they cost a million bucks. My kind of decorating!

Abigail Ahern

Interior designer and author Abigail Ahern has been hailed as ‘style spotter extraordinaire’, by The Times. Her style is as unique as it is affordable and is characterised by glamour, wit and show-stopping colours.

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