Yes we’re famous in the Nordic countries for minimalism, understatement and the simple life. But our favourite Christmas street decorations Nordic style are all colour and ‘fireworks’. Even in our white-walled homes do we like a display of excess, a little bit over-the-top decorations. Luckily, those of us in London are spoilt for choice when it comes to traditional English chintzy splendour. Here we pick our favourite Nordic-style season looks.
Our favourite display this Christmas are the wreaths outside the Ivy Brasserie in London’s Kensington, featured in the image above. The wreaths, hanging in a row on the windows, are kept in two-tone colours white and blue-ish shades. Lots and lots of baubles – the picture doesn’t quite do them justice. But the overall effect as you step back from the restaurant and look at them, is that it’s good taste, luxury…and so Christmassy!
Christmas Hygge in London
Scandinavia, Denmark in particular, does Hygge best, but London is where we want to be during the month of December. The English capital starts celebrations in mid-November with celebrities switching on the street lights. Nowhere creates a Christmas vibe quite like London with stunning arrangements across the main shopping streets.
How easy it is to rush through the streets on our way to work or the next party and miss what is going on around us. But not in December when London’s Christmas lights really create a magical atmosphere. Bond Street, home to the flagship stores of some of the world’s most prestigious brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes, always puts on a spectacular light show.
Cartier in Bond Street wraps its store in red ribbon which makes it look like an enormous present left in the street. If that seems mad, in a month of gift giving it looks and feels cosy. You don’t have to be able to afford diamonds to appreciate the creativity behind it and the sheer happy vibe.
Our favourite Christmas street decorations are in London
Loving the “snow” lights (below) in the trees lining one of west London’s main shopping streets. They light up the leaves in the dark. Even if we can’t find the present we’re looking for to buy, watching the lit up trees make the trip worth while.
There will be those who say the decorations simply promote commercialisation. That they get people to spend money, and even that they’re wasteful in terms of carbon footprints. There is an argument for that. But here, we are picking decor pieces that fit with the Scandinavian aesthetic. As it happens, that does despite everything favour understatement rather than frivolity.
Yet, despite our favourite Christmas street decorations being sometimes OTT, our trees tend to show more fir than decorations. Overloaded trees, flashy with multi coloured baubles and hanging candy and so on are frowned upon. Although a new generation of Scandi Christmas partygoers is more influenced by what they see in the USA and abroad.
Here, above, is a gorgeous outdoor tree display, also in a west London shopping street – it could have been lit up with gold or blue, red and white lights, but it’s a demure bluish tint on the lights wrapping round the tree – perfect Scandi style.