The NDA Christmas interior Wishlist 2015
The NDA Interior Design Christmas Wishlist 2015

With Christmas just a few days away, we wanted to share the interior items that the NDA team are wishing for this Christmas. If like us, you are wishing for some luxury items, we’ve included our budget-friendly versions that might make it on your wishlist. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and hopefully there are a few welcome surprises under your tree this year.  

The NDA Interior Design Christmas Wishlist:

A Minimalistic, Modern Chair

The first item that has made our wishlist is a statement chair completed with a faux fur throw for a cosy, Scandinavian feel this Christmas – the iconic, classic style of the Vitra Eames DSW side chair in white is the perfect minimalistic choice for any interior. We would team a set of 6 dining chairs with a vintage dining table for a modern-contemporary look.

The NDA Christmas interior wishlist: We chose the iconic Vitra Eames DSW side chair as one of our wishlist items because of its minimalistic yet stylish design.

These can be quite expensive if you opt for the original versions, so why not invest in a replica Eames style DSW chair for as little as £27.99 a chair.

Glamorous Bookends

Next up is decadent, brass Pineapple House of Hackney Bookends. Again these are an extravagant item, there are similar high street or vintage versions available like the golden pineapple bookends from Graham & Green for £48.00 or vintage brass pineapple bookends from Ebay for £16.54 plus p&p.

Tesco also do a great pair of Gold & black pineapple bookends for £45.00, or try Not on the High Street for an ornate, white pair of pineapple bookends for £49.00.

The NDA Interior Design Christmas Wishlist 2015: Pineapple brass bookends from House of Hackney

A Classic Floor Lamp

A statement lamp is another essential item on our wish list this year. Cool metals and vintage, arco style floor lamps are a popular trend, inspired by the classic 1960’s design by the Castiglioni brothers is now considered a design classic.

The NDA Christmas interior wishlist: We chose the iconic Arco floor lamp by Flos as it is beautiful in both its form and function and it’s now recognised as a design classic.

The Arco Floor lamp by Flos is on our wishlist, due to its elegant appearance and beautiful marble base which would be the perfect statement in an office or living room scheme. But costing upwards of £1,422.00 it isn’t cheap.

We found cheaper, replica styles for under £200, like this Achille & Pier Castiglioni Classic Arco style floor lamp from Iconic Lights seen below, or try the Achille Castiglioni Arc Floor Lamp or Arco Floor Lamp versions to get the look for less.

The Iconic Chair

Whilst an original 1930’s Knoll Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s would set us back thousands, replicas can be picked up from as little as £229.00. With its sloping metal legs and relaxed style the Barcelona chair is an icon of modernism and would be an effortlessly stylish choice to sit back and relax in.

The iconic Knoll Barcelona chair is on the NDA Christmas interior wishlist this year because of its stylish silhouette and iconic design.

We found a real leather Barcelona Replica Chair from Vital Chairs for £229.00, whilst a faux leather version of the Barcelona Armchair with matching ottoman costs £491.90.

A Designer Sidetable

Another distinctive iconic design from the 20th century on our wishlist is the elegantly formed, height-adjustable Eileen Gray side table, £489.00. For a side table is carries quite a high price tag, but due to its practical multi-height function and beautiful, curved design it is a firm favourite and lusted after designer piece.

the NDA Christmas interior wishlist: We are lusting after the beautifully elegant, multi-functional Eileen Gray side table  design. This great replica is from Milan Direct.

We were amazed to find a very similar, adjustable Eileen Gray replica side table for just £65.00 from Milan Direct, seen above.

The Perfect Pouf

Adding texture and pattern is a key trend this Autumn/ Winter, mixing faux-furs & clashing animal prints brings a cosy, Autumnal feel to an interior scheme.

 NDA’s Christmas Interior Wishlist: Adding cosy textures and layers is key this Autumn/Winter. We love Amara Living’s luxury cow hide pouf but it is hardly budget-friendly, we found cheaper alternatives if this is out of your price league this year.

We especially love Amara Living’s Cow Skin Cube Pouff or their Amara Island Sheep Skin Cube Pouff in white. But at £250 for a luxury version, we think the high street have some great budget-friendlier versions like this cow hide cube here for half the price.

Or Nordstrom’s faux fur pouf here which is a bargain in comparison at £68.79. Next also stock a beautiful faux fur low bean cube available in either cream or grey for just £70.00 that will add instant texture to any interior.

A Bold Rug

Another favourite amongst the NDA team is the beautiful, statement Calum rug by Bluebellgray. With its bold statement mix of colours and abstract, floral design it is stunning, but for £1,300 it is a steep price to pay for a rug.

 NDA’s Christmas Interior Wishlist: The NDA team think Bluebellgray’s Calum rug is a bold, beautiful statement piece but is the beautiful, statement but comes with a big price tag. We found some budget-friendly versions online.

Less abstract, but with the same bold use of colours – these designs from Modern Rugs are a great alternative to get a similar look without paying a lot. Our favourite is the Helsinki floral rug & Malmo floral design which both come in at under £140.00 in comparison.

The Luxe Mirror

On the NDA’s Christmas Interior Wishlist is the statement Pols Potten Prickle Mirror in gold.

The Pols Potten Prickle Mirror in gold above is a bold, statement mirror that has also made it onto our wishlist. It would add an elegant touch to any wall, but at £282.00 it is definitely a pricier option.

We found great alternatives for less, like the large black mirror that could easily be spray- painted gold to achieve the same look for a lot less. As could this Metal Starburst Mirror also available from Not On The High Street, both for less that £100.

A Feature Ceiling Light

Last but not least, is iconic Danish lighting designer & architect Poul Henningsen, known for iconic lighting designs that feature multiple, concentric shades offering both a beautiful and practical lighting solution to eliminate direct glare.

On the NDA Interior Wishlist is the Poul Henningsen PH5 ceiling pendant, but we found some high street versions that emulate the iconic style for a lot less.

But with styles ranging in price from £300 to £13,500, the Louis Poulsen PH5 Pendant in white is a expensive choice for our wishlist. Beautifully designed, its multi-shade design creates a harmonious and glare free illumination within an interior space.

We found great high street, replica versions for as little as £125, like the Poul Henningsen Style PH5 Ceiling Pendant Light for £125.00. Or’s Lab Pendant Light which is a sculptural, modern take on the iconic style available in either; soft green, grey and pink or in mustard, grey and deep teal colourways for £169.00.

We hope you have enjoyed our NDA Interior Wishlist picks. Whether you splurge on the real thing or save with one of our budget-friendlier versions, we hope we have given you inspiration as to what to ask Santa for this year. Merry Christmas from the NDA Team.

The NDA shares their alternative Christmas Tree ideas
An alternative Christmas tree

Whether you prefer a real tree or go faux each year, we continue our Christmas Countdown sharing some of our favourite alternative Christmas tree ideas to help you to transform your interior and to inspire your decorating this Christmas. 

Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas

It’s that time of the year when we all rummage around in the loft looking for that box we have pushed to the back. This box contains an old, tired Christmas tree that only gets to see the light of day once a year. Not everyone wants a real tree; they can be messy and affect certain allergies.

However this does not mean that the tree, real or not, has to be the same as last year. This will hopefully give you some ideas if you are looking to decorate this year in a new and interesting way. Christmas can be expensive, so taking this into account; you might have something lying around that can help…

NDA's alternative Christmas Tree ideas and inspiration: For lovers of literature, create a Christmas tree out of books

The above might not to be everyone’s taste however this is an interesting way to use objects you might already have in your house to create an interesting feature this Christmas. Why not dust off those old books you have stacked on the shelves, arrange them to look like a tree and brighten them up with the use of fairy lights. As you can see from the images above you can still add some of the decorations you have, and why not consider adding a star to the top to finish the look off?

NDA's alternative Christmas Tree ideas and inspiration: For the eco-concious, create a Christmas tree out of bottles

For the more eco-conscious among you, how about using some of those empty bottles to create this impressive structure? This may be more suitable for an outside space and would definitely give the neighbours something to talk about. Here green glass bottles encompass the Christmas lights so they shine through to give the outside space of this pub a festive feel. Still not convinced? Below are a few more ideas which can be created on a budget, which might be more appropriate this Christmas.

NDA's alternative Christmas Tree ideas and inspiration: For the creative, create a Christmas tree out of wall decals or hanging baubles.

If you are struggling for space this year but still want to get some decorations up, how about taking some inspiration from the wall art above. Transfer stickers are great this time of year, because once Christmas is over you do not have to spend too much time taking down all those decorations, instead the sticker can be peeled right off.

Not only could this be used as an alternative to a real tree, it would also look great in a child’s bedroom, without making any of the mess. You do not have to stick to a 2D design, by using some hooks and a bit of string you could create your own wall art, hanging some of your own decorations in the shape of a tree.

NDA's alternative Christmas Tree ideas and inspiration: For the creative, create a Christmas tree out of minimalistic twig and bauble decorations

Overly decorated trees, tinsel and fairy lights, might not suit everybody’s styles so how about creating a more minimal feature this Christmas. Branches found in local parks or plants you already have in your house or garden could be given new life this season, and again is a great way so creating a feature without all the cost. Not only could this be used to create an alternative Christmas tree but it might also give you some ideas when it comes to decorating your Christmas table.

Hopefully we have given you some ideas that you can use this Christmas, so why not spend this weekend creating something new, rather than spending all day in a dark cupboard searching for angels who have lost a wing?


Small Book Tree [2011] Jill Pantozzi. Available from:

Large Book Tree [unknown] The Family Sponge. Available from:

Bottle Tree [2012] Rupert Millar. Available from:

Tree Transfer [unknown] Wall in Dec. Available from:

Wall Art [2013] Hank & Hut. Available from:

Christmas Plant [unknown] Hilldale House. Available from:

Christmas Table [2009] FP Julia. Available from:

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts. We share our favourite DIY craft ideas and tutorials
How-to Christmas Crafts

Who doesn’t like decorating for Christmas, but at this time of year, money can be tight for new decorations. But with a little imagination you can make the most wonderful decorations yourself. We share our favourite how-to ideas and inspirations to help inspire your to get DIY crafting this Christmas.

NDA’s Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts

We could all take inspiration from how the Scandinavians decorate their homes at this time of the year. They are very much in touch with nature and love to bring natural foliage into the home, they would always have a real tree and they make great use of candles. But Christmas doesn’t have to cost a lot, these key festive elements can be recreated on a budget. With some creativity, you can get crafting and make your own decorations this year.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: Candles and homemade decorations are perfect items to decorate the home and add festive touches throughout without spending a lot.

DIY Candleholders

If you don’t already have candle holders or candelabras, old jam jars can be used to great effect decorated with white lace and snow covered pine cones, perfect for tea lights. Bottles decorated with small branches of pine secured with natural string make an impressive display for taller candles.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: Christmas lighting can be easily achieved by decorating jar jars and bottles used using as candle holders  decorated with greenery for a festive touch.

Or how about this idea, cover pillar candles with cinnamon sticks  secure to the candles with decorative ribbon and berries. This way you will get a wonderful cinnamon aroma as well as a display of different sized candles.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: Christmas lighting can be easily achieved by decorating candles with cinnamon sticks and berries for a festive touch.

The Scent of Christmas

Christmas is all about the festive smell of pine cones, rich spices and wonderful Christmassy scents that waft through our interiors each year. But before you invest in expensive scented candles, get creative. It is possible to dry slices of orange that then can be form into a Christmas wreath like the one below, they have been layered with bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, then add a gingham bow ready for hanging.

Individual orange slices can also be hung from your Christmas tree with string, intersperse these with your tree decorations for a Christmassy aroma for all who pass it.NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: handmade wreaths made from dried orange slices are the perfect items to decorate the home and give off a festive scent.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: The scent of Christmas, oranges and cloves are the perfect items to decorate the home and give off a festive scent.

Along with the aroma of cinnamon, orange and cloves are another scent associated with Christmas. Orange and cinnamon pot pourri can be expensive to buy, but you can get the same aroma and an extra decoration by carving into oranges just under the skin then studding them with cloves.

Make your own Christmas Decorations

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: A handmade Christmas stocking is the perfect item decoration a fireplace to add a festive touch.

If you like sewing why not make all the family a stocking each, they can be made of any fabric you have spare and are really simple to make.

1) Cut out the stocking shape in fabric, the back can be a different fabric from the front.

2) Then it is only a matter of placing the wrong sides of the fabric together and machining round the shape, turn through to the right side and give it a good press.

3) Decorate with bows and any other trimmings you have, or add their initials for a personalised touch.

Simple! Everyone likes a stocking even the older generation and it shows you have gone to a little extra trouble instead of buying a generic one from the high street.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts:  handmade felt decorations are the perfect items to decorate a tree or add to a fireplace display for a festive touch.

A great way to get older children involved, is by making simple felt animals like little Rudolf here:

1) Once the shape has been cut out go round the outer edge with a small running stitch, leaving a small area open to stuff with wadding.

2) Add a small button for a nose and stitch on a ribbon loop on to hang on the tree.

3) Simple triangles of fabric stitched together and padded make cute-looking, stylised Christmas trees with button and ribbon trims.

The same method can be used to make this very pretty heart wreath.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: A handmade Christmas wreath is the perfect item decoration for doors or to hang on walls for a festive touch.

If you don’t like to sew how about some paper craft, these angle wings are simple to make and look particularly affective using music score paper but would look just as good using Christmas paper or paper doilies.  Strips of stiff paper can make paper chains or paper hearts, another good activity for children.

NDA's Crafting at Christmas: How-to Christmas Crafts: handmade paper craft decorations are the perfect items to decorate your home and add a festive touch.

I hope that has given you some ideas to make an individual handmade Christmas, Happy Crafting.


Redonline (2015) [online] Available from: [Accessed 01.12.2015]

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A touch of Christmas, the NDA share their top festive accessories and tips on how to decorate this Christmas
A Touch of Christmas

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to mean changing your whole interior. In our last Countdown to Christmas blog post series we shared our favourite Christmas inspired interior looks, but this time we want to share out top tips and favourite picks to show you how a few key accessories can add that festive feel to your interior. 

A Touch of Christmas:

Dressing up a Dining Table

With just a few key accessories you can transform a dining table into a festive focal point. Working with what you have, choose to add either cool toned accessories in white or silver for a unified look or add gold toned accessories to add warmth to an otherwise neutral colour palette.

A touch of Christmas: A few key accessories can transform a dining table. Image via: dining-christmas-style

Adding draped decorations on chair backs and grand candelabras, decorative plates, stands and serving platters (spray-painted to suit your colour scheme and decorated in greenery) to your table will add a sense of glamour to your design, whilst adding a patterned table cover instead of a plain one, buying crisp-white seat pads and wrapping round sheer fabrics, a festive centrepiece or candles to add a decadent, Christmas feel to a table setting.

A touch of Christmas: A few key accessories can transform a dining table. Image via: Found on

Transform your Accessories

Another great idea we have seen is to transform your existing décor with Christmas touches. With some parcel string or ribbon tie up books or stacked objects to transform them in to present-like prop piles and place throughout your interior on side tables or in entryways to add a festive touch to otherwise plain areas. A great idea is to re-purpose books second-hand books, spray-painting them in gold or white for added effect. Use alongside tasteful Christmas decorations, wild flower displays and scented tealight candles to create small areas of interest to your interior and to add just a touch of Christmas without going overboard.

A touch of Christmas: A few well placed accessories can transform your usual decor. Image via: christmas-time

Adding Areas of Interest

Using earthy, natural elements & touches of greenery and adding LED lights or festive candles can also create a warm, cosy feel to a plain space. Adding a touch of Christmas to otherwise undecorated areas adds interest and impact to bare tables, entrances and stairways.

A touch of Christmas: A few well placed accessories can transform your usual decor. Image via:

Simple, natural, accessories used in a minimalistic way can really add interest if you want a low key Christmas feel without spending a lot, add baubles, ribbons or twine with natural elements for a statement, festive look or wrap fairy lights around shelving, staircases or decorative mirrors.

A touch of Christmas: Well placed accessories can transform your usual décor. Image via:

Festive Lighting

Another idea we love is winding fairylights into glass dome or up-cycle jam jars to create a creative display inside without spending a lot. It adds a beautiful, Christmassy touch to stairs, or add to a hanging display or table centrepiece for a festive feel.

A touch of Christmas: Well placed accessories and lighting can transform your usual décor. Image via:

We hope this have given you some festive inspiration to add a touch of Christmas to your interior this year. Join us next time as we continue our Countdown to Christmas!

Theme of the Month: Candlelight

This month’s Christmas inspired Theme of the Month by NDA Director of Studies Anthony Rayworth explores the theme of candlelight within interiors. He discusses its origins and explores how candlelight has evolved to become an affordable luxury in today’s society.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: image via:

Candleight: Decorative Inspirations

At this time of year, with the run up to Christmas – lighting your home with candles is the absolute best way to simultaneously uplift ones spirits and fill the home with the most wonderful fragrances. From small table settings, to whole interior displays, adding lighting within the home can can instantly change an atmosphere – to create a relaxed, peaceful space to unwind or add a festive touch to a home.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: image via:

There are many choices of lighting schemes for the home – from grand & glamorous candelabra displays, layered with tealights and striking shaped decorative options, to rustic inspired décor interspersed with natural elements and flora seen below.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: image via:

Or my personal favourite: Mix simple, pillar candles in a range of heights, with festive greenery and add luxury, scented candles in wine glasses for an extra touch of elegance.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: image via:

The History of Candlelight

Candlelight is an affordable indulgence that can transform a home in today’s society, the candle is now seen as a decorative item whilst its original use was as a primary lighting source, dating back to its earliest documented use in China, 200BC.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: image via:

Candlelight has come along way since its early origins, and by the 13th century candle making had become a guild craft in England and France. Chandlers would go house to house using kitchen fats to create tallow candles or made and sold their own candles from small shops.

These candles in their primitive form had a terrible odour when they burnt. So the introduction of using Beeswax as an alternative was a welcome innovation that burned cleanly, without smoky flame and emitted a fresh smell. But Beeswax candles were expensive in comparison, meaning few people could afford them, so they were mainly used for church ceremonies at the time in medieval Europe.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: Candle lighting in the Visoki Dečani monastery.

In the 18th century, spermaceti, oil produced by the sperm whale, was used to produce a superior candle, and later colza oil and rapeseed oil were used as much cheaper substitutes. And although significant advances in candle making continued into the mid-19th century and had become an industrialized mass market, the industry rapidly declined upon the introduction of more superior methods of lighting; including kerosene and lamps and the invention of the incandescent light bulb in 1879.

It was from this point onward that candles were sold as more of a decorative item.

Modern Day Candlelight

Today’s candle making industry has become extremely sophisticated in comparison with the ability to choose your wax content (soy, palm, paraffin or a blend of all plus some other lesser known ingredients.) The perfect flame shape, size and burn quality is the holy grail of candle making, whilst the aesthetic is also a key component of our modern designs.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: Image via:

Then there are the containers:

Tin, glass, crystal, terracotta, porcelain, fine bone china, iron, steel, bronze, copper, stone and concrete are some of the materials that support your candle, often created by internationally recognised artists, architects and industrial designers that are still working to revolutionize candle design.

This ingenious, cast-iron design creation below is by Norwegian designer Lars Beller Fjetland, designed to automatically put out the flame just before the wick burns out.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: Lars Beller Fjetland designs self-extinguishing Moment candlestick for Wrong for Hay via:

Or the marble sphere candle holders designed by Mexican Design Studio Peca, that can be split
to create two, usable objects, designed to be practical yet provides beautiful, sculptural, aesthetic forms.

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: Marble candle holder by Peca can be split to create two object. Image via:

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: David Taylor turns discarded slag into decorative candlesticks. Image via Dezeen.

Whilst Stockholm designer David Taylor combines discarded slag found on the site of a former iron foundry, brushed aluminium, polished brass and waste material to create a series of striking candle holders, that combine a contemporary aesthetic whilst addressing the global issues of sustainability and current trend for re-purposing waste materials within design.

A Subtle Scent

This month's Christmas inspired theme of the month explores the themes of candlelight: Image via:

As well as their function, their scent is also an important factor. Perfume is vital at this time of year; the ubiquitous, unscented tealight is invaluable and indispensable but it is always great to have at least one truly exceptionally fragranced candle burning this Christmas. I use them all the time whether I am on my own or with friends. Favourites include; Tom Dixon, Ralph Lauren, Byredo Parfums and Neom.

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s Theme of the Month and found it enlightening! Until next time, Anthony.



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