Are you a minimalist or a maximalist at heart? Both approaches create stunning interiors, but this year we're making the case for a maximalist Christmas. It certainly hasn’t been an easy ride, so embrace the festive season in all its visual glory.

There is a good reason why many of us have fixated on what this season will entail this year, and what we can and can’t do. Whether you start Christmas planning in August or dread the whole affair, it’s one of life's consistencies. Although it’s a different festive season this year, the period still offers some guarantees and one of the best of these is bringing your home to life.

Christmas through historyAntique champagne vasque and antique coupes

Christmas can feel prescribed in today's society, and we are compelled to follow all manner of conventions. But in fact, Christmas has transformed over the centuries and taken on many different guises- even the religious meaning came later than the first festive celebrations.

In medieval England Christmas didn’t revolve around just one day; it was a full twelve days of celebrating up until 'twelfth night' on January 6th. After a pretty miserable year, why not make this festive season last? Savvy decorating choices will see the cheer through into January so you can keep the winter blues at bay.

Winter solsticeVintage soda syphon, antique bistro glasses

In a couple of days, the Earth will be tilted further away from the sun than at any other point in the year. The winter solstice is how Christmas celebrations began, in eager anticipation of the sun's return. The solstice may be the shortest and darkest day of the year, but it is also the beginning of a new chapter. This moment has special relevance this year, as we look forward to better times.

Whilst the solstice has been somewhat lost in Christmas celebrations today, it was quite crucial for the holiday’s development. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was a hedonistic spree of celebrations leading up to this event. Take note from the ancient Norsemen of Scandinavia, who celebrated ‘Yule’ from the solstice all the way through January, while the yule log burned to symbolise the return of light.

'We are not amused'Christmas tree

Queen Victoria’s reputation does not immediately bring to mind joyous festivities. But in fact, it was the innovations of the Victorians that led to the Christmas we know and love today. From the beginning to the end of the 19th Century, Christmas transformed from a lowkey event to the biggest celebration of the year.

The Victorians believed in the importance of celebrating Christmas with family, which is a concept we all hold close to our hearts today. Many of our favourite traditions stem from the royal couple themselves, Victoria and Albert. Prince Albert's childhood in Germany had a big influence on the British Christmas, and he popularised the indoor Christmas tree. An illustration of the royal family gathered around their tree appeared in the Illustrated London News in 1848, and a Christmas tree has been integral to Christmas ever since.

This period also introduced the sending of Christmas cards to friends and acquaintances, as well as the joyous Christmas cracker with its novelties and gifts inside. So, perhaps raise a glass to Queen Victoria this Christmas?

Reclaim Christmas as your ownAntique toys, antique teddy, antique sack cart, antique model aeroplane

There’s plenty of inspiration to draw from tradition and how Christmas has been celebrated over the centuries. This year, take only what you love from this and make the rest your own. Whether you can be with loved ones, or it's a quiet affair this year, surround yourself with your favourite things and give them a bit of a festive revamp.

Breaking the rules has long been a part of Christmas tradition. This time of year has a rich history of reversing social hierarchies, and it was once known as the season of 'misrule.' The violation of social conventions got a bit out of hand at one point, and the Victorians stepped in to bring about more order. The concept of reversal still manifests today, as officers of the British Army wait on their soldiers on Christmas Day. We're not advocating that your children become the boss this year, but do embrace doing things differently.

We all have our guilty pleasures. That piece that’s a bit kitsch, a bit out there… but we love it all the same. This year we haven’t been entertaining and Christmas guests are going to be limited, but there is a silver lining to these circumstances. Christmas is often a time of immense stress, no matter how organised you are. Let go of the considerations that come with entertaining this year. Fuel your nostalgia at Christmastime, and let festive cheer reign unshackled.

Mismatching design is full of character and that eccentric antique you keep tucked away in the attic is ready to have its day. Yes to red and green, if you love the colours, but also yes to yellow, blue, orange, and purple. Etiquette and convention are not on the menu for this Christmas period.

Add a little sparkle...Antique drinks cabinet

With limited events to attend this festive season, we must bring the party to us. There is no better time of year to embrace opulent home furnishings. Put beautiful gilded furniture in the spotlight, and make sure everyone has a comfortable seat. Get inventive with the furniture you see every day; sideboards present the perfect worktop for creating a wintery scene which will keep you cheerful until the Spring.

Christmas is brought to life through light, and you simply can't have enough candles. We stock antique candelabra, wall sconces, and candlesticks so that you can create an enchanting atmosphere at home. Bring the Christmas sparkle with your own unique take on decorations, such as a glass witches ball. Heavy and shining with rich history and tradition, these decorations are a fitting accessory to a maximalist Christmas.

Natural decoration also serves as a wonderful accent to your favourite antiques. Garland your statues and sculptures, and fill glass vessels with pine cones and oranges. The fireplace forms the focal point for festivities and offers plenty of scope for creative decoration. Layer the mantelpiece with holly and ivy, and quirky antiques. Browse our fireside furniture to bring this spot to life.

Eat, drink and be merryAntique serveware, antique tureen, antique dinner table

Tablescapes offer one of the greatest creative opportunities at Christmastime. This is where you can afford the most artistic license and think outside the box to bring your table to life. Antiques are the perfect antidote to the ‘norm.’

Often, there is great pressure to colour coordinate at Christmas. Throw out the rulebook and combine all your favourite tableware and glassware. Use urns and vases to create wonderful, unusual centrepieces that will have everyone in awe. If you love it, it works.

Trust our one-of-a-kind antiques to bring your home to life this season and all year round. If you're keeping it lowkey this year and plan to come back with a bang in 2021, it's never too early to prepare!

For a little added inspiration, visit our lookbook  "Merry and Bright."

Merry Christmas, from the whole team at Lorfords Antiques!