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Posts tagged ‘Christmas lights’

The Daily Norm’s Photo of the Week: The Napoli Puddle of Mystery

Following on from the all sparkling, all dancing spectacle of yesterday’s Italian festive lights post, today’s post, and indeed this week’s Daily Norm photograph of the week, focuses specifically on one photo from Italy which, like yesterday, features Christmas lights, but is characterised by an altogether different mood. With its gloomy dark lighting, this photograph is an altogether more mysterious image, one which feels edgy, and almost intimidating, as though we have emerged from the darkness which surrounds the frame of the photo. In the sinister blue glow, the glistening cobbles of a Naples street can be seen, fresh after a recent rainfall. The crack down the cobbles, which has collected more water owing to the incline of the road runs almost like a wound through the centre of the photo; while the puddle in the centre, reflecting the street decorations hung above, looks like some kind of mysterious magical cauldron, filled with a potion created with a sorcerer’s touch.


The fact of the matter is that no matter how fantastical my description, or indeed the finish of this photo may be, it was taken in the notoriously dark, gloomy and at times dangerous streets of Naples’ old town one December evening after the rain. Because of the rainfall, the usually crowded streets were near deserted, and the shop keepers had shut up shop for the night. That made the area, with its dark unforgiving alleyways no friend of the guileless tourist, and for me this photo carries with it the dark edginess of the mood prevailing at that time. Needless to say, shortly after it was taken my partner and I ran off to the safety of our hotel, my camera safely stowed away as we did so!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2013 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

The Daily Norm’s Christmas Tree of the Week | No.1: Scandinavian candy

Christmas time is finally upon us, and with it my home has, as annual tradition dictates, metamorphosed into a festive wonderland befitting the season. For there is nothing quite like the sparkle of fairy lights, the twinkle of glittered baubles, and the Nordic smell of an authentic fir tree to import the feeling of Christmas wonder into the home. In recognition of its power to transform a humble dwelling, I always indulge in abundant homage to the season, installing not one, nor two, but FOUR christmas trees into my home, one for each room of the house. That way, wherever you walk inside in my little London flat, the spirit of Christmas will never be more than a few metres away. In fact upon entering my home and standing in the hallway, you are greeted with the sight of some three of those four trees stood majestically installed in each of their respective rooms.

What with there being four trees, and four weeks left until Christmas, it seemed only proper that I should focus on one of each of my trees each week as I share my Christmas decorations with the world. And for the first week, I would like to share with you what is my newest tree in a scheme of annually recurring decor, and with which I have incorporated all of the fragrant fancy that comes with a real tree, ditching the fake white tree which used to decorate my bedroom.

Tree No.1: Scandinavian Candy


It was after installing my little Scandinavian Forest on my chest of drawers last year, a composition which nodded to the traditional Christmases which the Nordic countries do so well, that I realised that the fake tree which previously stood alongside it no longer fitted the bill. Yearning always for a real tree, and with the plastic white tree turning a progressively unattractive shade of yellow, I decided to go the full hog this year and opt for the real mccoy – a 7 ft Norwegian fir tree, now decadently decorated with decorations of white, green, turquoise, and by way of incorporation with the hints of pink in the paintings which hang in my bedroom, a touch of candy pink too – hence the name I have given to this scheme: Scandinavian Candy.

The biggest change from my normal decorative schemes came with my decision to ditch tinsel in favour of a more traditional paper chain. I always apply tinsel almost as a matter of course, but when I did so on my real tree, it lacked delicacy, and made the tree look altogether more clumsy. So out came the paper, the glue and the scissors, and the result is a tree which is garlanded and shaped by paper chains, but not swamped by them.

Well that’s more than enough talking from me. Time for the tree to shine through photos. Gosh I can smell its fragrant pine needles as I type…divine!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2013 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree… (Part 2) My Top 10 Tips for decorating the perfect Tree

Ok, so following on from yesterday’s little exhibition of my Christmas decoration winter wonderland here at The Daily Norm offices, here, just in time for the weekend, are my top-10 fail-proof tips on decorating the perfect Christmas tree.

1. The Tree

Real tree or fake tree? That is the question? It’s a personal choice, but a lot will depend on the house you live in, the kind of theme you are going for with your decorations, and also the degree of control you want over your tree. I live in very modern house, with contemporary interiors. I want my christmas trees to bring festive sparkle into the space, but also to compliment my modern lines. I also want a very controlled, “designed” look. I therefore go for fake trees of varying colours. I love real trees, particularly the smell, but I think they look a lot better in a more traditional home environment. If you have a period property with a big open fireplace and high ceilings, your home is just made for a large bushy tree plucked straight out of the forest. Also keep in mind that real trees, with their floppy branches (which get floppier still as the days go on) are harder to control and are not really for the perfectionists amongst us. They also make a dreadful mess so think about disposal, floor surfaces and so on.

2. The Decorations

Colour co-ordination is the key to success. This is my mantra in life. I think that trees which do not follow some kind of dominant colour theme are difficult to control and can end up looking disorganised and consequently unglamorous. Not that I am adverse to this look. Some people, like my family or Kirsty Allsopp, like a tree to be sentimental, and consequently they bring out old decorations which have been in the family for generations, none of which match each other, but each of which has its own history, more and more being added every year. If you do want to go for a miscellany of decorations, my tip would be to try and pull the tree together with strong tinsel co-ordination (see below). Don’t try and place single-coloured lights on a tree which is going to be full of different decorations – multi-coloured will probably work best.

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