Thank you for all of the wonderful entries to the #LightUpForXmas competition! It is now closed and a winner will be notified soon! Have a lovely chic Christmas from all at Atelier!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so whether you’re turning a garden studio into the perfect winter hide-away or you’re dedicating a corner of your living room to Christmas, we want to see how you transform your living space for the festive season.
We don't just expect you to do this for Christmas spirit however, the best decorations snap we receive will be rewarded with a a luxurious Christmas hamper.
If you need further inspiration, we've also asked expert interior designers for their lighting advice and put together a simple guide on how to take better photos in low light conditions.
Entering our competition couldn't be simpler:
just take a picture of your decorations
post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
include the hashtag #LightUpForXmas
You have until midnight on the 21st of December 2015 to enter, but if you follow the above steps you could win a Fortnum & Mason Christmas basket*.
At Atelier, we had some fun turning one of our luxurious garden studios into the perfect place to celebrate a chic Christmas. Think you can top it?
Looking for inspiration? We’ve asked interior design and lighting experts to reveal their secrets to make your house truly magical. Here are their top tips.
Amy McGregor runs Amy McGregor, a luxury textile label dedicated to you and your home. Amy’s designs are all either hand screen or digitally printed in her studio with each design holding its own unique story.
For Christmas lighting, starting with the right colour should be the first stage in creating the perfect look. A bright lampshade will throw strong light into the room whereas a darker, moodier shade will create ambience.
Adding candles in collections of varying sizes adds to the Christmassy feel, creating cosy pockets of warmth. Candlesticks in robust metals can really add to the mood lighting and be placed near glistening decorations to reflect their sparkle.
A set of lights which co-ordinate with your tree decorations can add subtle drama to fireplaces and key features. Look for lights with a gold, silver or transparent wire to add additional light and wrap into garlands to place in the room’s key focal points.
Laurence works at Plumen, the world’s first designer light bulb brand.
When it comes to setting the mood, lighting plays a crucial role. It's not about having a grand lighting display so much as subtle accent lighting with table lamps, fairy lights or naked bulbs. Choosing the right light bulb is essential and on the hunt for the perfect ambient bulb, you should look out for brightness and warmth. Last but not least, go for a dimming bulb because subtle lighting control can really make a difference to getting the atmosphere just right.
Alys is a contemporary furniture and interior designer as well as a wife, mother and homemaker. Her blog Olive Living is a conversation about design.
The key is to select a colour which is part of your existing interior scheme; this will enable the decorations to enhance your interior rather than jar with your furnishings. Take your chosen colour and don’t be afraid to boost it, using this colour as the basis of a 3-5 colour palette. Always include your inherited and treasured decorations, these add depth and your guests will love discovering them.
Lighting will bring your decorations to life as existing standing lights, table lights and ceiling lights are perfect tools for creating a winter mood. Add festivity with pretty white fairy lights, which will flicker and sparkle on your decorations. Have fun and embrace colour.
Rosalie is a partner of One-Off Interiors, an interior design and property presentation partnership. Alongside this, Rosalie also specialises in Home Staging and has featured on “Midlands at Home.”
The choice of LED lighting provides a wonderful opportunity to create unique lighting to suit your home. Wrapping small battery powered LED string lights around the stem of glasses and glass bowls helps create ambience while partly filling glass bowls with pretend snow with an LED light string down the middle will create a beautiful glow.
For a more personal, family orientated touch, collect family photos and attach them to a board with an LED light string wrapped around the border. If you want a more personal touch then you can try making your own chandeliers, tightly wrap LED lights around old metal frames or small tree branches to create a unique lighting feature.
When thinking about lighting your home, let your imagination run wild!
Founder of the Nina Maklin Creative Studio, Nina specialises in interior and conceptual design within which she is currently enjoying a successful career.
Christmas is all about the accent lighting. I would turn off all your normal lighting and turn on feature lights like desk and floor lamps. You can use these to highlight Christmas flowers, decorations or even just your plants. It can be quite effective to bounce light off wall or ceiling to create a softer feel. Your Christmas lights will provide an additional source of light with candles and fireplaces adding the most captivating accent lighting. I would choose light bulbs with softer, warm colours or opt for old-fashioned filament light bulbs.
Look at your room as a whole and make sure that the light is distributed evenly across the whole area. This way you’ll create a cosy blanket of mood enhancing warm & soft lighting.
Sonia is a Dorset-based interior designer, property stager, stylist and freelance writer. With plenty of first-hand experience within the industry Sonia set up Yellow Book Interiors, a 360 degree interior design agency dedicated to making your home as unique as you are.
Create your own winter wonderland by lighting the path to your front door with lanterns filled with tall church candles, or strings of external LED lights wound around trees and through shrubs to bring some cheer to dark nights. In your hallway, thread lights around your balustrade and dress with foliage from the garden to provide a pretty, fragrant feature.
The centrepiece of any home is the Christmas tree and I only use white lights on mine. Lights are an essential component of any tree and will complement the rest of your decorations, whatever the colour scheme. Finally, dot plenty of tea lights around to give your home a flickering festive spirit but always be careful not to leave them unattended.
Now you’ve got your inspiration, you’re one step closer to winning our chic hamper, all that’s left is to take the photo. You’re going to want to pull out all of the stops when you’re photographing your decorations, so our resident photographer has some tips to keep you ahead of the curve.
Find the right shutter time
If you’ve created a cosy setting with dim lighting, then you’re going to want to experiment with your shutter time. Finding the right shutter time will allow you to find the right exposure to truly give your setting the justice it deserves.
Use a tripod
However a longer shutter time does make it harder to take a photo by hand, even the slightest movement can cause the image to blur. With this in mind, using a tripod will allow you to keep your camera steady if you have one, but failing that, placing the camera on a flat, steady surface can be a viable substitute.
Open up the aperture
When working in a darker atmosphere, you’re going to want to open up the aperture on your camera to let in more light. This allows you to take advantage of the warm natural light you’ve worked hard to create.
This will give you a more narrow depth that will only improve any shot that features different layers of light. While the extra layers may be out of focus in the background, the overall look of your pictures will benefit from the added depth and extra cosiness it provides.
Not everyone owns a high quality camera, but luckily modern smartphones are capable of taking breath-taking photos. Here are some tips on how to capture the best pictures on your device.
The first thing you’ll need to do is activate the HDR mode on your phone, this mode will ensure you can capture more detail from the natural light you’ve set up.
To activate HDR on iPhones simply open up your camera app, tap HDR at the top of the screen and switch it to ‘On.’
Try to avoid flash
You’ve taken careful time to position every candle and angle every light to set the right mood within your home, so you don’t want the harshness of your camera flash to spoil the picture. Let the natural light create the shadows and reveal the hidden details within your winter wonderland.
Once you’ve captured your setting, there are a plethora of apps that will help you enhance your image. Adjusting the contrast, sharpness and warmth of an image is easy to do with apps like Instagram.
Whether you feel inspired by our experts tips or you have already started to #LightUpForXmas, show us your pictures and enter the competition. Good luck!
*To see the competition's Terms & Conditions, click here.