Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Weekend

Hatch the Perfect Plan

by Gabrielle Fagan

Easter decoration is now more popular than ever, and like Christmas, is becoming the perfect excuse to indulge your inner stylist.

This year's trends - fresh-as-paint pastels or more vibrant hues, from bright greens to daffodil yellows - are perfect for spring schemes and make a home look suitably dressed for the occasion.

Avoid over-elaborate displays and opt for simple, stylish touches. Skandi homes are known for their pared-back good looks, and their traditional table-top trees, hung with pretty eggs, are worth adopting. Release your inner child and paint those yourself, or let the kids loose with some dye or paints. Add a wreath, a table dressed with flowers, and perhaps a scattering of hen, chick or bunny-decorated tableware and accessories, and you're there.

It's all about setting the scene and enhancing a special family occasion, whether it's a brunch, a lunch or an egg hunt and chocolate-fest. There's a whole Easter parade of decor delights to choose from, so simply take your pick and get cracking!

EASTER TOUCHES

Choose a couple of key points in the home to decorate - whether indoors or out.

"Fill a vase with branches of Spring blossom and decorate with chocolate or blown eggs and tiny artificial birds, for a magical statement which will have children transfixed," says Jenny Hurran, founder of Out There Interiors.

"Use a mantel for a display with 'cutesy' porcelain ornaments, posies in tea-cups and propped up pastel prints. If the weather's good, decorate outside shrubs or trees by hanging fake eggs from their branches, which could be clues in the egg hunt."

TIP: If you're 'crafty' or want to keep the children busy in the holidays, Hobbycraft has all the kit, from trees to materials for egg decorating, at pocket-money prices. Easter Egg Decorations Kit, six pieces, £2.

EGG-CELLENT CHOICES: Seasonal occasions are a speciality of The Contemporary Home, which has a charming array of Gisela Graham goodies. Try her Pink or Blue Easter Tree, £21; Blossom Tree, £38, and Pastel Hanging Egg Decorations, box of six, £5, and a Patchwork Fabric Easter Egg, £2. A Country Meadow Easter Wreath, £30, looks so pretty you won't want to take it down after the holiday, and you could spell out the theme with a Pastel Wood Happy Easter Garland, £9.

John Lewis's Easter decorations are getting better every year, and I particularly like its Hand-Painted Floral Glass Eggs, £5 each. Be ready for the egg hunt with Felt Easter Baskets, £3.99, Dobbies stores.

EASTER TABLE

Eating together is one of the pleasures of the day, so make the table a focus with a suitable Easter theme.

"A fresh, outdoorsy-look is perfect for this season, and green, lemon yellow and lime tones, with a splash of blue here and there, work well," says Alison Cork, founder of Alison At Home.

"If you love zingy colour, use an apple green cloth or runner, and citrus yellow and lime details, such as cutlery tied with lime ribbon bows, more lime and yellow plaited ribbon tying name labels to each chair, and small glass jars packed with daffodil heads at every place setting."

TIP: Use a charger plate, plate and bowl for each setting, and on the top, set a fabric napkin shaped into a nest, then pop in a few spray-painted eggs in colours to match your scheme. Alternatively, John Lewis has a ready-made Egg Basket Decoration, £3.50, and a set of four Egg-Shaped Yellow Candles, £4.

EGG-CELLENT CHOICES: Up the luxe with a beautiful tablecloth and mats from OKA. A Fretwork Bedspread which doubles as a cloth, £195, and mirrored round Versaille Table Mats, set of four, £26. Nordic House's realistic egg-shaped candle collection could be the perfect finishing touch for those individual 'nests', or just group eggs on a tray as a display. Set of six Hen Eggs Candles, £7.95; Duck Eggs, £7.50 for a pair; and Goose Eggs, £12.95 for a pair.

Let hens and rabbits romp across the table for a 'down on the farm' informal look. Marks & Spencer's Easter Egg Mat & Coaster Set, £15, decorated with delicate birds' eggs is an easy way to set the scene. Delight children with Porcelain Egg Cups decorated with chicks or bunnies, £4.99 each, Dobbies, and please grown-ups with table favours from Lush - their Bunch of Carrots Bubble Bars, £5.95 each, are super appropriate.

A Dickins & Jones Vegetable Salad Bowl, decorated with a bold orange carrot motif, reduced from £45 to £36, House of Fraser, would look ideal. Fake it further with a faux Set of Yellow Flowers in Three Bottles, £8, Sainsbury's.

SPRING SURPRISES

If an all-out Easter theme doesn't appeal, simply introduce fresh spring touches to bring life to rooms still suffering a winter hangover.

"Start by filling the house with flowers," says Jenny Hurran. "Add to the effect by featuring a fabric, wallpaper or accessories whose designs feature flowers and animals, which are perfect for symbolising the awakening of nature after the long, cold winter."

TIP: Create a lasting memory of holiday celebrations by turning a photo into an eye-catching 3D print to hang on the wall; from £59.99, Cewe3d.com.

SPRING TREATS: George Home's Meadow collection is just the ticket, with its chic rather than cutsey take on all-things natural. For a fast sofa revamp, cover with its Green Check Throw, £10, paired with a couple of Daisy Cushions, £7 each. Two other gems in the range are a Watercolour Hare Cushion, £7, and Digital Print Deer Cushion, £8.

You could pay a subtle nod to the season with a couple of super pieces, such as my favourites; an animal fantasy Lapin Rabbit Chair, £365, Sweetpea & Willow, whose chair back is adorned with a bunny in a black bow-tie bearing a bunch of tulips. Less quirky but just as decorative is a Green Speckled Egg Trunk, £170, Milly Green.

 

Wardrobe, £619.95, melodymaison.co.uk

Cushion, £32, oliverbonas.com

Bed, £1,410, sweetpeaandwillow.com

Lamp, £75, Debenhams

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