With over thirty years of experience in organising high-profile, A-list events, Liz Taylor of event management company the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) understands what it takes to create the perfectly dressed room for Christmas. Liz is often asked to apply her creativity and event dressing skills to the homes of her celebrity clients. If there’s anyone who can offer an insight into how the rich and famous like to spend Christmas, it’s Liz.
We caught up with her to find out the hottest celebrity festive trends this year, along with tips on how to dress your home with that exclusive celebrity style.
First out of the blocks
If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet put your decorations up, then you’re way behind the celebrity set this season. No sooner had it turned November, the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey had declared it was time to celebrate and the rest have quickly followed suit.
“This year, it’s been a race to see who can deck the halls the quickest,” begins Liz. “We were taking calls to dress homes in October, which is certainly earlier than I’ve ever experienced before. After the year we’ve all had, people want to spread some joy and happiness – what better way to do that than dressing your home at its festive best?”
Liz is seeing that the traditional Christmas designs are making a resurgence amongst the celebrity set.
“A lot of our celebrity clients choose a very traditional scheme over sleek, ‘Vogue’ minimalism. It’s perhaps because all year round their lives are spent keeping up with the latest, most stylish trends. So, at Christmas the focus changes. It’s an abundance of forest green, gold and bright red decoration. Mixed with garlands of frosted foliage, berries twigs, pinecones and seasonal scented candles. Victorian inspired festive train sets, or Nutcracker toy soldiers add that sense of nostalgia. The vibe is tradition and family.”
“For those who want a more contemporary, but still homely feel, the look is very Nordic with lots of texture for winter warmth. In fact, warmth is a key feature even within neutral colour schemes. Opt for winter whites, or even a more daring black scheme. Bring in in soft greys or coppers and browns, alongside woolly foot stools or a cosy love seat and faux fur cushions – yes some people hire in furniture for Christmas too.”
Glamorous black tie
Last Christmas, Kim Kardashian famously posted an Instagram of her ‘sister squad’ with the tagline ‘When Kourt throws a party we glam up’, It’s time to follow suit.
Liz continues: “Another celebrity trend this Christmas is uber glamour. Perhaps because those black-tie events aren’t happening this year, celebs are wanting to recreate that high-end event at home.
“Make your Christmas day a black-tie affair, and that means dressing to the nines – even if you’re staying in. We need no excuse to look incredible, but this Christmas is a great time to fire up the style stakes.
Liz suggests planning the day as if it were a black-tie ball. Start with canapes, cocktails, smooth jazz and perhaps even a harpist (socially distanced of course). There are lots of restaurants and professional caterers offering fine dining packages at home over the festive season. To save on stress and ensure that five-star experience, Liz recommends ordering a Christmas dinner delivery.
“At our events, especially at Christmas, it’s all about how the table is dressed. My celebrity clients are opting for heavier, more expensive fabrics such as velour or velvet instead of white table linens. These exude luxury and channel that 1920’s Hollywood glamour. You can create height down the centre with tapered candles or vintage candelabra nestled amongst seasonal foliage.”
At Christmas time, Instagram is full of celebrities posing in the snow. Whether they’re wrapped up in matching Christmas pjs, or on the slopes of Courchevel complete with snow suits and snow scooters. In the absence of holiday travel this year, one trend is to bring the annual ski trip to the home. Embrace the best of glamorous ski lodge style with a winter white theme.
“You may have seen the £12 rug hack that transformed living rooms up and down the country. A simple, small circular fluffy white rug added underneath the tree. And actually, adding in some texture is a very quick and easy way to style up your Christmas space. Lots of celebrities want to create a very cosy feel, that means layering up furs, blankets and chunky knits alongside rustic woods to create that chalet chic feel. Add a snow tipped tree as a finishing touch.
Liz emphasises the importance of lighting in setting the mood. “You can mix up different sizes and shapes of bulbs but stick to warm white to keep it chic and elegant. Candles in storm jars are a must in this design.”
“Don’t forget the outdoor space too. Especially important in the era of social distancing. Create a cosy gazebo space, dressed by an overhead canopy of white lights, patio heaters or a fire pit, and an outdoor rug. For the Après ski – raclette or fondue served with copper mugs of mulled wine, Schnapps or a Champagne cocktail.”
Making an entrance
One of Liz’s clients, actress Michelle Keegan, is one of the many who have dressed their homes and she certainly knows how to create impact.
Liz adds: “A huge sparkling archway adorns the front door, flanked by life-size toy soldiers on either side – what a way to welcome guests.
“You may not have Michelle’s exact taste, but a doorway arch is easy to replicate at home without costing thousands. Garlands are very popular this year and look stunning as a festive frontage. Carry the look throughout the home by incorporating greenery where you can, garlands of eucalyptus, ivy and gypsophilia over a fireplace and staircase. Or my absolute favourite look – a floral canopy over the Christmas table.
“For a more pared back take on this trend try a simple oversized wreath on the door. Frame it with some large lanterns and holly trees either side.”
Any celebrity worth their salt will already have their festive Instagram posts shot and scheduled, so why not start planning yours?
“Remember the backdrop is almost as important as the subjects (unless you’re Adele of course). If you’re going to party like a celeb then you need a gorgeous backdrop for all those selfies you’ll be posting during the day. You can choose a corner of your home that’s beautifully decorated or go for a bespoke background with a hand painted scene.
“Last Christmas, Adele opted for an oversized snap of a snow-covered London and invited Santa and the Grinch along to her celebrity soiree. Dressed head to toe in black satin showing off her new svelte figure she certainly made sure it was a photo opportunity to remember for all the right reasons.”
Liz believes that many celebrities will focus on individual details, rather than grand schemes.
“You may think that the celebrity world is all about oversized installations and going over the top. But often it’s the delicate, finer details that will make or break the day. I love taking big ideas and reinventing them in a creative way. A dessert plate with miniature Espresso martini and bite-sized dessert. A thimble full of mulled wine served with canapes. Or an espresso cup of hot soup for outdoor celebrations.
“However, when it comes to Christmas trees, bigger really is better in the world of celebrity Christmas décor. Floor to ceiling is the only way to go. With such a huge tree you may need help to decorate it properly and, of course, we event planners can be a help here.
“Remember, celebrities are often seeking that element of fun too. So, try hanging the tree upside down. It creates a unique focal point and talking point!”
Liz Taylor’s illustrious career in event planning has built an impressive portfolio including celebrity weddings, charity fundraisers like Children in Need with Gary Barlow and huge gala dinners such as Winter White Gala at Kensington Palace for HRH Duke of Cambridge. Visit tlc-ltd.co.uk or @taylorlynncorporation to find out more.
All images courtesy of Taylor Lynn Corporation