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  • Writer's pictureJo Lee

Christmas is coming to the Charente at the chambres d'hotes at Montaurand

Every Christmas,the chambres d'hotes at Montaurand is transformed into a christmas wonderland as Madeleine Lee works her Xmas magic on the beautiful interiors of our 1890 Maison de Maitre. The Grand Salon, Dining Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom and so on.

Every room is now a unique art installation with a mixture of antique Swedish & French Brocante christmas decorations from 1800-1950.

This year we are using 'feather' xmas trees from IKEA which are based on the original antique feather trees from the early 1900s. They look great, have a nostalgic feel and don't shed any needles! No more chopping up xmas trees for the fire in january.

More environmentally friendly as it seems such a waste to kill all those trees for a few weeks of consumer spending. I prefer otherwise to use xmas trees that you can replant and reuse every year.

The feather trees were originally made from goose feathers that were split down the middle and then wrapped around the tree branches to make the 'needles'. The original ones are very rare and super expensive but IKEA have done a great job in recreating them with the right feel and at a good price too.

So we have 6 new feather xmas trees in the house and 5 old ones. All strung with low energy LED lights in various configurations.

We are also majoring on rocking horses this year too - we have a selection of stunning antique Swedish and French Rocking horses in a variety of sizes which create really cool decorative set ups in the various rooms at Montaurand.

Our most recent 'Nunspeet' is a huge horse that came from a castle brocante we attended in holland in the autumn with Margreet Frens, the editor of Loving Brocante Magazine. Really regal and with a lovely distressed finish and red wheels!

In terms of christmas decorations, we have one xmas tree that is covered in just antique styled bells we found in france - it looks brilliant and is really original. On other trees we have lovely handwoven wool santas and mrs clauses from the early 1900s in Russia (again very rare), be-jewelled songsbirds, old paper angels and antique mirrored balls. Gorgeous

But a lot less than normal as Mrs Lee is going for a more restrained vibe this year.

Madeleine Lee is now writing a quarterly column Styling tips column for Loving Brocante magazine and you can catch up with her xmas tips in the new christmas edition that has recently been published.

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