Thursday, December 20, 2012

Designer prefers simplicity, elegance


Belinda Cipriano, The West Australian
Updated December 17, 2009, 6:30 am
Festive flair: Jewellery designer Belle Bijoux with Elianah, decorating their tree.
WA News/Rob Duncan © Festive flair: Jewellery designer Belle Bijoux with Elianah, decorating their tree.

    Designer Belle Bijoux reveals why she prefers simplicity and elegance at Christmas.
    THE DECORATIONS: My home is always decorated quite simply but elegantly.
    Candles and bowls of star anise and cinnamon sticks give the house a traditional Christmas fragrance.
    The shelf above the fireplace is always adorned with Christmas crafts my eldest has made at school over the years - paper angels, painted pine cones and an advent calendar.
    Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin singing Christmas carols are always on my stereo at this time of year.
    THE THEME: Antique-inspired.
    THE TREE: Our towering Christmas tree stands proudly in the living room of our Fremantle home.
    It is decorated with treasured ornaments - some collected from my travels and others passed down through my family.
    My favourite piece, a small glass angel from Venice, is perched on top.
    THE MENU: The first half of Christmas day is spent with my family, followed by a late lunch with my partner's family.
    It is truly a day of overeating and overindulging!
    Brunch at my sister Sarah's is always a wonderfully casual affair.
    The kids roll around on the grass and splash in the paddling pool while the adults feast on fruit, pastries, and fruit bread slathered in homemade preserves.
    My sister skilfully mixes pitchers of spicy bloody Marys and champagne with blood orange juice for Christmas drinks.
    It is then time to head to my partner's family's house for a late lunch.
    Roast turkey, ham, seafood, roasted vegetables and salads are piled high along the long dinner table.
    After our bellies are full we all adjourn to the family room to start the Secret Santa gift giving.
    My contribution to the day's feast? Every year I love making fruit mince tarts and displaying them on a particularly kitsch five-tiered cake stand.
    TRADITIONS: Christmas morning would not be complete without an early morning swim at the beach.
    My partner and I stroll down to South Beach with the kids and spend the morning playing in the cool calm water.
    THE GIFTS: I love giving unique, sentimental presents.
    This year Elianah, 10, will receive a gold antique locket from Santa, and my youngest, Evangeline, will be given floaties, a bucket and spade and a pair of red sequined shoes so she can tap her heels together.
    I usually go to Remedy for quirky homewares, Aesop products and beautiful stationery; New Edition for books on food, wine, design, photography, philosophy and architecture; Churchill's Antiques for perfume bottles and vintage jewellery; Old Bridge Cellars for petite bottles of sparkling moscato and riesling; Rochelle Adonis for her famous white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio nougat; Simon Johnson for cheese and coffee.
    A week before Christmas, Elianah and I make our own wrapping paper; embellishing rolls of brown paper with glitter and potato stamps. I also love Mokoh's Christmas cards.

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