Gatherings with Friends: Orla Kiely
The festive season is upon us and this year, we’re making up for lost time. Whether you’re hosting extended family or spending the season with your closest friends, join us in celebrating all that makes gathering with our loved ones so great.
From the festive feast that brings everyone together around the table, to the decades-old traditions that you get excited about year after year, Christmas has always been special – but we have a feeling that this one is going be even more magical.
In preparation for the big day, we had a good old natter with some of the designers and influencers we’ve loved working with over the past year, to find out how they’ll be spending Christmas.
Perhaps you’ll take some inspiration from their plans or simply enjoy hearing a how others spend their day – either way, you’re cordially invited to our festive gathering with friends…
On the first day of Christmas, we caught up with Orla Kiely…
Having launched her first upholstered furniture collection with us back in 2019, we were delighted to welcome Orla Kiely’s latest furniture range into our stores earlier this year.
Best-known for her striking patterns and playful retro aesthetic, the Irish designer recently invited us into her own home for a tour. You can watch At Home with Orla here, and spoiler… we fell in love with her beautifully designed space! And while her home is the perfect place to entertain, we were interested to find out that Orla in fact heads home to her native Ireland for the holidays.
Read all about her very wholesome Christmas.
What will Christmas look like this year for you and your family?
We always spend Christmas in Ireland with my family in the house we grew up in. Last year of course we couldn’t be there, so we are excited more than ever and really looking forward to being together.
How do you handle the influx of extra guests?
We all help to make it as lovely as possible... and we love entertaining. The only two people off the hook are my parents who are told to sit down and enjoy watching us all run around looking after them.
Will you all fit around the table?
We have a table that we can extend to fit everyone. It can be a tight squeeze depending on how many but that never stops us including our nearest and dearest. It’s a chance to spend time with extended family and friends.
How would you describe your festive style?
We try and keep it simple. When the children were little there was a lot of emphasis on presents. Now the emphasis is on the food and wine, and an open house to welcome friends. We keep decorations simple... a beautiful tree and lots of candles.
What’s on your Christmas list this year?
Christmas is about gestures. They can be small but mean a lot! I love when you receive a gift that you didn’t expect and it’s useful. I love to expect the unexpected!
Christmas tree: real or fake?
Always real… We go for home grown from local suppliers who farm responsibly, and we always compost it afterwards.
What will you be serving this Christmas?
Last Christmas I bravely attempted a Julia Childs authentic Beef Wellington from scratch! It turned out to be very complicated. With more extended family this Christmas, we are going for a more traditional menu, less to go wrong!
Sprouts: love or hate?
Love! After steaming, sauté in butter with bacon lardons to make all the difference.
What is your Christmas tipple?
Champagne. A Christmas indulgence and treat!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without….?
A morning walk to the beach in misty cold weather all wrapped up before the business of Christmas day begins.
Do you have any fun/unusual Christmas traditions?
My father who is now 91 has always been the presenter of Christmas presents. His grandchildren although they are all grown up now still sit around him as he pulls the gifts from under the tree announcing who it to for and from... the youngest grandchild now 20 is his assistant as grandpa can’t move far from his chair! My job is always gathering up the torn off wrappings ready for recycling!
Favourite Christmas movie?
I’ve always loved old movies since childhood, so I have to say It’s a Wonderful Life!
What have been your highlights this year?
A highlight is our partnership with Barker and Stonehouse. It’s building in a very positive way, and I am thrilled that they are embracing the brand with all its colour and pattern.
Any resolutions/goals for 2022?
Onwards and upwards with a smile and lots of positivity!
To find out more about our collaboration with Orla Kiely and shop her stunning furniture range, click here.