Is it too early? It’s advent tomorrow and our decorations will be coming out!

There is something quite magical about the first day of advent. To me it means ‘permission granted’ to send Nick up into the attic (in our case a cupboard off the stairs affectionately termed ‘the rat cupboard’*).

Nick hauls down the huge ungainly box and quickly disappears. This is a pink job. I love the unwrapping almost as much as the decorating. Every year I forget what we’ve got so popping them out of their little tissue paper suits is a pleasure. Obviously, we have a tree but that is for much further down the line. For me, early December is time to dress the architecture of the house, my favourites being the staircase and the fireplace.

Staircase: Although we live and work staircases our own staircase must be the tiniest there is. We live in a dinky Dorset cottage and the staircase itself only has enough balustrading for 9 spindles. Still, a staircase is such fun to decorate that even our own tiny version gets the full treatment. This involves a trip up to the woods armed with the kitchen scissors and an empty pony cube sack, hunting for holly. Once home it’s quite easy to thread the holly together with floristry wire to make a garland long enough to make three short swags. A spritz with gold spray paint and the addition of some brightly coloured decorations and we’re all set.

Fireplace: So much of this month is spent beside the fireplace and with the woodburner making the house cosy it’s a lot of fun to dress it up and make it look the best it can. Our wood burner is housed in a stone fireplace, flanked by cupboards either side. This year Nick has added a mantelpiece** so that I have extra decorating space. Clearly greenery will have a tougher time here, but I still add some smaller bunches and just switch them out weekly, it’s worth it because the contrast of the green against the decorations is so pleasing.

So, are you decorating yet? We’d love to see, especially your staircases, so don’t forget to tag us.

* due to a few bonus inhabitants that came with the house, don’t worry these are now long gone.

** what this actually means is ‘Nick has been told he must add a mantelpiece before December’. Updated 28th November – the mantel is here! Thank you Nick!

Hambledon Staircases

A Carpenter’s Wife Blog

Nick and I share a passion for creativity and design. We have renovated several houses together and as I was regularly drafted in to help with his carpentry work. It was a natural step to go into business together. For many years this was an informal arrangement with me learning on my feet, including CAD, web design, tax and admin. I was itching to get involved practically so it wasn’t long before I joined Nick on-site.

We’re very lucky to enjoy our time working together. My blog is a reflection on what we are doing, what we have learnt and where we are going. It’s nice to keep a written record of our journey together and life in Dorset with two young daughters.