The art of letter writing has certainly dwindled over the past decade but this Christmas, rather than sending a festive text or email to your loved ones, why not put pen to paper and send a card?
It’s much nicer to receive ‘fun’ post rather than the usual pile of bills and bank statements that land on your doormat. There is certainly a huge array of Christmas cards to choose from but with independent stationery brands and shops cropping up, it’s good to show your support for them.
I have an ever-growing pile of cards waiting to be framed and I think that if you send well-designed cards then they can be kept and transformed into artwork. Ok, so you’re not likely to have a Christmas tree hanging on your wall year-round but it could become a unique festive decoration that you dig out of the loft every year.
Here are some of my favourites to choose from this year.
I took a day off yesterday and headed to Bicester Village to brave the crowds (and the traffic queues) and buy a few Christmas gifts. If you're planning on staying home and doing some online shopping this weekend, here's a round up of some the best sale offers running over the next few days.
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- 20% off everything at Anthropologie (Friday 29th November to Monday 2nd December only).
- Free UK express delivery at Toast. (Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd November).
- Molton Brown have 25% off everything until Sunday. (Enter code: SURPRISE6).
- 15% off at Astley Clarke until Monday 2nd December. (Enter ADVENT at checkout).
- M&S have 20% off all home furnishings this weekend only.
- Design Hunter readers can enjoy an exclusive 10% off all gift purchases at Heal's until 30 November. (Enter code DESIGN10).
- Spend £250 online at Reiss before 1st December and receive a £50 gift card to spend instore.
- Up to 30% off clothing, home and fragrance at The White Company.
- 15% off everything except sale items at Designers Guild on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd December. (Enter code: FESTIVETREAT).
- House of Fraser have a brand event with up to 40% off.
Image: Waxed canvas bags via Analogue Life
Does being vulnerable make us weak?
'Hide' by Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet is a project about vulnerability and protection.
"Today’s society is tough and does not approve of being vulnerable. But I think vulnerability can give you strength and protection," she says.
To explore the idea Nienke has designed two blankets - one that simulates human skin and another resembling elephant hide.
Located within a distinctive triangular building, this apartment on Carrer Avinyó in Barcelona's gothic quarter has been remodelled to harmonise with the medieval streets in which it is situated. The space was redesigned by David Kohn who describes it as "an homage to Barcelona".
One of my main bugbears about shopping online is the cost and unpredictability of delivery times. Some retailers still seem to think 7-10 day delivery times and high postage charges are acceptable, but times are tough, and it's the retailers who have really sharpened up their act to offer quick, reliable and affordable delivery that customers will choose to return to again and again.
And in my experience, John Lewis have really set the standard when it comes to making shopping online a quick, easy and trouble free experience. I love their click and collect service. If I order online before 7pm I can pick the goods up at my local Waitrose (or John Lewis) store the following afternoon.
So I'm delighted that Design Hunter has teamed up with John Lewis to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a £100 John Lewis hamper to kickstart the Christmas celebrations. Read on to find out how to enter, but first, here's my John Lewis gift edit - ideas and inspiration for him, for her and for hounds.
This week's links for a lazy Sunday...
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- Apartment 34's ultimate holiday table.
- A well composed life - Faye Toogood's London home is just breathtakingly beautiful.
- Absence of water - a series of photographs of abandoned swimming baths by Gigli Cifali.
- Win a £50 Heal's gift voucher (plus an exclusive discount code for Design Hunter readers).
Image: Aubrey Pick for Apartment 34