How these star interior designers are decorating their home for Christmas

Most people would agree that 2020 has been eventful enough. But 2LG Studio’s Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead have decided if there’s one Christmas that needs some extra drama, it’s this one.

And the star designers have gone all out to embrace the festivities in their London home with an extravagant spectacle of colour and sentimentality.

‘It feels really important to make a big effort this year,’ says Russell. ‘We’ve gone for the antidote of 2020 with bursts of pinks and blues to banish the stress of lockdown.

We are calling it ‘Ten Reels Realness’ because the decorations are made up of lots of different ribbon. Some we ordered and some are saved from previous years wrapping and gifts, so it feels special and connects us to the people we love and might not get to see.’

There are big bows and lots of them. Giant balls, too. ‘It’s over the top and playful, just as Christmas should be,’ says Jordan. ‘We all need some fun more than ever this year – and it’s important to take any opportunity we can to lift the spirits right now.’

The pandemic has given the designers the perfect excuse to shake up their festive décor style. In years gone by, they enjoyed more traditional Christmases with white and gold decorations and lots of foliage from the garden. This year, it is full-on colour.

‘It felt like a Christmas rebellion to change it up, but it’s been so much fun and we love the result,’ says Russell. ‘We’ve had days this year when we thought we wouldn’t get into the Christmas spirit at all because we can’t host any parties or dinners throughout December. Like most people, we usually go all out with the decorations for guests as much as for us.

‘We shared our old gold and green decorations with friends, so they will still be going up this year, just not in our house. It’s a lovely idea to do a big Christmas decoration swap with a friend or neighbour to give you a fresh feel and try out a new look without the expense. It also connects you when you can’t be together.’

When it comes to the dilemma of fake or real trees, that’s one thing they won’t budge on.

‘We love to go real,’ says Jordan. ‘The smell is amazing and bringing the tree in has such romance to it. There are so many sustainable tree options now. We have one in a pot that lives in the garden (for four years now) but you can also rent real trees or order a cut real tree from a UK grower. Some even deliver in electric vehicles like TheStem.co.uk.

‘Putting the tree up has always been a lovely ritual for us and that luckily did not change. We put on the Home Alone soundtrack, drank mulled wine and untangled lights together and it was just as lovely as ever.’

The couple are happy to embrace an uncharacteristically quiet Christmas Day with just the two of them, and their beloved dachshund, Buckley.

‘We are now allowed to see some family or friends but we may still have Christmas itself alone to keep it simple for our families as we both have big families,’ says Russell.

‘Christmas is typically about driving around the country to see everyone, with Driving Home For Christmas blaring on the radio and the car packed to the roof with presents. It will be much quieter this year with lots of lovely long walks in nature.

‘Though, we will sorely miss taking our nieces and nephews to the panto this year. We’ll make do with lots of Christmas Zooms.’

Family and friends will still be receiving gifts, beautifully wrapped of course. ‘We’ve already sent pre-lit potted trees to our elderly family members who have been alone for much of lockdown. It’s a little gesture that lifted their spirits and hopefully made this year easier.

‘Giftwise, we are trying to buy from local and independent retailers, where possible, to support them. And we’ve joked about doing a big Santa road trip to drop presents on the doorsteps of our family and friends and see their faces, even if it’s through the window,’ adds Jordan.

One thing they are both excited about is cooking Christmas dinner. Russell laughs: ‘As vegans, we are often the annoying ones at the Christmas table who have to have different things popped in the already over-packed oven. So we are looking forward to going all out with a fully home-made vegan Christmas feast and lots of artisan vegan cheeses.

‘I love to cook and will trawl Instagram and cook lots of new recipes to keep it fun. I intend to fill the table with dishes, even if it’s only for two, because the leftovers on Boxing Day are the best bit sometimes.’

Jordan adds: ‘Everything is so different this year, but we are very grateful to have each other (and Buckley). While we might not be able to share our decorations with friends and families, we’ve put the tree in the window, lit up our front garden and dressed our door for anyone that walks by to enjoy.’

2LG’s top tips for getting creative this Christmas

DIY Decorations

Homemade ribbon decorations add a quirky personal touch (Picture: 2LG)

It can be good for the soul to make decorations like paper chains and snowflakes and bows. There are lots of online tutorials on Instagram and YouTube to make paper decorations inexpensively. We have amazing memories of doing this as kids and it looks great, too.

Hand-made gifts

These are really special, too. This year we foraged blackberries and made blackberry gin as gifts and we made quince jelly in jars that we had saved. Or you could paint a family portrait or beloved pet. It will either be cherished or bring much-needed laughter. Either way, it’s a win.

2LG’s artisan gift guide

The best Christmas shopping is personal, design-led, and preferably local. Here’s a round-up of our fave small businesses with great gifts for design lovers.

De La Jardin

A sustainable favourite of ours. This vase is sculpted from paper and card waste, with beautiful forms and texture.

Buy the Mio vase for £76 at delajardin.com

The Other Saint

This new business has launched a range of vegan skin care products in compostable pots — perfect stocking fillers.

The Wake-Up Call combo, £34, theothersaint.com

In Casa by Paboy

A collaboration with By Alice (by-Alice.co.uk), these cushions will be the envy of your friends, and help a wonderful chap from Gambia seeking asylum in Naples.

Buy them for £110 from Instagram shop @in_casa_by_paboy.

Forever Crackers

We LOVE these reusable crackers. Fill them with whatever you like, and leave out the snaps (Buckley hates the bang).

Buy Elves Made Me Do It crackers for £185 at Forever Crackers.

Max Made Me Do It

Whether you’re looking for an art print, cushion or indeed a whole wallpaper, you will surely find something you love from here.

Buy the Embroidered wall hanging for £55 from Max Made Me Do It.

Mind the Cork

Jenny Espirito Santo hand-makes beautiful cork planters and decorations — we love that cork is such an eco-material.

Buy the Balombo Mosu cork sculpture for £149 from Mind the Cork.

Making Living Lovely by Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe, £14.94 (Amazon) 2lgstudio.com.

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