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Exotic opulence

Skip the snow and woolly jumpers, Christmas in South Africa plays by its own weather rules and so should your décor.

Christmas might bring to mind snowy white northern climes, reindeer figurines, tree angels and traditional baubles, but global elements make for an altogether more colourful and out-of-the-ordinary festive spirit.

Dot collections of Moroccan lanterns around your entertaining space for romantic ambient lighting when darkness falls.

Think like a global nomad and mix-and-match decorative elements such as Mexican tin decorations, Indian wooden printing blocks, Russian matryoshka dolls, Himalayan prayer flags and whatever else catches your fancy – there are no hard and fast rules for this look.

The key idea is the layering of colours, prints, textures and finishes as well as new and vintage elements.

Instead of the typical floral arrangements, think delicious monster leaves in clear vases or a centrepiece of fragrant exotic fruits such as pineapples, figs, pomegranates and kiwis.

Skip the same old boring linen. A sari, kantha or length of African shweshwe fabric all make for gorgeously colourful tablecloths.

Make a whimsical centrepiece with exotic baubles, peacock feathers and figurines inside a vintage birdcage.

Channel your inner hunter-gatherer and amass an eclectic assortment of decorations for the tree, as well as your tablescape, to create moody vingnettes.

Mandy Allen