From hanging up stockings to decorating Christmas trees, pulling crackers, and eating Christmas pudding – there is a multitude of rituals and traditions associated with the festive season and yet few people really understand the meaning and rationale behind these practices. Many dates back thousands of years to primitive times whilst others have been influenced by religion, popular culture, and even commercial advertising. As the team at Kassavello start to hang up their decorations and get into the festive spirit we set out to uncover some of the mystery surrounding these rituals and to understand how the power of color, texture, and design has the ability to sprinkle some Christmas magic in every household.
The smell of pine needles and twinkling lights glistening from top to toe is a tradition that goes back to Roman times when fir trees were first decorated at temples in honor of the Roman god, Saturn during the Saturnalia festival. In northern Europe, the tradition continued during the Winter solstice with a firmly held belief that evergreen trees would ward away evil spirits and illness and act as a reminder that spring would return.
The German theologian Martin Luther is thought to be the first person to have brought a tree inside and decorated it with candles. His inspiration – the beauty of the stars twinkling through the pine forest. From the 1830s onwards trees decorated with lights became a mainstay of fashion houses in Europe and of course, today lights and sparkling decoration have extended far beyond the tree to embellish every corner of a room.
At Kassavello, we love to bring a little sparkle into the home throughout the year, and what better way to achieve this than with these elegant cubic sconces. Based on a minimalist design with an opulent finish, these beautiful pieces are cast in brass and gold plate producing a soft and ambient light – perfectly positioned to illuminate the finest interiors.
The story of Father Christmas begins with Saint Nicholas, a bishop who lived in Myra (an area that is now regarded as part of Turkey today). He was known for his kindness to children and charitable donations to the poor. Legend has it that he dropped a bag of gold down the chimney of a poor man’s house as he could not afford his daughter’s dowry and the bag fell into a stocking by the fire that had been left to dry. In the 16th century images of St Nicholas were replaced by more popular images of ‘Old Man Christmas’, a figure grounded in pagan legend with an early mention in a 1616 play called ‘Christmas.
The tradition of wrapping presents takes us back to 100AD in China when the paper was first invented but became popularised in Victorian times when rich families began to wrap gifts in wallpaper to display their wealth. Prior to the invention of sticky tape, the paper was secured with twine and string which then flowed into decorative ribbons – the more embellishment the more exclusive the gift was deemed to be. What better way to gather the family for a fine Christmas dinner than around our Ribbon dining table? The provocative twists and turns of the base are delicately adorned in gleaming metal leaf, mimicking the shine and form of a ribbon. A pristine glass rectangular top completes this luxurious piece.
Turkey is the mainstay of a traditional Christmas dinner in England and legend has it that King Henry VIII was the first English monarch to eat the bird on Christmas day, popularising it amongst the upper classes after it was first imported from the USA. The invention of fridges in the 1950s brought it to mainstream status across all households. Other countries have a myriad of different dishes that have come to symbolize the festive season – pickled herring and meatballs in Sweden, fried eel in Southern Italy, and octopus in our native Portugal. Christmas pudding has even earlier origins dating back to the 14th century when it traditionally contained beef, mutton, currants, wine, and spices and was often eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas celebrations. Over time dried fruit, spirit and eggs replaced the meat and it transformed into a rich festive dessert.
Whatever meal you partake in over the festive period it’s likely you’ll want to curl up and relax to digest all that rich food. A sumptuous daybed offers the perfect solution – generous in proportion with curves in all the right places, the Malaquite is a stunning blend of contemporary design with classic influence. Ideally placed for a master bedroom or luxurious sitting room.
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of humans, are created strengthened and maintained”, mused Winston Churchill.
No more so than festive occasions is the importance of family more strongly felt. Gathered together to open presents, watch films or play games, it’s an important gathering that brings multiple generations together with a common purpose. At its roots, residential design has a primary objective and that is to create the optimal environment to bring comfort, function, and happiness within the home. For large families or those who entertain regularly, over the festive period or otherwise, a large comfortable stylish l-shaped sofa can be an excellent base on which to build a scheme.
At Kassavello we offer a bespoke service tailored to your individual needs, like this grand sofa crafted for a special client and their family to relax and spend time together. Luxurious and sumptuously comfortable it includes foam and feather wrapped seat cushions, silky grey velvet upholstery, and a unique sculpted frame to form a stunning statement piece.
We’d like to wish all of our Kassavello customers a very happy festive season, wherever and however you are celebrating. If you are thinking of taking some time out over the holidays to consider how you can enhance your home, please do get in touch – we’d be delighted to hear from you. Our full collection of unique pieces and examples of bespoke commissions can be found on our website.