Rowen & Wren’s Lucy Uren divulges her decorative tips for a sublimely beautiful Christmas.

When Lucy Uren, along with her husband Graeme, launched Rowen & Wren in 2011, one of its founding tenets was to create sustainable homeware that would deliver daily doses of comfort and joy. And in the ensuing decade, they have done exactly that in the creation of the beautifully simple, craftsman-made modern classics that they are now synonymous with.

It stands to reason, then, that they should do Christmas especially well. A mere glance at a Rowen & Wren Christmas evokes an atmospheric, candle-lit world of natural materials and soft, understated romance. Here Lucy shares her decorative fail-safes and the traditions – handed down the generations of her family – that she rejoices in keeping alive.

Bringing The Outdoors In

For as long as I can remember, my mum would always bring a host of festive greenery into the house in the run up to Christmas and dress it with lights and decorations. I have now adopted this tradition, collecting handfuls of ivy tendrils, pine and old-man's beard to drape across any free surface within the cottage.

Nostalgic Decorations

Although I love to pick a new decoration or two every year, my very favourite ones are those that have been passed down from our parents and grandparents, reminding us of magical Christmases when we were little.

Homemade Decorations

Equally, we love to incorporate a mix of homemade decorations wherever we can. I love it all, from the hand-painted stars spattered in glitter sent home from our daughter’s nursery to the homemade stockings that my mum has made for the entire family over the years. I still have the same one from when I was tiny. It has been patched up several times where it was repeatedly nibbled by a mouse in my parents’ loft.

Christmas Scent

Scent is always so emotive at Christmas time, whether it's the drying pine of a real Christmas tree; a spiced, scented candle; or another of my favourite traditions, a clove studded pomander. I find the making of the latter so therapeutic and my fingers always smell festive for days after. This year I'm going to get my daughter involved in the making of them – it is fortunate that the smell is more important than the look!

Decorating Outdoors

This will only be our second proper Christmas in our cottage, so we're still very much exploring how to best decorate outside. Last year, we took the lead from our neighbours and lined the thatch roof with white fairy lights. It looked so beautiful, we'll be repeating them this year at both the front and the back of the house.

As For Christmas Traditions...

One of my favourite family Christmas traditions from when I was little was being allowed to choose one present from under the tree to open on Christmas Eve, stirring the excitement of the day that little bit early. We have now adopted this with our daughter, Alma, (and will now do with our second little girl, Agnes too), so I hope it will continue to be a family tradition for many years to come.

By Nancy Alsop
December 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.