30 Nov


Family, friends, food, fun. The secret to the perfect festive season. And what better way to put 2021 behind us and celebrate the joys, happiness, friendships and good health that awaits us in 2022.

The past two years have thrown unprecedented challenges at us, but as we head towards 2022 let’s leave the bad memories behind us and promise that next year will be about making at least one good memory every day. Shining spirits, festive cheer, gorgeous glam, easy food – we’ve got it all packed into this issue of The Crest.

Flip the pages and feast on ideas galore to bring a festive holiday mood into your home. From stunning table decor, cocktails to celebrate the occasion, party food, glitzy designer outfits and jewellery to dazzle, there is no time to celebrate like the now, so join us on a spectacular festive ride filled with ideas to make this holiday season the best ever. Let’s raise a glass and embrace the New Year with an abundance of hope and happiness.

“The black Christmas tree was the starting point for my inspiration,” says uMhlanga interior decorator Lisa Walters. “I thought this tree and look would translate beautifully with the colour palette of my home. I love things to be tonal, so I chose elements that fit well together.”



Lisa wanted the theme to be more of a celebration – not a traditional Christmas. “To me, even though I have young children, times have changed. I wanted to have my own spin on the look and feel, one that could be interpreted for a Christmas occasion, New Year party, birthday party – in fact, any celebration, not just Christmas. I also wanted the mood to be glam, luxe, playful and fun.”

Two Christmas trees is not the norm, but the new black tree teamed beautifully with Lisa’s old favourite silver tree. And decorated with baubles, faux birds, bows and poinsettias in shades of gold, silver, black and white – all colours found in Lisa’s home – the look certainly was impressive. The black tree and decorations are all from uMhlanga Rocks SUPERSPAR Decor Division.

Lisa dressed her table with a cloth she had made, and layered it with items she already had, as well as decor items from uMhlanga Rocks SUPERSPAR Decor Division. Each table setting had two underplates – one glass plate, and one black and gold rimmed underplate. The finishing touches to the table were stags with candles, various vessels filled with white peonies, Celebrate candles from the SOH Collection with festive scents, and various decor items that resonated with Lisa.


Lisa’s tips

Texture: For fairly neutral colour tones, play with varying textures. On the table much of this is evident: Two large pewter stag candleholders (with ombre candles); small glass candle votives in black and gold glass; solid marble candle vessels; bone boxes; linen napery; velvet ribbons on hand-made paper with gold bells made by Indigo & Ivory Designs; gold foiling on hand-made crackers (SOH Collection); leather boxes with brass edging; marble look black decorative boxes; mirrored disco balls; glass urns with marble and gold foiling detail; Perspex swizzle sticks; glass Christmas trees; and fresh flowers to add softness.

Height: I also like to use decor items of varying heights so that the table is not visually at one height, but has variance, which makes it interesting. I stacked bone boxes for height, and topped with other decorative items. Using candle sticks at different heights also helps achieve this, as do flowers which I used in two different vessels on this table.

Mood: I used flowers that were soft, flowing and gentle, and not too structured, with the colour toning with the decor. Lots of candlelight added mood and drama, while subtly-scented candles were placed on the table as well as around the room. In my opinion, there is nothing more stunning than a room that smells beautiful in a signature scent you love. Partnering with Lisa, Wendy-Leigh Cousins -Leigh from Indigo & Ivory Designs designed complementary stationery to feel festive, tactile and personal with the modern star element, touches of gold and hand-made paper carried throughout.

Notecard: For the notecard, Wendy-Leigh designed a custom scallop flap envelope in a LUX black cross hatch-card. The personalised notecard was made from a pillowy cotton hand-made paper with each envelope featuring gold script and fine lurex thread for the closure.

Ring in the new year/bells: At each setting we placed a deckled edge note with an oversized velvet bow and carried through the same bell and star element.

Menu: A mini glass and gold frame housed the festive menu, with detail of the deckled edging from the hand-made paper.

Bar signage and swizzle sticks: The mini frosted Perspex bar sign featured fun 3D Perspex lettering and carried the star element through on to the custom black Perspex swizzle sticks.



Of course, no celebration is complete without food. Durban foodie Ant Ellis adorned his apron and whipped up easy-to-make dishes – including his best-ever Mince Pies (no Christmas is complete with this treat). The canape’s – Pear Crisps with Blue Cheese, and Prawn and Avocado Tostadas – were a real crowd pleaser and were washed down with Ant’s favourite entertaining cocktails. The party had begun.

You can find the above recipes here.



Durban fashion designer Francois Vedemme was tasked with creating bespoke garments “fit for a queen” for our festive shoot. Francois spent time with each client finding out their style preference, taking into consideration individual likes and dislikes like preferred length of dress, length of sleeves they were comfortable wearing, neckline, the amount of sparkle they were happy to wear, and the colour theme.





Decor & Styling: Lisa Walters

Pictures: Michigan Behn Photography

Food: Antony Ellis

Dresses: Francois Vedemme Fashion

Jewellery: Mark Gold

Stationery: Wendy-Leigh Cousins, Indigo & Ivory

Decorations: uMhlanga Rocks SUPERSTORE Decor Division

Crackers and candles: SOH Collection by Sarah McGregor

Cake: Monz Macarons and Confectionary Instagram: monz_macarons



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