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The magical Kiwi Christmas in a Whitford farmhouse

Fiona Hugues creates a magical Kiwi Christmas at her Whitford farmhouse, surrounded by family, friends, and a collection of loveable animals.


The magical Kiwi Christmas in a Whitford farmhouse

Christmas for me is all about the magic. The finding, making, sharing and preparation that ultimately builds up to that feeling of childhood excitement that is anticipated months ahead. I cherish those feelings as, sadly, it fades as you grow older.

I love to create a natural and fantastical setting for my children and it’s the little details that help keep that magic alive.

My business partner, photographer Jani Shepherd, and I strive to portray this magic in the parties, food and editorials we create together. Jani and I discovered we share the same memories of Christmas – a sleepless night, bubbling with excitement, sneaking a squeeze and a peek at presents under the tree, little stomachs full of butterflies knowing Santa was on his way.

Foraged and found objects feature strongly in our work together, and in how I style my design projects and home. Nature is an incredible designer – why not celebrate with her?

This year I wanted a traditional tree in soft green-grey to suit my colour theme, so bought a gorgeous blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca’). Its Northern-Hemisphere-Christmas-style branches are firm enough to hold some of my collection of abandoned birds’ nests that I’ve filled with chocolates.

I think lights are the most important decoration. In past years I’ve decorated with lights alone. The new wire seed lights are fantastic – you can easily manoeuvre them – I always use warm white as I prefer the soft, golden candle-like glow.


Words by: Fiona Hugues
Photography by: Jani Shepherd from Gatherum Collectif, gatherumcollectif.com
Concept and styling by: Fiona Hugues

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