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A mini moment on Christmas

Introducing our new series 'mini moments' - the little sister to 'A moment with ...' sharing tips, ideas and behind the scenes at Caroline Foster Brown & Daughters. As we are working towards CFB&D Christmas '22 we thought we would post last years that we created with my beautiful friend Bee Osborn from Osborn Interiors.

The inspiration for this project came after Bee and I were chatting one day and decided it would be fun to do something together in Bee's heavenly cottage in the Cotswolds using lots of products from Osborn Interiors (OI). For me this was the dream, the home Bee created is just beautiful, every detail perfectly in keeping with the history of the cottage but with Bee sprinkling her magic on all the details and to use her products which are a wonderful collection of things she loves and uses everyday.

Osborn Interiors (OI) has an incredible collection of accessories, vases, paints, lanterns and scents, I wanted to include as many as possible into the scheme, so lots of lovely sourcing trips to Bee's shop and online to select what I was going to use.

Once I had selected everything, I then started to work on the vision. As both Bee and I love a neutral colour palette, I chose winter whites, stone and soft greens which also balanced well with the location and OI's heavenly new paint collection.

One of my favourite parts about my job is coming up with the vision and scheme. I constantly make sure that all the elements sit well together as the scheme develops.

Several super early trips to New Covent Garden Flower Market and I settled on ecalyptus and astranthia for the OI lanterns (which I used as vases) simple, long lasting and the scent of ecalyptus always reminds me of Christmas. I chose kalanchoe plants for the bigger OI containers, troughs, baskets and painted pots.

Then I worked out how much each OI lantern would take so I could buy the right quantities.

I made four bunches the night before, ready to take down to Cotswolds the following day.

I used OI's heavenly paints to paint some terracotta pots I had. I lined OI's wobbly baskets, troughs and larger containers with hessian ready for the kalanchoe plants that I brought from the flower market.

All ready to go.

Napkins ready and tied with cinnamon and some greenery plus an apple for the cocktails, which was the only thing I didn't end up using on the day!

My friend recommended her local bakery to me, I popped in and asked if they could make super tiny baguettes for me, which I then tied with napkins, some rosemary and garden twine.

I cut little stars from butter with cookie cutters to go with the bread ....

I thought it would be fun to make a few cookies, I made super simple vanilla biscuits and then decorated them with edible food colouring and a red skittle for the reindeers nose.

Along with some little gingerbread people.

I wanted to add a little bit of Caroline Foster Brown & Daughters magic to the scheme, so we designed and made these bespoke table stockings in-house. Each one embroidered with our guests names on with a little OI gift inside.

I collect paper and notebooks and wanted to create a book to represent the story behind the collaboration, I used an old deckle edged, French hand stitched notebook and asked my lovely friend Lucy Berridge to write 'Bee and Caroline's Cotswolds Christmas' on. I wanted something fun to sit on top and sourced these cute little handmade felt mice from Felt Art By Mariana.

A few props from my collection to add ...

I prepared everything at my home in London ready to take to the Cotswolds for the set up. Event planning is largely logistics, you have to be incredibly organised and efficient, the details is the fun bit for sure (but only a tiny percentage of my work day) impeccable planning is critical for events and projects to run smoothly. Bee was actually moving out of her house the following week and most of her things were in storage so I literally brought everything except the kitchen sink!

When I arrived, I was well prepared so everything would be seamless, so a quick unload, set up and a few tweaks, loving these OI lanterns and their Cotswolds boards.

Not forgetting Santa and his little helpers, all treats happily sitting on OI's heavenly ceramic dish.

A little lemon and thyme cocktail (recipe on my instagram), I used my old OI's candle vessels as they also make wonderful glasses and vases too.

Final tweaks - filling each stocking up with OI goodies.

All ready, I felt so lucky to have such an incredible location and products to frame everything and how beautiful is Bee's bespoke resin filled table, I felt bad covering it up!

OI products were perfect as I love to use a mix of textures on my tablescapes.

I think the mice look very at home in the Cotswolds too!

Scent is so important too, I used OI candles which smell as good as they look.

Such a lovely project to plan and in such an inspiring and special location.

Its a wrap! This photograph sums up Bee, despite her moving home the next week she insisted we went ahead with the day, the warmest, kindest and loveliest of people.

Just one cookie for the road before I leave ...

Goodbye beautiful cottage and thank you for the magical memories.

I often get asked about the process of how I work so I thought I would share the story behind this project, it was purely for fun but I created it like I do everything at Caroline Foster Brown & Daughters. Each project and event is entirely bespoke, but they all have one thing in common which is they all have a story reflecting our clients which inspires the vision and runs through every detail of the event.

We are now planning CFB&D Christmas '22, so watch this space!

If you don't already follow Bee (I am sure many of you do!) her instagram is wonderful. I am especially loving watching Bee's journey unfold as she transforms anther lucky Cotswolds cottage into her dream home. To find out more about @osborninteriors and their wonderful products (which include accessories, artwork, lighting and furniture) check out their website - www.osborninteriors - plus you can see more of Bees incredible designs on @studioosborn

All photo credits to Bee and me!


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