Christmas day has passed by, and the first lunch organized at their new home was enjoyed by the whole family. Now, Andrea and Alice really intend to carve out a few moments of relaxation all for them before leaving for the mountains with friends. The program for the next days? A few strolls in the park, new recipes to try now that there is more time to devote to cooking, and long chats on the sofa. Snuggled up among the cushions, they let themselves go to memories but also to imagine the future: a long series of Christmas parties organized in that house, the trips they have always dreamed of, the space for smart working and the space for starting a family…
Caterina’s passion for Christmas films began very early, and never went away. Every year, the first days of December mark the beginning of her “marathon” in front of the screen, which continues until the Epiphany. Now that the choice on streaming platforms is getting wider, she also enjoys recommending the most suitable film to each of her friends. But the thing she loves the most is inviting her sister Laura over to watch the films of their childhood and go back to being little girls together, sitting on the sofa sharing the flannel blanket just like when they were little and dreamed of that pinch of magic that every Christmas brings with it.
Finally free from work commitments, Elisa and Lorenzo spend the days of the holidays organizing a thousand games for their little Andrea. Mom sits on the sofa and reads a few pages from their favorite storybook, and the fun can begin. Their living room is transformed from time to time into a pirate galleon, a track where colored cars compete until the last lap, an enchanted forest … After all, a box of constructions and a little imagination are enough to spend carefree moments and create the memories that they will carry in their hearts for many years, even when Andrea is grown up and on that sofa maybe they will talk about his first crushes, which school to choose, what he will want to do “when he becaomes an adult”…
It is still dark outside, but Andrea is already awake and stretches in his bed. Outside the window he can see the first lights of the city that turn on, while the child scans the landscape in search of some traces of the passage of Santa Claus. The curiosity is such that he cannot help but tiptoe down the stairs and arrive in the living room to go and have a look … Last night before going to sleep he had left everything ready to offer him a nice night snack: a cup of hot milk with biscuits made together with mum and dad on the table next to the armchair near the fireplace, and some fresh apples to feed the reindeers, too. “Well, the saucer is empty now … so he was here!” thinks Andrea.
The silver decorations shine and make the large Christmas tree sparkle with the first light of dawn. And under the tree, a multitude of colorful packages appeared. Trying not to make any noise, Andrea starts touching them to guess their content, hoping to locate the construction box with which he can’t wait to play with his father. The bells hanging from the tree begin to tinkle with the movements of the child who, in order not to be “discovered”, decides to go back to bed immediately. Well, not really right away: first he goes to the kitchen to get some biscuits to munch on in his bedroom while he waits for the alarm to ring.
8.30 am, the alarm rings and a Christmas tune makes Elisa and Lorenzo’s eyes to open. “Merry Christmas, love!” they say to each other practically in unison, then bursting into laughter. They get up and go to their son’s room, certain to find him already awake and ready to start this day of celebration.
After having breakfast all together, they dedicate themselves to the final preparations to set up the Christmas lunch. Elisa sets the table with care, while Lorenzo lights the candles scattered throughout the living room and the strings of lights that decorate the Christmas tree. Above the fireplace there is a holly wreath, and on the shelves are placed squares with the words Merry Christmas. On the sofa, the embroidered cushions and the soft Nordic-themed red plaid complete the cozy atmosphere of the living room.
Everything is ready to celebrate, the roast sizzles in the oven and outside the windows you can see the first snowflakes in the sky. Even the grandparents arrive, while the sweet and spicy scent of candles spreads throughout the house. There is room for everyone between the sofa and the ottomans, and to Andrea’s delight, the gifts are opened. Among toys, bows and flying ribbons, the “grown-ups” begin to enjoy their first appetizers leaning on the coffee table set up with napkins, cutlery and glasses. “Santa Claus really read my letter!” Andrea exclaims happily.
Andrea and Alice can’t wait to spend their first Christmas in the new house they moved into this year, a lovely villa just outside the city center. Eager to welcome the family and show everyone the result of the renovation works done to transform the house to the size of their dreams, they decorated every room. Now the Christmas atmosphere is felt in the air, and the tinkling of bells hanging from the branches of the Christmas tree makes everything more magical. Andrea loves experimenting in the kitchen and has been thinking for days about how to organize the holiday menu, while Alice is the expert on how to set the table for Christmas. Since she was a little girl, her grandparents have passed on to her a passion for this type of detail: setting an elegant table at Christmas – and every day – is a gesture that evokes sweet memories of Sundays with the family, when there was always an embroidered tablecloth and dishes chosen with taste on the large walnut table in the living room.
To begin with, Alice chooses the protagonist of her Christmas table: a beautiful forest green linen tablecloth, purchased just for the holidays. The open decoration reveals the SuperMarble top of the dining table. “It really looks great!” she thinks to herself as she arranges the tablecloth to make it fall neatly off each side of the table.
To set the Christmas table, Alice pulls the white porcelain plate set and the family silverware out of the cupboard in the living room. She begins by arranging the placemats – a detail that should never be missing on the table for important occasions – with a plate lying on it and the soup plate. To the right of the plate she places the knife and spoon, while the forks go to the left. The glasses are on the top right, a tumbler for water and two glasses for the toasts to come. For the napkins, Alice decides to make a small departure from the rules of etiquette – that would like them to the left of the forks – and places them in the center of the plate, closed by a red ribbon with a small holly to which she adds a handwritten placeholder, just like her mom always does.
To complete her Christmas table, all she has to do is prepare the centerpiece. To make it happen, Alice and Andrea set aside glass jars and containers among travel memories and other occasions. “How beautiful our trip to Provence had been, and how beautiful these perfume bottles are!” says Alice. “Yeah, and it was a really good idea to keep them for the centerpiece” echoes Andrea. They arrange them along the table – alternating with candles, pine cones and other small decorations – with poinsettias and mistletoe branches inside. The result reflects the style of the hosts: elegant with spirit, and it is decidedly more modern than the traditional flower cushion that was used some time ago.
Now that the table is set for Christmas, only one last detail is missing: preparing the trolley on which to place the bottles of wine, the water jug, the bread basket and the cutlery that can be used during the long Christmas lunch. A simple and chic way to have everything at your fingertips and not have to interrupt the cheerful atmosphere of a family lunch.
December has arrived and Christmas is fast approaching. Caterina crosses the city while the streets are dressed up, with lights and red and green festoons, the scent of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine that warms the crisp winter air. The Christmas atmosphere is palpable, all that remains is to think about how to decorate the house for Christmas. This morning she went to the garret to get the decorations and soon she will dedicate herself to the Xmas tree and decorating the whole house, starting from the entrance. Every year, she looks forward to seeing this time to relive the emotions of the holidays of past years and start thinking about the upcoming ones. For Caterina, the boxes of decorations are like chests full of memories she is very fond of: the festoons handmade with her mother, the balls that she gave her when she moved into the new house and the ones she bought by going to Christmas flea markets with friends…
The preparations begin by decorating the inevitable Christmas tree with golden balls, white bows and strings of lights to be turned on to create the most evocative atmosphere on Advent evenings. White and gold are Caterina’s favorite Christmas colors: the first reminds her of the snow in the mountains and the skiing holidays, a family passion since she was small, while gold is for her the symbol of the stars shining on Christmas Eve. With these colors she decorates the whole house – she hangs the stockings on the fireplace and the snowflakes origami on the windows, she arranges small lanterns on the shelves, a string of lights around the coat hanger – and of course the garland on the entrance door.
Every year, Caterina creates new decorations using fir branches, leaves and pine cones that she collects during walks in the park with her little dog Oliver. To help her there are always her nieces, Anita and Sofia, and her sister Laura: once again they spent a very nice afternoon around the big table in the living room, having fun with the colored ribbons and sprays full of golden glitter. And finally, a nice hot chocolate with lots of biscuits for everyone!
“The tree is decorated, the garland is ready, the decorations are in place” thinks Caterina to herself, sure that there is still something to do … “Of course! The special ingredient of Christmas: moments of joy to spend with the family “. Not only with relatives and closest friends, but with all the people we have close to us. The next morning Caterina takes a beautiful tin box, fills it with gingerbread men, closes it with a bow and goes to knock next door. For some time now, three students have rented the house next to her and several times it has happened to stop and chat. Once the door is opened, a big spontaneous smile welcomes Caterina and her Christmas sweets. The girls are really happy with that kind thought, which for them feels like home … and family.
The Christmas holidays are now fast approaching, there are still a few days to choose the gifts to put under the tree. 2020 made us rediscover the pleasure of the most intimate domestic dimension and the importance of furniture that can be elegant and welcoming at the same time, carefully chosen pieces without forgetting functionality. For this reason we have bet that the gift ideas for furniture will be among the most sought after and appreciated, and in recent weeks we have guided you in the choice of modern or vintage mirrors, of coffee tables and small tables beautiful and versatile, lamps to amaze your loved ones. We conclude our roundup with the softest, most comfortable and elegant design poufs to make the relaxing and carefree moments of the people around you even more special.
Seat pouf to give a touch of color
The main function of a pouf? Providing a comfortable and informal seat, that can find a place in the living room between sofas and armchairs, but also in the sleeping area or in the wardrobe area. Badu is the seatpouf doing all this with elegant discretion, but it can also give a touch of color to the furniture thanks to the different available upholstery, from ecological leather in the most classic shades to pure virgin wool in shades that also include melon, aquamarine and forest green. Among these, it will not be difficult to find the version capable of conquering the taste of the person to whom you want to give the gift.
Super comfy eco-leather pouf
It looks like a cube but is anything but rigid: Uchi is the eco-leather pouf ideal for enriching the relaxation corner in the living room, placed next to the sofa or coffee table, but it is also perfect for a bedroom furnished in young and modern style. The wooden structure makes it stable, while comfort is ensured by the upholstery in pleasant-to-the-touch materials such as soft ecological leather, waterproof nubuck with a velvety touch, wool and Mambo and Lulu fabrics.
Elegant pouf for a chic decor
Soft, with a round shape supported by a lacquered steel structure that evokes lightness, Puffoso is the elegant and refined pouf to give to those with a romantic and dreaming soul, attracted by beauty even in everyday gestures. It can be placed at the entrance to embellish the environment, but its main vocation is to be placed next to a desk or a vanity unit to furnish the corner dedicated to oneself and one’s passions.
Design container pouf
Finally, a different proposal compared to the classic padded poufs. Kito is a versatile and modern furnishing accessory, with a silhouette designed to conquer the most creative personalities, and functionality to be discovered. In fact, it can act as a seat and as a support surface for small objects, but also as a storage pouf for books and magazines to be kept inside. With a lacquered steel structure, it is available in a wide range of colors to suit different environments and furnishing styles.
Versatility and functionality are also watchwords for Pattern, that with its inverted pyramid structure can act as a coffee table and magazine holder as well as a seat pouf. Available in two sizes and in different colors, it is characterized by an openwork pattern on all sides that makes it modern and elegant.
Our guide to gift ideas for furniture ends here: the Bontempi Casa team wishes you happy holidays!
If there is a truly essential element in the Christmas atmosphere, it is certainly the light. The lights that dress the streets of the center and the lights around the tree, the candles on the table and the lanterns in the garden… They are the protagonists of the Christmas decorations, whatever the theme you prefer, and have the almost magical power of “turning on” the Christmas mood. So why not to take inspiration from this to find design gift ideas for Christmas? We have already started to give you some ideas with mirrors and coffee tables, now we continue with design lamps: table, floor or suspension, for soft or more decisive lighting, they are the furnishing accessories that – combining aesthetics and functionality – enhance the environment and make it more welcoming.
The design reading lamp to travel with the imagination
To accompany the evening readings and moments of relaxation, a table lamp with a refined and minimalist design is what you need. With its glass structure, Pop brings a touch of elegance that easily matches any style of furniture. Its soft light does not tire the eyes, and is the ideal gift for those who want to browse many more pages together.
The pendant lamp as precious as a jewel
Lovers of cooking and good food know this: even the kitchen is a room to be furnished with care, choosing refined details to define the environment. So which lamps to choose for the chefs of your life? The answer is in pendant lamps for the kitchen, but also perfect for the dining room, such as Soul, FunkyandSwing. In common they have the lacquered steel structure that draws a sort of bell, and they differ in the shape of the lampshade made of hand-blown glass and available in eight delicate shades. A detail that you can play with to create your own personal combination of shapes and colors.
The design floor lamp that comes from fairy tales
To furnish the living room, lighting is essential, and floor lamps are the ideal solution to illuminate specific points such as your favorite armchair, coffee table or a mirror to amplify the light. Strega is the design lamp that knows how to be noticed with discretion thanks to clean and essential lines, and a lampshade that – recalling the profile of a witch – reminds us that magic can be everywhere, even in an evening spent between chatting and laughing on the sofa.
The goodnight hanging lamp
A pendant lamp for a bedroom with a romantic soul, with a surface characterized by a workmanship reminiscent of that of a couture dress. Pandora harmoniously diffuses the light to create a soft and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for the sleeping area; it is available in two different sizes and in various colors to match to create the ideal combination for the person you want to give it to.
In the next issue of the Journal we will recommend other design Christmas gifts: keep following us to discover them.
How will the exchange of Christmas gifts look like this year? Probably in a restricted form, but what it is certain is that we will not want to give up this tradition to make the people we care about most, feel special. While shopping comes to life, thinking about the year we have spent, one wonders what the most popular gift ideas will be. According to the trends detected by Google on the basis of data collected in the United States, gifts that revolve around the home environment, work from home and personal care are living this Christmas (link journal.bontempi.it/tag/natale /) a golden moment. Therefore, furniture and design gift ideas will have a special place among the presents under the tree – and for this reason we would like to give you some suggestions from the Bontempi Casa catalog.
Let’s start with modern or vintage-style design mirrors, objects-symbols of beauty and vanity but also surfaces that widen the visual horizon and allow the light to expand. To be placed at the entrance or in the bedroom, hung on the wall or placed on the ground, they have generous shapes and frames that make them decorative accessories able to define the occupied space with a particular touch of style. To give as a gift to convey a message that reaches straight to the heart: the most important person is you.
The round mirror like a hug
Elegant and refined, the Renoir round mirror is inspired by the name of the master of impressionism. With its soft shapes and rounded edges, it seems to be willing to express the same lightness and joie de vivre of the artist, even in times of difficulty. Alone or in combination, it can be hung in the living area to enhance the spaces and make them brighter and more welcoming.
The modern mirror that welcomes
Among the modern hall mirrors, Break is characterized by a geometric pattern that draws a sort of harmonic crack in the glass with an absolutely contemporary and unusual effect. Rectangular or squared in shape, it can be hung horizontally or vertically, and is the most suitable design gift idea for creative spirits and modernly furnished homes.
The vintage style floor mirror
To be placed in the bedroom, next to the wardrobe or even in the living area, King is a floor mirror that is vintage in appearance but very modern in functionality. To be fixed to the wall, it offers a full-length view and it is the perfect companion for those who love to carefully choose their look… as well as that of the pieces of furniture for their home: its lacquered steel structure is in fact available in different colors, from the classic silver and brass to the more unusual red, blue or delicate green.
The mirror as you want it
Classic only in appearance, Square reveals a detail that makes it unique and customizable: the crystal frame is variable according to preferences, so the mirror can be positioned perfectly in the center or moved to one side. A versatile and original mirror, suitable for different environments and furnishing styles, whose shape can be chosen by the recipient.
In the next issues of the Journal we will tell you about other design gift ideas: keep following us to discover them.
Christmas movies are part of our most classic traditions that accompany us throughout all the holidays. Perhaps as it hasn’t happened for a long time, for this Christmas 2020 we feel the need to go back to our roots and “bare” with the emotions that make us feel more connected to our families. That’s why we have decided to offer you a list of Christmas movies (even if not strictly) that we prefer and we wish you to watch them (or watch again for the thousandth time) in the company of those you love. Where? On your comfortable sofas or soft armchairs combined with soft poufs on which to rest your feet in total relaxation. Don’t forget to place a steaming cup of hot chocolate, or a bowl of homemade poc-corn on the coffee table – the choice is yours. If it snows outside even better.
The Family Man (2000) by Brett Ratner
A timeless and moving Christmas fairy tale: the protagonist, Nicolas Cage, plays a wealthy businessman from New York who is enchanted with the chance to live the life he would have had if, thirteen years earlier, he had decided to stay in London with his girlfriend, Téa Leoni. The film confronts us with the choice between an existence dedicated to work, immersed in luxury but certainly lonely, and a life instead heated by the warmth of a family, certainly imperfect but full of love. Did you put the handkerchiefs on the table?
White Xmas (1954) by Michael Curtiz
The film that launched the VistaVision, 35mm cinema format and widescreen that replaced the previous CinemaScope. A revolutionary film for the time, which after more than 60 years remains among the most beautiful ever. Two longtime friends and former soldiers (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) join their sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen) to put on a series of Christmas shows in Vermont, where their former commander owns a hotel. Once on the spot, however, the protagonists discover that… An old film that mixes suspense, fun and feelings. For vintage lovers, but also for those who have never watched it!
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) by Tim Burton
From the genius of Tim Burton, a Christmas animated film loved by adults: it tells the story of Jack Skellington, king of the Halloween country, who after discovering a hidden world in which Christmas is celebrated, decides to bring this new party at home. The implications, however, will be unpredictable … A classic to be watched again and again.
Love Actually (2003) by Richard Curtis
A beloved film with a stellar cast: Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson. Ten different stories intersect in an unpredictable way and form a great leitmotiv: the Christmas holidays, experienced differently in each family. Fun, moving, timeless: since 2003 it has always remained current and really makes everyone fall in love. To be seen with your loved one for an enhanced emotional effect.
It’s a wonderful life (1946) by Frank Capra
Based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story, The Greatest Gift, this film remains from 1946 to the present day one of the most beautiful Christmas classics. The plot for those who have never watched it (yet): a man – played by the legendary James Stweart – who has dedicated his whole life to his neighbor, on Christmas Eve is about to take his own life. However, his guardian angel (Henry Travers) intervenes: a “second class” angel who does not yet have wings, who shows him what the world would have been like without him, providing the man with a reason to continue living. A beautiful metaphor about life and the importance of altruism.
Dickens – The man who invented Christmas (2017) by Bharat Nalluri
A biopic on Charles Dickens that tells the author’s return to London after a triumphant six-month tour in America. Desperate for money and inspiration, Dickens – Dan Stevens – is illuminated by the wonderful tales of a young Irish maid; thus begins to come to life A Christmas song, destined to become a classic of literature. The perfect Christmas story to watch with the whole family, full of good feelings and full of hope for the future. Now more than ever we need it. For the nostalgic of the 80s-90s: we propose the 1988 Dickens version with Bill Murray, SOS Ghosts, unforgettable.
Christmas with the Kranks (2004) by Joe Roth
Based on John Grisham’s best-selling book with the same title, this film remains one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. The script tells the story of a beautiful Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband Tim Allen, struggling with a real escape from the Christmas holidays. The 20-year-old daughter has left and will not return home, so the couple plans a cruise to the Tropics but … Among giant snowmen, honey ham, nosy but big-hearted neighbors, this comedy will warm your heart, reminding you that Christmas is always Christmas.
Parenti Serpenti (1992) by Mario Monicelli
An Italian comedy with Paolo Panelli, Alessandro Haber, Monica Scattini, Marina Confalone that makes fun of the stereotypical roles in the families. Christmas is about to be celebrated and all the relatives gather for the traditional dinner. A retired policeman, a librarian, a surveyor, a football fan, a housewife passionate about TV quizzes… A funny comedy that also makes you think. Not to be watched with relatives!
Edward Scissorhands (1990) by Tim Burton
The film that marks the beginning of the artistic partnership between the director and Johnny Deep, as well as the collaboration with composer Danny Elfman. This dramatic fairy tale tells of Edward, an artificial boy with long blades for hands, who is found by chance by Mrs Peggy Boggs (Dianne Wiest) in an old abandoned Gothic villa. Invited to move in with the woman’s family, the young man soon becomes the neighborhood hairdresser and gardener and falls madly in love with the Boggs’ teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). One word to describe it: WOW.
Serendipity (2001) by Peter Chelsom
A romantic movie to watch with your partner. The magical story of a man and a woman who meet by chance and decide to leave their next meeting to fate. They write their phone numbers on a 5$ note and on a copy of the novel Love in the Time of Cholera. Ten years later, the magic of Christmas (and love) will give them a hand… The veiled message of the film is extremely important and very current: the ability to appreciate life as it comes, with its natural coincidences, not trying to make things go in a forced way, because destiny always takes its course and you have to have faith in the fact that if something is meant to happen it will happen.
December is almost upon us, and what is certain is that we will go towards an unusual Christmas, different from the past ones, but nothing can prevent us from feeling the magic of the Holidays in our hearts. The first decorated trees, colored lights and lit fireplaces can already be seen on social media, a sign that the desire to enter the Christmas atmosphere is already beginning to be felt. There will be no Christmas markets, the race for gifts will perhaps be less hectic than usual, but there are many things we can do in the intimacy of our homes to let ourselves be infected by the joy of the end of year celebrations. In addition to renewing the environment with Christmas-themed furniture, it’s time to get into the kitchen to brush up on some Christmas recipes. And certainly it will be enough to smell the sweet scent that will pervade the house from the oven to warm the atmosphere. Here are our tips and inspirations.
The gingerbread men
There is a perfume that contains all the memories and joy of the holidays, and it is that of ginger. Ginger biscuits, spiced herbal teas to sip wrapped in a blanket, candied ginger… How could Christmas be without the gingerbread men? When they start wandering around the house, served on a backsplash with tea or hung on the tree for decoration, it means that the time to celebrate is coming.
For the dough you need sugar, a pinch of salt, butter, an egg, flour, yeast and, of course, ginger and cinnamon, to be mixed until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. The dough should be left to rest for 45 minutes before rolling it out on a lightly floured surface to obtain the men using cookie molds. The SuperCeramic tables are perfect for this purpose, because this exclusive Bontempi Casa material is durable, resistant, hygienic and non-toxic.
To make them more greedy, you can pass one side of each cookie in sugar so that it adheres and creates a delicious crust on the surface. As they bake in the oven for 15/20 minutes, the house will fill with the scent of your spiced cookies and Christmas will seem closer.
The plumcake for breakfast
A soft and delicious dessert to be enjoyed with a cup of latte, because breakfast is a special moment and during the holidays it is even more so. A very easy recipe to prepare, perfect for putting your hands in the dough without stress even if you are a beginner, or to involve even the little ones of the house and make them feel budding pastry chefs.
A modern kitchen with a peninsula or central island and a simple recipe that does not require too much space on the worktop: here is the perfect mix! To prepare the plumcake, simply mix flour, sugar, yeast, milk (or a vegetable drink to make it suitable for everyone) and seed oil in a bowl. The planetary mixer or a food processor can be useful for having a well-blended dough, which can be enriched by adding chocolate chips and a teaspoon of cinnamon for a slightly spicy aroma, perfect for this period. Then, 45 minutes in the oven at 180 ° and that’s it. The hardest thing? Resist the temptation to sit on the kitchen stools and cut a slice just out of the oven…
The chocolate truffles
Thinking of the delicacies that we allow ourselves during the holidays, you certainly cannot miss it: Its Majesty the Chocolate. Among refined boxes of pralines with sparkling packaging, sweets covered with chocolate and many other goodies, why not try your hand at preparing home-made chocolates to accompany coffee?
They are prepared as follows: break the chocolate (half dark and half milk) in a bowl with cream and butter, melt everything in a bain-marie and add some coffee, then let it cool and place in the refrigerator for about one hour and a half stirring occasionally. Shape the truffles with the help of a spoon, pass them in a deep plate of bitter cocoa, cover with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator until ready to serve – remembering to keep them at room temperature for 15/30 minutes beforehand to enjoy them at their best.
The Tiffany coffee table is a coffee table that seems to have been designed specifically for a coffee served to perfection in the living room. Its top is spacious enough to accommodate cups, sugar bowl and a tray of truffles or friandises, plus it comes with a matching tray (optional) to bring everything you need from the kitchen. A real touch of class to perfect the art of receiving, even if only for a few close friends.