· By Oonagh Simms
bonfire night styling tips
It’s no surprise that there has been a surge in demand for firepits recently. John Lewis has sold out of their best sellers and Aldi had early morning queues when they launched theirs. We’re all trying to eek out ways to see people whatever tier we’re in. And that means we're staying outside.
Thankfully, bonfire night has always been my favourite night of the year. Getting wrapped up and creating beautiful, luxe spaces to toast marshmallows in is my ‘thing’. I’m learning to harden up to cooler air because, hey, we have a fire pit and I’ve started buying more sensible coats (you were right mum) And this year I’m turning our garden into a dusky bonfire den. Foraging ferns and leaves for decoration and rigging up some outdoor lighting for atmosphere. With fire pits roaring we can gather around, draped in blankets drink mulled cocktails, toast marshmallows, finish with a sparkler. Well, that’s the idea anyway, it better not rain.
Having done this set up for events over the last few years I’ve picked up some tips on creating a gorgeous outdoor space that you'll never want to leave.
Lighting- contrast the warm buzz of your fire pit with an inviting glow or an uplighter. For less than £10 you can buy a large pack of gel filters- intended for theatre/stage productions- a SUPER cheap way of creating neon flashes from your existing outdoor lights. Creating a club like space in your own backyard.
Pillar candles in hurricane lanterns look beautiful but are a pain to keep lit so switch to battery lights that are safer and give the same glow.
Amp up the accessories- we pop our wooden toasting skewers in a gold metal plant pots and our marshmallows in gorgeous glass jewellery boxes when we’re at home. Fill magazine racks with extra supplies and pop them on the ground. Think extravagant over practical for this.
Keep it soft- fill your space with blankets, cushions, rugs and throws- make sure you can throw them in the washing machine but bundle up and don’t give yourself an excuse to have to go indoors. Lay the ground with plastic sheeting/ bin liners or raffia beach mats for extra protection.
Warming Flavours - pre bottle a mulled wine or cider and keep them warm in a flask or Chilly’s bottle. I serve up our spicier marshmallows when I want to stay cosy- passion fruit & ginger, caramelised apple or spiced gingerbread.
Drinking Chocolate- We’ve just created a brand new drinking chocolate- in an outrageously glamorous tin it’s perfect for bringing out by the fire- just add 2 heaped teaspoons to a mug of warm milk and devour.
Stay up late- well, there’s no point in going to all that effort and not staying out until the last ember has died. Snuggle up and hunker down.