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Features > Winter Homes > Christmas Homes > Carolyn Gray's Christmas
PE106: Carolyn Gray's Christmas
Photos: Polly Eltes / Narratives
Text & Styling: Celia Rufey / Narratives

Carolyn Gray's Christmas begins when she makes mince pies at the beginning of December and imbeds the first waft of candied peel and spices. A week later she begins sourcing raw material for her decorations. This requires trips to the local woodyard where she buys logs for her fire. 'The yard also recycles garden waste and landscape gardeners go there with their prunings. I spend ages rooting through what they've brought in and if I'm lucky, find eucalyptus, branches of fir and sprays of rose hips', she explains.
Inspirational surroundings are important to Carolyn and not just at Chritsmas. She bought her Victorian cottage in 2006 because of its prime location in a pretty Sussex village with views to the Sussex Downs and easy access to the sea. 'The house was soulless because it had been rented out for years, but I've renovated lots of period houses,' she says. The experience has grown into a design service which covers every aspect of decorating the interior from choice of furnishings and sourcing antiques to designing with flowers.
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