Christmas: Deck the Halls at The Bauble Barn
Opening this month in Steeple Bumpstead, The Bauble Barn promises to be a magical place to visit, as the team tells Velvet
Firstly, tell us about the barn. It's on your family farm, isn't it?
Yes - we moved to Old Hall 20 years ago and have spent those 20 years refurbishing every part of the property, but we didn't actually own the barn until a few years later. The Barn is a Grade II-listed building “of historic interest" and was part of Old Hall Farm. When we moved to the property it had been used for storing farm machinery for many years, but in its heyday it was a traditional working barn, and the remnants of farming life (controls, switches etc) are still on the interior - and exterior - walls.
Since we acquired it, we have used it primarily as a storage facility - housing many a family member’s unwanted furniture! - but in recent years we've felt that it is just too beautiful and too characterful not to be used for something more interesting. Rather than developing it for residential purposes, we are keen to retain the integrity of the farm by using the barns for a meaningful business, retaining the heritage of Old Hall and its surrounding buildings.
What made you want to turn it into a Christmas shop?
For us, Christmas is one of the few points in the calendar when the whole family gets together, and we all gain immense enjoyment from decorating the house, inside and out.
Part of that enjoyment is adding to our collection of Christmas trinkets, and we're sure we're not the only family who have lovingly built an ensemble of Christmas decorations, each holding its own memories, which we bring out year after year to make our home beautifully festive.
In a way, the twinkly world of Christmas seemed like the most fitting way to give The Barn a new lease of life and return it to some iteration of its former glory. This is only phase one, as it will also double up as a wedding venue throughout the summer months - watch this space!
What will the barn look like when we visit? Give us a virtual tour. . .
We want everyone to catch their breath as they walk into the Bauble Barn; it will be as much an experience as a shop, every surface, beam, hook and door covered in Christmassy delights.
Upon entry there will be a forest of real Christmas trees that customers can choose from and buy. Past the trees, there will be a room packed to the rafters with decorations - colourful baubles in all shapes and sizes, bejewelled birds and twinkling wooden reindeer, trailing glittery garlands and characterful Christmas gonks. . . The scene will be an ode to Christmas!
Tell us about three of the biggest decor trends that caught your eye when buying
The traditional red and gold always conjures up Christmas for us, and this was a feature at all of the trade shows we attended. We also spotted lots of vendors selling Venetian/enchanted themed pieces, and we felt that the opulent colours of fuchsia, turquoise and green were particularly eye-catching. Finally the combination of silver and white on glass was an absolute must for us, as it just screams out ‘fairytale’, and Christmas really isn’t Christmas without a fairy at the top of your tree
You're not only selling baubles, ornaments and wreaths, you're selling trees, too, aren't you?
Correct, we'll be selling British Christmas trees with real character, in a number of sizes, from the first week of December. Further down the line we are planning on planting our own Christmas trees and growing them to sell. We are even debating selling some with their roots so that customers can plant them back in the ground once they have enjoyed them over Christmas.
What do you personally love about Christmas?
We love the big family gathering - the atmosphere it brings to the home is unbeatable. We love the traditional Christmas lunch, always consumed slightly later than intended, but enjoyed even more so. We love exchanging presents by an open fire - more recently we've taken to conducting a family "Secret Santa" present swap which brings with it a few laughs.But for us the crowning glory of Christmas is the way our home is brought to life with all of our treasured trinkets.
The Bauble Barn is at Old Hall, Old Hall Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Haverhill CB9 7EJ. It will be open from Friday, November 8 through to Monday, December 23. See baublebarn.com for more details and keep an eye on Instagram - @thebaublebarn - for details of special festive events.
Read moreHomes and Gardens
More by this authorAlice Ryan