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Our home is full of collections

Karen and Reuben Kench have successfully blended both of their styles to create a relaxed family home that comes into its own at Christmas

Good idea!

A recycled sideboard from Barker & Stonehouse provides an alternative focal point, since there is no fireplace in the room.

Karen favours muted traditional colours at Christmas with lots of layers and texture. The yellow Skye check throw and cushions are from Barker & Stonehouse while the purple and white cushions are from John Lewis. ‘I love how the sideboard pulls together all the different woods in the room,’ Karen says

Christmas is Karen Kench’s favourite time of the year and offers a great excuse to bring out all her favourite vintage glassware, special cutlery and traditional decorations. ‘I love returning home at Christmas as the house looks so warm and welcoming,’ says Karen, who lives there with husband Reuben and stepchildren Imogen and Sol. ‘We have fairy lights up all year round but always add more at Christmas, and I like to make the house feel cosy with lots of extra blankets and candles around.’

Although Reuben has lived in their 1960s house in Yarm for seven years, Karen moved in four years ago after selling her small two-bedroom Victorian house in Sheffield. The couple first met at Karen’s mum’s wedding 25 years ago, but they didn’t get together until many years later. ‘My stepdad was one of the lecturers when Reuben did his photography degree and they kept in touch,’ she explains.

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About Your Home Magazine

Can you believe it’s Christmas time already? Where on earth has this year gone? But don’t panic, we’ve got all you need in this issue to make sure your festive celebrations go smoothly. We’ve been scouring the high street and internet to find the most brilliant gift ideas for your family and friends (p.40) and they’re all under £50 – because let’s face it, we’re all on a budget this year aren’t we? We’ve also got some gorgeous decorating ideas and styling tips that are quick and easy to achieve and will make your home look really magical (p.36). If you love entertaining at Christmas, turn to page 100 where we’ve got some new twists to try on the traditional festive fare (take it from me, the maple roasted potatoes are divine!). But if you’d rather not spend time slaving over a hot stove during the festive season, we’ve also picked the best fuss-free food and drink from the supermarkets to make feeding family and friends a breeze (p.104). I know that some of you will be taking the opportunity to do a spot of decorating over the holiday season, so we’ve made sure there’s lots to inspire you in this issue. From our opulent room schemes on page 20, to our beautiful bedroom makeovers (p.24), you’re sure to find something that makes you want to pick up a paint brush. However you plan to spend the coming weeks, whether it’s celebrating or decorating, I’d like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year from all the Your Home team.