The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge

Occasionally life throws us a curve-ball doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s bad, sometimes good and every once in a while it’s downright extraordinary.

Picture this: you’re heading off in one direction, only to find that — at some point — you seem to have gone off the beaten path and ended up somewhere totally unexpected.

Sound familiar?

I feel like this about my career.

I have always had a creative role; I began as a catalogue designer in my early 20s, then moved on to art-direct photoshoots for over 15 years.

I loved my job so much. But the London commute, long hours and trying to conceive made me assess my work/life balance; and in 2010, I stopped art-directing and began to design wedding stationery instead.

Roll on another 2 years.

After an arduous time, battling fertility issues, I was pregnant for a third time (with twins) and — on a whim — started a blog one day.

6 years later, my beloved twins are 5 years old, I’m still designing (occasionally) but my blog is now my main source of income.

Crazy

In my 5th decade, I  found myself with a totally new career. In an industry I knew absolutely nothing about.

But with a combination of hard work and luck, the blog that I started on impulse began to present the most fortuitous opportunities.

The latest — and one of the most extraordinary — was being asked to take part in the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge.

The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge

Back in early August, the Style at Home editorial team threw down the gauntlet and asked me to decorate a Christmas tree — sponsored by a high-street retailer — which would feature in their December magazine. 

Of course I was going to say yes! What a fantastic opportunity.

I chose HomeSense as they’re a brand that I’ve frequently worked with over the years and I love their ranges. There’s always something different and unique in store and their offering is a little bit different to the rest of the high street. I always end up buying something I didn’t go in for.

And their Christmas decorations didn’t disappoint! Hot, bright colours with a Mexican twist; think llamas in place of reindeer and cacti rather than holly.

Arriba — just gorgeous.

Mexican inspired Christmas tree decorations from HomeSense for The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge

Mexican treasure

Mexican inspired Christmas tree decorations from HomeSense for The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge

Unpacking to see what we’d got!

Cactus bauble; Mexican inspired Christmas tree decorations from HomeSense for The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge

Christmas Cactus

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Is this a Mexicorn? Sorry.

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Possibly my very favourite decoration… I wish I’d taken him home!!

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

This little reindeer managed to sneak in amongst all the llamas!!

Behind the scenes at The Style at Home Christmas Challenge 2018

Llama-rama

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Pom pom garlands and bright colours — I love this look!

Back Where I Started

Needless to say, I had a ball.

Hanging out in a location house, with a photography team, is something that I’ve done for a third of my life so it felt really easy and natural.

What felt unnatural and pretty extraordinary was standing in front of the camera, rather than behind it!!

I’ve never had my make-up done before — not even on my wedding day — so that was a real treat. Wearing a posh frock, heels and false eyelashes surrounded by Christmas — in the middle of August was surreal.

The whole day was surreal. But amazing.

And once again, reminded me how strange life is.

Strange that — almost a decade after I last set foot on a photoshoot — I was back where I started; only in a totally different capacity. Not art directing, but modelling. In my mid forties.

Crazy.

Life’s weird twists and turns never cease to amaze me.

Behind the scenes at The Style at Home Christmas Challenge 2018

Cheeky mirror selfie. If you don’t take a pic, it never happened right? ;)

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Ben decorating the wall — again.

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Blending in with my surroundings — Pat Butcher has nothing on me.

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Neon llamas – love their smiling faces!!! Do llamas smile?

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

A bevy of lovely llamas. Or are they alpacas?

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

The sweetest snowglobe.

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Arriba — Tequila!

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

These remind me of some that my Granny had (she was clearly ahead of her time!)

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Bright rugs and Christmas gifts

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Cameltastic decorations

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

We all know how much I love a pom pom trim!

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

Wondering how I got here…

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

And that’s a wrap. The finished shot!

Behind the Scenes at the Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

 Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

My tree!!

Curveballs and Covergirls

But this serendipitous tale doesn’t end there.

Nope.

What was an already extraordinary event ramped up another notch last week, when I received a message from a friend to say that she’d spotted me on the cover of Style At Home magazine.

To say I was bowled over was an understatement!! A covergirl in my mid-forties?

I never would have anticipated that in a million years. This is the mother of all curve-balls.

So thank you Style at Home for making an old gal very happy. And thank you life — for always surprising me.

How I’ve gone from directing shoots for magazines to appearing on the cover of one is beyond me.

But it just goes to show that sometimes when you change direction in life, although your destination might be unclear, bigger and better opportunities might be just around the corner.

The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018

My Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge cover!

Thanks so much to the Style at Home team for asking me to take part in The Style at Home Christmas Tree Challenge 2018! The December issue is on the newstands now. Pop and pick up a copy — and let me know which is your favourite tree!

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.