Nigella Lawson's clever fairy light trick instantly transforms a kitchen for Christmas – and it's easy to recreate

It's the glitziest Christmas decor display we've seen, and experts agree

Nigella Lawson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nigella Lawson has certainly earned her place as one of our favourites to watch here at Ideal Home – and the celebrity cook and author is championing a festive decorating essential that's guaranteed to make for your glitziest Christmas yet: fairy lights. What's more, it's easy to recreate.

Okay, we know what you're thinking. What's so groundbreaking about fairy lights? It's a given that fairy lights are pretty much a non-negotiable when decorating for the holiday season, and chances are you've probably already got some of the best Christmas lights ready to go up once your decorations do.

But, we think what makes Nigella's fairy light idea different is that she's using them to inject warmth into otherwise mundane spaces that may sometimes get forgotten in the Christmas decorating spree, like kitchen shelves, under cabinets, and worktops.

Needless to say, she's used a lot of fairy lights, but we love her all the more for it.

Nigella Lawson's Christmas kitchen fairy lights

Just earlier this week, Nigella took to Instagram to post a promotional photo for her Amsterdam Christmas Special with BBC, where she's photographed in what we would consider a wooden, rustic-looking kitchen, surrounded by strings and strings of gorgeous fairy lights.

Her caption writes, 'It may still be November, but it's Christmas in my heart!'

You already know that it isn't Christmas without a Nigella Lawson Christmas Special, so aside from being exuberant at the prospect of its release, we couldn't help but fall in love with how cosy and glitzy her backdrop looked.

We think this kitchen lighting idea is the perfect blend of snug and warm in all the right places – and experts agree.

Commenting on decorating with fairy lights, Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy's trend expert says, 'Fairy lights are such a simple yet effective way to bring Christmas sparkle to your home. They bring an instant warmth and cosiness to the space and I love the use of them in unexpected places like kitchens. Pretty lights are always a festive win in my opinion.'

Head shot of Dayna Isom Johnson
Dayna Isom Johnson

Dayna Isom Johnson is the trend expert for Etsy and a judge on the NBC primetime series ‘Making It’. As part of her role at Etsy, Dayna is responsible for keeping her finger on the pulse of the hottest trends on the market. She is in constant pursuit of new and unique finds on Etsy in an effort to unearth the latest and greatest designs, up-and-coming Etsy shops, and sellers with exciting stories.

Kitchen makeover with white metro tiles blue wall, fairy lights, vase of flowers and a collection of white crockery

(Image credit: Future PLC/Sussie Bell)

'Adding Christmas decorations to your kitchen is a great idea, as the kitchen is probably one of the most used spaces during the festive period,' starts Sahar Saffari, senior designer at Hi-Spec Design. 'Kitchens often have corners and nooks that can be dimly lit, for example under cabinets.'

That's why decorating with Christmas lights in these otherwise mundane and often-overlooked places is one of the easiest ways to brighten up any room or space in your home that could use just that bit more TLC.

Sahar Saffari
Sahar Saffari

Senior designer, Sahar Saffari has worked at Hi-Spec Design for over 17 years. She studied Fine Art and Architecture in Tehran. She was also a lecturer of History and Drawing at two universities before moving to the UK in 2004. She spends a lot of time in Spain, which helps with her creative work.

How to recreate Nigella's glitzy festive feel

Fallen in love with Nigella's glitzy fairy lights and want to emulate them yourself in your own home? Lucky for you, we've got the lowdown on how to get the look.

1. Keep it simple

'A household name goes hand in hand with a house decked to the nines, although one can effectively emulate Nigella's elegantly sprinkled festive charm in their own home,' assures design consultant, Eleanor Taylor-Roberts.

'Adhering to clear or white fairy lights will maintain a more refined aesthetic.'

2. Focus on lining the edges

'To recreate Nigella's glitzy festive feel with fairy lights in your kitchen and infuse that extra sparkle into mundane spaces, consider adorning the edges of your kitchen cabinets or open shelving with strands of fairy lights,' advises interior designer, Oliver Steer. 'This creates a radiant frame around your culinary essentials, instantly transforming the functional space into a festive haven.'

'It's a subtle yet effective way to infuse the holiday spirit into every corner.'

Interior designer Oliver Steer
Oliver Steer

One of the UK's leading interior designers, Oliver Steer, creates award-winning, exquisite interiors and properties using the finest materials, furnishings, and craftsmen from around the world. Dedicated to delivering outstanding luxury living, Oliver has worked with businesses across hospitality and premium retail, as well as directly with customers to bring visions and dreams to life in their homes.

White oven range in the chimney hearth decorated with lights, star shapes and foliage, white table with gingerbread house on the table in the foreground

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

Eleanor adds, 'Lining items such as picture frame borders, hanging pendants and a wine rack with pinned fairy lights injects a considered Christmas twinkle to a practical space.'

Sahar even suggests intertwining them with greenery, potted herbs or kitchen plants, on your shelves or worktop. You can see this idea in action in Nigella's latest Instagram video.

And of course, don't forget your windowsill. 'If you have a window in your kitchen, you can add lights here too, this will add a festive feel to the interior and exterior of your home.'

3. Create focal points

As pictured on Nigella's kitchen worktop, she's also created little centrepieces with her fairy lights.

'Set your dining or kitchen table with a centrepiece that incorporates fairy lights,' starts Oliver. 'Whether it's a bowl of ornaments entwined with lights or a fairy light-adorned wreath, this becomes a focal point that radiates festive cheer.'

'Bundled lights in tall glass vases and decanters bring pockets of magic to kitchen corners,' assures Eleanor.

Mixed golds adding a festive accent for Christmas. Detail of glass ornaments and Christmas present on wooden cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

All in all, irrespective of how you choose to go about this Nigella Lawson-approved festive decorating endeavour, Oliver concludes, 'The key is to experiment and have fun with the placement of fairy lights.'

'The soft, twinkling glow of these lights has the power to transform any space into a magical and festive retreat, turning your kitchen into the heart of holiday celebrations.'

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.