“Anything that promotes relaxation and nurtures hibernation mode in a positive way is welcome in our home,” she says. “Fairy lights are a simple decorative touch, but bring playfulness to a room. It doesn’t matter what age you are. I experience the same sense of awe and delight when I enter a dreamily star-scaped scene as children do. To me, indulging my inner child is a healthy, liberating act of self-care, too often pushed aside by ‘grown up’ responsibilities.” In the home she shares with her husband, writer and comedian Russell Brand, and their two daughters, Mabel and Peggy, fairy lights and piles of cushions add cosiness to a white cotton tepee, used in the garden in summer for shade and as a quiet, relaxed reading den indoors in winter.
In their garden is a “very ad hoc mud kitchen” for outdoor play in nature, made with wooden pallets and planks of wood, with a painted sign, saucepans, mugs and utensils. “It’s a place totally free of rules, to embrace the mud whatever the weather, which is exactly why I added fairy lights – to make it inviting even on darker, colder afternoons,” says Brand.
And when the sun sets, the enchantment continues. “Retreating to a fairy-lit reading nook, decorating the table for dinner or scattering the coffee table with sparkling jam jars of battery-powered fairy lights – like captured magic – makes the never-ending family time at home feel just that little bit more special.”
Follow Laura Brand @thejoyjournal; The Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play: Easy Activities & Creative Craft for Kids and their Grown-ups (Bluebird, £12.99; available from Telegraph Books).
Lighting up rural life, with Charlotte-Anne Fidler
Country-dweller Charlotte-Anne Fidler is another advocate for fairy lighting in all seasons, and often shares ideas from the envy-inducing, fairy-light strewn cottage she shares with her daughters Anouk, 17, and Bo, 12, and their three Maine Coon cats.