Festival Style

Summer Festival Style

With Jo Whiley

Summer festival season is nearly upon us, for many that will mean donning their wellies and pitching tents in muddy fields. If you’re a creature of comfort however, then skip the camping and bring music
festival style to your own home, without the mud, crowds or portaloos…

Window dressing specialist, Hillarys has entered into the spirit and teamed up with BBC Radio 2 presenter, festival Queen and busy Mum of four, Jo Whiley to show how to translate an authentic festival feel into an eclectic interior style. She lives in a beautiful barn conversion in her home county of Northamptonshire with her husband, music executive Steve Morton, their four children and an assortment of pets.
“While there are lots of summer activities we love, there’s just something about a music festival that’s hard to beat,” says Jo, who fronts many live music events including tv coverage of Glastonbury.  “The excitement of listening to your favourite musicians live, sitting under the stars, chilling with your friends and family, food and sunshine is as good as it gets.
“I’m lucky enough to go to many festivals and as a family we’re very sociable and hold lots of parties in our own back garden. Summer is our favourite time of year, so it’s great to share some of my top tips for bringing a festival feel into your home, however you’re on your own when it comes to the weather!  I tend to adapt traditional festival styling and decorate the place so it reflects our style and musical tastes.“
Jo’s top styling tips.
Lights and shade
Our kitchen is the party room; it’s where everyone gets together and we always have the radio or music on. There is usually singing and often dancing – not all of it good! The windows are a massive feature of the space and give a very open spacious feel, leading out onto the patio and garden. We like lots of light and voiles give us privacy and softness without compromising this. Dark grey curtains frame the view. For a party I like to dress them with lots of fairy and festoon lights and hang foliage for a relaxed, outdoor feel.


“I love fairy lights, who doesn’t? Make your home come to life at night by getting as many fairy lights, lanterns and candles as you possibly can.”

If you think you might be short on seating space, ask your local farmer for hay bales and simply cover them with cool fabrics or rugs. Add in lots of cushions and make a big pile from larger ones for people to relax on.
Lighten up
I love fairy lights, who doesn’t? Make your home come to life at night by getting as many fairy lights, lanterns and candles as you possibly can. Delicate strings or bigger festoons, hang them anywhere and everywhere, or use them to highlight certain areas of your space by wrapping them around trees, tables or other items. It will make your home feel magical and if you get scented candles it will smell amazing too.
Make it quirky
Decorate fences or walls with band or concert posters that you really love. String  colourful ribbons from chairs and trees and let the summer breeze bring them to life.
Even throw in a glitter ball or two if you happen to have one lying around like we did in the garage! Or make your own decorations; we made a huge Ziggy Stardust lightening bolt sign out of mdf; it’s great fun to do with the kids. Think out-of-the box and do what suits your style – anything goes at a festival!

“Think outside-of-the box and do what suits your style – anything goes at a festival!”

Party table
When you’re planning an outdoor event, remember everyone might end up inside if it rains! So having food and drink indoors is never a bad thing. Cover your kitchen table with layers of different fabrics in clashing prints or bold colours, whatever works for you, and fill jam jars, or empty drinks bottles with wild flowers. I like mismatched crockery and large Mason jars for drinks on tap. And a must-have for every festival table has to be giant marshmallows…..
Flower power
Surround yourself with flowers, in buckets, wooden crates, tin baths, wellies, whatever you like and have handy. Reclamation yards and car boot sales are great hunting grounds for all sorts of unusual planters.
A fire pit instantly adds a sense of ritual and midsummer-night magic. Great for toasting those giant marshmallows too!

Festival style queen, Jo Whiley, will be hosting The Big Feastival 2017 and Hillarys is offering readers the chance to win x 2 festival camping tickets, along with a weekend of wonderful memories to take home.  The prize includes x 2 adult weekend camping tickets to The Big Feastival event at Alex James’ Cotswolds Farm, 25 – 27 August 2017. You’ll also enjoy  VIP guest passes for Friday night, giving you access to an exclusive VIP lounge. For more information on how to enter visit: www.hillarys.co.uk/jo-whiley-competition/