The vintage styling of our kitsch homeware is adding festive fun to homes this Christmas. George homeware designer Natalie Ratcliffe blogs about the range...
We've set out to develop a range of everyday objects that will make you and your loved ones smile this Christmas. Whether it's festive cat bedding, an elf mug or a light-up Santa cushion, our products share a sense of humour and warmth.
There's been a big revival in kitsch products recently, with lots of flamingos, unicorns, kittens and pineapples on designs this year, so Christmas is the ideal time to build on that.
It's the time of year when everyone's looking for a heartfelt gift that will make our loved ones smile, and there's something really comforting in seeing a product that reminds you of your childhood or that nods back to a happy time for you or your family.
Whether it's spotting something that your mum might have had, or something that you associate with the golden post-war era when so many of our modern Christmas traditions were established. The concept is kitsch – things like imagining that Santa's travelling around and wondering how he'd celebrate Christmas – whereas the products themselves are more nostalgic.
Nostalgia is comforting and it's the certainty and tradition they reflect that people like. We saw it first when we started selling wooden toys. They've become really popular because they remind people of their childhood and the nostalgia makes us feel happy and secure.
We've tapped into things that customers love and have added a Christmas twist and the George personality to them. For example with our quirky Christmas Cats bedding we've made the cats festive and sweet with Santa hats, presents and baubles.
I also really like things like our butter dish with Santa and a rocket, our Reindeer milk jug and our Santa tea pot and cup. We want to make everybody smile around the dinner table and at home and I think products like this do that. I love the light-up Santa carvan cushion. We've never had light-up cushions before and at £8 the price compared to other products in the market is great. It's available in selected stores now.
In the office we all love the mugs. I've got the elf mug and it's a real perk of the job to see something from concept to product, and to then be drinking your tea from it is such an amazing feeling.
The Santa travels concept was all about imagining Santa going on holiday. There's been a bit of a space trend this year, so we tried to work out how that could fit with Santa, and we thought we would send him on holiday because he works so hard for everyone else at this time of year. It's about that humour and escapism, as you can relate to the idea that sometimes even Santa wants to get away from things.
We're even doing runners with matching door mats so when you enter your house you've got an All I want for Christmas is a unicorn runner or a Santa please stop here sign directing Santa to your Christmas tree.
It's not all about kooky design ideas – with things like our brushed cotton tartan bedding and throws we're offering something extra cosy for a winter's night. It's brushed so it's almost like a fleece, making it cosy and snug. Take a look at our Christmas soft furnishings here, and find out more about our quirky festive bedding in Bedding Buyer Tascha's blog: https://corporate.asda.com/blog/2017/11/21/add-some-festive-fun-to-your-home-with-our-quirky-christmas-bedding.
We have lots of fun as a team. We get to go out and explore the world – two of my lucky colleagues are going to New York soon and they'll be immersed in that, then we'll start to be inspired by what they've seen and done on their trip and use it as inspiration for the range.
We love looking at the Asda and George hashtags on Instagram to see people talking about our products. Some of our customers have had their Christmas bedding on since October, which is wonderful to see, but we've seen more mentions in the last week now the big day is getting closer.
It's good to see how they start layering up their products – we've seen a lot of matching pyjamas and bedding and we can see people getting really excited for Christmas and having a lot of fun.
You can see some of the things people have been saying about our Christmas products here.