Lighting up life

Bev Crabb in her Tanunda home.

Entering Bev Crabb’s stylish two-storey home in Tanunda, you feel you could just as easily be walking into the set of a Christmas photo shoot for a popular magazine.

Every corner is a feast of festive bedazzlement, tastefully curated by this former hairdresser with a sharp eye for style. 

“Anything that stands still, I’ll light up,” Bev laughs, her eyes twinkling as gleefully as the many tiny bulbs sprinkled throughout the room.

Whether Bev is hosting Christmas for her three children and their families or not (incidentally this year Christmas will be at her son, Ben’s house in Adelaide), the house is nonetheless decked out from ceiling to floor, the table set and the tree draped in as many baubles as Bev can squeeze in.

“Some years you can’t even see the tree is green!” she laughed.

Bev’s love of decorating for Christmas has always been with her, from making things herself  to purchasing new items whenever she comes across something nice.

“I keep adding stuff,” she said.

“I’m always poking around in the shops!”

For more than fifty years she has made a tradition of writing a letter to all her friends at Christmas, reflecting on some of the more entertaining aspects of the year. 

It’s all part of the fun of the season, which  Bev wholeheartedly embraces, especially in 2020.

“We’ve had enough negativity this year,” she said.

“I always find something amusing to write about. I usually open it with, ‘this will probably be my last letter’, but then all my friends complain that I must keep doing it!”

The talented decorator was happy to share some of her tips for creating an interior Christmas wonderland, which is sheer delight for her four grandchildren.

“You can create little stories around the room,” she said.

“Work on little areas and match the things that you have; for example I have my winter story with Father Christmas in the corner.

“Every year is a little bit different because you create as you go. You’ve got to be able to look at things and see what works.”

Stringing baubles on fishing line is another clever trick that allows Bev to fill every available space on the tree, even when there may not be a branch left to hang from.

And don’t think that everything she uses is expensive; she’s just as likely to pick up a trinket from Foodland or the post office as she is to shop in a fancy homewares store.

“Some things that you buy can look cheap, but if you put it together well it can look like quality,” she said.

It’s a quality that is certainly appreciated by everyone who visits her home, which often stays decorated well into January.

“Everybody oohs and aahs because it is nice to see,” said Bev.

“I just think, share the goodness.”

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