Interiors
Dec 1, 2014

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

By: Christy Wright

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas Author: Style At Home

Interiors
Dec 1, 2014

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

By: Christy Wright
Whitby homeowner Jennifer Brumley turned to decorator Michael Penney, owner of three Whitby decor stores, Penney & Company, Pineapple Street and Sweet Violet, for help with her holiday decor. “Jennifer is a regular at my shops, and we quickly struck up a friendship,” says Michael. “She has a huge passion for design, so I let the style of her home set the tone, and we built up the scheme from there.”

Michael relied on an abundance of greenery, such as boxwood, seeded eucalyptus, tiny fir trees and moss, to bring Christmasy charm to the space. “I used natural materials, including branches and berries, to really highlight these beautiful rooms in a quiet yet seasonal way,” he says. His task was to merge Jennifer’s desired minimalism with full-on Christmas trimmings, something he claims is quite easy. “Minimal doesn’t have to mean sparse,” says Michael. “Limit the number of elements in the scheme – just a few key colours or materials, for example – then repeat them throughout for a look that’s full and festive but doesn’t assault the senses.”

Like all good decorators, Michael likes to add an unexpected touch to a room as a talking point. His choice of accent colours in the couple’s home, for example, livens up the mostly natural scheme. To many, the cool pale aqua and purple Christmas ornaments might seem out of place in an otherwise traditional palette. But not to Michael: “Don’t worry about being perfect, because in the end it will be boring and generic. Build on personal traditions and highlight what you love.” That’s something Jennifer’s family has done for many Christmases and will continue to do in the years to come.

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House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Front foyer

Embellished with natural elements, thes winter front foyer offers a warm welcome. "This is the space the family uses most to enter and exit their home, so we didn't want to forget about it," says Michael.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Open-concept living space

The deep tones of the hickory hardwood floors give the open-concept main level a warm feel. Decorator Michael Penney placed the Christmas tree between the living and dining areas "to anchor the living room and mark the transition between the two spaces."

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Old-world accents in a new-build kitchen

A maple mantel fronts the range hood and makes a grand old-world gesture in the new-build kitchen. Wooden accents form a warm counterpoint to the marble countertop.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Naturally colourful accent

Vibrant clementines are displayed on the large kitchen island with bright green sprigs for a colourful seasonal touch.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Adorned back entrance

Decked out in boxwod, not even the back entrance was overlooked. "We can see this space from the kitchen," says homeowner Jennifer Brumley. "It was so thoughtful of Michael to decorate it.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Dining room symmetry

In the open-concept dining area, Michael relied on symmetry and scale. "I flanked the bold hydrangea arrangement with poinsettia pots to help define this space and create a focal point," he says. Seeded eucalyptus branches adorn the chandelier.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Tufted armchairs

In the living room, a pair of cream tufted armchairs shares the floor with a lavender one that lends a bit of colour to the space. "For Christmas dinner, we move these chairs to the dning area," says Jennifer. "They provide extra seating and make everyone feel like a king at the table."

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Luxurious master bedroom

A reproduction French Empire chandelier and an antique Russian rug set the luxurious tone in the master bedroom.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Create an instant holiday look

"Hanging a wreath on a mirror creates an instant holiday look that's easily repeated throughout the house," says the decorator.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Candles and cedar boughs

Candles of various heights are nestled into cedar boughs for a loose and glowing effect on a dresser in the master bedroom. Natural materials highlight these beautiful rooms in a quiet yet seasonal way.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas

Guest bathroom

"The guest bathroom is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with lots of snowy marble, so it only needed a few wintry accents," says Michael.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home
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House tour: Natural and traditional Christmas