Interior: Debbie Travis's rustic Christmas charm
Home for the holidays
“I really like to change it up,” says Debbie. When it comes to bedecking her Montreal home for the holidays, she gives the stately 1880s house she shares with her husband, Hans Rosenstein, and two grown children, Josh and Max, a new look each year. This holiday season, Debbie veered from her usual eclectic approach and incorporated a more streamlined aesthetic, using decorations in the same silver, white and green palette throughout. “I like to have fun with my decorating, but this year I went a bit more posh,” she says. Enhancing this winter wonderland of a colour scheme and lending a bit of rustic charm are ornaments that nod to nature. Deer, birds, snowflakes, pine cones and antlers (“Anything you’d see on a woodland walk,” says Debbie) can be spotted sitting on the mantel, tied to garlands and hanging from the tree. While the look is consistent everywhere, Debbie still kept in mind the style and function of each room when incorporating her Christmas decor.
The Christmas tree
The tree in the living room is adorned with white and silver Christmas decorations – many nature inspired – which create a look that’s both sophisticated and fun. Supplanting the ubiquitous angel or star, the tree’s elegant topper is made of a mix of silver and white Christmas balls, ribbon and feathery branches all tied together.
The large frosted green wreath hung on the living room’s secretaire serves as a festive focal point.
The staircase in the front hall, which features a Florentine fresco created 12 years ago for an episode of Debbie Travis’ Painted House, is embellished with an artificial pre-lit garland and pretty Christmas ornaments, making decorating super easy during the busy holiday season.
Fireplace mantel decorations
Placed on the fireplace mantel, a sculptural wooden deer is an intriguing rustic hit that balances the opulent look of the cherub sconces and gilt mirror. Dressed with other decorations, such as pillar holiday candles, an artificial garland and quilted stockings, the mantel display exudes holiday warmth.
The living room exemplifies the snowy, sophisticated colour scheme – white and silver with hits of green – used throughout for the Christmas decorations. The bay window provides a perfect spot to place the tree.
Pretty crystal decanters
For homeowner Debbie Travis, who likes to serve Prosecco and a good red wine to her guests, Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to use her pretty crystal decanters. “When else do we really bother to decant stuff?” she says.
A petal-shaped marble dish, a gift from a friend in Indonesia, holds a group of beautiful Christmas ornaments on a side table in the living room (“It’s nice at Christmas to use those beautiful containers you may have around the house to put ornaments in,” she says).
Queen Anne-style secretaire
The living room’s antique Queen Anne-style secretaire – a piece Debbie inherited from her mother – holds many of Debbie’s heirloom pieces and acts as display space for a holiday living room vignette.
“Because there are so many of us at Christmas dinner, I like doing place settings and I usually try to use ornaments,” says Debbie, referring to this birdhouse ornament placed on top of a linen napkin and paired with a pine cone.
Dining room table
With a linen tablecloth from Italy and simple all-white dishware, the dining room table is set for a relaxed Boxing Day buffet-style meal.
Vases and condiment shakers
Mercury glass vases and a pair of Edwardian salt and pepper shakers add a bit of sophisticated sparkle to the dining table.