Interior: Glitz and glam holiday style
“I’m a wrapping fiend!” admits Emma Comesotti. In fact, her holiday gifts are so beautifully wrapped, they often put their recipients into a bit of a predicament. “When I give people their gift, they say ‘It’s so perfect, I don’t want to open it!” This comes as no surprise. This designer and co-owner of Vancouver design firm Philosophy Design is able to draw from an abundance of expertise and apply an eye for all things elegant, whether she’s putting up decorations, hosting a Christmas dinner party or simply wrapping Christmas gifts (which is done while she’s watching her favourite holiday movies).
Designer Emma Comesotti
Emma’s 1,040-square-foot Yaletown condo in Vancouver, which she shares with her husband, Roy, and their Siamese cat, Mia, showcases a luxurious contemporary classic aesthetic. Straight lines offset curvaceous pieces; intriguing pattern creates interest; a few organic touches add texture; and a palette featuring grey and warm white, with hits of chartreuse, silver and gold, is both glamorous and soft. Their sophisticated condo (decorated by both Emma and Roy when they moved in almost five years ago) ended up inspiring a new holiday look for Emma.
A DIY wreath hung from a wide satin ribbon complements the dining room’s sleek, glamorous look. “It was an evening-long craft project made with inexpensive white and silver Christmas ornaments, a foam form and my hot-glue gun,” says homeowner and designer Emma Comesotti. “I couldn’t find one in the right colours, so I decided to make my own.”
Contemporary classic style
A mix of modern and vintage-look Christmas ornaments suits the condo’s contemporary classic style and grey, warm white and chartreuse colour scheme. A couple of faux sheepskins act as a sophisticated Christmas tree skirt. “I’ve never liked the way a traditional tree skirt looks, so this is an inexpensive solution, and it adds a lot of texture and interest,” says Emma.
Because the kitchen is open to the living and dining areas, the island provides a convenient spot to lay out appetizers or, in this case, create a sweets spread for a dinner party. “It’s nice to have the dessert situated where everyone can see it and look forward to it,” says Emma. Along with the drinks and treats (like candy canes, truffles, caramel corn and pecans), Emma decorates the kitchen island with candles, an intriguing shell bowl of ornaments and cymbidium orchids for an inviting, finished look. Master bedroom
Elements like the graphic gold and white wallpaper, tufted headboard, mirrored nightstands and faux fur throw give this beautiful bedroom a luxurious, glamorous aesthetic that’s reflective of the rest of the condo.
Touches of whimsy
A stack of presents in the same colour scheme as the master bedroom says holiday in a subtle yet sophisticated way. A sparkly silver bird clipped to the ribbon references the mirrored nightstand and gold and white wallpaper pattern, while acorns hanging from the jewellery tree exemplify Emma’s penchant for adding touches of whimsy.
I’ve always been a big fan of silver at Christmas,” she says. “But when I moved into this place, I added in some gold and white and green.” She mixes sleek, modern pretty Christmas tree ornaments with distressed ones that offer a vintage vibe and includes a few from her childhood. “I like to mix old and new,” says Emma. “It’s important to reflect your personality and the spirit of the holidays – not give it all up just in favour of a certain look.”
Small space entertaining tips
Small-space living doesn’t keep Emma Comesotti from pulling out all the stops during the holidays. Here are her tips for entertaining in a small space.
Tip 1: Forgo the formal dinner party
“Don’t worry about attempting to do a sit-down dinner and having a large group of people all crammed into a small dining room. Instead, scatter some nibbles on a kitchen island or dining table and host a casual cocktail party where people can move freely throughout the entire space.”
Tip 2: Decorate more than just the tree.
“When decorating for a holiday gathering, don’t just focus on the main living areas. In a small space, people inevitably catch glimpses into most rooms, so you want to give your whole house a cohesive feel by sprinkling festive elements in the entryway, the bathroom and so on.”
Tip 3: Go double duty
“Having a tray on an ottoman serves as a spot to display items and a place for guests to set down their plates of food and drinks. An ottoman offers extra seating, too.”
Tip 4: Use all your surfaces
“Take advantage of extra surfaces. If you put food and drinks on the kitchen island as well as the dining table, you’ll draw guests throughout the space rather than create a bottleneck in one area.”