Entryway
Nov 19, 2015

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

By: Sara Cation
7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Elegant edgy foyer goes au natural for the holidays Author: Donna Griffith

Entryway
Nov 19, 2015

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

By: Sara Cation

An elegant and edgy entryway goes au naturel to welcome guests to an intimate fete so fabulous they’ll forget to explore the rest of the house.


For designer Barbara Milner, effective design is all about the fleeting moments, like the smile that spreads across your face the second you walk through the door and into a stunning space. That’s why Barbara never overlooks the entryway – especially the one in her Toronto home, considering its 12-foot-high ceiling, standout staircase and original fireplace. This year, she’s chosen the area as the centre of her spectacular holiday decor, which blends refined elegance with rustic woodsiness. Here, Barbara shares her seven secrets to entryway success.

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7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Get real

“I wanted a Christmas tree that you could happen upon in the forest,” says homeowner and designer Barbara Milner. So she strayed from the glam and glitz and focused on fashioning a natural appeal that didn’t feel crafty. “I was going for fuss-free...and yet I fussed so much,” she adds. In keeping with the earthy elegance of her tree, Barbara wrapped the gifts in brown kraft paper – “I love the back-to-basics understated feel of it,” she says. “But, as with anything, you choose your moment to make a statement.” Here, it’s all about the sumptuous satin ribbons.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Go grocery shopping

Unusual and imperfect yet bright and seasonal, persimmons are the perfect accents for this natural style. Strewn along the mantel, they look like they’re about to be foraged by the vintage taxidermied pheasants above.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Customize the drama

Instead of splurging on pre-made bows, Barbara suggests going to a fabric outlet and having some custom made. These pricey-looking ones created from four-inch-wide peau de soie are dramatically oversized: 16 inches wide with 22-inch tails. “If you can explain what you want, it’s inexpensive to go to the experts,” she says. Find more holiday DIY projects here.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Make it welcoming

With its muted, monochromatic palette, traditional touches (like the toile-look wallpaper), unexpected elements (check out the exotic veneer of the console) and elegant accents (don’t those sconces make you think of Gatsby?), the entryway feels “like an old, cozy Park Avenue hotel with an eclectic British undertone,” says Barbara. What could be more welcoming than that?

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Put the elves to work

Barbara’s four-year-old son, Marshall, loves everything about Christmas, especially decorating. “He is very hands-on and opinionated about what’s beautiful,” says Barbara, “which is both a joy and a challenge.” Check out these fun and easy holiday decorating ideas for the whole family.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Think outside the box

It doesn’t always have to be in the shape of a house or a person – gingerbread is just as tasty in tree form. Their snowy candy-floss tops fit perfectly with the forest theme.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer

Get the look

Medium Darlana lantern in Guilded Iron, Circa Lighting, $630 US. Dion mirror in G, through designers, Worlds Away, $1,200 US. Proud Pheasant figurine, Wayfair, $96 US per two-piece set.Deconstructed French Napoleonic armchair in Sand, Restoration Hardware, $1,195 US. Cole & Son Versailles 99/15061 wallpaper in Charcoal, Lee Jofa, $414 per double roll, through designers. Evergreen wreath, visit your local garden centre.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home
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Entryway

7 tips for the perfect Christmas foyer