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House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style Author: Style At Home

House Tours

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

A property in Ontario's Georgian Bay area adopts a holiday look that would feel right at home in the Nordic countryside.

 

During the holidays, Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon thinks nothing of skipping the traditional turkey dinner. For her, Christmas is a time to gather with loved ones, escape and relax. Really relax. This informal approach works especially well at her second property, in Thornbury, Ont. The holidays spent with family (her husband, Andrew Brady; their two children, Sophie, 10, and Henry, 7; and a couple of close relatives) at this 150-year-old house (featured in Style at Home’s January 2014 issue) resemble an idyllic rural scene straight from a Christmas card.

When the couple purchased the house three years ago, the solid 3,200-square-foot structure only required a cosmetic update. For the first year, whenever she could get away to the property, Christine worked on creating an inviting look with a mix of traditional and vintage elements and a few modern hits. A focus on natural materials like wood, sisal, cotton and linen suits the home’s surroundings.

Christine adheres to both this cozy aesthetic and her unstuffy take on Christmas when she dresses the house for the holidays. Inspired by the Nordic way of decorating (which usually involves homespun touches, the use of fresh greenery, a low-key palette and a spotlight on nature), she eschews “fancy-pants sparkle” for something more casual and simple.
 

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House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

The ultimate lounge

During the holidays, the living room is the ultimate place to lounge. "I made sure to include enough seating so everyone has a good spot," says Christine "And there are a lot of throws around, because it gets a little bit drafty."

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Festive focal point

Christine transformed the living room fireplace into a festive focal point with a handmade bunting, a small tree placed in a vintage galvanized bucket and a boxwood garland. "I literally just plopped the garland there unattached, without any lights or ornaments. I like the simplicity of it."

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Homemade bunting

Christine made the bunting that hands across the living room fireplace using black bristol board and thick twine, which prevents the triangular pieces from moving. The ends of the twine were left to dangle down the mantel, reinforcing the laid-back vibe.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Natural holiday grouping

On the living room coffee table, a hammered-metal Moroccan tray acts as a display spot for a natural holiday gropuing: a kraft-paper-wrapped gift, vintage-look spools and a sprig of pussy willow.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

A simple alternative to flowers

A couple of speckled guinea fowl feathers (a simple alternative to flowers) and ornaments (in a glass shadow box or laid out loose) form a pleasing Christmas vignette on the side table.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

A time for family

Old black and white family photographs clipped to a cute birdcage picture holder are a nostalgic touch. "The one of a woman smiling is of my Aunt Isabelle," says Christine. "And the other is of my aunt with my mother and father. There's something nice about the way they're walking arm in arm."

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Garden room

The garden room's soothing and sophisticated grey, black and white colour scheme is the perfect backdrop for unadorned greenery.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Country-style holiday

The barn, which is attached to the house, serves as an ideal spot to host a country-style holiday wine and cheese buffet. "We sit out there and munch on some cheese while talking and listening to Christmas music," says homeowner and Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Buffet tablescape

On a white-washed picnic table in the barn, Christine created a festive buffet tablescape with elements like a ticking runner, white dishware and shimmering tea light holders. A jug filled with branches makes for an easy centrepiece. It's not formally set," says Christine. "Guests can help themselves."

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style

Life in the country

The barn's window is decorated with a cedar garland and lanterns. Piles of firewood and a galvanized trash can rilled with branches lend a casual life-in-the-country quality.

By: Laura Muir Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home
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House tour: Rustic Nordic holiday style