The perfect setting for a fun and festive girls' night in
Decor maven Stephanie Vogler hosts her gal pals for the perfect pre-holiday party, complete with sweet treats and pink champagne.
For Stephanie Vogler, the holiday season isn’t dictated by the calendar – it’s a state of mind that starts in July and doesn’t end until January. That’s because the president and creative director of popular Vancouver housewares store The Cross Decor & Design starts scouting gift shows in the summer and doesn’t stop decking the halls until the last post-season sale in the new year.
It’s easy to understand why Stephanie takes a low-key approach to entertaining at home when the actual holidays roll around. “December is such a busy time with the store that it’s hard for me to see friends,” she says. That’s why Stephanie decided to do things a little differently this year, by hosting a pre-holiday girls’ night for six. “I thought we could get together and share some gift-giving ideas, like what’s trending for kids,” she explains. “It’s meant to be very casual, which is how I like to do things.”
Homeowner Stephanie Vogler (right) and close friend Rosie Daykin enjoy pre-party drinks in front of the gallery wall in the dining area.
The real Christmas tree in the living area was flocked white to give it a wintry look. “We don’t often get snow here in Vancouver, so this gives us such a wonderful feeling,” says Stephanie. Seasonal accessories like textured toss cushions and throws create a cozy vibe.
With her all-white space as a blank canvas, Stephanie layered in holiday touches with a white flocked real tree and plenty of twinkle lights. Next, she added warm metallic accents via trays, ornaments and strands of beads. “I’m drawn to things with a sense of whimsy,” says Stephanie of her holiday decor. “But I also love natural elements, so most of my ornaments are made from wool or feathers.”
An evergreen bough and a strand of twinkle lights add an instant festive note to this hallway vignette. In keeping with her fuss-free entertaining style, Stephanie set up a champagne station on the console so guests can help themselves.
Sweet macarons in a pretty box are a delectable party favour. “Macarons are such a treat because they’re not something people would typically make for themselves,” says Stephanie of the perfect party favour – a sweet reminder that they’ll have to make room in their calendars for this new tradition next year.
Stephanie served up bite-sized sweets like sugared almonds in small bowls from her collection. Her “keep it simple” mantra also applied to beverages, with a help-yourself champagne station atop a console in the hallway. “I always serve pink champagne when my girlfriends come over,” she says. “It puts everybody in a great mood.”
“I have a huge collection of tiny bowls, dishes and vases,” says Stephanie. “During the holidays, I love to pull them out and fill them with sweets or pretty things.” Here, on the living room coffee table, a glass vase filled with patinated Christmas ornaments sits alongside crisp white vessels.
On the coffee table, a tray displays a few mini ornaments that didn’t make it onto the tree.
Classic Christmas greenery mixed with white blooms makes for a chic centrepiece.
Rosie Daykin's interpretation of the traditional yule log is a decadent chocolate cake with chocolate and hazelnut filling. “It pairs nicely with champagne,” says Stephanie.
Just add twinkle lights – that’s Stephanie’s philosophy for infusing her everyday decor with holiday spirit. “The strand of lights at the end of the hallway adds a nice surprise, and I just sort of tossed it over the mirror for an undone look,” she says.
Stephanie’s two kids, Hudson, 9, and Emerson, 7, sneak in a treat before Mom’s guests arrive.
Designer Meredith Heron's Victorian rowhouse.
Make a statement in your space with inspiration from these bold and vibrant interiors.
Designer Meredith Heron's Victorian rowhouse in Toronto is a stylish study in colour, pattern and texture. Tour the entire home here.
An intense wall colour, abstract wallpaper mural and pink sofa helps to create this home's statement living room. Tour the entire home here.
Bursting with character and brimming with charm this home office features a fuchsia rug and rich graphic wallpaper.
With bursts of lavender and chartreuse, this living room's daring palette was paired with boldly patterned fabrics. See the rest of this home's living and dining room here.
From apple to olive green, the vibrant striped wall in this dining room incorporates the various hues used throughout this Miami, Florida, condo. Tour the entire condo here.
With bold blue and white striped walls, a capiz-shell chandelier and lots of colourful toss cushions this kitchen’s sunny eating nook is a carefully curated riot of colour and pattern. Tour the entire condo here.
Bright colours, eclectic furniture and treasured collections transform this old cottage into a cozy family retreat. The pops of green and blue in the family room give this space its one-of-a-kind character. Tour the entire cottage here.
Brave hits of colour and pattern beautifully collide in this living room. From the light blue painted walls, sky blue grasscloth wallpaper on the ceiling, dark rose drapery and splashy area rug this space is bursting with charm. Tour the entire home here.
Bold '50s flair is alive and well in this charming Cape Cod-style cottage. The kitchen features black and white peel-and-stick floor tiles and eye-catching cheery yellow painted cabinets. Tour the entire cottage here.
A navy sectional complements the colourful gallery wall in this townhouse living room. Tour the entire townhouse here.
This stylish boudoir makes a statement with its pink coffered walls, gold chandelier and glamorous accessories. See how this beautiful boudoir was put together on a luxe and little budget here.
Contemporary clean lines gives this bathroom its timeless look and spa-like feel.
Contemporary clean lines gives this bathroom its timeless look and spa-like feel.
A soothing palette gives this master bathroom its spa-like feel.
"Balance" was the operative word when Sophie Burke and Jennifer Millar created the master bathroom in this new-build Vancouver house. The homeowners wanted the space to emulate an airy retreat – something spa-like but not too fussy. So the designers injected the room with traditional character and contemporary clean lines – a timeless combination showcased throughout the home, which the duo designed as well. They also incorporated equal amounts of sleek and textural elements and functional and decorative features for an interesting yet well-balanced result.
The vanity’s open shelves and extra counter space provide spots to place decorative items and bath-time essentials.
The free-standing bathtub is a sculptural, contemporary element. “It’s large enough to relax and bathe in, but it’s not so big that it overwhelms the space,” says one of the homeowners. The simple linen café curtains offer privacy while keeping the tops of the windows uncovered, allowing for pretty treetop views.
Steel-framed mirrors and simple sconces, which are actually picture lights, inject a retro-industrial vibe.
In lieu of the usual two sinks, designers Sophie Burke and Jennifer Millar used one oversized basin with two wall-mounted faucets. “The sink is shallow enough so that the top drawers of the vanity actually open,” says one of the homeowners. Wainscotting, created out of ceramic subway tiles that continue from the shower, offers texture and character. “We used dark grout and added a chair rail detail throughout, which contribute to the space’s vintage look.”
Forgoing a curb in the glass-enclosed shower, made possible by sloping the floor toward the drain, creates a streamlined feel. “We were able to do that because the house is a new construction,” says Sophie. This application also lets the herringbone marble-tiled floor run right through without being interrupted. “It’s a really nice detail,” she adds.
Luxe hardcore bundle, Brooklinen.
With the cooler weather coming it's time to prepare your home with these eight fall accessories that can warm up any night in.
If you tend to spend a bit more time keeping warm in bed on chilly fall nights, you might want to invest in quality bedding. Brooklinen’s buttery smooth sheet sets come in an assortment of stylish stripes and solid colours and have a bit of a sheen, which adds a luxurious feeling every time you slip between them. Made with long staple Egyptian cotton, you’ll appreciate the quality every night. Luxe hardcore bundle, Brooklinen, prices vary depending on size.
Crisp fall evenings mean turning up the heat in the house. But install a Nest thermostat and you’ll enjoy having your home at your ideal temperatures all day long while also making your home more energy efficient. You’ll be able to remotely control your home’s temperature from your smartphone, even if you’re traveling. All of this control means you’ll save money on your heating bills, too. Nest learning thermostat, Nest, $249.
This Indigo exclusive pillow cover unites the rich colours of autumn beautifully. Boasting gorgeous florals in earthy hues, this seasonal throw pillow is a simple way to bring a touch of fall into your home. Toss on a couch or bed for an instant facelift! Midnight floral pillow cover, Indigo, $30.
Classic. Iconic. Canadian. This signature HBC Collection striped point blanket’s popularity dates all the way back to the 1800s when it was first commissioned. Since then, this high quality, 100% woven wool blanket has never been out of production, a sure sign of its enduring style. Fall has never been cozier! Hudson’s Bay Company multi stripe point blanket, Hudson’s Bay, starting at $295.
Warm up the chilliest of days with a treat that the whole family will love. This premium cocoa powder is flavoured with natural vanilla to deliver a perfectly sweet cup of hot chocolate each and every time. Sweet ground chocolate, Williams-Sonoma, $15.95.
Blanket? Check. Hot drink? Check. Now you just need a good book to make your evening complete. Mindy Kaling to the rescue! If you watch The Mindy Project, have read her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, or secretly wish that Mindy was your real-life BFF, then you can’t miss out on her recently released second book Why Not Me? This collection of essays, though thoughtful and personal, is also just as hilarious as you’d expect from the queen of comedy. Why Not Me, Indigo, $20.
When it’s cold outside and all you want to do is stay snuggled up inside where it’s warm, you’ll be thankful you’ve got your AppleTV to keep you company. Bringing all the apps you love to use on your computer to life on your television screen means you can get really comfortable as you settle in to watch your favourite shows on iTunes, Netflix, Crackle, CraveTV, Shomi and other streaming services. Apple TV, Apple Store, from $199.
Keep those tootsies warm with these adorable, comfy reading socks. They’re made with just 12% wool so they’re cozy but not itchy. When regular socks just won’t do, these cable socks will be your perfect indoor companions. They make a great gift, too! Cabled cozy reading socks, Indigo, $29.50.