Decorated in shades of silver and gold, this shimmering tree makes a statement. Image by: Donna Griffith
What’s better than chic, sophisticated holiday style? The ability to achieve it with ease. Here are 10 tips to simplify your next festive soiree.
Last year, when homeowners Pamela Schott and Sheldon Pollack moved into this 7,500-square-foot five-bedroom century home in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, they merged more than just their families (he has three 30-somethings; she has two kids; and four of the five live at the house part-time). The couple, who will wed next year, also blended their approaches to the holidays. To that end, their seasonal decor is sophisticated and minimalist, glamorous and uncluttered, neither too gimmicky nor too theme-y. For Pamela and Sheldon, it’s all about simplicity. Though they enjoy entertaining – the couple loves to host a holiday drop-in – they always keep it effortless. “A party is about the friends, family, wine, appetizers and conversation,” says Pamela, who makes creating a relaxed atmosphere her priority. “It’s about the event, not the planning.” Here, we highlight 10 ways Pamela and Sheldon execute their elegant holiday style with ease.
1 Choose function: A petite potted rosemary tree gives the kitchen counter holiday flair with purpose. Well into the new year, it will serve as a source of fresh decoration for place settings and garnish for themed cocktails.
2 Make strategic splurges: Don’t stress about baking in the days leading up to your party. If you lack the time and the piping skills, splurge on artfully adorned cookies iced in your home’s colour scheme for a scrumptious statement.
3 Stay simple: A bouquet of white amaryllis is an understated accent that’s synonymous with winter but doesn’t scream “holidays.” Buy the blooms a few days before your event so they’re at their prime when guests arrive.
4 Lay it down: Getting festive garlands to swag just right can take a lot of fussing. So if you want to gussy up your windows in a flash, layer cuttings of greenery on your windowsills instead. Here, Douglas fir and magnolia leaves add a luxe touch.
5 Accent the architecture: Draw attention to eye-catching structural features like leaded glass windows with beautiful holiday wreaths that accentuate the details but don’t steal the show.
6 Make room for more: Use a bowl to hold gorgeous Christmas ornaments that didn’t make it onto the tree for a simple centrepiece or coffee table accent.
7 Wrap it up: No pot? No problem! Use a swath of grey linen fabric secured with decorative ribbon to dress up the base of a tabletop tree. This unconventional feature lends a festive touch to an otherwise unadorned space.
8 Come out from under the tree: Take your gift wrapping to the next level with finishing details like sculptural toppers and layered ribbons. Don’t just place presents under the tree: Artfully arrange them on various nearby surfaces for vignettes that suit the season.
9 Mix metallics: Sticking to a gold and silver palette makes decorating the tree almost effortless. Look for a mix of shimmering materials, from beading to mercury glass to metallic fabrics, so you don’t have to think too hard about even distribution.
10 Make it a team effort: Whether it’s decorating the tree, hanging wreaths or wrapping presents, holiday tasks are more easily executed as a team. Get your tools out ahead of time, gather the family and put on your favourite holiday tunes to set the mood – you’ll be done before you can say “cool yule!”
Celeb home tour: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Bel Air mansion
Take a look inside celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Bel Air estate in LA., California.
It would have been Bel Air living for Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West, but after multiple unsuccessful renovation projects it seems they've finally listed their 9,000 square-feet unfinished home.
When the couple purchased their first home together in 2013 for $9 million, plans of completely renovating the property - like adding 4,000 square-feet, taking entire walls down, and changing the Mediterranean-style home into an Italian-villa - were in the works. Proving to be too difficult to complete, the pair then bought a second move-in ready French country-style home in Hidden Hills, L.A., tailored to their liking.
Although the interior is a blank canvas now, the original modern-meets-traditional layout was designed by architect Ron Firestone and included a library, hallway balcony, elevator, gourmet kitchen, master bath with a massage area, and large backyard with tons of outdoor space and patio. This 3/4-acre gated property could be your next project for a listed price of $11 million.
- Two-storey living room
- 5 bedrooms
- Massage room
- Gourmet kitchen
- Spa tub
Find out more and check out the listing here.
Welcome to Kimye's Bel Air estate, where curb appeal speaks for itself at this Mediterranean-style home.
The house is in a gated Bel Air neighbourhood, known as Bel Air Crest. It seems like the gated front door was the inspiration for the Georgian-style design of the interior, and candelabra chandelier, making a bold statement in this first sneak peak of the home.
Dark walnut flooring is added throughout the main floor of the two-storey house, as well as on the stairs and of course white interior columns, for a grand entryway.
Although the couple may not have kept the interior the same, this neutral design with a touch of colour brings out the Tuscan stone fireplace as the focal point of the room. Above it, a snippet of a Romeo-style balcony, fit for rap mogul, Kanye.
The dining room may be small, but the tray ceiling design and deep peach colour helps the room appear broader, and gives an eclectic feel.
Outlined by dark wood beams, windowsills and flooring, this eating nook has a great colour contrast and warm feel, perfect for breakfast and brunch.
With an opening to the backyard, new traditional interior and rich wood flooring, this gourmet kitchen can fit any large family, even the Kardashians.
Full of mahogany and chevron flooring, this warm home library is customized with French doors, making it easy to access the outdoor patio. While you're there, enjoy reading a good book in privacy, made possible by the contemporary style arched doorway.
Need a lift? Let this customized elevator give you a hand, with its rich combination of texturized wood interior.
We all know how fashion conscious the West duo is, so this large walk-in closet was exactly what they needed. Rows of built-in storage, wooden shelves and racks perfectly line the walls, as several can spotlights shine down, accentuating the trendy fashion labels the couple wears.
A fireplace in the master suite, seating area, and a spot to change, would give the couple plenty of room to lounge, along with tons of natural to brighten up the space.
For a night out on the town, the Wests need some extra time getting ready, and this lavish master bath delivers. Equipped with an impressive steam shower, spa tub and massage area, the Wests could have been pampered all day.
This spa tub is definitely soothing, with a cultured marble deck, steps and even an arched window for a view to the luscious outdoors.
To escape their busy lives and paparazzi, Kim and Kanye most certainly need a personal retreat. This balcony, off the master suite, offers tranquility with a seating area perfect for two.
No Mediterranean-style home would be complete without a grand pergola. This elegant pergola is elongated for outdoor dining under massive canopy pillars, and is situated in the grassy area at the back of the property, next to the swimming pool.
Satisfy even the most discerning epicureans on your list with one of these fashionable foodie-approved finds.
We all have that person in our life who can prepare an intricate meal without so much as glancing at a recipe. That person who dabbles in all things culinary related on a daily basis and has a kitchen pantry that rivals that of celebrity chef Mark McEwan (or it at least comes close). Not sure what to treat them to this holiday season? Browse through our list of food-related gift ideas for inspiration.
A heart-smart treat for the health food aficionado in your life, this carefully curated six-pack of cold-pressed juices contains almost two pounds of fruit and veg in every bottle! Cold-pressed Juices, Dose Juice, $42 per 6-piece pack.
This elegant Art Deco-style coffee dripper is for your friend who has one foot planted firmly at home and the other off in some distant Parisian patisserie. Hario stainless copper Coffee Dripper, Indigo, $100.
If the Bat Cave had a coffee maker, this would be it. Nespresso’s latest boasts a matte black finish befitting anyone in need of a caffeine jolt before saving Gotham City. VertuoLine Coffee Machine in Matte Black, Nespresso, $249.
This high-ranking mustard deserves your salute. Flavoured with decadent wine and truffles – and only available for a limited time – it’s a covetable condiment fit for any top official. Black Truffle and Chablis Mustard, Maille, $43 US.
These striking mugs echo exotic corners of the earth that yield top-notch coffee, from Sumatra to Costa Rica. Pair a mug with beans from the same region for a gift guaranteed to please any java junkie. Stamp Art Mugs, Starbucks, $19 each.
These pretty, precious and feminine flasks are almost too stylish to sully with alcohol – but everyone has a friend who would! Stainless steel Odeme Flasks, 90 ml, West Elm, $29 US each.
This vintage-look colander is a timeless classic that takes an everyday kitchen tool from dull to display-worthy. Copper-plated steel Colander in Gold, Anthropologie, $34 US.
This Scandi-chic French press in pale pink (with a pretty copper detail) is not only a beautiful vessel for your morning brew, but also an ideal addition to any open shelf. Ceramic French Press in Sand, Yield Design Co., $120 US.
Treat fans of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to “the gift that keeps on giving.” Translation: their very own Jelly of the Month Club gift set! (Reference lost on you? See here.) Griswold Jelly of the Month Club Gift Set, Retro Festive, $40.
It may resemble salami, but this treat is made entirely out of chocolate. Containing hazelnuts, almonds, cherries and even rum, the confection is a certified crowd-pleaser – especially when presented on a cutting board. Chocolate salami, SOMA Chocolatemaker, $23.
Count on Alessi to make a conventional utensil undeniably sleek. Crafted from stainless steel and boasting a unique shape, the modern citrus squeezer also doubles as a pestle. Valerio Citrus Squeezer, Alessi, $71.
Building a beautiful cheese platter is something of an art form, but it helps to have stylish spreaders to complement the nibbles. This gorgeous set with rose quartz handles will make any table sparkle. Rose Quartz Spreaders, HomeSense, $15 4-piece set.
Make this tasty dish for lunch or dinner.
You'll love this healthy (and simple) one-pan meal from Sarah Wilson's The I Quit Sugar Cookbook.