Photography, Megan Lyman. DESIGN, Feasby & Bleeks. Mantel in a Box (PILLAR CANDLES, CANDLEHOLDERS, TREES, HOUSES), Feasby & Bleeks Home. LIGHTING, Prima Lighting. FURNISHINGS, Cocoon. PILLOWS, DRAPERY, Blinds, Drapes & Bedding.
Samantha Pynn shows how to decorate for the most colourful time of the year.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...or is it? For many of us, the holidays conjure up images of candy canes and Santa. Others prefer a more minimal look. Here, I look at ways to make your holiday decor magical – no matter your style – by focusing on festive palettes.
The new subtle palette
BIRDS, FAUX BRANCHES, Feasby & Bleeks Home.
A less Christmasy palette that melds with your existing decor is now an established trend. Retailers have responded with holiday decorations in every palette. So, even if your home is creamy-dreamy with top notes of lavender and plum – like this room by designers Erin Feasby and Cindy Bleeks – you can dress it in holiday style without making big changes to your existing decor. Erin and Cindy love the look so much, they have created ready-made kits that come complete with minimalist ceramic houses, candles and mini trees, so you can be holiday stylish in a snap. If you’re into subtle Christmas style, then forget swapping in seasonal pillows and throws or rolling out a new rug. Instead, work with what you have and use your accessories and art as a jumping-off point for holiday accents. Invest in low-key metallic basics, and ornaments or decorations in colours analogous to your home’s palette or in similar tones. And bring in branches and simple greenery for next-level holiday style.
Classic Christmas colours
Shadow 2117-30, Benjamin Moore.
Polar Ice 1660, Benjamin Moore.
White Heron OC-57, Benjamin Moore.
Winter Gray 2117-60, Benjamin Moore.
This look – think pinecones, handmade ornaments, nutcrackers, and classic red, white and green – will always be on trend. You can put a twist on it by incorporating decorations in tones of your home’s current palette, but a traditional tree is key. If you’re in a small space, opt for a mini tree in a pot or basket; place on a tabletop to make it a focal point. Festoon the mantel and stair railings with pine and eucalyptus swags embellished with ornaments, berries and flowers. Go for abundance: I like big groupings of winter flowers like amaryllis and poinsettia, as well as collections of candles, and bowls of nuts and holiday sweets.
Trees of treasures palette
Most of us have ornaments we’ve inherited or purchased over many years, and for many of us, nostalgia trumps tight palettes! So, I suggest (designer friends, hold on to your Santa hats!) that we forget the two Christmas tree approach (designers often recommend a small “kids” tree and a perfectly decorated large one) and put old, new and kid-crafted decorations on full display. My trick to blending everything harmoniously is to keep the backdrop consistent. Start with a base of all-white lights or multiples of the same ornament, then sprinkle in those perfectly imperfect treasures. The holidays are all about tradition, nostalgia and, let’s face it, a little bit of wackiness, so have yourself a happy holiday!
Unify holiday decor
- Group like items together. Try a large bowl of ornaments from the same era or a collection of elves or figurines on the mantel.
- Use ribbon wrapped around your tree, gifts, wreaths and garlands to unify your colour scheme.
- Hang pretty paper snowflakes in windows and on your tree – this is a great project for kids!
- Adorn your windows, doorways and mantel with the same garland greenery.
10 ways to style your holiday table