Interior: Eclectic holiday home

Interior: Eclectic holiday home

Interior: Eclectic holiday home Author: Style At Home


Interior: Eclectic holiday home

From cocktail umbrellas and penguins on the dinner table to a royal blue and white colour scheme, Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon’s Toronto home is a testament to her original approach to holiday decor. “My design aesthetic errs on the side of traditional, but I like to incorporate old and new,” she says. “I prefer a fresh look that is comfortable and definitely has quirky elements.” Luckily, that quirkiness is something the whole family – husband Andrew, daughter Sophie, 8, and son Henry, 5 – appreciates. “My kids love all the fun details, especially the animals, which is great because I like the kids to be very included in the decorating process.” The entire family is also involved in getting the house holiday-ready. “We start decorating just a few days before Christmas and Sophie and Henry can’t wait to pitch in,” says Christine.

A real tree is a must. “I like Fraser and balsam firs – one with strong branches and a nice compact appearance – but this year we tried a newer variety called a noble fir and it’s gorgeous.” The tree is placed in the family room and trimmed in the evening. “Having the kids help decorate certainly factors in. They’re right in there choosing and arranging, learning how to put it all together – without dropping the glass balls,” she says.

The Christmas tree

The impressive Christmas tree commands attention in the family room and boasts a well-edited array of sparkling Christmas tree ornaments. Christine says: “When the kids put the decorations on the tree, they always place similar ones close together. I’m trying to teach them to space them out so, for example, the owls aren’t all in the same spot!” christine-xmas-wreath.jpg
Boxwood wreath

The festive palette fits in nicely with the family room’s existing decor. The boxwood wreath and paperwhites add natural warmth. christine-xmas-wrappedgifts.jpg
Wrapped gfts

With no detail left untouched, even the wrapped holiday gifts are consistent with the home’s holiday colours. christine-xmas-fauxbamboo.jpg
Faux bamboo dresser

A faux bamboo dresser in the kitchen is the basis for a painterly vignette of some of Christine’s holiday essentials: hellebores and paperwhites replanted in pots and urns and bowls of seasonal fruit. christine-xmas-stockings.jpg
White stockings

Snow-white velvet stockings, each identified by an initial ornament, are tied to a fresh boxwood garland. Opt for faux garland that has wire inside of it so you can easily twist it around a banister. christine-xmas-jars.jpg
Decorating with Mason jars

Standard Mason jars are seen in a whole new light when filled with white epsom salts and a votive holiday candle. christine-xmas-table.jpg
Table setting

The holiday table setting – which seamlessly combines disparate items, such as vintage bowls, cocktail umbrellas and felt reindeer figurines – is the perfect backdrop for festive meals. christine-xmas-animaltags.jpg
Animal gift tags add an eclectic touch to presents and the dining table

Christine Hanlon's five holiday must-haves:

1 Boxwood

“Whether it’s wreaths, garland or simple sprigs on gifts, boxwood never disappoints.”

2 Gift wrapping
“I actually look forward to wrapping! I’m such a sucker for pretty packaging, it’s a pleasure to shop for.”

3 Paperwhites
“I replant these in pots or bowls, tied with raffia or cotton, and place them all over the house.”

4 Quirky elements
“It could be a critter ornament, gifts wrapped in fabric or a tray of summery cocktails. I just like to have fun.”

5 Christmas music
“We have a few holiday albums that we like to play every year: Kenny G, Barenaked Ladies and Raffi. These are our favourites.”


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Interior: Eclectic holiday home