Cover Story: All Dressed Up

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Cover Story: All Dressed Up

By Linda Mazur • Photography By Jason Hartog

Host a memorable affair with flair

The end of the year is fast approaching—the start of what I like to call the “season of soirées.” Holiday parties this year are taking on a more luxurious tone, welcoming the return of indulgence, glamour and colour that leaves guests begging for more. Here’s my guide to creating a formal, festive ambiance for an affair to remember.


Rich jewel tones must be in attendance at your formal get-together. Pretty amethyst, lush plum tones bordering on black, saturated pinks and potent pops of bright yellowygreen— a nod to 2017’s colour of the year—are a highlight of the upcoming holiday palette. Add these opulent hues to your fireplace mantel, centrepiece, coloured glassware and textiles, lending your soirée a lush, layered look.


Amp up the luxury by adding texture to your decor; this is a great way to express your own style and personality, in a tactile way. Sumptuous velvets, silks and coarsely textured linens are a mainstay for the cool fall and winter nights, adding warmth and welcome to your home as your guests cosy up, relax and digest after a splendid meal.

As a designer, I’ve seen texture, pattern-play and mixed metals dominate the design scene through 2017, and indeed, these will see us through the final countdown of the year. Well-appointed, well thought-out decor reflects a more minimalistic approach to design, highlighting the beauty of each carefully selected piece or custom finish, and bringing balance and harmony to the room.


This featured dining room showcases a mix of patterns carefully selected to complement the beautiful wallpaper—the focal point of this room. The sheen and texture of the dupioni silk drapery and the velvet dining chairs help create a sense of tactile luxury, while lending the perfect backdrop for the glamorous chandelier. We combined several different metallic finishes in this space to bring dimension to the design esthetic, and bring character and personality to the room.


  1. Nothing sets the stage for a swanky soirée like a formal invitation! Send invites a month ahead of time, to give guests time to plan and RSVP.
  2. Glam up your tables with beautiful china, crystal and silver. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your serving dishes. It’s a great way to add personality and unique charm.
  3. Lay down freshly cut greens on top of serving trays for a quick and festive touch.
  4. Lighting is an important element not to be overlooked. Opt for dim, romantic lighting from multiple sources: chandelier, table lamps, sconces, candles. A layered lighting plan will help set the right mood.
  5. To ensure the right ambiance, communicate a dress code to your guests. They’ll appreciate getting the heads-up on what to wear (a sure distress for some!) but this will ensure the theme of your soirée is carried through from the decor, to the menu, to the guests.


Another trending element making an appearance at this season’s formal affairs is the curated and customized. Nothing screams “exclusive” like a little personalization—a relatively easy way to make your guests feel truly special. From colour that complements the occasion, to signature cocktails, and customized menu items with wine pairings, this highly stylized affair exudes elegance at every turn. This year, the design scene and the party scene run hand-in-hand, so your decor shouldn’t be an afterthought. Think personalized place-card holders, wine charms and party favours, and an elegant centrepiece to make your dining table the focal point.

Expect the best parties this season to be thoughtful, intentional and carefully crafted, to reflect individual style while indulging guests in a night they won’t soon forget.


DESIGNER: Linda Mazur Design Group DINING CHAIR UPHOLSTERY FABRIC by Robert Allen Manufactured by Silva Custom Furniture, CUSTOM DRAPERY FABRIC by Alendel, MANUFACTURING is Model Space Designs, WALLPAPER: JF Fabrics, LIGHT FIXTURE: Prima Lighting, BAR CART: Artage, FLORAL DESIGN by Opening Night Flowers, DESSERTS from Pusateri’s Fine Foods, AREA RUG: Stevens Omni

Linda Mazur, Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group, has almost two decade of experience running her multi-disciplinary design firm. Known for creating relaxed, stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada, her work has been published nationally in various publications. lindamazurdesign.com @LindaMazurGroup


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