Tag Archives: Holiday Decor

How to make your home festive, even if you don't want a tree!

How to make your home festive, even if you don’t want a tree!

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How to make your home festive, even if you don’t want a tree!

Any parent would agree that a lot of the Christmas decorations we bring out this time of year (the tree, stockings, lights) are all because of our children. We love to see their faces light up when the tree goes up, and we cherish all of those lovely traditions we create with our families when we decorate our homes with decorations that come out year after year. It’s a magical time for children, as it should be, but if they have grown older, or moved on to school or beyond, bringing out all those boxes of holiday decor when it may just be two of you at home can be, well, daunting. And is it even necessary?

I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist at heart, especially when it comes to the holiday season. I’m not into oversized decorations that cover my home floor-to-ceiling: I prefer a few, curated trimmings that I sprinkle around to give that holiday feel without going too overboard (and, no, we haven’t done a tree in years!).

Here are some festive ideas to bring the magic of the holidays to your home without feeling like you have to recreate Santa’s workshop:

What’s your palette?

It’s okay if you’re not a big fan of red and green (I’m not either), so instead, lean into tones that will complement your existing decor. Silver, gold, and bronze are lovely, and I do love sprigs of evergreen and cranberries added into the mix too.

For the mantel

For a sophisticated display, keep your pairings minimal. A grapevine branch with evergreen branches and pomegranates would look stunning over your mantle, especially if you pair it with a trio of white candlesticks. I also love the use of in-season produce such as lemons, tangerines, and oranges.


Set a cosy scene by wrapping some twinkling holiday lights around a couple of birch logs either on the mantle (if they can fit) or lying in front of your fireplace. Add some simple votives along the sides for a little extra sparkle.

For an end table or deep windowsill

I love the warm glow of a lit candle, so I would set up several glass candlesticks (varying sizes and heights work) with some gold or silver glass votives. Or take some ordinary pillar candles and wrap each with a piece of festive ribbon to boost the holiday vibe. You could also add a few coloured ornaments in a glass bowl of your choosing.

Front door

If you’re not into a Christmas wreath, a beautiful red velvet bow would be just as impactful – and festive. If you do like wreaths, there are so many sophisticated options available now, beyond the traditional pine branches and pinecones. Pottery Barn always has excellent options come the holiday season.

Light in unexpected places

Instead of stringing lights around your trees, and all the usual spots, drape them around different exterior features: A trellis, birdbaths, large flower pots, and other landscaping features you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Jackie Glass’s holiday decor with a nod to the past, woodland views and a touch of glam

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Jackie Glass’s holiday decor with a nod to the past, woodland views and a touch of glam

Now that the dust has settled, literally, in the recently renovated home of designer Jackie Glass, nestled in the heart of Niagara Escarpment’s incredibly beautiful wine country, Glass was excited to decorate her new home for the holidays for the very first time. After two years of missing Christmas, due to the constant chaos caused by the renovation, it’s easy to understand why she wanted to keep the holiday decor simple and low-key.

But for Glass, this didn’t mean ignoring her lifetime urge to inject a touch of holiday glitz and glam into her decor. Even if a little recycling of old decorations from her previous Hamptonstyle home were all she had to kick-start the theme in her new modern home. After all, that’s what creative people do, right? Create incredible spaces with what you have, even if it’s only a four-year-old, pre-lit white-flocked Christmas tree – not very modern – and a few odd, white Christmas balls.

Jackie’s house of glass

As only designer Jackie Glass does best, a freshly decorated home featuring her signature neutral palette, inspired by the incredible natural woodland views through the magnificent floor-to-ceiling glass walls, celebrates Christmas with a touch of glitz and glam in a sophisticated monochromatic black, white, grey and silver palette. “After years of renovation chaos, I wanted to create a calm yet joyous holiday spirit in my new home. A peaceful place where my husband and I could celebrate the holidays in a serene environment with our friends and family, many of whom have been so supportive through our gruelling renovations,” says Glass.

Here, she invites us to step into her stunning mid-century modern glass house as she reveals how she lovingly created a simple elegant holiday decor by pairing favourite old decorations from Christmases past with a few new bits and bobs to pay homage to her home’s sleek modern style.

Hamptons meets mid-century modern

Glass’s previous home was designed with the popular Hampton’s-style esthetic of the early 2000s. Its Christmas decor (featured in Reno & Decor Dec/Jan 2018 issue) is a tough sell for Glass’s new mid-century modern look in her new home. By choosing just a few elements, like the white pre-lit flocked tree, some traditional family ornaments and a few new decorations, Glass was able to pull off a modern look that looks beautiful in the window overlooking the snow-blanketed woodlands beyond.

Glitz & glam ornaments

To help modernize the flocked Christmas tree, Glass chose a monochromatic collection of geometric-shaped ornaments in grey, white, black and glass with a touch of glitter to trim the tree. Using this simple palette for the holidays creates an elegant look that can be easily enhanced with a pop of a favourite colour without sacrificing the overall look.

Snow-covered woodlands

From Glass’s living room, the views of the freshly snow-blanketed Niagara Escarpment woodlands bathed in golden rays of winter sun naturally set the tone for the room’s nature-inspired holiday decor. “I chose natural boughs, pinecones, glass, white and silver accents to decorate this serene space for the holidays. It’s where we would entertain our friends and family while enjoying the glorious views of gently falling snow so I didn’t want any holiday decor to distract from the views,” says Glass.


Wrap it up

Glass kept the theme going with gifts wrapped in inexpensive paper picked up at the discount store. Who knew kraft paper in tan, white and black, trimmed in luxe double-sided satin or sheer ribbon, could look so chic?! Glass added a few gifts wrapped in coordinating coloured metallic papers in keeping with her palette.

Jackie Glass
Jackie Glass

Festive bar cart beauty

Be prepared for invited and unexpected guests stopping by to celebrate the season. “I always have a pretty bar cart fully stocked and ready for any holiday occasion.” Glass has decorated an acrylic and silver bar cart with a few evergreen boughs, mini-lights and ornaments to add a little glitter.

Dining room glam

In the dining room, for Glass it’s all about the view no matter the season. Glass accents, a few natural boughs and pinecones is all it takes to set the stage for a winter-white Christmas celebration. The gas fireplace and a delicious holiday feast complete the look and elevate the spirit of the holidays when family and friends fill the room with laughter and love.

When guests arrive, Glass’s covered main entrance porch sets the scene for the holiday celebrations underway inside. “Year-round we spend many quiet hours watching the dogs on the lawn in the early morning and before bedtime on this cosy covered porch. This year we’ll add a heater!” says Glass.


HOME DESIGN by Jackie Glass, Jackie Glass Inc LIVING ROOM: RUG, Imperial Rug FLOOR, Lauzon Flooring FURNITURE, through Jackie Glass Inc. DINING ROOM: Dekton FIREPLACE WALL, Cosentino FLOOR, Lauzon Flooring FURNITURE, through Jackie Glass Inc.

Photos: Karen Kirk




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No-rules holiday decor

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No-rules holiday decor

Photography, Gillian Jackson

Decorating for the holidays is very personal. Some people really couldn’t care one way or the other, and then there are those who can’t wait for the season to arrive. Apparently, it says a lot about who you are if you put your decorations up early.

Decorate early, be happy

The New York Post reported that people are happier if they put up holiday decorations, earlier than most, outside their home. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology backs this up. We make associations with things that make us happy, and Christmas is, generally, a happy time. By putting up outdoor decorations evokes social cues to our neighbours, and suggests that we are friendly.

If this describes you, then chances are you’ve already brought out the boxes from storage, and you’re living in a Christmas wonderland.

Once upon a time

There was a time when the traditional colour themes included red, green and white, with a touch of gold or silver for sparkle. Today, there aren’t any colour limits and you can be as creative as you want to be. Visit any big box store after the 31st of October and you’ll be inundated with possibilities.

If you’re a person who prefers to decorate to a theme each year, then you’ll know that new ornaments (and themes) are constantly being introduced to the market. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, then make it. Home-made touches always add a special element.

When designers deck a tree

In our office we hold a tree decorating competition. One year our theme was A Wine-derful Christmas, which included wine glass, bottle ornaments and hand-made cork garland. For our Nordic Noel Tree, we used light-toned wood ornaments, hand cut white paper snowflakes, and played up a red, white and silver theme. Last year we did the the Tree of Misfit Fabrics. You guessed it – we used leftover fabric pieces, shaped them into bows, and complemented it with black, white and silver ornaments. It’s always the homemade touches that get the most love.

When to let loose

Even it you tend to be a more restrained decorator when it comes to your home environment, you may show your playful side come Christmas. You don’t have to go overboard (like we did), but by introducing the right lighting and holiday decor it can further elevate the moods of your family and friends.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for decorating your home for the holidays. Some (and you know who you are) go as far as to replace their dishes, serving ware, towels and bedding, and they decorate every room in the house. And, they do it faithfully every year. If you love to do it, then do it. However, if it’s stressing you out, don’t become a slave to a theme, as your family and friends would prefer to see you relaxed and happy.

When to show restraint

If you’re really gung-ho about getting the holiday started early, please remember that although we are surrounded by retailers pushing it earlier and earlier, we can still show a bit of restraint. Many feel that it’s best to wait until after Remembrance Day, out of respect for those who fought for our freedom. It still leaves more than 40 days of letting the neighbours know that you’re friendly and happy.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com


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Five Tips to Host a Memorable Holiday Party

Five tips to host a memorable holiday party

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Five tips to host a memorable holiday party

Throwing an elegant holiday get-together – whether a sit-down dinner or a cocktail party – with your family and friends doesn’t have to be stressful, especially if you plan early. Meal-planning, decorating and coordinating the guest list needn’t fill you with anxiety and impending doom. While the holidays are indeed fast approaching, these simple entertaining tips and tricks will help you expertly host a holiday party that’s all success and no stress.

Here are five ways to host a stress-free, memorable holiday party this season.

Make a list, check it twice

Upon deciding what kind of party you’re going to host, and its scope, it’s time to determine the date, time, and guest list. Put together a list of loved ones to invite and decide how you’re going to get the word out. You can send out invitations via email, post on personalized card stock, or simply telephone your guests. In an effort to plan your party well in advance, you should send out your invites at least three to four weeks ahead of the party date if not sooner, as calendars fill up fast around the holiday season.

With your RSVPs in order, you can more easily plan the scope of your party if you know how many people to expect. Also make it clear whether or not guests are allowed to bring plus ones or their fur babies.

Create a realistic holiday menu

Aside from last-minute RSVPs, cooking is often the number one stressor of planning and preparing for a holiday party. Eliminate this stress by refraining from over-complicating your menu. While an elaborate meal may look impressive, it will likely prevent you from enjoying your own party with your guests.

Create a relatively easy holiday menu that suits your skill set, and that you feel comfortable cooking and serving. All-in-one meals work great for this, as they’re typically simple to make and limit the number of dishes, pots and pans used, making for a smoother clean-up. Consider roasting meats and vegetables at the same time, or adding a stew or chili to your menu. If you have a small dining space, a buffet-style dinner is the way to go to prevent overcrowding. Easily create a tasteful buffet by keeping your food in pots on the stove and using counters and tables as serving areas. Depending on the theme and scope of your get-together, you can opt for finger foods, which work especially well for smaller groups.

Regardless of your menu, much like your invites, the most important thing to remember is to prepare your food well in advance.

Drink up

A holiday party wouldn’t be complete without beverages, of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety. As such, consider setting up a separate station in another room, such as in your living room or sitting room, for drinks. Stock your bar cart with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, ice, cocktail napkins and the appropriate glassware, and ensure you stock up on soda and mixers, as well as coffee (regular and decaf), hot cocoa, cider and a basket of teas.

If you are expecting more than 20 guests, it’s a good idea to hire a server for a few hours, as this will go a long way in saving you time and giving you the freedom to mingle with your guests. If you’re hosting a small group of friends, a self serve bar should do the job and friends and family can help themselves to cocktails and other beverages.

In addition to remembering your beverages, also ensure to label each guest’s glass. While it’d be great to provide each guest with a new glass for each new course, your kitchen will quickly pile up with dirty glasses, making the post-party clean-up a nightmare. Use wine charms or personalize your guests’ glasses by writing their names on drink stirrers to allow everyone to keep track of their glasses, encouraging re-use.

Clean & decorate

In addition to showing off your cooking and cocktail mixing skills, you’ll want to ensure your home decor is also top-notch. Ensure you spend some time cleaning your home the day before your party, make a note to hang up stray coats and put away shoes and any other items that may be in the way. This is especially important if you have a small space, as any clutter will quickly fill your space and become more apparent. Find spots for your stray items, ensure your floors are free from dust, that your bathrooms are immaculate and any pet hair has been vacuumed.

For the day, or night, of your party, consider purchasing or renting a coat rack to hang your guests’ jackets when they arrive, as this is more thoughtful than simply dumping their belongings on a bed, and makes them easier to retrieve at the end of the night.

Decorating is key to setting the tone for your party. If you have a small space, remember that less is more: stick to the essentials, but keep decorations small.

Make use of out-of-reach areas by hanging mistletoe in doorways or from lights; consider wall decals, topiaries and ornaments on tiered trays. If you’re working with a larger space, the “less is more” adage is key to keeping things look modern and elegant. Decorate with festive lights, candles, wall art and coverings.

These same decorating principles apply to your table settings and your home’s exterior. For a tasteful approach to holiday decorating, try a single, stand-out wreath, potted evergreens or a large bow on your door. Ensure to creatively arrange your furniture to accommodate your guests, and if your family or living room is larger than your dining room, don’t be afraid to swap places. Feel free to combine folding chairs, benches and lounge seating at your dining table and create various comfortable and inviting spaces throughout your home for your guests to mingle and socialize.

Sounds of the season

Set the mood with a homemade CD or computer playlist of holiday songs. This is a relatively simple undertaking, but instantly personalizes your gathering by setting the mood to your favourite mix of seasonal tunes. Remember to keep the music low, as conversation is what counts at any celebration. Also try to avoid musical selections with lyrics during the dinner hour, which can cause competition between the lyrics and the scintillating dinner conversation.

With the holidays fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your festive soirées. When the planning process starts early, you’ll avoid both stress and aggravation, as well as the last-minute rush to pull something together. Easily transform your home into a place for an elegant gathering of your closest friends and loved ones with Furniture.ca’s wide selection of home furnishings and decor, perfect for transforming your holiday decorating ideas into reality.


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Annie Sloan - Holidays decorating ideas

Holidays decorating ideas

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Holidays decorating ideas

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint used to create three distinct holiday looks

Annie Sloan has created three individual looks for decorating the home this holiday season using her iconic brand of Chalk Paint, as well as other products from the Annie Sloan Collection.

Follow the simple instructions to create three distinct looks to celebrate the holidays.


Floor: Floorboards were painted in a wash of Chalk Paint in Old White and finished with lacquer.

Cabinet: First a thick, textured coat of Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue was applied using a large pure bristle brush. Once dry, a second coat of Chalk Paint in a mix of Duck Egg Blue and Old White was applied. The piece was left to dry before applying a layer of Clear Chalk Paint Wax. A medium coarse sanding pad was then used to slightly distress the paint, revealing areas of the darker Duck Egg Blue layer below. A final coat of Clear Chalk Paint Wax protected the finish.

Large Pine Cones: Using Chalk Paint decorative paint in a palette of Duck Egg Blue, Old White and Scandinavian Pink, paint was stippled in to all the nooks and crannies of the pinecones. A little water was added to the paint to get it flowing and covering between the layers. Once dry, the paint was gently removed from the edges of the cones using a damp cloth.

Wreaths: Branch twigs were woven and fastened together into circular wreaths, leaving some of the leaves to poke out. Using Chalk Paint in Old White, the largest and smallest wreathes were painted all over. The medium-size wreath was painted in Chalk Paint Duck Egg Blue. Once almost dry a damp cloth was used to remove a little paint.


 Floor: Concrete floor was painted in Chalk Paint in Graphite and finished with lacquer.

Chairs: Painted thickly in Chalk Paint in Florence using a pure bristle brush to create lots of texture. Once dry, a layer of Clear Chalk Paint Wax was applied and lashings of Black Chalk Paint Wax were worked in to the still wet wax to bring out brushstrokes. Using a lint-free cloth, excess wax was removed from the surface. The chair seat pads were upholstered in Annie Sloan Coloured Linen in Aubusson Blue & Provence.

Dining Table: The table was painted in Chalk Paint in Graphite. Once dry, the paint was sealed with Clear Chalk Paint Wax. While the wax was still wet, diluted Aubusson Blue was painted onto areas of the table. Using a piece of scrunched up newspaper that was then flattened out again, the paper was pressed against the table and rubbed all over, applying a moderate amount of pressure. This removed areas of the topcoat of paint, leaving it uneven and blotchy. (Applying a coat of sax, which is oil based, before the paint, which is water-based, creates a “wax resist,” which means the paint either runs off or collects in pools and beads.) Clear Chalk Paint Wax was applied to finish the piece, and to make the surface wipeable.

Napkins, holly and ivy: The napkins were made from Coloured Linens in Aubusson Blue & Provence, decorated with a piece of holly painted in Chalk Paint in Scandinavian Pink and finished with Warm and Bright Gold Gilding Wax. Then they were tied in waxed black string with the tips finished in Warm and Bright Gold Gilding Wax. Various holly and ivy leaves on the table were painted in Chalk Paint in Burgundy with some finished with a mix of Warm and Bright Gold Gilding Wax.

Bottles: An inch of the top of the glass bottles was masked off with tape. Slightly diluted layers of Chalk Paint in Burgundy were gradually applied to the rest of the bottles. Once the colour was looking opaque, it was left to dry before adding a mix of Warm and Bright Gilding Wax to the bottle using a stencil brush. The Gilding Wax was gently worked out from the top line to create a subtle ombré effect. Once dry, the masking tape was removed to reveal a crisp clean line. 


 Floor: Chalk Paint in Paris Grey, finished with lacquer.

Christmas tree: Triangle cut out of MDF painted in Chalk Paint in a mix of Amsterdam Green and Old White.

Baubles: Plastic baubles painted in a palette of Chalk Paint in English Yellow, Florence, Old White, Antoinette and a mix of Florence and Old White. A couple of these were finished using either white or black wax to highlight the texture and darken or lighten the colour a little.

Chair: Chalk Paint in English Yellow painted with a pure bristle brush to create texture and once dry, finished with white Chalk Paint Wax, leaving the “socks” of the chair in the vivid English Yellow, without the white clear wax.

Presents: Wrapped with paper hand-printed and stamped with Chalk Paint in a palette of Duck Egg Blue, Antoinette, English Yellow, and Old White.

Chalk Paint and all products in Annie Sloan’s range of painting accessories are available from only 65 hand-picked stockists located throughout Canada. Go to anniesloan.com for more details.


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Festive Gatherings By Design

Festive Gatherings By Design

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Festive Gatherings By Design

by Linda Mazur

The holiday season, is fast approaching.  This year, parties are taking a far more formal approach with the return of glamour, colour and luxury that will leave your guest wanting more.  It’s all about making your guests feel joyful, while exuding elegance and creating an affair to remember.

Rich jewel tones, metallics and a touch of sparkle are a must in the party life of 2017!  As in design, this year is all about colour.  Pretty amethyst, lush plum tones bordering on black, and beautiful bright pinks that pack a punch are a highlight of the upcoming holiday palette.  Incorporate these rich hues in your fireplace mantel, centerpieces, glassware and textiles to create a lush and layered look for your festivities.

From a stylish, well-appointed home in which to host your party to the quality and attention to detail in your party planning; this year the design scene and the party scene run hand-in-hand.  Décor is of great importance when planning your festive gathering, as are many other “little things” that will make this a special and elegant affair for all to remember.  Think formal invitations, with a dress code, to set the stage.  Or beautifully wrapped personalized ornaments as party favours for your guests … an added touch that will remind them of the evening.  It’s all in the details this party season!

From the flowers and décor, to the food and drinks, the best parties this season will be thoughtful, intentional and carefully crafted to reflect individual style while creating an unforgettable night for your guests.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your festive party planning!

  1. Glam up your tables with beautiful china, crystal and silver.  A bit of fresh greenery, candles and a few holiday touches are a quick and simple way to add a festive touch to your table top and other areas of your home.
  2. Consider hiring waiters or bartenders to assist, not only does this ensure the needs of your guests will always be attended to but it will also allow you to personally enjoy your party.
  3. Dessert/cake image — “Instead of formal desserts, create a decadent and festive sweet table for your guests.  Pretty vintage footed-cake plates, a touch of greenery and lush florals will make for a beautiful table-scape; feature an accompanying dessert wine to make this a fait accompli.”
  4. Floral arrangement image –“This beautiful floral arrangement is the perfect accompaniment to the holiday season featuring rich, lushes plum tones, with a great play on texture … who could ask for anything more.”

Floral design by – Opening Night Flowers

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Designer Touch: Inspired Holiday Hosting

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Designer Touch: Inspired Holiday Hosting

By Jane Lockhart • Photography By Gillian Jackson

Elegant entertaining without the dining table

How do you throw a holiday party with all the elegance of a sit-down dinner without a dining table? I love to entertain but I currently don’t have a dining table. I chalk it up to being a designer—I’m waiting for the right one! My client, Suzanna, is in the same position, but we turned her living room into a beautiful entertaining space to keep her guests happy and circulating— and out of the kitchen!


Whether you’re planning a formal or casual get-together, the key is to plan. You want to fill your guests’ senses. The aroma of fresh-baked goods, the taste of savoury nibbles, flickering candlelight and low-key music all can be fine-tuned for the occasion. Spatially, I like to use every surface as a “station.” Think of it like layering decorative finishes to keep the eye moving through a room. Placing food and drinks on different surfaces and at different heights, with plenty of room to walk around, adds a welcoming dimension to the room. The sideboard becomes a cheese station, the ottoman holds multi-tiered goodies and a bar cart acts as the dessert station.


The tree may be the largest decor item in the room, so make it outstanding! It sets the tone and it can also set the colour theme, if you like. I’m all about abundance when it comes to decorating the tree—every surface and niche is filled. It too, keeps the eye moving over the spectacle.


But entertaining like this is all in the details, where every surface is treated as a decorative vignette. Layers of fresh greenery laid out on surfaces create the base layer, with glittering, holiday decorations in gold and silver adding sparkle under generous candlelight. I like to mix plain white or gold finished votive, tapered and pillar candles, and lanterns with pillars clustered in groups on the floor (but not underfoot!), so every surface has light.


Use varying shapes and sizes of decor. Large, gold, sculpted reindeer guard over cheese plates, while ornaments of varying sizes look festive on multi-tiered serving ware. Bring out your best serving pieces. This is the occasion to use it all!

Delicious pop-in-your-mouth cookies and sweets require a central location, like an ottoman where guests can move around and see the whole selection. Why not add glass or crystal jars filled with gold balls or batteryoperated strings of light? It’s a simple trick, and when set on a mirrored tray, they reflect the light and add sparkle. It goes without saying that stacks of holiday napkins should be made available at every station and flatware, gathered in glassware, adds a slightly informal touch and allows guests to help themselves.


Side tables are great for showcasing decor and candles, but we like to use larger ones as the coffee and tea station. Dig out the fine china and use the coffee and tea pots with matching cream and sugar, cups and saucers, so guests can help themselves.


If you have a large expanse of windows, you might add a string of lights above the frame, or try adding multiple, lightweight wreaths hung with fishing line or fine wire attached to a curtain rod (not the fabric).


What’s better than a bar cart? Two moveable bar carts to do the heavy lifting. One for desserts, one for the drinks (not shown). A simple drink menu, with wine, beer, warm cider and eggnog guests will be able to help themselves. Set these stations up outside the living room—we used the adjacent entry hall, closer to the kitchen for replenishing.


Don’t forget to add festive decor in the powder room. Greenery, candles, ornaments, mirrored surfaces, beautiful soaps and lush towels carry the festive spirit to this essential room, too.


Finally, add a cosy layer; lovely stockings hung by the chimney (with care), scrumptious throws and squeezable pillows on the seating. This tactile touch contributes to the charm and your guests’ sense-filled experience. Then, light the fireplace and add guests. You’ll know that while you are tending to the hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen, your guests are steps away, enjoying the party. Trust me, no one is going to miss sitting at the table.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com


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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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Home Finds: Holiday Home Dressup

HOME FINDS: Holiday Home Dressup

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HOME FINDS: Holiday Home Dressup

by Silvana Longo

Whether you gravitate towards a cosy country theme, veer on a vintage vibe, or go for glam, decorating for the holidays always elevates the look of your home and reveals your unique Christmas cheer style.

It’s time to put on your party clothes, polish your place and get ready to mix and mingle. Give your home some holiday luxe with touches of gold, layers of lush velvet, deep jewel tones and twinkling lights.

Knit Metallic Thread STOCKINGS $34,
Bottle Brush ORNAMENTS $14,
Felt Animal ORNAMENTS $13-16.


Country Christmas

The idyllic setting of the country is a Christmas wish come true for many. Some are lucky enough to celebrate the holidays in their country home or in a lovely cabin in the woods, but know that you can also capture that rustic feel right here in the city. Here’s how you can create a warm and inviting holiday retreat, no matter where you celebrate the season.

Woodland is the Word

Glitterville’s baby penguin, raccoon and baby squirrel have plush faux-fur coats and darling faces—this trio will be the sweetest ornaments on your tree.

Glitterville Faux Fur Baby Penguin ORNAMENT, $12;
Glitterville Faux Fur Raccoon ORNAMENT, $10;
Glitterville Faux Fur Baby Squirrel ORNAMENT, $10.


Silvana—Latin origin, meaning woman of the forest

I am thinking of taking my holiday decorating cues straight from the source. To get that rustic, country Christmas look, choose earthy materials that give a “sylvan” appeal.

BOTTLE STOPPER with deershaped metal top






Chalkboard Wood Slice NAPKIN RING

$6 each





Designer Plaid NAPKINS, set of 4



Rustic Metal Bronze FLATWARE (20-pc)




The deer pillow brings to life the traditional holiday colour story paired with accents of plaid and jutte material. The full collection incorporates traditional red and white with modern black and grey design elements, but can easily coordinate with any green, red, gold and silver items that may already be part of your Christmas decor.

Plaid Deer CUSHION, $16.98



Nothing says country like burlap…and adding a Burlap string star tree topper is like the cherry on top!

CANVAS Rustic Burlap String Star TREE TOPPER, $24.99


Once Upon a Christmas

If your favourite Dickens’ character was the ghost of Christmas Past, we are guessing you like to infuse a retro feel to your holiday decor. Echoing the traditions of yesteryear, this style incorporates items from various time periods—from Victorian to mid-century—from handmade to bright-coloured spherical ornaments, bottlebrush trees and snowy landscapes. It is the glow of Christmas nostalgia that enriches and adds layers of warmth to a home.

Party Animal

Skilled artisans in the Philippines use natural buri fibres to handcraft this Bottle Brush Ornament. Toting a saxophone, this jazzy raccoon hits all the right notes.

Rex Raccoon playing the sax ORNAMENT; $14


Sleigh Pom-Pom ORNAMENT



Rose Gold ORNAMENTS, set of 9



Felt Ice Skates ORNAMENT




$4 each


CANVAS Glitter Leaf WREATH, 24-in










A modern take on traditional tabletop trees, skilled Indian artisans carefully cut, shape and fold each of these trees by hand. Simple to assemble (just unfold and clasp together via a small magnet), they lay flat for easy storage.

Accordion PAPER TREES. (sizes from 12″ to 26″), $29 to $69


Puttin’ on the Ritz

If your holiday decorating style embraces the glitz and glam of the season – a time to indulge the senses – adding those luxurious touches like velvet and metallic are a must. Remember, more isn’t always more; to successfully pull off this holiday glam look, it is important to find that sweet spot that hovers around sophisticated and steers clear from over the top.

Champagne Wood Shell WREATH



Spiro Stars Embroidered STOCKING




Velvet Crush – “I love the lustrous look and sensual feel of velvet. Whether patterned or in this gorgeous copper hue, velvet is my forever go-to luxury fabric.”

Silvana Longo

Designer’s Guild Phipps CUSHION, 18″x24″, $300

Lush Velvet CUSHION (copper), $39


A modern take on an iconic Art Deco design, the Starburst Coffee Table plays a starring role in any living space, balancing a glass top on a sculptural base for a burst of celestial-inspired style.

Starburst TABLE, $839





— EM’s PICK —

Emilie Simpson
Art Director


Decking the halls just got easier. This Kraft + Glitter Leaf Garland brings seasonal style—and a touch of sparkle—to any tree, mantel or staircase.

Kraft + Glitter Leaf GARLAND, $39


Party Dress Rabbit ORNAMENT



Ceramic Rose Gold PITCHER



The holidays are a great excuse to sport some sparkle. Treat yourself, or someone on your list, to an easy-to-wear magnetic bracelet with tons of metallic tones and texture. Dress up jeans or add some edge to a little black dress.

Grey, gold metallic BRACELET




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