Homes & Design Photo Credit: Martin Tessler

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Winter whites paired with silver and gold transform a Vancouver home into a holiday delight.

1113-white-christmas2

Claire Nicola has a family tradition going on three decades now: on Christmas Eve, the doors open and friends and family pop in for food, carolling and time together. “We went away once for Christmas, and we didn’t like it,” says Nicola. “My mother started the tradition, and then it moved to my place. Everyone comes with their kids—it’s a real family time for us.”

1113-white-christmas3

So when Nicola volunteered her home to be a part of the Kids Help Phone Homes for the Holidays tour last year, she was happy to go all-out with the decor—working with Take Me Home Décor store owner Alison McDonald and interior designer Patty Neilson of Patricia Neilson Design, who worked on the design of the home itself. McDonald and Neilson had a relatively blank slate to work with: Nicola had moved into the space in the last year, and her old decorations didn’t work in the new, “modern French” style.

1113-white-christmas8
Hanging lights are perfect perches | The pendants over the kitchen nook and the dining table became the base for decoration: a white wreath in the kitchen, and dangling snowflakes in the dining room.

It was one spot in particular that served as a starting point for the whole home. “As soon as I saw the stone-cast mantel, I knew white would be beautiful,” explains McDonald, who brought her team from the store—Amy McDonald, Carey Fieldgate and Rosemary McLaren—to help out.

Lights aren’t just for the tree White boughs on the stone-cast fireplace are given extra oomph with twinkle lights strung throughout them.
Lights aren’t just for the tree White boughs on the stone-cast fireplace are given extra oomph with twinkle lights strung throughout them.

White and silver make up the fairytale-like design scheme, which has more than a few hits of whimsy throughout. A silver stag statuette on the stairs sports a stole belonging to McDonald’s mom; on the stovetop, a silver cloche is perched beside a feather owl—a cheeky bit of fun implying that the bird might be the main course. Above the kitchen table, a chandelier became the perfect home for an upside-down wreath, dotted with ornaments and white doves.

Bring holiday warmth outside with cozy throws and greens The outdoor room is still well used once the temperature drops, thanks to heaters and a fireplace. It’s draped with live greens, faux-fur throws and rustic decorations like the stars and trees made from branches. A mini Santa is perfectly placed by the chimney—ready to meet the big guy.
Bring holiday warmth outside with cozy throws and greens The outdoor room is still well used once the temperature drops, thanks to heaters and a fireplace. It’s draped with live greens, faux-fur throws and rustic decorations like the stars and trees made from branches. A mini Santa is perfectly placed by the chimney—ready to meet the big guy.

Under the Christmas tree, organza is layered with white lights, creating a glow from beneath the tree. “It’s a simple way of decorating,” says McDonald, “in lieu of having a tree skirt.” Much like the mantel that first caught her attention, the architecture of the home spoke to her as well: the gorgeous, oversized doors from the great room to the hallway were decorated like giant presents. The dining room is kept more sedate and elegant: Tom Dixon lights are lightly decorated with snowflake decorations, wired around the socket inside the shade.

Make a seasonally themed cocktail With the white and silver backdrop, a pretty cranberry and champagne cocktail (top) pops as part of the decor (and your guests will love it).
Make a seasonally themed cocktail With the white and silver backdrop, a pretty cranberry and champagne cocktail (top) pops as part of the decor (and your guests will love it).

Outside, Neilson and Nicola had fun decorating the outdoor room in more traditional, natural accessories. The heated space is further warmed up with a faux fur throw from Pisolino, fur pillows, cedar swags across the fireplace and organic decorations crafted from tree branches.

Don’t settle for just one tree The homeowner wanted a tree that could be seen from the road, so she put a second tree in the front room—more for show than for Christmas morning.
Don’t settle for just one tree The homeowner wanted a tree that could be seen from the road, so she put a second tree in the front room—more for show than for Christmas morning.

It’s a space meant to delight and surprise—from the vintage St. Nicholas perched by the hearth to the tiny deer prancing on the kitchen table; it’s one that translates the joy of the season into bright and light decorations, and is ready to host a party. Just as these homeowners like it.wl

A sense of humour is always appreciated. The owl decoration is perched on the stove top, next to a dinner cloche—as if there might be a different sort of bird for the family feast that night.
A sense of humour is always appreciated. The owl decoration is perched on the stove top, next to a dinner cloche—as if there might be a different sort of bird for the family feast that night.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram Diary