This is a guest post from my Senior Colour Designer Tricia Firmaniuk. Tricia is also an artist and I love her decorating style! I asked her to photograph her house for the blog! Enjoy!
Traditional yet Fresh Holiday Decorating
Happiest of holiday decorating! I’m sure most of you are already enjoying the fruits of your decorating labor, but if you’re still getting to it, here’s what I did this year to help inspire you.
My inspiration was to do a modern take on simple, traditional holiday decor. But I didn’t want to do the red and green thing. Red is not a colour I enjoy working with typically. (Although, lately I’ve been seeing some pretty reds used in a fresh way in my Instagram feed, so maybe next year I’ll give it a go.)
This year, I wanted to work with the rich magenta and gold that I have already in my living room. The challenge was to make it feel traditional but fresh.
Some years, we go to Toronto to spend Christmas with my husband’s family, and my decorating is low key, but this year we are sticking around so I got really excited about decking the halls for some cozy winter hibernation.
On the hunt for ornaments
My daughter Vera and I headed out to hunt for ornaments for the tree on the weekend. She wanted rich cobalt blue while I was on the lookout for deep magenta pink.
We spent all day and came home defeated with a bag of soft beige glass glass balls from Michael’s. Eeep. Not a promising start.
Turns out, traditional red and green were really big at the stores this year. I do remember a few years back when all the ornaments were in non traditional candy colours like hot pink, lime and turquoise, but not this year, ack.
I did find an insanely amazing source for any colour of Christmas balls you can dream up here, (bookmark this one for next year). But for this year, I didn’t want to wait for shipping. So I had to get creative.
Magenta finials from Christmas Central
Florals saved the Day
I was about to settle on a neutral champagne/beige, black and white tree, which would need a lot of interesting texture play to look good, when I spotted some very realistic looking hot pink faux chrysanthemums in the floral section of Homesense (on sale, yay!) and a tub of dried citrus slices. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I’d take them home and give it a go.
Well, limitation really is the mother of creativity, I am SO happy with how it turned out!
It has a pared back modern yet traditional vibe which was exactly what I was going for. I added some deep purple balls for a little depth in the colour palette and a subtle cream and black plaid ribbon to really reinforce the traditional thing and voila!
I picked up a whole bunch of stuff to play with on our simple (faux) mantel, angels, candlesticks, mercury glass, and ended up going with a very pared down look that is both fresh and traditional.
I’m really happy with the festive yet casual vibe.
I piled the Satsuma oranges on either side to decide whether I should get some kind of vessel to hold them and ended up loving the casual stack as they are.
Styling a long Wall
The heavy black candle holders and slim black round mirror balance the graphic black of the painting in the dining room (below) and give the whole thing a modern edge.
A long wall that has to be the focal point for both the living room and the dining room is a BIG decorating challenge, let me tell you. I have grappled with it for years. But this year I feel like I got it pretty close to right (below).
I was able to bring in the cobalt blue to make Vera happy in the wrapping and ribbons (phew!).
And the orange and lime slices just feel so country traditional. They act like stained glass when the light comes through them and they are a pretty foil for the hot pink flowers don’t you think?
Styling the Dining Room
To style my dining room, I used just fruit, flowers and candles for a simple rustic modern look. This is easy to throw together if you have last minute holiday entertaining to do.
Just clear off the kids’ crafts and homework (let’s be real) and plunk down some citrus, dates and pomegranates on various platters, add candles and market flowers and some snacks and you’re done.
And of course, you’re not holiday ready without a bar. Isn’t this mirrored champagne bottle (below) so pretty?
Easy Casual Holiday Arrangement
I picked up some baby’s breath and arranged it in a wide low bowl. Then, added pine cones on my vintage glass coffee table. It really feels snowy and festive (below).
It’s always interesting to get my two busy Springers, Stanley and Mabel, to pose for a photo.
They’re usually a blur of brown and white spots because they rarely sit still. They’ve both been caught stealing orange slices off the tree, so they might all be gone from the bottom half by the time Santa arrives, haha.
I really had fun with this this year, and I’m delighted to share it with you. I had never used flowers on my tree before, but it’s a new trick up my sleeve that I’m sure I’ll pull out again. Have you ever decorated your tree with flowers?
Thanks Tricia for this beautiful post, I love your holiday decorating!
4 Keys to Fresh Christmas Decor (Even with Brown Furniture)
The Holiday Home of my Neighbour, the Rose Whisperer
Gorgeous colors and lovely home. I especially like the baby’s breath and green flower arrangement. I might have to use that.
How pretty Tricia! I love your color palette! I can tell that you are an artist because your whole house looks artistic! I too adore the baby breath because it looks snowy and fresh. Thank you for this inspiring post!
Cute! I live in the mountains and so typically go online for a lot of shopping. I’m still seeing vibrant colors everywhere online, so maybe give that a look.
Flowers on the tree….Fabulous!! So pretty and something I wouldnt have thought of. I also really
like your fireplace that looks like the wood floor just runs into it and you have candles instead of
a fire…..Wow thats creative too and so warm and inviting! Hoping you write a blog on decorating
a long wall as I have that problem and I bet many others do too!!!
Here in Texas they use almost anything for a Christmas tree and cactus plants w balls hanging from them seems to be a favorite.
Love this! Great ideas. Tricia, Canadian Tire has both a “Blue Collection” and a “Candy Bright Collection” available this year.
Of all your fabulous accessories, my favorites are your dogs! ; )
Everything is truly lovely. I may be stealing your baby’s breath & pinecone arrangement after the holidays. It will make a perfect Winter arrangement.
I like the idea of adding flowers to the Christmas tree. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Wow I really love the colors! The dogs are so adorable in the pictures too.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful space with us!
So pretty! Like everything you do.
Where can I buy the mirrored champagne bottle?alicia Solter
LOV-I-LEE, Tricia and appreciate the way how you blended modern and traditional. Also particularly favour the pine cone and baby-s breath arrangement, as well as those sweet dogs of yours. Thank you for sharing and wishing you and yours A HAPPY HOLIDAY and A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. -Brenda-
P.S.: Discovered many years ago that faux flowers make wonderful Xmas tree fillers as used large (white) Calla Lilies to decorate two large ones that were used at a follow-up reception ‘celebration of marriage’ for my daughter who had a destination tropical wedding prior to it. They were paired with clear lights, strands of white pearl garland, bundles of faux baby’s breathe plus white tulle and the supplies were actually purchased from me by the venue afterwards. (At that time I suggested, the use of white Poinsettias would also be pretty if a Bride was leaning more towards a more seasonal
@Marie: I miss your angel wings that you had on your f/p mantel last year …. ☺ ….. as they were so pretty.
Tricia, this is really pretty! Do you mind sharing your wall color?
Hi Susan, it’s BM Indian White, a deep cream 🙂
Really pretty and creative! Thanks for sharing your lovely home with us!
Thanks for sharing, it looks fantastic!
Love everything, such an inviting space.
This is a beautiful post. The colors are beautiful. Leave it to an artist!
Gorgeous! We hung gingerbread ornaments on our tree one year and the dog *could not* resist. We ended up with lots of crummy strings instead.