Playful decorating stylePublished on November 28, 2011

  • Tivoli Florist created a whimsical "Christmas tree" from branches, and decorated with glass balls in shades of green to embrace the accent wall, adding a splash of fun to the elegant living room. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Magnolia leaves play a leading role in the untraditional centerpiece, which will last the holiday season when flowers are refreshed as needed. The crystal chandeliers are from Arevco Lighting and the dining chairs were custom ordered through Da Silva Upholstery. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Faux magnolia garland from Grand Expectations. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • A mix of glamour and traditional décor in the main hallway. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • A miniature tree carries the festive theme to the quietest corner of the home. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

As a decorator, I don't like to display for the sake of decorating. The holiday season conflicts with this concept as it seems "decorating" for the holidays is all a part of the merriment.

For someone who loathes clutter, the idea of filling space with seasonal knick-knacks is a problem for me; but one that I solve by taking a playful approach.

Due to allergy issues, fresh greenery is not welcome in our home. So I play with fake Christmas trees, which are all obviously faux, and decorate with varying styles, adding a touch of whimsy to the décor.

Humour is my coping mechanism, as never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself having anything other than a gloriously smelling REAL tree. As the children's health takes precedence, I battle the fake with fresh flowers and greenery that do not pose allergen threats. Magnolia and holly are the greens of choice for my fresh, festive décor.

Doors Open

Parties are both simple and elaborate in our home. While sounding contradictory, the simplicity comes with the concept of creating a welcome space where the bar is open and food laid out in casual buffet style. The elaborate takes form with gourmet food, fine china and splendid floral arrangements. Our home is designed for entertaining with a relatively open concept on the main floor, and fun features like a butler's pantry off the dining room.

Decorator's Tips

Ask for help

Both Karen Grand of Grand Expectations and Michael Corbeil from Tivoli Florist pay a visit to my home to help with the décor at the beginning of the season. Then, I freshen up as needed so that my home is always ready to open the doors to a party!

Colour plays a big role in my home

I carry the theme that works year round into the holidays, so that the festive décor doesn't clash with its surroundings. Using metallic and crystal influences are the best way to ensure that colours don't clash. They work with any scheme and add a touch of opulence to even the simplest decorating style.


Sign up for our Newsletter
Subscribe to theMagazine

Subscribe to Ottawa at Home for only $25.00 + hst per year. Click to Subscribe.