The holidays in style!Published on November 26, 2015

Photo by: Mark Holleron

At the first sight of snow I enter my sweet spot of holiday mode. I start putting off anything work- related with the classic, “I’ll get to it after the holidays.” I never do of course! My sole focus at this time of year is enjoying all the sights, sounds and activities of this special season – the Santa Claus parade, the shop displays and all the festive decorations that light up the homes on my street – all fill my heart with joy.

We love to entertain during the holiday season, when our home becomes a carousel of friends and loved ones that we often only see at this time of the year. As holiday entertaining is a little more formal, I have a few annual decorating routines to spruce things up.

Firstly, I repaint the main areas of my home. I have never washed a wall and probably never will – I paint instead.

Here is my trick: paint your walls in a flat or matte paint. Without the shine you can repaint over it as little or as often as you wish (same colour of course), without “cutting in.” Cutting in refers to the painstaking time it takes to brush-paint all the areas between your walls and ceiling, and between the walls and your baseboards/trim. When painting over a flat wall, all you need to do is use painter’s tape on your baseboards, place a drop sheet at the bottom of where you are painting and roll out your walls. Your walls will look fresh and clean, and all it took was an afternoon of your time.

Another project I take on during the holiday season is to find a focus wall to either paint or paper. Drama is the operative word here. Since the trend this year and going into 2016 seems to be overwhelmingly all things white, we can certainly use a little drama.

To begin, find a focus wall. This is generally the first wall you see when you enter a room. Make this a room in which you often entertain, or a room that will be seen or used by guests. For instance, last year, I decided to paper my powder room.

You can either hang wallpaper or paint the focus wall in an accent colour that complements the existing wall colour in the room. I often use a colour wheel, or simply choose a colour off the paint chit in either a darker or lighter shade of the original. If hanging wallpaper, go for something that creates drama, not only in colour but also in texture and pattern.

The end result can add a much-needed boost of vibrancy to your room and a centrepiece of decorative conversation. Remember, keep it simple, have fun and enjoy this special time of year.

Andrew Downward

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