Archive for December, 2011

In keeping with the age old tradition of decorating homes for the Festive Season it seems only apt that a magnificent Christmas House Tour would be staged in historic Oakville. To add to the spirit of the season it is wonderful that a portion of the proceeds are donated to charitable causes in Oakville and the rest towards the event organizers, St. Andrews Church.

For me, the season of Christmas evokes many special memories from around the world. Wonderful childhood recollections of Christmas in the Tropics: stockings filled with goodies; mince pies; dressing up for sumptuous dinners and incomparable memories of Midnight Mass with my Christian Kenyan nanny. Happy memories of Christmas at an English boarding school where laughter and fun prevailed and the wonder of dazzling festive lights in London’s streets. Christmas is truly a juxtaposition of nostalgia and looking forward to creating new memoirs.

And so when Siobhan Breton, Chair of the St. Andrews House Tour Committee 2011, kindly invited me to visit the decorated Homes, I knew many memories would be evoked, but I graciously accepted knowing that a Trip to Nostalgia, now and then, is good for the spirit.

  • Carrington Place

Two smiling reindeers warmly greeted me to this spacious lakefront home. Brightly blazing fireplaces, fresh Fraser fir and balsam and large pillar candles, produced a warm ambience. Use of natural materials, such as hessian and sisal as tie backs on chairs and for curtains, and as a base for a traditional nativity scene, created a rustic “stable” feel. In sharp contrast jewel bright colours of pink and blue added a metallic twist to reflect the cheerfulness of Christmas. The dining tables were stunningly dressed with accents of gold and bowls of baubles adding a festive touch. This home was ready for seriously fine entertaining!

  • Morrison Heights

Entering a blizzard of style and stepping into an enchanting winterscape was the immediate impression on entering this snowy home. It was a sweeping statement of freshly fallen snow and glittering icicles highlighted with accents of cool blue. The snowflakes and icicles theme was continuous throughout the home with meticulous attention to wintery detail: soft white feather wreaths, snowflake embroidered hand towels, silver birds. There was an indulgent assortment of festive goodies all echoing the winter fairy-tale: snowflake cookies and cupcakes, crisp white meringues, frosty gingerbread and spongy marshmallows. Magic and celebration had been created. A winter wonderland with a WOW!

  • Poplar Drive

With five children and a dog residing in this lovely home the decorator superbly tied in botanical inspiration with practicality. A palette of fresh natural green graced the house: potted paperwhites planted in moss-covered soil, frosty fern, fir wreaths and pine cones. The designer had been creative with the use of foliage to create a woodland effect.The large windows reaching up to the soaring ceilings displayed a back drop of a verdant garden creating a natural decorative extension to the outdoors. The overall effect was one of calm to soothe the bustling merriment of the season.

  • Forestwood Drive

Silver and white with accents of green fir and gold adorned this stylish home. The silver theme extended  to an eye-catching tree in the garden displaying sparkling silver baubles. Silver goblets on the dining table and silver bows, backing brown leather dining chairs, added a striking shimmer resulting in a polished touch of festivity. Brilliant white roses, hyacinths, orchids and lilies added a touch of fresh elegance. In sharp contrast the basement reflected a playful retreat with snowmen, polar bears and penguins all creating a whimsical world.

  • Navy Street

A charming English Yuletide of “Long Ago” is recreated in this historic Olde Oakville home. In keeping with the age of the house the widespread use of geometric green and red plaids contrasted superbly with traditional vintage décor. Embellishments typical of Victorian times such as blown-glass ornaments, sugar-frosted real fruit arrangements, wooden skis and China tea cups and saucers, highlighted the 19th century theme. The dining table dressed in classic red and white was enhanced with deep yellow and red flowers adding to the joyous ring in the atmosphere. Cheerful red poinsettias’ and radiant red cranberries against dark green fir added to the overall richness and depth of the setting.

  • Weaver Road

Eclectic style embraced this cosy home as modern furnishings were tastefully integrated with vintage pieces creating an interesting retro effect. A Scandinavian influence was apparent in the use of natural wood – pine chargers and a large pine cheeseboard; differing heights of Danish candles grouped together; Scandinavian waffles and a traditional Italian panetonne. A delightful Christmas tree using white twigs covered in European ornaments was made by the children. The beautifully decorated garden had a stylish outdoor stone bar filled with bottles of mineral water. The aesthetic mixing and matching of décor at this home created curiosity and kept the eye in constant motion from room to room. A magical Yin Yan effect had been created.

  • Brentwood Road

Couture chic creating a stunning style statement, but made to appear, simply effortless, was the impression created in this classy home. The decor was glittering, glowing and glamorous without being overpowering. The “Flower Maestro” had displayed his genius – exquisite flowers had been tastefully and aesthetically arranged – a festive luxury to be revered. Intoxicated by the pure beauty I sang:

“Icicles on twigs and gold gilded leaves

Bright red berries in vases and warm glowing candles

Pinecones and antlers tied up in plant holders

These are a few of my favourite things”.

“White pillar candles and antiqued glass containers

White amaryllis and tulips and orchids

Arrangements with green moss and snowflakes and frosting

A fragrance that awakens and lifts spirits softly

These are a few of my favourite things….” 

  • Forestwood Drive(2)

Elegant sophistication reigned supreme in this exclusive Georgian-inspired home. A calming palette of sophisticated sage runs throughout the house. Alongside the bespoke furniture, the décor reflected a passion for the past. Touches of the outdoors highlighted the home reflecting the owners’ passion for gardening. The dining table displayed a charming centrepiece of a bird in a nest with eggs. Outdoor urns had been brought indoors filled with firs and pinecones. There were polished touches and a careful attention to detail everywhere. Wonderful ornaments made out of cake and a Christmas tree made of macaroons in mint and gold decked the kitchen. This home instilled a sense of inner calm – a place of retreat, to relax and reflect at this holy time of year.

Each of the eight luminous homes was full of seasonal cheer and each was distinct in style and character. Visitors on the Tour blended their personal impressions with individual Christmas recollections and created unique new memories. Most importantly, in celebration of this special season, a generosity of spirit was shared amongst the Home Owners, Decorators and Visitors. Hence the community was brought together at this most marvellous time of year!


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