Michelle and Ken Vaillancourt dream of their white Christmas. They create a winter wonderland inside and outside of their home in the Loach’s Road area of the city.
Michelle, a nurse, likes the clean and fresh look of white which contrasts handsomely with the main living rooms that are painted a pale sage colour.
In the warmer months, she uses lime green accents, but during the holidays, Michelle accents her home’s decor with Christmas trim of white, silver and blue for a dazzling and sophisticated look, and sometimes she adds some red. Greenery adds to the overall presentation. (Plaza 69 prepared fresh floral arrangements.)
The couple hang tiny clear lights on their tree, which are complemented by their favourite silver and white decorations. Put away the Christmas tree, and this decor stays fresh-looking until spring.
Spray the tree with snow. The amount depends upon your own personal taste. You can give it a light dusting or make it look like a heavy snowfall. Artificial white trees are available.
Use clear lights. Use a combination of standard steady glowing lights along with twinkling lights.
Adorn the tree with clear, white and silver ornaments, snowflakes and glass ornament icicles.
There are many beautiful Christmas ornaments available that have an elegant frosty look including fruit, berries, birdhouses and even flowers.
Drape the tree with clear beads.
Use sprays of red berries throughout the tree to add excitement to the winter theme.
Place different-sized snowman figurines in almost every nook and corner of your home.
Wrap gifts only with white glossy gift wrappers.
Angels dressed in white or a shimmering white star can be used as perfect tree topper.
Use a white tablecloth in the dining room.
Use white or silver candles in candelabras for a formal look, or in small candle holders for a less formal look.
Hurricane lamps can also be used. Tie white and silver ribbons around the base to dress them up.
Use sprayed greenery. Add touches of elegant, white glittery ribbon to complete the look.
Blue looks striking against white, Consider using pale blue, royal blue or turquoise as an accent colour. Purple, pink or gold also create a contemporary look.
If you have grandma’s silver tea set hidden in a back closet as well as other silver pieces and trays, clean them and bring them out for the holidays.
The song White Christmas is the most famous of all the Christmas songs. The music and lyrics for White Christmas were written by Irving Berlin in 1942 and featured in the movie Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby. The lyrics struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in the Second World War and their families.
More holiday decorating tips
“”The holidays are about remembering, cherishing and being festive and elegant,” says Sally Morse, the director of creative services for window treatment manufacturer, Hunter Douglas. Tradition plays a part in Sally’s holiday decorating, as it does in homes across Canada, but it’s always fun to reinvent and come up with creative new ideas. There isn’t a room in her home, she says, that isn’t touched by the holidays during the season.
Sally’s design motto? “Less is less and more is more,” she emphasizes – and that may be your motto as well once you’ve read her terrific little tips:
Themed trees: To complement the main tree in the living room, which she decorates in white, gold and silver (her favorite holiday colour scheme), Sally is an aficionado of themed trees in unusual places. In the dining room, she will put a small tree on a silver tray and hang mismatched forks, knives and spoons on it with skinny ribbons or raffia. In the kitchen, she’ll tie cookie cutters with coloured raffia ribbons onto the tree. The bedroom will have a tree with artful flowers, lace, tassels and trims. Always practical, the guest bathroom’s tree will sport sample sizes of toothpaste, soap and hand lotion ready to be used. The family room is for the kids’ “memory tree,” which is decorated with ornaments that the children have made over the years.
Personalized garlands: Real or faux, a garland is never just a garland in Sally’s house. She always personalizes them. At the top of the swags she adds small ornaments hung together and nestles pine cones throughout, as if put there by Mother Nature herself. Windows, too, can be dressed in garlands with silver balls, berries and pine cones.
The mantelpiece: A garland, no matter how ornamented, is never enough to adorn the mantelpiece. Sally suggests clearing any tchotchkes off the mantel and layering it with greenery, LED candles, cranberries and pine cones. She says you can also buy different sized letters at crafts stores and spray-paint them to spell out Noel, Joy or whatever holiday phrase you wish.
Holiday lighting: Light is crucial year-round, but even more so during the long, dark winter months. The right kind of window treatments can make us feel comfortable, relaxed and really in tune with one another. For this purpose, Sally advises selecting Silhouette window shadings. With its soft fabric vanes suspended between sheer panels, this treatment softens and diffuses the light for extra warmth in the room. Luminette Privacy Sheers are a similar concept on the vertical.
Chandeliers and mirrors: According to Sally, chandeliers and other lighting fixtures can add to the holiday sparkle if you dangle glass and crystal ornaments from them. You can also put holiday-themed candle rings or bobeches on them. For extra shimmer, Sally places holiday wreaths and ornaments on mirrors using suction cups.
Festive feasts Sally wraps ribbon around the dining chairs and adds a small spray of pine cones, ornaments and greenery at the back. For a centrepiece, she tries something different every year. She always uses a silver tray with a fluted rim and fills it with Epsom salt, which looks like snow, and serves as nice setting for her formal salt and pepper shakers. In the centre, she will often place a crystal bowl with ornaments, fruits, greenery and even feathers. Or, she might use a cake stand.
The details count In the powder room, Sally takes a bowl and fills it with cranberries to the top, puts a couple of aspirins in the water and cuts white roses very short. When the roses open, the red and the white are beautiful and there are no stems showing.
If you would really like to go the extra mile, Sally even fills stemware, crystal bowls and pitchers in her china cabinets with pretty ornaments to add colour. “With a little effort and imagination, the holidays can be all you ever wanted them to be, and don’t forget to get everyone to pitch in.”