Photography By Gillian Jackson
As Canadians, we often picture cold, starry nights, twinkle lights and glistening, white snow when we think of the holiday season. Indoors, there’s an image of a dancing fire, while wrapped in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate. These scenes definitely evoke the quintessential holiday season.
It might be difficult to envision this special time of year if living in condo, but with good planning – anything is possible.
After determining that a house was too much for me to handle on my own, the size of this condo feels just right. My condo isn’t large, but I’m committed to making it beautiful, festive and celebration-ready.
I annexed my second bedroom to create a small den that opens into my living room. The west-facing windows are especially welcoming on cold afternoons when sunshine deprived months can feel long and gloomy. To create a cozy, wintery feel, I purchased an electric fireplace that included crystals, instead of fake logs. Electric fireplace units have come along way over the last few years, and do an excellent of job replicating a real fireplace. It’s also a great alternative if your condo doesn’t have gas.
The bold mantle and surround were custom designed in a transitional style so that the fireplace felt like it was always a part of the room. I added oversized glass containers with LED candles, and touches of black, white, gold and silver decorations. And, of course, a mantle isn’t complete without stockings.
Framing one side of the entrance between the living room and den is a six-foot evergreen. Placing it in a planter elevates the style quotient. Orange-gold ribbon is wrapped around the tree, and over-sized silver, gold, black and white ornaments are nestled within the branches. I like to mix both matte and shiny finishes, as well as different textures of decorations to add interest.
To carry the nature theme throughout, I added a basket of pine cones and birch logs beside the tree. Check out the tree topper. It might seem like an unusual choice, but I love how it looks. Harmonization is imperative when living in a condo. It helps to reduce the visual clutter that can often be a problem when adding so many other elements at this time of year.
Since I don’t have room to store seasonal decor, I make sure that what I have can be repurposed throughout the year – like lanterns, candles and lights. Adding a few seasonal pillows injects a practical holiday element. A small sheepskin rug adds a Nordic flavour, and is useful for warming toes throughout the winter months.
And, what would this season be without a plate of cookies for Santa? I like to leave some out for visitors, but recently I’ve had to rethink this, as my permanent furry resident, Baxter my Beagle, enjoys them a little too much. Other temptations I leave out for guests include bowls of nuts, peppermints and chocolates – all representative of the delicious food we’ve come to enjoy over the holiday season.
Within any four walls, you can add design features and celebratory elements that reflect your wintery visions and holiday traditions, while upping the character, and festive spirit, of your surroundings.
Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., Founder & Principal Designer Jane Lockhart Interior Design. Jane is a multi-award winning designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, including six successful seasons as creative director and host of W Networks’ top ranked Colour Confidential, currently in reruns and airing on HGTV U.S. JaneLockhart.com