Homes - Interiors

Interior: Eclectic holiday home

Inspired by natural elements, Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon transforms her home into a holiday haven that resonates with playful eclectic charm.

From cocktail umbrellas and penguins on the dinner table to a royal blue and white colour scheme, Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon’s Toronto home is a testament to her original approach to holiday decor. “My design aesthetic errs on the side of traditional, but I like to incorporate old and new,” she says. “I prefer a fresh look that is comfortable and definitely has quirky elements.” Luckily, that quirkiness is something the whole family – husband Andrew, daughter Sophie, 8, and son Henry, 5 – appreciates. “My kids love all the fun details, especially the animals, which is great because I like the kids to be very included in the decorating process.” The entire family is also involved in getting the house holiday-ready. “We start decorating just a few days before Christmas and Sophie and Henry can’t wait to pitch in,” says Christine.

A real tree is a must. “I like Fraser and balsam firs – one with strong branches and a nice compact appearance – but this year we tried a newer variety called a noble fir and it’s gorgeous.” The tree is placed in the family room and trimmed in the evening. “Having the kids help decorate certainly factors in. They’re right in there choosing and arranging, learning how to put it all together – without dropping the glass balls,” she says.

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The Christmas tree

The impressive Christmas tree commands attention in the family room and boasts a well-edited array of sparkling Christmas tree ornaments. Christine says: “When the kids put the decorations on the tree, they always place similar ones close together. I’m trying to teach them to space them out so, for example, the owls aren’t all in the same spot!”

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