Spicing up holiday decor

If you’re decking the halls for the holidays, you can still dream big — even in smaller spaces and with a strict budget.

Toronto-based stylist and design expert Arren Williams used items from HomeSense to create distinctive tabletops for the holidays. Items featured in this look called Holiday Charm include: vintage-inspired hobnail glassware

Toronto-based stylist and design expert Arren Williams used items from HomeSense to create distinctive tabletops for the holidays. Items featured in this look called Holiday Charm include: vintage-inspired hobnail glassware

TORONTO — If you’re decking the halls for the holidays, you can still dream big — even in smaller spaces and with a strict budget.

Experts say dedicating even the smallest area of your home to festive decorations can make a statement this season.

Whether you’re hosting a big shindig for friends and family or enjoying a low-key celebration, the dining room table can be a place to convene and socialize or dig into a feast. It can also be a focal point for your holiday decor.

Toronto-based stylist and design expert Arren Williams created several distinctive tabletops with contemporary flair and vibrant colours, incorporating items from HomeSense.

Each display also could be adapted as a standalone piece in other areas of the home, including on the mantel or on a front hall table, he noted.

“It really can work anywhere,” Williams said in an interview at the Winners/HomeSense showroom in Toronto. “I don’t like the holidays looking like it’s a fungus that’s grown all over your house. I would much prefer to see really special moments created.”

For those seeking a traditional look with a twist, Williams showed a display inspired by candy canes with rich red-and-white striped candles, plates and retro canisters which can double as a vase, along with hobnail glasses and an oversized Nutcracker. In a change from traditional hunter green, he opted for olive-coloured cloth napkins.

If you’re looking to go a bit more glam, Williams suggests tapping into the current decor trend of high contrast black and white. He teams sleek black glasses, cut wool felt placemats and shiny foo dog figurines with platinum-rimmed white plates, adding sparkle with crystal salt and pepper shakers and table gems. A decorative red frame doubling as a namecard lends a pop of colour.

For another alternative, try placing garland down the middle of the table while tucking in a few copper bay leaves or different florals with ornaments or Christmas baubles nestled in between, said Sokly Lay, boutique manager of Chintz & Company in Victoria.

“That’s just something simple and easy and quick to do, and it’s not that expensive to do either,” she said, noting the look also works well on a windowsill or bay window.

Not everything you use for holiday decor has to be put back into storage at season’s end.

Stylish collectibles like decorative white pitchers can be used on a bookshelf or console table during the year but can work well in a holiday setting, Williams said.

“Throw in some great mercury glass decorations and even some fresh flowers in there too and have fun with them that way,” he said.

For those who want a change from standard tree trimmings, consider looking to nature for inspiration.

Lay said many customers are buying either regular or Christmas florals with a little sparkle and putting them in their trees.

“We’re finding the trends now, especially for Christmas florals, is anything natural like salals, ferns, grasses,” she said. “Those have kind of been glammed up with gold glitter.”

If people don’t want a traditional Christmas tree, Lay said they can opt for a topiary tree dressed up with ornaments.

Another alternative is placing icy branches or any kind of Christmas branch in a beautiful pot, she noted. Some customers have bought curly willow branches placed in a pot and hung ornaments on them as well.

To dress up the Christmas wreaths, Lay said they’re adding in everything from sparkly branches to Christmas florals and ribbons. “You could even add ornaments in there, clustering ornaments into the wreath as well just to give it pop so it’s not a plain wreath on your door.”

Even the beach can find a place in festive decor. Lay said their tidal pool tree, infused with aqua, ivory, clear ornaments, little crabs, fishes and coral branches has been another popular look. People may also want to incorporate more whimsical or ornate ornaments from butterfly clips to little owls, she noted.

Williams says another trend that continues to resonate this year is the use of a lot of aged-looking metals in silver and gold, which can be mixed together.

While you can still go the traditional route with colours, there are other great peacock hues in the mix, like turquoises and purples that have kind of a jewel tone, he noted.

Mercury glass balls are also fantastic and huge ones “can just make such an amazing statement in a space,” he said.

“Just to see those nestled in a glass bowl on a table, I think, are an easy classic touch that you’re going to be able to put out and they’ll look fantastic year after year, and it’s because they have that patina of age to them, too.”

Ultimately when it comes to your choice of hue, Lay said to go with what you love. “I would have to say with Christmas, there’s really no limit to it,” she said.

“You can pick a theme, you can do whatever colours will best suit you.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The UCP government has turned down a request from the opposition to discuss a bill intended to protect the Rocky Mountains in the legislature. (CP file photo).
Consultations on coal mining don’t go far enough: NDP

Coal mining in the Rockies has not sat well with many Albertans… Continue reading

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

LtE bug
Letter: Questions around city funding for Westerner

The Advocate article on April 21 on page 3 “Council to discuss… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Foligno (71) and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate Marner's goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Taylor Pendrith from Richmond Hill, Ont. salutes the crowd after sinking a birdie on the 18th hole to come in at five under par during first round of play at the Canadian Open golf championship Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) walks on the field during a team workout, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Blue Jays face the New York Yankees on opening day Thursday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

Toronto Raptors' Khem Birch (24) defends against Brooklyn Nets' Blake Griffin during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Raptors ride strong 3rd quarter to 114-103 win over Nets

Raptors ride strong 3rd quarter to 114-103 win over Nets

Team Canada's Jocelyne Larocque celebrates her goal past the U.S.A. with goaltender Embrace Maschmeyer during first period of Women's Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Stunned Canadian players head home after women’s world hockey cancellation

Stunned Canadian players head home after women’s world hockey cancellation

Health Minister Patty Hajdu is shown at a COVID-19 press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai
Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Most Read