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Debbie Travis' House to Home: Winter wonderland

This week Debbie shares a few ideas about holiday decorating
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White upon snowy white is made special with the glitter of gold and dishes patterned for the season.

Decorating for the holidays remains one of my favourite tasks. Over the years, wherever we are celebrating, whether my children are little tots or grown men, I am inspired to transform our home so that it shimmers with the magic of the season.

Holiday decorating is very personal; pulling out boxes filled with memories and special ornaments connects us to who we are and where we have been. But our tastes and style choices do change as we grow, experience new traditions, and broaden our views on the many different ways holidays and feast days can be staged.

Moving from a home with attic storage into an apartment or condominium with limited or no storage, is a real game-changer. There are fewer, and smaller, areas to decorate, and the real challenge is how much you can tuck away when it's time to pack up for next year. This is the time to re-think your decor plans and perhaps change up the themes.

It's not necessary to incorporate traditional colours: the red and green combo is not set in stone. And you may not want a live Christmas tree in the living room. (Some condos don't even allow them). Realistic artificial trees come in various sizes and shapes so that you can achieve the same festive effect in a smaller space. Pencil trees are beautiful and their slender shape fits neatly into a corner without obstructing pathways and seating space. The modern setting shown here and featured in the Sears Wishbook, portrays a winter wonderland scene with highlights of gold and sparkle. It's a simple setting, easy to create. Seasonal motifs include a gold poinsettia leaf on porcelain plates and mugs, the Noel ceramic tealight holders, and rose glass LED tree on the mantel. White table linen is always special and can be used year-round, as can the white candle holders.

Twinkle lights produce a star-like, enchanting air on trees, wrapped around windows, stair railings, and doors. The stark simplicity of bare branches stands out against the all-white backdrop. The birch tree lit with mini lights in a warm white, is a treasured addition, reminiscent of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree - ornaments not required. 

If you are short on spaces to decorate, maybe no fireplace or mantel, delegate a few rows in an existing bookshelf. This is a perfect spot to line up those special ornaments. I am collecting white and wood ornaments this year, in keeping with the all-white theme. Why not create a woodland scene with miniature animals and trees?  Look for ornaments and figurines that tell a story. Penguin figurines, antler candle holders, figure skate ornaments celebrate the winter season. Silver and gold metallics always add sparkle introduced in silverware on the table, serving accessories, and baubles wrapped around the centrepiece.

Utilize a corner of a kitchen counter or island to display seasonal crockery, a small ceramic tree, and candles. LED candles are safe, can be put on timers, and last. At Christmastime, more is generally more. But try not to overcrowd a small space. A few well-thought-out decorations are guaranteed to make the season merry.
     
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbieís new website, www.debbietravis.com. 



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