A Holiday Preview on Christmas Street

While I know that it’s still early for some people, I have been working on Christmas photo-shoots and gift guides for months now and so I am already super-excited about the coming season.  It’s almost as if I’ve skipped over Halloween entirely and am now ready to put up the tree and start sipping cocoa with Baileys.  I guess I’ll have to put the brakes on gently for now but maybe in the meantime you’ll allow me to share some gorgeous holiday ideas that I saw at yesterday’s HBC Christmas Street sneak-peek.  As always, The Bay does an outstanding job with their holiday decorations and it was such a treat to walk-through the extensive Queen Street department with designer Brian Gluckstein and The Bay’s Creative Director of Home Fashions, Arren Williams.
I’ll start with my favorite look: blue/grey and gold (you’ll notice I took more pictures here than anywhere else).   If I could re-do my entire holiday look to match this I totally would.  I think that the key here is a hit of elegant French aesthetic that I can imagine in a very chic Parisian apartment.  The golds are in every patina from tarnished to sparkling and the blues go from soft grey to baby.  It’s an elegant look for an elegant home with a bit of whimsy to keep it light.
The candles are long and tall to add elegance and a touch of antique-styling.  I love all the vases and vintage bowls filled with ornaments.  This can simply be reproduced on a mantle or buffet.
The fancy flocked wallpaper and antiqued mirror are well-balanced by the modern black lampshade and oversize nutcracker.  This is a great vignette.  Again, bowls of ornaments are a simple way to decorate that takes almost no time at all.
I am a total nut for table-top and I loved this setting. It’s modern yet elegant and goes quite well with the stainless flatware (this is a good example of well-mixed metallics).  Also the trio of crystal stemware is a perfect touch.  The table has been left bare to let the marble show.  Gorge!
If I had to pick one favorite thing that I want to bring home it would be this wreath.  It reminds me of a Napoleonic or Roman crown.  And while maybe Napoleon wasn’t such a great guy, the Napoleonic style was sumptuous and regal.
Anyhoo, the next room is a little more casual (but just a little) and based on a creamy palette with hits of light woods and raw brick to ground it.  The decorations are etherial with lots of sparkle and big creamy poinsettas and ribbon everywhere.  There are pretty antiques in this look as well and I love the vintage luggage stacked in front of the carved mantle.
On the more traditional side, the Bay’s crack design team created a tartan-inspired room with a manor house feel called “Highland”. This one is all about layering plaid on plaid with little scottie dogs and wellies on the tree.  There are lots of bears to play with and hefty tarnished gold candle sticks (sorry for the blur but you get the idea).
This old Underwood fits right in with the theme.  It’s masculine and old-world and you can make the kids guess what the heck it is.
Here is Arren Williams showing off his favorite sparkling bird in the “Regency” room.  This one is all about chic black, white and shiny silver.  It’s a new twist that I think will be very popular with the urban set.
Okay, last one: I would call this one Christmas Lodge.  It has a fantastic Canadian style that is in keeping with The Bay’s heritage.  Lots of antlers, birch candles, furs, and faux-greenery abound.
Here is Brian Gluckstein showing off an antler candle-holder.  He was also pleased with the collection of soft-toy decorations that are perfect for kids.
The layering here gives a wonderful feeling of abundance which is so key to Christmas. Don’t be afraid to over-fill the table on the big day.  Your guess will love it and yes, the food will still fit somewhere….
So what is your favorite look?  Do you change it up every year or are you more inclined towards the hand-made and handed down?
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