Image: Stephani Buchman
Recently renovated rooms deserve pretty Christmas decorations, too.
While enjoying the shiny novelty of a whole-house renovation, it’s easy to justify buying all-new furniture for the fresh space. The Stergiu family of Whitby, Ont., took it one step further by purchasing not only furniture and accessories, but Christmas decorations as well. Just in time to showcase their top-to-toe renovation in the annual holiday house tour, homeowners Christine and John had designer Orsi Panos (who was responsible for the home’s redesign) and designer Candice Brown deck their freshly painted halls. “We tailored the holiday decorations to the home’s new modern rustic style by using all natural elements like fresh greenery, pinecones, and even seasonal fruit and nuts,” says Orsi.
“We are huge Christmas people,” says Christine. Case in point – they erected three Christmas trees. In the living room, there’s a spectacular eight-foot-tall beauty; the dining room houses a narrower version, and in the media room, a favourite hangout for the couple’s three children (ages 16 to 21), another tree is decorated with the family’s collection of sentimental ornaments.
On Christmas Eve, John, a talented cook, pulls off a spectacular dinner for extended family. The new open kitchen allows guests to gather around the generously sized island and wander in and out through the widened doorway of the dining room.
One thing the family was adamant about in the renovation, which Orsi happily accommodated, was retaining the wood-burning fireplace in the living room. “I love the sound and smell of a real wood fire,” says Christine. The original dated brick was covered with drywall and stone, but the crackling fire brings a cozy rustic vibe that’s especially delightful at Christmastime.
A textured stone wall, oversized metal letters and a live-edge table give the dining room a rustic vibe. The light fixture lends a contemporary twist.
A corner of the newly renovated kitchen offers a comfy blue ikat-print armchair where family or guests can lounge while meal prep happens. More often than not, Molly the bichon-schnoodle can be found here. “My husband, John, jokes that we bought a $1,200 chair for the dog,” says homeowner Christine Stergiu with a laugh.
A custom hutch in the dining room functions as dish storage and a bar. For the holidays, designers Orsi Panos and Candice Brown filled it with fresh greenery and seasonal accents. Each place setting features a festive grouping – a blue and white ikat napkin, chalkboard place card and evergreen sprig – that can easily be adapted for everyday meals.
Although the designers brought in all new Christmas ornaments and decorations, they were careful to create a collected vibe. “We didn’t want it to look like it was all brand new. Hence the various textures, colours and shapes of ornaments,” says Orsi.