Decking the Halls for Christmas

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“Let every house be ready tonight –
the children gathered, the candles alight –
that music to hear, to see that sight.”

– P. Cornelius, German carol


Three years ago, when designer Nicola Consiglio was decorating a Marilyn Monroe tree for the Rotary Centre for the Arts’ annual Homes for the Holidays tour, her work elicited a reaction that she didn’t expect. After giving it some thought, she let it change her approach to decorating for the holidays.

“I was speaking with a lady that was doing some custom framing for me for this tree. She said to me, ‘Dear, what does Marilyn have to do with Christmas?’ At first I was stunned at her comment, but then it rang so true,” Nicola shared.

For the 10th annual fundraising house tour, which took place last month, she settled on a more traditional theme.

“This year, our theme is the lovely story behind the creation of this beautiful holiday we call Christmas, and I wanted this year’s theme to reflect the magic of it,” she said.

Nicola decorated an Easton Homes show home on Upper Mission Drive in Kelowna’s Upper Mission for the 13-15 November tour.

Letting the architecture of the traditionally styled Kelowna Mountain home guide her, she mixed tradition with flare and bling to create a look that is mature but also familial. By combining the whimsy of shabby chic décor with some modern sensibilities, Nicola created a wintery ambience with lots of white accents.

“We gave Santa a break this year,” Nicola said, explaining that she opted for more angels and stars because they are a little bit more mature, but still fun.

“It’s traditional, but fun,” she said.


Here are some highlights from the tour:

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Ticket holders of the self-guided tour were greeted to a living nativity near the entrance of Home 3 on the tour, to help set the pace for the theme inside. The angels beautifully sang a selection of favourite Christmas melodies.

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Candles in the entryway bring a warm and welcoming atmosphere to the home.

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White adds a soft and elegant aura to any room. Paired with cut glass or crystal and silver embellishments, it offers the shimmery appeal of an early morning frost. Chairs and candleholders, Pier 1. Floral centrepiece, Urban Barn and Pier 1. Floral table piece, Rona. Chargers, Urban Barn. Dishes, Modern Accents. Glasses and cutlery, Sears. Napkin rings, Art Knapp.

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The theme continues into the living room, where tiny white lights sparkle to softly illuminate the room for some after-dinner conversation and liqueurs. Fireplace and Tree, Rona. Candlesticks, Home Sense. Ornaments, Costco. Stockings, Cranberry Junction.

The all-white tree, not so common a fixture in homes anymore, brings a retro look to the room. Tree, Rona. Ornaments, Costco.

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Festive touches are not limited to the living room and dining room. Here, canisters of ornamental balls, and wrapped presents adorn the kitchen. Urn, Home Sense. Ornaments, Art Knapp.

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A table for two in a breakfast nook is also decorated with Christmas ornaments. We especially like the Clause-like belt around the centre vase. Star dishes, Walmart. White florals, Art Knapp.

Even the chairs around the kitchen’s centre island are dressed up proper, in keeping with the conviviality of the occasion.

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An upstairs guest room adds a splash of colour with touches of green, from Urban Barn.

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A boy’s room looks as jolly as a holly berry with lots of red and green, as well as such playful accents as the bi-plane model, the star over the headboard to guide a wise man to sleep, and the colourful “Believe” and “Read” text art. This room furnished by Pier 1.

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The master bed looks so inviting. Piled high with pillows the way it is, and draped with a faux fur throw, it might be hard to scramble out Christmas morning to check the presents. Furnishings are a mix of Pier 1 and Urban Barn.

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One can imagine stationary for letter writing, Christmas cards or perhaps old letters filling the decorative boxes stacked jauntily on the tray.

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More boxes, and Christmas balls, adorn the dresser, framed with fresh greenery.


– Story and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

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  1. Hi Lori-Anne:

    Congratulations Girl….this looks so wonderful. Very classy looking site- well written piece (on us!)it is so nice to see you branching out. I hope you will have much success!


  2. Thanks Shelly – keep checking back for more!

  3. Hi Lori-Anne (and Kyle!)

    Congratulations to you, a fabulous website, with wonderful photos! Keep up the creative work, I am sure you will be very successful!


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