Alicia Cox Thomson
Sunday, December 18, 2011 9:36 AM EDT
Lovely readers, last Sunday I asked you to please share your festive holiday home decor with us, and so far, so great! Keep on sending them via Facebook, Twitter or email at email@example.com and we'll feature them all this Friday.
Moving right along, our regular Party of the Month feature photographer, Christine Kufske, scouted this next festive home tour just for us. Designer Marie Hoffman of Hoffman Interiors and Chervin Kitchen and Bath decorated this beautiful home for the holidays and I spoke to her to find out how she planned and pulled it off.
All photos by Christine Kufske
HGTV: Tell us a bit about yourself, when did you start decorating homes for the holidays?
Marie Hoffman: I have been in the decorating field for over 20 years. My primary clients are new home builds and residential renovations. I also teach part time at Conestoga College [in Ontario]. I love what I do and I love sharing my ideas and helping clients make their houses become "homes." Christmas decorating has been something that I have been doing for 20 years. I have been fortunate to have my daughter Amanda help me for the past 10 years and this year Barb Gernik joined my Christmas team. Both Amanda and Barb are decorators.
HGTV: What was your inspiration?
MH: I get my inspiration from my clients. Once I get to know them, their family and lifestyle, I can get ideas of how their home would be best decorated for the Christmas season. The homeowner Michelle loves Christmas and I wanted to give her new home a stunning look. Michelle has two sons who love the glitter of Christmas, each of their rooms has a little Christmas spirit added. I would say that I am a more classic designer, I follow but tend to stick closely with the classics.
HGTV: How involved were the homeowners in the design?
MH: It's important to me that the Christmas decorations reflect the homeowners' lifestyle and wishes. I definitely want my homes to be stunning and I strive every year to update the look and add to the theme. However, once I am finished it is really important that I review with the client and make any final touches. Almost everything you see is new, purchased when the homeowners and I went on a Christmas decoration shopping trip.
HGTV: What are some of the items you've used? Real greenery or fake?
MH: Almost everything is new from last year. The client and I travelled to the States to purchase most of the Christmas decorations. The gold branches on the tree and ribbons are new. The greenery on the stairs, console table, over the hutch and on the mantel is a multi-spices garland that is pre- lit. Thank goodness for pre-lit, it has saved me hours of stringing lights!! I have previously used natural greenery indoors but I find over time it can damage furniture finishes. If you hunt around at the right places, you can find lifelike items that will work very well indoors and last for many years.
HGTV: Love the tree! What was your theme?
MH: This year, we added gold and silver branches throughout the tree to give it an overall sparkle. Gold, silver and red balls throughout match the touches in the mantel and the console, creating continuity throughout the main living area. I think the tree should be the centrepiece of the house. In most cases it is what your guests will see first and should stand out and really set the theme for the rest of the house.
HGTV: The mantel is so dramatic -- can you describe what you did?
MH: We purchased the large glass and brass urns [on the floor] last year and they stay up year round. I create seasonal arrangements so that they can be changed in the spring, summer and fall. The stunning hydrangeas [on the mantel] give soft pops of colour that cast down over the fireplace. I added gold, silver, and red balls over the mantel with soft tulle bows. Combining soft shapes and intense colour give a great impact for the mantel.
The console in the front hall is similarly decorated. I love a little whimsy, so the silver stick deers and crystal fruit were added to catch the eye and add interest.
HGTV: What was your plan for the exterior of the home?
MH: Everything outside is natural other than the wreath on the door. I love decorating urns with natural branches and accents. The wreath is re-done each year to reflect the rest of the house. Often times the exterior wreath is damaged by the end the of the season so I normally replace it each year.
This year I brought the green tulle from inside to the decorations outside. The tulle adds a soft wisp of colour to the custom urns. The wreaths around each of the lights are cedar garland, Christmas balls and the green tulle.
Isn't it lovely? Makes me feel all warm inside -- what do you think?