"Inspired by spaces and encounters that feel treasured and well-loved, I style the world to tell a story… welcome to the NARRATIVE - my gathering place for what's inspiring me creatively for all things beautiful living."
                                                   - XX, JENN


To kick off the Holiday season I was asked to participate in The Holiday Home Tour for Hope, an annual charity event and gala hosted by The Nite of Hope that raises funds in support of The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The three day event invited ticket holders to tour five homes, each styled by a designer in a stunning Holiday setting.

While I love the festive season, my take on traditional Holiday decor is less enthusiastic; especially working within a such a grand space for the Tour, the charm of tinsel and nostalgic green and red ornamentation was lost. I wanted to create a Holiday style for the space that would be reflective of the interior decor we just updated within the home, and follow the vision of a minimalist, masculine elegance. 

Designing this home and styling it for the Holidays left me with a few key tips on approaching Christmas decor, and the essentials for styling the ultimate Holiday soiree. Here’s the Coles notes on nailing that whole Holiday hostess-with-the-mostess thing.

1. Make a grand entrance: whether you’ve got a massive foyer or a tiny shoe-crammed hallway for an entrance, don’t forget to address the space. It’s the first welcome your guests have into your home, so adding the right art or a few curated decorations will make it feel like part of the party.

2. Pick a palette: while the mishmash mix of decorations from Christmas’ past can be cute, committing to a colourway instantly adds polish to your Holiday decor. Aim for a palette that suits your current style, allowing the space and the Holiday decorations to work together to create the stage for a stellar soiree. 

3. Keep it simple: here’s where that old saying ‘less is more’ becomes inherently important. Be selective in the Holiday decorations you choose – think about how to achieve the biggest impact with the fewestnumber of pieces. Allowing open (undecorated) space offers room for your favourite ornamentation to really shine. Outside of the tree, opt for only one or two Holiday-themed pieces per area to give the essence of Christmas without overwhelming your home. 

4. Detail the setting to the guests: think about the nature of your event and who’s attending when choosing your table setting. For a more formal affair, heavily layer each setting to create high drama. Little details go a long way when styling a table, so adding in personalized touches make your guests feel like super VIP’s. If there are kids coming, set the stage for them to feel included as well: creating a kiddie table that matches the theme and colourway of the rest of the party allows everyone to have fun without compromising the overall decor of the night.

5. Bar, please: hosting a party will have you busy with your guests, so take one thing off your to-do list and create a dedicated bar area where people can fetch their own drinks (rather than you spending the night topping everyone up). Stick to the decor theme when styling the area: choosing a few barware items that match the style and palette of the party is a simple way to make it look ultra chic. 

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