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Get Your Home Holiday Ready with These Expert Tips

We chat with those in the know from around South Granville to see what’s hot this season for entertaining and decor.

December 5, 2018

By Maia Odegaard

Christmas music is playing in every store you walk into, decorations have started to appear around the neighbourhood (or even the office!), and your social calendar for the month of December is filling up fast—there’s no denying it, the holiday season is upon us. Whether you’re hosting the entire family for a week, a cozy get together for a few friends or you just love the feel of the holidays, your home needs to look its festive best—regardless of how many people will see it.

Photo credit: West Elm
Instagram: @WestElmGranville

This season, we’ve asked the experts from all around South Granville (Vancouver’s ultimate home decor district) for their advice on the hottest holiday design trends, as well as tips and tricks for entertaining this year.

“We invite friends and family into our homes to celebrate the holiday and spend time together.  As the host, if you are running around trying to finish getting things ready, your guests feel uneasy and you end up missing your party,” says Kenny Edmonds, lead home stylist for West Elm Vancouver on Granville Street.

Edmonds has several great tips for this time of year, such as offering a signature cocktail (and a non-alcoholic version, too), remembering to dim the lights for an evening event, and making a holiday playlist to set the mood. “Create multiple food and drink stations,” Edmonds advises, “this encourages guests to move and mingle versus remaining stationary. Lastly, light a holiday candle. Our sense of smell is highly emotive and the holidays are all about feelings.”

Photo credit: Williams Sonoma

This year, we’re seeing traditional colours and patterns like “plaid, tartan and whimsical vintage patterns [with] inspiration from around the globe,” says the team at Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. “Layering patterns with candle light and rich faux fur make any space feel special.”

But there are also some less traditional colour schemes you can play with, “blush pink and copper are gaining popularity. Mixing the two together offers a pretty yet warm look, and by adding white into the mix, you create a refined and elegant look. The two colours are seen in tree ornaments, decorative pillows, tabletop and barware,” says Edmonds. Clearly, red and green aren’t the only power players this year.

Photo credit: West Elm

While a dimmer switch can be a hostess’s best friend, there is more to creating great lighting than simply making a room darker. “Taking this one step further with decorative lighting throughout the table or mantle adds an extra touch of seasonal magic,” according to the Williams Sonoma team, while Edmonds prefers the elegance of candlelight. “Candles are an all-time favourite for me,” he says. “The beauty, glow and scent of a holiday candle can instantly evoke the feeling of the holidays.” Bonus: they also make a great gift for your hosts, so add a few extra candles to the shopping list.

Designing a gorgeous tablescape for the holidays is a wonderful way to make your home warm and inviting, while featuring all the delicious food and drink prepared for the occasion. “This is the West Coast, so an element of the outdoors is always a nice touch for a rustic look,” says Edmonds. “This can be done with wooden charges, napkin rings, place card holders, as well as wooden serving ware. Mixing and layering is key when setting a table and this can be done by using different coloured/textured dinnerware. A magnolia garland with copper votives dispersed to create the holiday glow is the final touch needed for a centerpiece.”

Another suggestion for making your table party central? “Tartan, plaid and traditional patterns mixed in with vintage glassware, handmade faux botanicals and mercury glass votives,” says Smith. “Our designers love this time of year to ensure that each sense of personal style can be created.” Ultimately, you don’t need to recreate exactly what you see in store. Find favourite pieces and use little festive touches like place card holders that match your theme, and your guests will feel warmly welcome.

Photo credit: Williams Sonoma

When it comes to holiday entertaining, planning for the unexpected is key. If you’ve got extra food and beverages, backup hosting gifts, and a spare place setting for cousin Carla’s new boyfriend she didn’t mention she was bringing, you’ll be able to enjoy your party alongside your guests. Andrea Bacci of Bacci’s At Home sums it up perfectly: “Follow the Boy Scout motto and always be prepared.”

With everything from gorgeous home decor and the perfect gifts, to fine food and drinks, South Granville is your go-to neighbourhood for everything this holiday season. Need more creative ideas to make your home holiday-ready? Check out Atkinson’s, Urban Barn, EQ3, Structube and more—all in one convenient neighbourhood.

Photo credit: West Elm
Instagram: @WestElmGranville

To learn more about South Granville and to find great gift ideas from the neighbourhood’s Holiday Gift Guide, visit southgranville.org.

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