Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


When it comes to Christmas decorations I have to admit that every year I’m looking for some new ideas, more so related to a theme.

As many of you emailed me about Christmas decor colors and themes, I thought I’d give you some ideas of how to create a theme and decorate your entire condo space consistently so it doesn’t look like you simply put together all your decor accessories received over the years.

Here are a few theme examples:

-       eco friendly holiday decor
-       nature inspired holiday decor
-      white holiday decor throughout
-       pick a color for all your decor- red, blue, yellow, green, purple?
-       in the mood for a multicolour and vivid decor?
-       materials- what kind? green? faux green? woodsy?

I’d like to tackle few so called ‘problems’ many of you write me about. One of the most common is the lack of space for a Christmas tree. I actually don’t think this is a problem, it just gives you an opportunity to come up with something new.

I found lots of great alternatives to a Christmas Tree! This year Restoration Hardware has some interesting decor accessories & mini lights like these wonderful super small warm LED lights called starry string lights which can be wrapped around any kind of branches. They work great even on these driftwood trees, what a great alternative to an evergreen tree and a touch of rustic, this is the answer for Maria who was asking me about decor elements to create a more woodsy feel and look to her space over the holiday.

Another alternate is to simply use Christmas decorations on a oversized vase/planter with natural branches.
This is really easy to do and it lets you play with your own color theme. I’m sure you’ve seen these white painted branches everywhere, why not create an arrangement and use mirror finish decorations as well as your favourite color for this season.

Let’s not forget about using just evergreen branches and garlands on the largest walls of your condo space, for a great visual impact!  

Decorations come in so many styles these days, I particularly like the ones with crystals as the candle light (I’m sure you will use them!) will reflect so beautifully and create a truly magical feel in your space, even better crystals and pearls! looks like you can use your jewellery too...ladies! J

Not sure how to make your house plants look festive? here’s a great idea! love how this live east Indian holly ferns have been dressed up for the holiday or these faux potted pine trees also from Pottery Barn.

If you thought about where to hand your stocking over the fireplace mantle which is completely missing from your tiny condo living room? Not to worry! You can use any of the wall shelves you probably used to create a more intricate design for any wall.

Here’s a great mini tree idea- wire card holder tree or this tea tealight holder from Blomus for a more contemporary look. Another great find are these lit antique mercury glass trees from Pottery Barn.

Branches & decoration are by far the easiest way to dress up your condo space for the Holidays.

Be creative and use any arrangements you may already have, this image is a great example of how you can turn a window seating area into a focal point, this could literally be the place where you put all your gifts waiting to be unwrapped on Christmas day.


For the eco design lovers, there are plenty of options! The cardboard tree idea   is a great one! It comes in different shapes  and allows you to be as creative as you wish.  

David Starck has few amazing ideas for holiday decor like this one, you can have so much fun painting the wall and adding just a touch of decorations for a more simple/minimalistic approach.  

And even corners like this one, with just a reclaimed wood stool, painted in white with few accessories and evergreen can become a great little detail in the corner of any room.

Ikea has a small tree made of felt  which can be used either on its own or as a grouping.

Are you looking for a serious punch of colour? Here are some inspiration images- think of your favourite color for the season, it doesn’t have to be the exact color as in these images.

Colored artificial Christmas trees have been popular for a few years now  and as you can see they work really well with designs based on a dark color scheme.

They also work great in lighter rooms  where color becomes the main visual attraction.  Even small details like  presents ribbons color coordinated with the red berries and small ornaments could really create interesting details in any room especially in the living space.

When getting ready for a festive dinner, why not think of color coordinating the main decor pieces .

Did you design your space with white floating shelves in the den or perhaps living space or even bedroom?
Here’s how you can transform the look from a neutral color approach  into not just colourful but adding a touch of sparkle, color and light. Blue decorations mixed with silver and white accents look amazing during winter time especially if you have a white decor inside and outsid

White Chritmas decorations have always been one of my favourites! Especially when it snows and everything is white, it almost feels like you bring the snow in.  

A simple wreath can work above the windows, or a silver one works great above a white buffet already accessorized with white bowls and table lamps.

Anything as simple as  this arrangement can work really well on floating shelves, ledges or an actual fireplace mantle.

Working towards a white Christmas decor throughout? don’t forget to add in a couple of white pillows like these jewelled snowflake embroidered pillows from Pottery Barn.  

And you can always mix ever green with flowers that are more like “spring” flowers like white tulips, as they have full green leaves they blend in really well when paired with candle holders also decorated for the festive season.  

For a minimalistic and more abstract look you can play with another great decor accessories designed by David Stark.

Vintage look lovers! there are so many accessories for you, I almost changed my mind with my own decor when I saw these wonderful candles  with musical notes at Pottery Barn.

The truth is that going vintage requires quite a bit of work as one corner or one ledge decorated with this style is not enough, especially if you have an overall contemporary looking space.

But the warmth surrounding groupings of items like the wood candle holders, the old books, the decorative mirror, the branches simply wrapped and the reclaimed wood ledge is not comparable to any other look.

If you like detailed accessories like these star mirrors or these vintage wall mounted skis or these ornate wall mounted hurricane candle holders...then go for a vintage look!

Christmas ornaments look really precious when they come in finishes that makes them look old, as old as Christmas tradition is! Afterall, it’s all about the essence of the values we live our lives by every day especially around Christmas when we all sing...Joy to the World.

That’s what we all want, don’t we? Enjoy the holidays :)

Images provided as courtesy by House and Home, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware
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