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Thu 04 Tommy Smythe tours architectural historic preservation projects
Fri 28 Peter Papapetrou reveals how to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe

A Debbie Travis Christmas


All Christmas decor items featured in Debbie Travis' condo are available at Canadian Tire.

Debbie Travis` Tips on Decorating your Condo for the Holidays 

Some people shy away from decorating their apartments and condos for the holidays because they are either unsure about where to start, or are not aware of rules and regulations in their buildings that may pertain to decorating a unit.

Some condo boards prohibit trees in order to reduce the risk of fires and hallway messes, while others may restrict decorations on exterior doors or lights on balconies. All of these are valid are small costs for the convenience that living in communal spaces like apartments and condos provides.

When decorating your apartment or condo for the holidays your first step is to read the fine print to find out exactly what rules apply so that you can plan accordingly. There are lots of great ideas and alternatives that you can incorporate into a condo aside from a standard tree and fireplace.

Condos and other small spaces are no reason to shy away from holiday decorating - whether it is to create your own personal holiday retreat or for pre-holiday gatherings. A lot of younger people may be celebrating their first Christmas away from home in their own space, which brings me to my first tip: this is not your mother's Christmas! Have fun with decorating and make it your own fabulous urban space

My most important tip for decorating a small space is to pick a unified look and carry it throughout the entire condo- bedroom, bathroom etc.

If a real tree is not an option there are some great alternatives. There are loads of great artificial trees on the market now, available in all colours, sizes and small footprints. If you don't have a ton of space to set them up, then you can use them in creative places - get them up off the floor by either setting them up on shelves, side tables, use a few in a row on an island or tuck one in the corner of a bedroom out of the flow of traffic.

Set up an "Urban Mantle" using a console table if you don't have a conventional fireplace. You can treat it the same way as you would a regular mantle - incorporate tabletop trees, lights, stocking hangers, stockings, baubles or garland. Create symmetry, variations in height. Double your efforts by propping a mirror in behind.

In small spaces think of alterative ways to store gifts so they don`t clutter what little space you have to work with try under the table or in the corners of rooms in oversized baskets.

Use the ceiling, use the floor. Create focal points that draw the eye up the height of a room to visually expand your space: From the floor (cozy floor cushions, baskets filled with decorative gifts or standing decor like trees or reindeer) - right up to the ceiling (whether you are suspending clusters of baubles from a fixture, putting baubles on upper shelves or hanging in a window.)

And don't forget the balcony!  You may have restrictions on string lights, but a decorated urn filler will dress up your existing balcony pots.

Once your done decorating you`ll have to have a few people over and in small space entertaining is best kept as informal, mingling events. All you need is two surfaces to set up for bar/cocktails and apps/treats. It is easier to host and enjoy if you keep it self-service! People will be happy to mingle standing, but you can casual additional seating with extra floor cushions. Additional lighting for entertaining - cordless light strands in vases, LED candles

Additional Small Space or Condo Decorating Tips: 

  • Dress up your existing accessories - it doesn't have to be expensive, just add filler to vases you already have, or wrap with garland and ribbon.
  • Keep small sightlines clear by decorating surfaces with transparent or reflective accessories -vases, acrylic, etc. It will keep the space from feeling claustrophobic.
  • Most hi-rise dwellings will have more glass/windows than the typical space, and sometimes it can be difficult to adhere things to an entire end wall. You can still decorate these by either hanging a few baubles in the window from the top frame; adhere decals to the glass, or you can hang wreaths using some really neat products like extra strong magnetic wreath hangers

Most of all, have fun with it & make it your own!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Guide

Host Gift Guide

Coming Up

Thu 04 Tommy Smythe tours architectural historic preservation projects
Fri 28 Peter Papapetrou reveals how to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe