Interior Photography by Matthew Woodland & Nain Muntasir
Deck the halls with boughs of holly may have been how you started preparing for the holidays but, for a newly purchased and furnished 4800SF home in east Brampton, it made total sense to have the creative designers Andrew and Suzanne Moreau of Verve Studio return to trim the tree and decorate for Christmas.
Sometimes Christmas is an opportunity for people to redecorate, especially if they are tired of the look. “For us, as well as the owners, the design was still so fresh, we just had to build on it,” Andrew explains the approach he and Suzanne applied to this home’s first Christmas with its new owners.
Keeping the theme of the house formed the seasonal foundation, being mindful not to take away from what was originally designed. When you see it, it’s fresh every time, making you smile as everywhere you look, there’s a little bling of red, just a hint.
Is the red to symbolize Christmas? “Ultimately red is the colour of passion. It’s an attractive colour; it’s a warm colour; it is the colour of energy, fresh, clean, warm energy,” Suzanne explains how it is more than just a colour, but it’s a signature that inspired their slogan ‘interiors with creative energy’.
Andrew adds, “When we first designed the home, red was the accent colour we used outside of the black and white, the little bit of chrome and silver, with the exception of the kitchen where we used lime green to give it a different feel. But, when it came to decorate for Christmas, the obvious choice was red in the ribbons and bows, and we carried that through into the presents.” Gifts in abundance bedeck this holiday home.
This is when great design takes the rein from seasonal décor. When decorating, we need to remember seasonality is just an accent; it shouldn’t overpower and tire. The colour scheme of red, silver, white and black is carried throughout each room, artistically adorning two distinctly different trees, both commanding your attention equally.
“Even as a teenager, while trimming the family tree, I was always asked, ‘Oh, can I touch that?’” Suzanne begins to explain how her decorating approach is organic, coming from an innate creative flair vs rules of design. “To me, it’s playing; playing all the way.” She loves how silver plays off the light, and adding twigs and sprigs gives the tree a different dimension. This is a cleaner, more contemporary alternative to traditional garlands, making it easier to put up as well as take down and store.
Garland on the staircase fits nice, tight and crisp, sitting beautifully. Swag was attempted, but the tailored pin striping effect of the iron spindles with dark mahogany rail dictated the more contemporary approach. A few strategically placed red accents help the transition from the cool whites in the 2-storey great room to the cozier evergreens in the family room.
Though design details are idolized in this home, attention is now focused on the beautifully packaged presents, found not only under both Christmas trees, but in numerous gift towers throughout the home. Suzanne wrapped each and every present. Besides patience, we learn her trick to this seasonal task is festive tunes. A playlist of Josh Grogan, Andrea Bocelli and vintage Frank Sinatra Christmas music is what kept her going at the repetitive job.
And the boxes? “LCBO,” Suzanne states with a little grin. “Kim Crawford here, a little Bailey’s there!” giving a whole new meaning to Christmas spirit.
Whimsy should never be overlooked, even in smaller décor accents. A jumbo jack, from the game of Jacks, usually graces a side table in the family room, but now a Jack-in-the-box resembling Charlie-in-the-box from The Island of Misfit Toys in the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer adds a nostalgic, comic verve that draws a smile.
Our Holiday Home is bigger than life, yet it doesn’t look over the top. Its secret is the personal invitation it extends to you to get close and personal.
This is the brilliance of great design. It can make your Christmas decorating merry and bright, and stylish.
Seasonal photography provided by Bryan McGowan for Enrich Magazine.