A Classic Canadian Christmas

Photography by Stacey Brandford

Posted on Nov 23, 2018

The Conlon Cottage, as seen in the December 2016 issue of House & Home Magazine.

Conlon Cottage image 1

Let it Snow

As international expats, the Conlon’s new residence in Arizona left them feeling a little nostalgic for a classic Canadian Christmas – filled with magic, cheer, and lots of snow. We helped them transform their newly purchased and rebuilt three bedroom Muskoka cottage into a picture perfect place to spend the holidays! This colourful, rustic family retreat features a careful balance of light and dark wood tones, creating a welcoming and carefree atmosphere. We chose to mix in hard wearing fabrics spiked with deep rich colours and dirt-proof patterns to provide an interior that’s cozy yet unfussy! Read on for more tips on how to give your home a Classic Canadian Christmas makeover!

A glass christmas ornament hanging from a christmas tree branch
Christmas presents under the tree
Flowers on the mantle surrounded by garland
The staircase decorated with garland
Side table decorated with baskets and other objects

Palate Fit for a Postcard

My biggest tip when preparing your home for the holidays is to keep embellishments to a minimum, and stick to a simple palette that works throughout. For the Conlons, we chose to accent with brass candlesticks, glistening glass baubles that reflect light, and eye-catching colourful wrapping paper and bows. The Christmas colour scheme includes the classics: ruby reds of berries and blooms, and emerald greens of cedar and magnolia. The touch of sparkly glass paired with cedar boughs tie it all together for a dramatic, yet natural holiday welcome.

Dining room table
Dining room table
Lit candles upon the table

A Table fit for 3 Kings (and a few more!)

The best part of Christmas is getting to open your home to friends and family, and spending quality time with the people you love. A staple in our design portfolio is the open concept kitchen and dining room - it gives families the room to comfortably mix and mingle between the prep, dining and lounge areas - plus the extra seating at the bar can help accommodate a larger crowd during the holidays. That being said, incorporating spacious inviting rooms isn’t limited to the holidays! They’re perfect for entertaining and living in style year round.

side view of the kitchen
Hanging shelves with baskets of bread and fruit below

Have a Cup of Cheer

While we wouldn’t wish anyone a blue Christmas, these dreamy blue cabinets bring their own charm to a warm and festive Christmas Cottage and elevate the holiday motif. Mixing a variety of task lighting and lantern pendants with custom Shaker profile cabinetry, this kitchen has every modern amenity you need to enjoy the holiday meal of your dreams. There’s lots of room to gather around the alder kitchen island, chosen for its knots that give it an instant patina. The open shelving showcases beautifully patterned plates and pottery, reinforcing the laid-back vibe of the entire home.

A bedroom in the cottage

Shhh… Santa’s Snoozin’

If Santa were to take a bit of a break on his big night, it’d definitely be here. This calming, year-round retreat combines a soft grey palette, dark sophisticated woods and a vaulted ceiling – creating a dramatic, neutral finish. The headboard and chair are upholstered in men’s wool suiting, perfectly pairing with the monochromatic textile scheme.

Washroom within the cottage

Merry, Bright, and Bathed in Light

As every busy elf will tell you, the best part of getting through the holiday season is the chance to relax in the bath. This light filled oasis pairs soothing linen tones and a rustic wood vanity to create a calm, country “good morning” whisper and that soaker tub is just begging to be filled with bubbles and giggles on Christmas Eve, ensuring each child is clean for Old Saint Nik’s arrival.

A bedroom within the cottage

Sleepy Thoughts of Sugarplums...

This festive guest room hosts a mixture of rich fabric tones with grasscloth wallpaper and pale blue ceiling panelling to create the ultimate jewel-like retreat. Layering different textures throughout a bedroom helps to create a warm, ultra cozy space to snuggle in. Who wouldn't love to wake up to a stocking filled with goodies.

a model ship upon a cabinet

Weathered and Well Loved

You can’t roast chestnuts by an open fire and not be surrounded by rustic, well loved pieces! This cabinet’s patina serves as a warm reminder of being immersed in country life – and large brass boat provides a striking contrast to its textural warmth. The only thing missing from this scene is a hot cup of cocoa and a good book!

Trees surrounding the cottage
A christmas wreath on a tree
The second story of the cottage
The cottage outside

Source Guide:

Kantelberg + Co: chandelier, wood cabinet | Ralph Lauren Home: chairs | Sharon O’Dowd Custom Furniture: mirror | Peaks & Rafters: table lamp | Drysdale’s Tree Farm: tree | Sheridan Nurseries: garland | The Paper Place: gift wrap | Mokuba: ribbons | Decorum Decorative Finds: model sailboat | Silva Custom Furniture: chairs | Elte: coffee table | Elte: drape fabric, runner | Montauk: sofa | Woven Treasures: rugs | Homesense: pouf, mirrors | Absolutely North: table between chairs | Schumacher: chair fabric, pillow on chair fabric | Lee Jofa: pillows on sofa fabric | Ready Pine: wall panelling (throughout cottage) | Hudson's Bay: ornament | Earthwork Floral Design: potted flower | Cynthia Crawford Antiques: paddle | Muskoka Living: lamp | Restoration Hardware: console