Christmas in a Condo
When thinking of the holiday season, we Canadians picture starry, cold nights, glistening snow and twinkling lights. Indoors, we’re protected from the chill wrapped in heavy textures, watching the dancing firelight from the fireplace and sipping hot chocolate. It evokes a quintessential Canadian holiday scene. It’s unlikely that most of us think of the white walls of a condo when envisioning this special time of year.
The holiday season can be enjoyed fully in a condo with good planning and a commitment to make it beautiful, just like a house. My condo is not big. After determining a house was just too much for me to handle on my own, this condo feels just right. So I decided that this space was going to have all sorts of embellishment added to make it festive and winter celebration-ready.
I annexed my second bedroom to create a small den that opens into my living room. It’s west facing and takes advantage of the natural, afternoon light even in the months most deprived of sunshine. To create that cozy wintery feel, I purchased an electric fireplace with crystals replacing fake logs. These units have come a long way over the last few years and do a good job replicating a gas or wood fireplace. This was a good alternative for me since many condos don’t have gas.
I designed the mantle to be big and bold and transitional in style so it felt like it had always been here. It is the focal point for family and friends when they visit the condo and a natural place for holiday décor.
Adding a mix of green garland with lanterns and LED candles, the mantle comes alive for the season. Touches of gold and sparkle catch the light and add a shimmery flavour. Felt stockings are perfect to add warmth and a playful theme.
A six-foot evergreen tucked in beside the fireplace becomes the other key part of my holiday décor. The tree has a mix of new and old ornaments as well as small photos of family and friends quietly nestled within the branches. Twinkle lights add a warm glow so pretty at this time of year. Gold and yellow ribbons with berries in red are the colours that I love and which coordinate with my existing condo décor. This coordination reduces visual clutter that can be a problem in small spaces, especially when adding so many additional elements at this time of year.
Because I don’t have room to store décor, I make sure that what I have can be repurposed for other times of year and for different seasons such as lanterns, candles and lights. Adding a few seasonal pillows creates a holiday element that isn’t too serious and is useful as well. A small sheepskin rug adds a Nordic flavor and is useful for warming toes throughout the winter season.
And what would this season be without a plate of cookies for Santa! I like to leave these out for visitors, but that’s unlikely these days because my permanent furry resident, Baxter my Beagle, enjoys them a little too much! Bowls of nuts, peppermints and chocolates are all additions to my decor to tempt guests with the delicious food of the season.
A condo may initially not seem like it contains festive elements, but designing features that give it character and reflect your own visions of winter can bring it to a new level of enjoyment for all times of the year, and especially during the Christmas and holiday seasons.