IN MERRY MEA­SURE In a charm­ing Toronto home, whim­si­cal Christ­mas decor is con­stantly evolv­ing

In this charm­ing Toronto home, the whim­si­cal Christ­mas decor is con­stantly evolv­ing and won­der­fully be­spoke with ev­ery pass­ing year.


A tra­di­tion of change might sound con­tra­dic­tory, but it’s the hol­i­day norm at Chanele Krausz’s house. “Ev­ery year I im­ple­ment a new Christ­mas scheme,” says the dec­o­ra­tor, who shares this visu­ally in­trigu­ing up­town Toronto semi with her hus­band, Ryan, an in­vest­ment ad­viser.

And though the young cou­ple has lived here for only two years (it’s their first home to­gether), the tra­di­tion of trans­for­ma­tion is al­ready in full swing. “Last year it was all red and green,” says Chanele. “This year, ev­ery­thing is calm and classic.”

Her eclec­tic take on the hol­i­days is in sync with her year-round de­sign ethos. “I like a mix of an­tique and modern – rus­tic and glam all in one – uni­fied by colour and tex­ture,” she says. “Rooms should have lay­ers of interest that in­spire con­ver­sa­tion.”

Be­fore any con­vers­ing could be­gin, the 1,200square-foot 1930s home re­quired a se­ri­ous over­haul that came with a big price tag. When the cou­ple first viewed the house, they fell in love with its spa­cious rooms and char­ac­ter-filled de­tails, like the liv­ing

room’s curved niches. But there was one orig­i­nal fea­ture they didn’t bank on: knob-and­tube wiring. “We had to re­place it be­fore we could move in, which was a huge ex­pense,” says Chanele. “It meant other up­grades would be cos­metic only.”

So the cou­ple painted al­most ev­ery sur­face, in­clud­ing the brick fire­place, and re­fin­ished the floors. Once the space was an­chored by neu­tral walls, Chanele en­dowed it with her sig­na­ture mix of trea­sured in­her­ited pieces, cheap-and-cheer­ful thrift store finds and mean­ing­ful va­ca­tion sou­venirs.

To trans­late that knock­out mélange into the calm and classic Christ­mas look she de­sired, Chanele re­lied on the in­ter­play of white and grey aug­mented by ju­di­ciously cho­sen com­ple­ments. “Tra­di­tional or­na­ments, fresh green­ery and gold ac­cents con­vey a time­less look,” she says. The style is ev­i­dent even on the home’s thresh­old. “Our front porch proves hol­i­day dress­ing doesn’t have to be com­pli­cated – a wreath and four urns filled with sim­ple green­ery.”

“The Christ­mas tree ra­di­ates the best light for din­ner par­ties.”

Back in­side, one Christ­mas tree (ver­sus last year’s two) keeps things easy­go­ing. It’s placed in the din­ing room rather than the more ex­pected liv­ing room win­dow. “En­ter­tain­ing dur­ing the hol­i­days is im­por­tant to us, and we spend a lot of time at the din­ing room ta­ble,” she says. “Hav­ing the tree here lets us take it in and, as a bonus, it ra­di­ates the best light for din­ner par­ties.”

The get-to­geth­ers kick off af­ter the first week­end in De­cem­ber, which is re­served for the cou­ple’s an­nual tree shop­ping and trim­ming rit­ual. “We pick out our Christ­mas tree af­ter work on the Fri­day,” says Chanele. “On the Satur­day, I make eggnog with rum, put on Frank Si­na­tra’s Christ­mas car­ols and we or­der pizza. Ryan gets the tree in po­si­tion, helps with the lights and then hangs out while I put on the dec­o­ra­tions.” And no mat­ter how of­ten Chanele reimag­ines the hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions, this is one Christ­mas tra­di­tion she and Ryan have no plans on chang­ing.

CON­SOLE, sheep­skin THROW, HomeSense; black TRAY TA­BLE, Up River Trad­ing Co.; TOSS CUSH­ION, Pier 1 Im­ports.

Var­i­ous types and sizes of wreaths hang on com­ple­men­tary rib­bons in the liv­ing room win­dows. ABOVE “The wreaths hang­ing in the liv­ing room win­dows look like an art in­stal­la­tion and are beau­ti­ful from the out­side, too.” Chanele co­zies up the vin­tage...

RUG, The Door Store; mar­ble BOX, HomeSense; SNOW GLOBE, In­digo; DISH, An­thro­polo­gie.

LEFT The liv­ing room cof­fee ta­ble is styled with some of Chanele’s favourite items. “I col­lect books with beau­ti­ful cov­ers as pieces of art,” she says. “They in­cite in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions.” The snow globe and wal­nuts are sea­sonal ac­cents.

DEC­O­RA­TOR, De­sign Bliss In­te­ri­ors, de­sign­; Sim­ply White OC-117 WALL, TRIM & FIRE­PLACE PAINT, Benjamin Moore; COF­FEE TA­BLE, pat­terned blue TOSS CUSH­ION, HomeSense; navy blue TOSS CUSH­IONS, West Elm; di­a­mond-print TOSS CUSH­IONS, Kravet Canada.

LEFT A pair of slim an­tique so­fas that home­owner and de­signer Chanele Krausz bought on Ki­jiji look like they were cus­tom-made for the liv­ing room’s di­men­sions. “The sym­me­try cre­ates a strik­ing feel­ing of grandeur in here,” she says. The orig­i­nal curved...

RUN­NER, Home Hard­ware.

LEFT The front porch’s wooden steps are soft­ened by a run­ner and ac­cented with nat­u­ral ar­range­ments in hand­some urns.


Colling­wood OC-28 WALL PAINT, Benjamin Moore; CON­SOLE, RUG, blue VASE, HomeSense.

RIGHT Chanele and her hus­band, Ryan, in­her­ited the solid oak din­ing ta­ble from his fam­ily. “We lightly sanded and restained it, re­tain­ing all of the im­per­fec­tions in the wood,” says Chanele. “The ta­ble will out­last us, and we don’t have to worry about...

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