// Christ­mas En Pointe

A clas­sic hol­i­day bal­let sets the stage for a not-so-tra­di­tional Christ­mas de­sign theme in this west-side Van­cou­ver home.

Western Living - - CONTENTS - by SU­SAN BRYANT pho­to­graphs by JA­NIS NICOLAY

A clas­sic hol­i­day bal­let sets the stage for a not-so-tra­di­tional Christ­mas de­sign theme in this west-side Van­cou­ver home, part of the an­nual Homes for the Hol­i­days fundraiser.

When Emma Kelly and Francesca Al­ber­tazzi of Rudy Win­ston De­sign came on board to dec­o­rate this house as part of the an­nual Kids Help Phone Homes for the Hol­i­days tour last year, the theme be­came ob­vi­ous al­most im­me­di­ately. “We latched on to the con­cept of The Nutcracker based on a cou­ple of things,” says Al­ber­tazzi. “The home­owner had a few vin­tage nut­crack­ers in her per­sonal col­lec­tion, and one of her daugh­ters was pur­su­ing a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in bal­let. We re­ally loved that—both Emma and I were in bal­let for a long time, and we thought, let’s use that as a con­cept for the dec­o­ra­tion of the house.”

The pair was al­ready very fa­mil­iar with the her­itage home on Van­cou­ver’s west side, hav­ing ren­o­vated a large part of it over the past two years—a fact that came quickly into play as they set the hol­i­day scene in the liv­ing room. “In de­sign­ing the orig­i­nal space, the home­owner wanted to make sure that what­ever sofa we chose

would move or sep­a­rate, so she could place a Christ­mas tree in the tra­di­tional spot by the bay win­dow,” says Al­ber­tazzi. That fore­thought worked its magic when it came time to hol­i­day up the liv­ing room: the sofa splits into three pieces, which slide to the sides of the room to make the ev­er­green the show­stop­per. It’s a space that, for this hol­i­day tour, would evoke the “party scene” in The Nutcracker bal­let. “Only Francesca and I would likely know that,” laughs Kelly, “but it’s the scene when the tree re­ally comes alive and grows, and it’s all piled with presents. We wanted to echo the feel­ing of cel­e­bra­tion and en­thu­si­asm and ex­pec­ta­tions—ev­ery­one is ex­cited.” Faux cock­tails on the ta­ble con­trib­ute to that grand Christ­mas party feel­ing, along with the gorgeous flo­ral ar­range­ments from Full Bloom Stu­dio on the man­tel. “We didn’t want it to feel too tra­di­tion­ally Christ­mas in terms of colour scheme,” says Kelly. “There’s al­most no red, but there are lots of navy and gold ac­cents.”

In the ad­join­ing din­ing room and kitchen, the ta­ble is set for the party to ar­rive, with plenty of cut glass to add sparkle, and the scene in turn re­flects the de­sign of the kitchen, it­self full of shine with its mar­ble mo­saic back­splash and over­sized win­dows. Each ta­ble set­ting holds a sim­ple sprig of ev­er­green wrapped in a navy rib­bon, and a flo­ral ar­range­ment in the nearby win­dow has tre­men­dous pres­ence thanks to its un­usual vase: a pewter tro­phy.

Near the front of the home, the main-floor of­fice is trans­formed into the suite of Un­cle Drosselmeyer, cre­at­ing a more mas­cu­line space. “If he were a room, this is what he’d look like,” laughs Kelly. Along with whisky glasses and rum balls on the side ta­ble, there are cheeky nods to his char­ac­ter’s trans­for­ma­tion into an owl in the bal­let, tiny owl or­na­ments adorn the table­top trees.

The most lit­eral nod to the bal­let is in the chil­dren’s rooms up­stairs: in one, the

Near the front of the home, the main-floor of­fice is trans­formed into the suite of Un­cle Drosselmeyer, cre­at­ing a more mas­cu­line space. “If he were a room, this is what he’d look like,” laughs Emma Kelly.

trees are adorned with felt char­ac­ters from the bal­let; in an­other, a bal­le­rina tutu and pointe shoes are laid out on the bed. “We made her bed­room very fem­i­nine, with twinkly lights and a flocked tree,” says Kelly. “In the sec­ond half of The Nut

cracker, Clara plans to get whisked away to the Land of Sweets, and that was the feel­ing we had here—that sense of magic, like the sugar plum fairy’s dance.”

The sto­ry­telling through­out the space is re­flec­tive of the way the de­sign team works when it’s not hol­i­day time as well, and vis­i­tors can see this in the ren­o­va­tion of the orig­i­nal home—it’s a his­toric home, but it’s been up­dated for modern times and a modern fam­ily. “We both re­ally feel that a strong con­cept is the key to any project,” says Kelly. “That’s re­ally what leads to all the de­ci­sions you make.”

This year’s Kids Help Phone Homes for the Hol­i­days Tour takes place Novem­ber 25 and 26. For more info, visit kid­shelp­phone.ca/ homes-for-the-hol­i­days.

“In the sec­ond half of

The Nutcracker, Clara plans to get whisked away to the Land of Sweets, and that was the feel­ing we had here—that sense of magic, like the sugar plum fairy’s dance.”

Dance and Din­ner De­sign­ers Francesca Al­ber­tazzi and Emma Kelly took in­spi­ra­tion from

The Nutcracker bal­let for the hol­i­day de­sign theme in the home. Here in the din­ing room, the ta­ble is set for the grand party of the night, com­plete with sparkling cut glass and ev­er­green ac­cents.

Party Time The kitchen had plenty of sparkle— the mar­ble mo­saic back­plash re­flects light beau­ti­fully—so the team added just a few tra­di­tional ac­cents, like a mini­tree on the coun­ter­top (top left). The liv­ing and din­ing rooms were set to evoke the “party scene” in The Nutcracker: cham­pagne and coupes (above right), place set­tings with a sim­ple navy rib­bon and a sprig of ev­er­green (above left), and plenty of gorgeous flo­rals.

Happy Hol­i­days When the home­own­ers ren­o­vated the liv­ing room, they’d di­rected the de­sign team that they wanted to make sure they could still put a Christ­mas tree in the bay win­dow (op­po­site, left). Cue the so­fas that sep­a­rate, al­low­ing for the tree to take a place of hon­our. Lit­tle dec­o­ra­tive de­tails, like treats from But­ter Baked Goods (op­po­site, bot­tom) and a nutcracker or­na­ment (op­po­site, top right) set a very fes­tive scene.

Cozy Re­treat In the of­fice near the front of the house, the de­sign­ers cre­ated a more tra­di­tional, mas­cu­line vibe with rum balls and whisky on the ta­ble, along with a nod to the bal­let: a nutcracker, and owls on the table­top trees (left and top cen­tre).

In the Mood The colour pal­ette in the of­fice is also more tra­di­tion­ally Christ­mas, with reds and greens and ac­cents of tartan (top right). On the front door, an un­usual ar­range­ment from Full Bloom Stu­dio fea­tures peacock feath­ers (bot­tom right).

Shall We Dance? In the girls’ bed­rooms up­stairs, the theme of The Nut

cracker bal­let is quite lit­eral: a tutu and pointe shoes are laid out on one daugh­ter’s bed (left), with a vin­tage nutcracker be­side it (top cen­tre).

Sweet Decor The de­sign team chose a more muted hol­i­day colour pal­ette, as seen in this soft pas­tel flo­ral ar­range­ment from Full Bloom Stu­dio (top right). Char­ac­ters from the bal­let—as felt mice—adorn a tree (bot­tom right).

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