cel­e­brate in style

Carol Postar wel­comes her friends to a beau­ti­fully fes­tive home dec­o­rated to com­ple­ment her col­lec­tion of an­tiques and vin­tage finds


Beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated to re­ceive guests, this charm­ing re­gency cot­tage in Canada is a trea­sure trove of an­tique and vin­tage finds

For Cana­dian in­te­rior de­signer Carol Postar, Christ­mas is all about spend­ing time with her friends. ‘I have a small fam­ily and so my friends are very im­por­tant,’ she ex­plains. ‘I love to hold in­ti­mate din­ners and get out my favourite table­ware, in­clud­ing Burleigh china and Wedg­wood cab­bage leaf plates. They make the oc­ca­sion feel so spe­cial.’

Carol’s On­tario home, a gra­cious 19th-cen­tury Re­gency cot­tage, is the per­fect back­drop for her fes­tive gath­er­ings. ‘It was the pro­por­tions that first sold it to me,’ says Carol. ‘The house was in a ter­ri­ble state and needed ev­ery­thing do­ing to it be­cause it’s the old­est house in the town, but I loved it.’

Through­out the re­fur­bish­ment, Carol stayed in the prop­erty. ‘I put ev­ery­thing into stor­age and lived with very lit­tle,’ she re­calls. ‘I wanted the restora­tion to re­flect the clas­si­cal fea­tures that were al­ready there, such as the beau­ti­ful ceil­ing roses. The cor­nic­ing had un­for­tu­nately been re­moved, so I se­lected new de­signs that were sym­pa­thetic to the orig­i­nal de­tails.’

The cot­tage lay­out fea­tures a raised ground floor hous­ing the liv­ing spa­ces and kitchen, with the mas­ter suite be­neath the eaves on the level above. There are three fur­ther bed­rooms and two bath­rooms in the par­tially sub­merged lower-ground floor. ‘The only

change I made was to knock the kitchen through to the din­ing room to cre­ate a more so­cia­ble space,’ says Carol, who had the cab­i­netry made to her own de­signs. ‘This is the first house where I haven’t had an off-white kitchen,’ she says of her choice to have the join­ery painted her favourite hue, a gen­tle shade of aqua.

The walls through­out the house have been painted a soft white. ‘I like a neu­tral back­drop as I find it’s the best way to show off the pieces I have ac­quired over the years,’ ex­plains Carol. ‘My all-time favourite is the an­tique bergère chair in the sit­ting room. I trained as an up­hol­sterer so I’m aware that it needs re-cov­er­ing, but I love the patina of its orig­i­nal vel­vet.’

Carol’s up­hol­stery skills have come in use­ful else­where, too, on the carver chair in the sit­ting room, for ex­am­ple, whose seat she re­uphol­stered in cowhide. ‘I felt that it brought it up to date,’ she says. Con­tem­po­rary touches can be seen all around the house, where pieces of art and rugs in sisal or cowhide are placed along­side more tra­di­tional de­signs. ‘I think the mod­ern items make ev­ery­thing feel fresh while also help­ing to show­case the older pieces in an in­ter­est­ing new light.’

Carol’s cre­ative eye comes into its own at this time of year, when the house is beau­ti­fully decked out to wel­come her friends. Metal urns and ce­ramic bowls be­come ves­sels for dis­play­ing fo­liage and flow­ers, and un­usual or­na­ments be­come part of the elab­o­rate dis­plays. ‘ When the house is dec­o­rated, I know that the fes­tive sea­son has re­ally be­gun,’ she smiles.

Love to curl up in a cosy bed in the win­ter and feel as if you’re in a bou­tique ho­tel? Then Dream­land’s new heated cot­ton per­cale mat­tress pro­tec­tor could be ex­actly what you need.

De­signed us­ing In­tel­li­heat tech­nol­ogy, the Bou­tique Ho­tel heated mat­tress pro­tec­tor, from £69.99, clev­erly re­sponds to tem­per­a­ture changes while you sleep, en­sur­ing you don’t wake up with a chill even in the depths of win­ter. Sim­ply switch on the In­tel­li­heat con­trol and choose your pre­ferred tem­per­a­ture, then snug­gle up in the deluxe, ho­tel-qual­ity, 200-thread-count cot­ton that prom­ises to keep you com­fort­able all year long.

And don’t worry if you for­get to turn the pro­tec­tor on to heat up in ad­vance, sim­ply press the ‘ready for bed’ fast pre­heat but­ton and by the time you’ve brushed your teeth and fetched your­self a glass of wa­ter, your bed will have warmed to your lik­ing – mean­ing ice-cold sheets and chilly feet are things of the past. The pro­tec­tor is both ma­chine washable and tum­ble-dryer safe thanks to its eas­ily de­tach­able con­trol, and is avail­able in sizes up to a su­per king.

We can’t think of any­thing more invit­ing to help us slip into a deep, com­fort­able and rest­ful night’s sleep.

With the Dream­land Bou­tique Ho­tel range, you can en­joy a lit­tle five-star lux­ury in the com­fort of your own home.

The cot­ton per­cale mat­tress pro­tec­tor’s 38cm-deep elas­ti­cated skirt fits even the most lux­u­ri­ous of mat­tresses.

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