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.
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