Country Living (USA)
A No-Additive, All-Natural Approach to Christmas
Artfully outfitted with foraged greenery and fragrant finery, this centuries-old Ontario farmhouse is a reminder that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Andraya Frith makes a big deal out of Christmas, and she comes by it honestly. “I’m the oldest of eight kids,” she says. “We spent the holidays surrounded by cousins, so I always wanted to play host to extended family when I grew up.” Unfortunately, her downtown Toronto home, which she shares with her husband, Graham Kechnie, and daughters Julia and Paige, can barely seat eight for dinner, let alone sleep a crowd.
But in 2012, she and
Graham stumbled upon their own Christmas miracle: Drumlin, a farmhouse with 20 rolling acres in nearby Northumberland Hills. The property boasts not one, but two farmhouses, the old one built in 1833 and a new one constructed in 2006.
Connected by a breezeway, the two structures now function as a single house and, much to Andraya’s delight, can comfortably accommodate
20-plus overnight guests, with many of the cousins bunking down in the attic-turned-bedroom. “As soon as we came down the drive, I envisioned old-fashioned holiday gatherings,” she recalls. “There’s even a big red shed—our own ‘Santa’s workshop!’ ”
Indeed, Andraya’s happily hands-on approach to the holidays helps the home shine brightest this time of year. The stone-walled rooms take on a cozy, magical quality with homemade garlands and citrus decor. “There’s something about making things that slows the season down,” she says. “And it’s a way to spend more time with those you love.”