This year, Avenue asked three well-known designers to show us how they deck the halls and trim the trees in their own homes. Using a blend of their favourite things and the trends of the season, each designer reinvents traditional holiday decor and offers some inspiration for rest of us.
Two years ago, Trevor Compton’s Christmas tree fell over – twice – smashing all of his ornaments. This year, a seven-foot-tall faux tree stands in the corner of his living room in Rossdale, tastefully appointed with silver, clear, and frosted ornaments, and lit with small white lights.
It is, perhaps, the most overtly Christmas-themed feature of the room, a modern-looking space anchored by two grey chairs, a white area rug and a chocolate-brown coffee table. Surprisingly, almost everything in the room is from the 1920s and ’30s. That’s because much of it is from the Art Deco era, which replaced the ornamental flourishes of the Victorian era with clean lines and flat surfaces. “It was very streamlined and forward-thinking for its time,” he says.
Many of the pieces were bought in Montreal, where Compton lived during uncertain times due to the rise in separatist sympathies. At the time, Anglophones figured they’d need to leave and sold off their possessions to antique dealers and thrift stores. Compton bought as much as he could, living on Kraft Dinner and hot dogs.
Compton’s holiday flourishes are subtle. Above the faux fireplace – a vintage piece made of plaster and straw – he has placed a classic garland. On the coffee table in the centre of the room, a sculpture of a nude woman holds a glass ball filled with white flowers and sprigs of pine. “It’s actually a 1930s ashtray. We sell ball vases in our store and it actually fit perfectly in the place that once held the ashtray,” he says. “It was a way to repurpose something that’s not socially acceptable anymore.”
But perhaps Compton’s favourite part of the scene is a portable bar, made of walnut and glass, where he serves his guests libations during the holidays – especially martinis. “It’s a really special piece to me – I’ve hauled it across Canada and back,” he says.