Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Place: Christmas Edition 2011

Christmas is only 3 days away and my condo is finally ready for "the most wonderful time of the year"!  To greet you at the front door is this stunning wreath (one of my proud DIYs).  What is amazing about this wreath is that the silver balls reflect lights in the hallway and from afar, it looks like the wreath is wrapped with hundreds of mini lights.

Ladies and Gents, welcome to my condo for Christmas 2011.

I'm lucky enough to have inherited this full height mirror wall at the entrance.  It does not only reflect natural lights, visually expanding the space, but also allows for an attractive foyer to me to sit down and take my shoes off.  I love my Saarinen chair (another great find on eBay) for comfort and best of all, its soft neutral grey upholstery practically goes with every color scheme I throw at it.

A couple of close-ups of the other side of the foyer.  I am all about mixing warm and cool metals this year and in this vignette, you can see that I've paired these vintage inspired kettle bells in muted gold with the polished silver reindeers snow globe.  The look is completed with a couple of decorative boxes and a bowl of faux paperwhites for added interest and texture.

This is my new living room.  Quite a difference isn't it? Most people who have seen it was surprised with the soft and neutral palette, especially when the room was so colorful in Spring and Summer.



I am inspired by many natural elements in home decor and decide to embrace the challenge to turn my living room from full of bold, saturated colors, to a subdued, refined, and elegant lounging space. 

The color palette is simple: cream and grey with an accent of yellow, and a focal wall in smokey blue.  To inject warmth to the space, I turn my attention to textural interests from fabrics and of course the layering of a reindeer rug on top of the on-trend flatweave rug with a link motif.     

I love using trays around the house for their amazing power to group everyday objects into beautiful vignettes.  Here is how a simple box, a white bird nest coral, and an icy votive look like a million buck with the help of this bamboo tray.

The only vibrant color in the room comes from my Womb chair.  To counter the tomato red (so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb) in the transformed neutral living room, the drapery fabrics are a combination of geometric print, solid grey in medium tone, and natural linen with silver metallic medallion motif.  The end result is the perfect go-to place to read my favourite magazines or a cozy nook when entertaining.

I absolutely love these two shots of my Christmas tree and my new sofa.  Who says neutral colors are boring?! When use effectively, they command even more attention than bold colors!  At least that's how I feel when I step into my home every evening.

Don't believe me? Here are a couple of close-ups demonstrating the use of soft palettes for maximum impact and interests.  The muted gold embroidery on the "Pop Flower" fabric from Kravet adds subtle detail, while the luxe velvet polka dot in pastel colors juxtaposes perfectly against the creamy linen.

As for the tree, this picture summarizes it all!  Delicate glass icicles and crystal snowflakes adds sparkles, decadent large scale glass ornaments for a touch of traditional flair, adorable felt birdies and feather ornaments to echo the nature inspired decoration scheme, and shimmery yellow, pewter, and white ornaments to enliven the overall look.

Opposite to the Christmas tree is my blue accent wall, which showcases my new art work from Suzanne Ernst. The high gloss resin gives my artwork its soul and turns it into a three dimensional piece.

I also need a side table next to my new sofa.  For a casual & effortless look, I put two boxes together to create height, a practical surface for flower, votive and drinks and most importantly, a much needed storage solution.

Now let's check out the other side of the living room.  I love my fireplace wall: it is whimsical, intimate, and masculine.

To balance the sleek, masculine elements such as the walnut fireplace mantel, the stainless steel fireplace, and the deer head, I decided to go for more feminine flowers like peony and mini yellow orchids.

A detail shot of my absolute favourite DIY ever.  Yes, it is a DIY! You will read more about it next week.

Are you ready to peek into the dining room? I think you are!  I went for "less is more" when it comes to accessorizing the dining room.  After all, the wallpaper itself is full of personality and energy, and I don't want the dining room to totally overpower the adjacent living room.

Accessories on console table include a white foo dog, a few antlers, a tarnished silver box, and a tall vase filled with amaryllis and magnolia blooms.

These two shots give you a full picture of my dining room, as well as a taste of my table setting.

Carrying out the mix of warm and cool accents, I put these absolutely gorgeous plates with hints of gold and grey against the polished silver stand fills with silver and gold ornaments.  Can't you tell I'm obsessed with deers this Winter?

Inspired by so many breathtaking images of placing a wreath in front of a mirror, here is my square boxwood wreath embellished by deep indigo blue grosgrain ribbon.

I never get tired of this Eva Zeisel tea pot.  Pairing with a bird nest coral and a porcelain bird, this vignette is pure and organic.

Down the hall is my bedroom and bathroom.  I love this pure wool runner for its pattern and its softness on feet.

Before we tour the bathroom, I also want to show you my little enchanted forest with frosted branches, pearl like ornaments, and felt bird ornaments.  It is the perfect accessory in my hallway.

For the bathroom, the color palette is consistent with the living room: soft yellow and grey.  

Sometime you just never know what you will get at your local florists.  I'd initially planned to get yellow orchids for the bathroom.  However, the florists didn't have any fresh ones (and I refused to buy "aged" flowers) and instead, I found these beautiful snowball chrysanthemums.  They are in the perfect shade of yellow to accentuate the color palette in my bathroom.

I love this simple, practical, and beautiful vignette in the bathroom.  This bathroom comes to life with the help of these gorgeous stripped towels.  

A detail shot of all the bathroom necessities: scented candle, room spray, Q-tips, and if you are like me, a pair of Yves Saint Laurent glasses as well.  This stunning photography is of course a masterpiece by my good friend, Scott Young.

Here comes my bedroom.  I aim to create a restful retreat that is sumptuous and masculine.  To achieve the look, I play with the layering of fabrics with different materials and texture (flannel sheets with subtle pinstripes, a natural linen with a zebra print, cream and grey stripe in silk, and a wool pillow with an antler motif).  To anchor the room, black accent is used through the coral fan art work and the checker throw I picked up during my trip to England.

Another fantastic shot of the bedroom.  Have you noticed the buttons on the zebra pillow? Again, I mix in the warm golden buttons with the cool grey and white zebra print: simple and effective.

Detail shots of a couple of vignettes in the bedroom.

As kitchen is often referred to the heart of the house, I've saved mine as the last room to show you.  The accent color for my kitchen this year is blue and this direction is inspired by this captivating photography by Scott.  As you can see, blue accent is injected throughout the room including the tea towel, the bowl of ornaments, and the multifaceted stool.

You have seen me hacking an IKEA ribba frame last year as a serving tray over my cook top.  I love this ingenious space maximizing solution and here is how I dress it up this year!

In keeping with the calm, woodland scheme I have going the entire condo, I used a few pieces of wallpaper remnants as backdrop on the tray.  With a few exquisitely designed porcelains, we are all set for a tea party!

A few of my favourite items in the kitchen: a "grass carpet" to dry my cups and my must-have cook books.

A whimsical piece from Eva Zeisel with lid in robin's egg blue, and of course a bowl of ornaments for a festive touch!

This is it: my condo all dressed for the holidays!! I love my place and it's very refreshing for me to enjoy my place in a more muted color palette.  It is also very rewarding to see how all the neutrals come to life  creating a visually and texturally stimulating space.  Hope you like my condo for Christmas 2011 and I love to hear what you think!  

Happy Holidays everyone!



  1. YOur home is gorgesous. Love the mixed metals and well, those kettle bells are awesome. Have a happy holiday season.

  2. You home is so gorgeous. I love all the little details.

  3. It looks amazing very warm and inviting! love your attention to detail. Look fwd to the DYI. Will that include your wreath?

  4. Oh my gosh Tim - I absolutely love the neutral palette! In fact, everything looks stunning. Love the "new" sofa, the painting, the Kravet fabric on the pillow and the square wreath on the mirror. Can't wait to see it in person!
    Happy Holidays!

  5. Everything looks incredible Tim! I can't even begin choosing favorites. The balance between soft and masculine is amazing. Well done!

  6. It's beautiful, Tim. You've done a great job, as always :-)

  7. Oh my Tim... the place is amazing. Of course that colour palette is near and dear to my heart. The pillows turned out so perfectly and I love the way the tree ornaments work with the whole place. I am not sure which room is my favourite as each is a stunner. Perfectly styled too! I love the branches and the felt birds in the hall. The DIY could be my favourite piece in the space. That and the dot pillow near the tree!

  8. Holy Smokes Time - your place is amazing! So magazine worthy!! Happy Holidays!

  9. Sarah @lovelaughshopDecember 23, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Your home is BEYOND stunning Tim!! Love every corner.....what a gorgeous space to wake up to every day. Mag worthy for sure!

  10. Great job Tim !! I loooooove your new sofa!! I love how you used 2 fabrics, where did you find the sofa?? And I also would love to know where you got the wall paper in your bedroom ! Merry Christmas :)

  11. Blown away Tim! I loooooove it. Not only is your decor beyond fabulous. But your furniture. Ooh...can't get enough! Happy Holidays ;)

  12. Tim, you are fabulous, this is SO AMAZING. You really are very, very tallented. I'm envious!

  13. Hey Tim great job! Where is the fireplace from? And same for the grass carpet in the kitchen?

  14. Your place is beautiful Tim. It looks so fresh and modern yet welcoming. Wishing you and Chris a Merry Christmas. I look forward to seeing you again in the new year!

  15. tim san!!!! i still vividly remember your apartment last xmas and i loved it so much! but what a transformation this year, i loved it even more with all the natural colours! wish i am here this year too :) happy holidays!!!! btw... your DIYs are so cool (as usual)

  16. Thanks everyone for your kind words!! I totally love the transformation this time and very proud to have embraced the challenge to create a visually stimulating space without the help of bold colors!!

    Looking forward to more fun in 2012!!

  17. @yoko: the sofa is a vintage find from Salvation Army and I had it reupholstered with fabrics from inVU and Designer Fabrics.

    The wallpaper in the bedroom is from Cole & Son and I got it from Primetime Wallpaper and Paint in Toronto.

  18. Thank you Tim !!

    I'm sure the sofa is much happier, now that it looks gorgeous ! Thank you for sharing your amaing all the rooms :)

  19. I love the antler pillow on the bed, Tim! NEED!!