For an NHL player who travels across North America and is often away from family for long stretches, spending the holidays at home is extra sweet. Since days off are few and far between, the athlete and his family don’t have time to spare when it comes to festive decorating.
This is where a bit of help getting into the Christmas spirit comes in. The decision to bring in reinforcements was an easy one, and the couple hired Sandi Duclos of Kitchener, Ont.-based Sandi Loreen Duclos Interiors Inc. to set their space for the holidays. Her mission? To fulfil their wishes of a decorated, Christmas-ready home where friends and family could gather to celebrate.
Duclos had worked on other projects for the pair: new furnishings, lighting, area rugs, designing a custom closet and setting up a nursery for their new baby. Decking their halls for Christmas was an extension of all her other design work. “When you have worked with a client for an extended period like in this case, creating their vision comes quite easily,” says Duclos. “Listening intently to what they were hoping for, especially when all discussions are done from a distance, was key.”
Though she had a handle on their likes, dislikes and goals, Duclos had the homeowners send her inspiration shots of what they were hoping for come December.
O CHRISTMAS TREE
Their biggest Christmas wish was to have a large tree as their main focal point. (Think full, tall and magical-looking.) Duclos chose the perfect one—a gorgeous nine-foot tree. She added sprays of greenery to increase its height to a mighty 10 feet.
Needless to say, the tree ended up exceeding expectations, and it ended up being the designer’s favourite Christmassy addition too. “It has lots of texture, and when you add fun ornaments and sparkle, this tree is chock-a-block full from top to bottom,” she says.
Duclos was asked to bring in anything that resembled and reflected the outdoors. Since no one would be home to take care of real greenery until just before the holiday, she went with faux greenery, which worked wonders for creating the atmosphere her clients were after.
“In keeping with the relaxed feel of the home, I was instructed to use organic, natural elements such as greenery, twigs, branches and pine cones. Then I added sparkle using gold and silver,” she says. Duclos found a wide array of accents for the space around the tree, the staircase, dining room and the front hall table that fit the bill, pulling together the main floor entertaining space.
“I love to decorate with natural elements for the holidays. For those who are home before and during the season, live greenery offers seasonal smells of fresh pine and cedar, and fresh florals and potted plants like amaryllis or holly trees are naturally beautiful. For wreath lovers, boxwood lasts for a long time both indoors and out,” she says, adding a base of organic greens is her favourite way to start holiday decorating.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Since the couple are true minimalists, Duclos worked to ensure she created the perfect balance between going big for the season without the decor being over the top.
The home is super relaxed yet sophisticated, and it’s painted in muted colours, making it classy and timeless. In honouring their style, Duclos kept it simple. She chose decorations that were special to the family and tied in with their natural, unfussy theme.
“My secret—or not so secret—obsession is to add vintage elements like antique ornaments or old-fashioned sleighs,” she says. “For this home, it was the vintage chest on the fireplace hearth that I focused on, filling it with greenery and other Christmassy elements.”
An incredibly busy NHL schedule typically prevents the couple from spending the holidays in their own home, but they were ecstatic with the news that they would be able to relax, celebrate and host Christmas in their space. Not surprisingly, the couple loved how Duclos decked their halls, and the rest of their home. It was one big project off their list, allowing them to focus their time at home on family.
Undertaking this project had special meaning for Duclos, too. “It was near and dear to my heart. My mother was a hockey lover; in fact, she lived and breathed for the sport. It was my honour to bring joy to this wonderful hockey family by helping them design their interior space and decorating their home so they could enjoy their Christmas,” Duclos says. “My mother passed in 2009. She would have been thrilled.” BH&L
Christmas tree from Sheridan Nurseries. Christmas tree skirt from the Art of Home. Selected ornaments from Accents for Living, Cozyn’s Garden Gallery, Meadow Acres and the Bay. Garland greenery and side tables from Accents for Living. Stockings from Anthropologie. Reindeer pillow, fireplace and bookshelf decor, boxing gloves and small reindeer from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Hockey sign from Cozyn’s Garden Gallery. Large reindeers in vintage box from HomeSense. Reindeer hide and coffee table basket from Sandi Loreen Duclos Interiors.
Wine decanters from Accents for Living. Ceramic and wicker wine holder from Anthropologie. Antler wine bottle holders from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Island place-setting items and wreaths on chairs from Cozyn’s Garden Gallery.
Garland greenery from Accents for Living and Cozyn’s Garden Gallery. Bead garland and select ornaments from Accents for Living. Lanterns from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Mirrors from HomeSense.
Mirror from Accents for Living. Selected ornaments from Accents for Living and Meadow Acres. Baskets from HomeSense. Lamps, ornament bowl and grey rope balls from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Garland greenery from Cozyn’s Garden Gallery. Console table from Restoration Hardware.
Area carpet from Alexanian. Toss pillows from Home Furniture. Lanterns from HomeSense. Birch table runner from Cozyn’s Garden Gallery. Candle holders from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Garland greenery from Cozyn’s Garden Gallery and Accents for Living. Antler wall decor and art from Accents for Living.
Area carpet from Alexanian. Chairs, chandeliers, side table, firewood holder from Accents for Living. Reindeer, wine bucket and toss pillows (under side table) from Cornerstone Home Interiors. Ottoman (in front of fireplace) and tray from HomeSense. Reindeer hide from Sandi Loreen Duclos Interiors.