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story Maureen Scott

The joy of decorating for the holidays is that now there is so much choice. Growing up in the '50s and '60s, my family was like every other family on the block who decorated their real tree the week before Christmas with the same decorations we used every year. The same faded fake (now called faux) evergreen wreath was taken outside for a good shake, and then hung on the front door. Our centrepiece was a birchbark log with three drilled holes for candles.

The times, they are a changin’. Now tree ornaments and centrepieces are available in a kaleidoscope of colours ranging from traditional red to trendy teal, fuschia or lime-green. We visited some Mississauga wholesalers at the CGTA Toronto Gift and Show to discover what’s trending this year in holiday decor - from glam, to looks inspired by nature.

Teal and turquoise continue to be a leader in terms of coloured ornaments, according to Bruce Wright, president of Christmas Tradition wholesale in Mississauga. Their Holiday Reverie tree at the trade show was a showstopper. This stunning tree was decorated in shades of turquoise, greens, blues and silvers, which according to their show brochure, are “reminiscent of sparkling seas with a beautiful combination of colours of aquatic nature making this the perfect collection to create a home holiday getaway.”

The Holiday Reverie tree combined two predominant themes; colour and glam. And nothing is more glamourous for the holidays (as the Three Wisemen knew) than gold and silver, especially when mixed together. “Merdici combines the rich colours of old gold, graphite and precious metals,” states the Christmas Tradition brochure.

“The mix of textures and finishes unite old world appeal with modern decadence.”

New this season is the combination of berry tones, from raspberry and plum to bright fuchsia. Another key trend is to mix several bright colours together - fuchsia, lime green and bright teal ornaments strategically placed on the tree and placed in a clear glass bowl or vase as a tabletop arrangement.

The Muskoka-themed tree is the perfect choice for a family room or cottage setting. Miniature snowshoes, sleighs, toboggans and even woodland creatures like miniature beavers, owls and reindeer are tucked in amongst real twigs and pine boughs to create a just-collected-in-the-woods look.

The new “Natural” theme decor incorporates real works of art found in nature into a modern setting. “The great thing about this look is you use it year round,” says Sophie Fry, who, along with her husband John Klein, owns Botanico Creative Decor and Seasons by Botanico in Mississauga. “Everything we carry is natural. We source the world for natural elements from earth - mostly tree roots and branches from Brazil, Asia, Holland. We whitewash or treat the elements in some way. Our design team custom design natural dried floral arrangements and decor elements for weddings, home and commercial clients. Ten years ago when we started the business decorating was all about the Victorian look. Today people want a cleaner, more modern look. The natural look is flying off the shelves.”

To create the au natural look, Sophie suggests we start with a large wooden circular sphere as the “wow factor” on a coffee table. Next add 7 foot high branches in a tall glass vase to accent a corner. “We can match interior colours to any decor,” explains Sophie. “The colour trend for the holidays is teal blue mixed with silver so we mix natural whitewashed elements with teal or red and sparkle. Then just add some white lights or tea lights. Place some wooden sparkle balls within the tree, rather than hanging them for a more natural look.

"We just came back from Europe and all the garden centres are showing birch or wood that has been whitewashed and mixed with blue - it’s a simple, clean wintery look. After Christmas, replace the blue or red with lime green elements and suddenly it’s Spring.”

Botanico is a wholesale company, but Sophie says their products can be found at several Mississauga floral shops and retailers.

For those of us who are dreaming of a White Christmas, you might want to include some elements from nature or a fresh pop of colour to your decor this year. GL

ABOVE Natural theme from Botanico Creative Decor provides
a more modern look
Photo by Steve Uhraney

The Natural theme
The “Natural” theme decor incorporates real works of art
found in nature in a modern setting.
Photo by Steve Uhraney

Gold & Silver
Gold and silver is a popular colour combination this holiday season,
as seen at Christmas Tradition Wholesale

Photo by Jason Okolisan

Seaside theme
The colour trend this year is teal mixed with silver according to
Sophie Fry from Botanico Creative Decor. Here are some
natural sea-inspired elements.
Photo by Jason Okolisan