Upon entering this distinctly beautiful Bermudian home, one is left with no doubt as to the season. White candles glow beside mirrors and silver Christmas figurines, while green and red seasonal keepsakes and decorations catch the eye and invite visitors to come in and share in the merriment. Christmas is definitely nearing, and the owner of this stunning home invites us in to tell us the stories behind her sophisticated yet inviting seasonal décor.
In the front hall, guests are met by a white glow emanating from two matching glass consul tables with symmetrical mirrors. The yellow glow of candlelight reflects around the room and is complemented by both natural and painted silver bamboo palms, creating a beautiful first impression, especially at night. And as the owner points out, the look is not only elegant, but also easy to create: greenery from the garden effortlessly yields a natural, but festive look that is both cost effective and long lasting.
Next, the owner ushers us into the kitchen, a warm and inviting space that is clearly the hub of the household’s activity. With three boys, the family is constantly busy, particularly around the holidays, and it is here that the family comes to enjoy informal meals and each other’s company. The room is warm and bright and smells of the Italian favourite panettone. Classic, indulgent Christmas treats such as mince pies, eggnog and croissants are favourites of the boys and are always on hand during the holiday season.
And the décor of the room only enhances its warm atmosphere. Cheery red and green hues are present throughout the space, from votives filled with cranberries to red orchid branches that adorn the countertop. But it is the small round breakfast table that is the centre of the theme. Green placemats complement red napkins enhanced with small sprigs of Bermuda cedar, while an angel chime holds the position of centrepiece.
Originally a Swedish tradition, the chime works when the heat from the candles rotating around it makes the bells ring. In fact, the owner had such a chime growing up, making this one, which was a special gift from a friend, particularly meaningful. And for a touch of fun, each place setting is completed by a cracker ball, a new twist on the classic English Christmas cracker. The cracker balls contain layers of tissue paper that, when unravelled, reveal a small prize or toy, much to the delight of the ones opening them.
Upon leaving the kitchen, guests are shown into the more formal dining and living room, which is elegantly decorated in the silver and white tones that adorn the front hall. The dining table features silver reindeer and Christmas trees at its centre, as well as votive candles and single white roses near each place. The elegant, formal look is completed by Venetian glass antique plates set on top of cut mirrored placemats. And for a final touch, silver place card holders create a subtle Bermudian flair.
The room itself is painted in ice blue and white, colours which lend themselves perfectly to the silver accents, crystal and glass and light winter hues that create the seasonal theme. And in an elegant continuation of the use of Bermudian greenery, the mantle is decorated with a mix of local foliage, gold painted starfish and pine cones.
The next room is the family room, second only to the kitchen in its role as a household gathering place. The room is large, with high ceilings, and features traditional Bermudian architecture and design, complete with cedar beams. It is naturally decorated in red and brown tones to complement the cedar wood, and now these colours are enhanced even further by the presence of red and green decorations and Christmas stockings, as well as a huge Christmas tree that stands near the door.
In keeping with the theme of greenery throughout the house, small tables are topped with natural decorations, such as a bowl of pine cones and walnuts and a floral arrangement that is made up of red roses, peonies and greenery and enhanced by a gold pedestal vase. And to accent the colours and architecture of the room even further, red cushions and yellow lights can be seen throughout the space, and gold angels adorn the fireplace, where a fire burns in the grate. Indeed, the room is so warm and welcoming in its atmosphere that guests cannot help but feel comfortable.
But there are two aspects of the decoration that bring the family room its true Christmas spirit: the stockings that hang above the fireplace and the Christmas tree with its many ornaments, each with its own respective story.
The Christmas stockings are handmade with red and green yarn, and each is personalised with the name of its owner. When asked about the story of these stockings, the owner happily explains that when she and her husband were children, they each treasured their respective stocking so much that when they married, both received their stockings as gifts from their mothers. And even more incredibly, the couple later discovered that both stockings had coincidentally come from the same seamstress. And so to continue this special family tradition, the couple had the same style of stocking made for each of their children.
Although the Christmas tree is impressively tall, the lofty ceilings of the room allow ample space for this ultimate adornment. And for all its size, the tree certainly isn’t hampered by extra space among its ornaments. It is decorated from top to bottom with ornaments of all kinds that the family has collected over the years. There are those that were made by the children when they were young, those that the family has brought home from every town ever visited and those that were gifts from extended family. Champagne corks have been made into ornaments to mark various special occasions, and each child has several of his own ornaments, which were either received as gifts or collected. For example, one son’s godparents have given him a sterling silver cross ornament each year. But particularly eye-catching are the ornaments at the top of the tree; they are all silver. The crosses are placed among the silver ornaments made annually by Walker Christopher, which the family has long collected. And the effect is lovely; the silver shines in the yellow light of the room and begs guests to wonder about the story of such a stunning tree and its ornaments. For good reason, the ornaments are the most important element of the family’s Christmas decorations.
From inside the cozy family room, guests can enjoy the effect of the yellow lights that, along with simple wreaths and greenery, decorate the outside of the house and outdoor patio area. As the light shines in through the windows, the warm, elegant theme of this home at Christmas is completed, creating an atmosphere that truly embodies the welcoming and festive nature of the season.