Photography by Angus Fergusson
When it comes to holiday decorating, lush fabrics, warm accents and a moody palette keep things cozy.
At lifestyle expert and TV personality Liv Judd Soye's house, the holidays don't kick in to high gear until Christmas Eve, when she sets a pot of clove- and almond-scented gløgg, or mulled wine, to simmer on the stove and everyone unwraps a fresh set of pajamas. These traditions—a combination of her Norwegian and British heritage, as well as the Irish roots of her husband, Brian Soye, and the customs she's starting with their two young daughters, Malin, 4, and Vendela, 2—are the most important part of the family's celebrations. "Having deep-rooted traditions is something that ties us together and helps us feel connected to family back home in Norway and Ireland," she says.
Homeowners Liv Judd Soy and Brian Soye with their kids, Vendela and Malin.
That European background, and her childhood years spent in northern Saskatchewan, also helped shape her glam but relaxed esthetic. The family's midtown Toronto home features warm woods, dark walls and mixed metals. "I like glamour, but I don't want anything to look too perfect. My trick is to add in a few unexpected twists," she says.
For the holidays, Judd Soye plays up this palette, mixing gilded elements with black-and-white patterns to create a dazzling look that carries throughout the house.
Go for gold
In the family room, luxurious grey walls make for a dramatic backdrop. Reflective, shining accents add elegance, while a contemporary tufted sofa and a raw-wood coffee table have a grounding presence.
Style tip: If you have a fake tree, add in a few real twigs, gathered from the backyard or a local park, for visual interest, texture and added fullness.
Accessories are the easiest way to add sparkle for the holidays. But don't feel obligated to strictly stick to gold tones. "Layering a mix of metallic shades makes a space feel less opulent and more current," says Judd Soye.
Penguin sculpture, stocking hangers and stockings, homesense.ca.
Everything from kid-friendly "crafternoons" to family gatherings happens in the kitchen, so this long, narrow space needed a clean, pared-down galley layout. Cabinetry and appliances run along one wall, helping it feel airy and spacious, as does the abundant natural light. The walls and cabinets are painted in similar hues, which gives the illusion of space, while the island offers plenty of seating—and some extra storage.
Shiny and bright
Glass-front uppers put Judd Soye's prettiest dishes and glassware on display, but solid lower cabinets are a must for wrangling clutter. Black-and-white stripes are a recurring motif throughout the home; here, they pop against the light-colour cabinetry and countertops.
Gold-plated three-tiered tray, homesense.ca.
Small, eclectic vignettes—like this agate tray, which holds ornaments and a mini bottle of bubbly—add personality and an extra hit of shine.
A decorative shallow bowl filled with ornaments is festive (and easy to execute!). Mix up the patterns for a playful vibe, but keep your palette restrained for maximum impact.
Bowl and ornaments, homesense.ca.
Dressed to impress
A dedicated dressing room might seem like a luxury, but this multi-use space does it all. The converted attic loft, just steps up from the master bedroom, houses wall-to-wall closets, the master bath, a nook for Judd Soye's office and a space for her girls to play when she's getting ready for the day.
In Vendela's room, an oversize reindeer (adorned with a playful wreath) adds a toddler-friendly holiday touch.
Style tip: Design a space your child can grow in to. The striped chair and saturated rug will work in a more grown-up bedroom just as well as they do in this nursery.
Felt banner, faux sheepskin, reindeer, felt wreath and rug, homesense.ca.
Playful patterns and a colourful gallery wall are fun counterpoints to the sharp grey-and-black palette in Malin's room.
Quilt, sheets, white metal trunks and rugs, homesense.ca.
A sweet pom-pom garland adds an unexpected hit of merriment to a vintage dresser.