Creating home sale-worthy holiday decor

Selling your home at the holidays? You can still add a little Christmas cheer

Simply elegant holiday decor like this tree and fireplace setting at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel

While having your home for sale over the holidays may not seem ideal, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a festive flair to your space.

The key is keeping the decor welcoming and uncluttered, and designed to allow easy movement around your home.

“Classically simple is sort of my motto,” says Cory Hewko, from Cory’s Designs, who has brought the holidays to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel for  several years. Outside Oak Bay, Hewko also lends her creative eye to a number of other restaurants, hotels and businesses around town. “If you’re trying to sell your home you want something that’s easy,” she suggests.

Creating an inviting atmosphere begins with the outside, and can include a simple treatment of lights and wreath.

“I love the classic wreath, I really do,” Hewko says, but notes it is important to remember the scale of your home. A tiny wreath on a large front door will look just as out of place as one that is too large.

“Really keep in mind the scale of what you’re working with.”

When applying lights, Hewko suggests having them lit, and to do it later in the afternoon to give yourself a better idea of what you’re creating. “Lights are warm and welcoming,” she notes.

While natural greenery can add a festive feel to the outside of your home, Hewko opts for artificial inside, simply because it lasts and looks lovely throughout the season. To it she adds a variety of natural ingredients, such as branches, pine cones and – especially here in Oak Bay – acorns.

“I tend to work with really natural ingredients,” Hewko says.

Following our recent winter windstorms, a simple walk around the neighbourhood or garden will likely net a few key decorating pieces, or look to your local florist for a few ideas. And don’t be afraid to mix it up. Different trees offer different colours and textures that used together can create visual interest.

Hewko also suggests people think beyond the standard tree in the living room when it comes to their decorating.

“It’s nice to have a hint of Christmas, whatever that is, in each room.”

For example, you might have a vase of long-lasting, easy-care amaryllis in the kitchen or a small bowl of red berries on the bathroom counter. “When you walk into the house or room, where does your eye naturally fall?” Hewko asks.

And you won’t go wrong with a little red.

“Red is a classic Christmas colour,” she says, pointing to the simple red bows on the hotel’s outside greenery as an example.

“It’s like the earrings for the little black dress – it just finishes it off.”


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