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A Walk Through Christmas Street

by - Sunday, November 13, 2011

Know what really gets me in the mood for the holidays? Christmas Street at The Bay Queen Street location.

The Bay (or Hudson's Bay Company) was founded in 1670 and is Canada's largest retailer and oldest corporation. Every year, they dedicate half of one floor entirely to Christmas decor. It is a collection unlike any other in the world and in my opinion, the best assortment of stylish and quality decorations.

I was invited to a media preview of the six new decor collections, presented by the charming & talented designer Brian Gluckstein*, and my old friend Arren Williams**, Creative Director of Home Furnishings. There was something to suit every taste and I found the decorations surprisingly affordable (even cheaper than HomeSense which is where I usually head for unique decor). Check out the wide variety on offer (and the inspirational vignettes and displays):

The Snow Capped collection featured classic Canadiana and rustic touches but in a more modern palette of bronze, cream, and charcoal grey. This was my favourite collection by far. My top picks: the snow capped trees ($15), bronze trees, and the faux antler candelabra and birch candlesticks. The Bay has come up with some attractive and affordable pre-packaged hostess gifts like the trio of mercury candleholders with serving tray shown at the bottom of the first photo ($30). The moose (keeping warm under the iconic HBC point blanket in shades of grey) unfortunately wasn't for sale ;)

Brian Gluckstein 
I adore this hooded Porter's chair in decadent velvet!

How decadent is this Winter Lilac display! Lilac, lavender, purple and all shades in between are really hot right now in home decor. Paired with gold, the look is regal and sumptuous. My favourite of this collection was the stacked gift ornament in the last photo - perfect as a placecard holder and a takeaway for your guests.

Photo courtesy of Design Maze blog
Regal Holiday is the most traditional of the decor collections. Reds and greens are still the decorating choice for many Canadians but this scheme is kicked up a notch with the introduction of tartans and unexpected elements like pheasant feathers. I especially like the arrangement of berries, feathers, and a wreath on the chandelier. This look is all about abundance and richness, every surface dripping with ornamentation.

If Chloe were to pick a favourite collection, she'd probably agree with Arren and say this was it. Country Charm is homey and full of nostalgia. Felted ornaments, advent calendars and burlap tree skirts can help make your home look cozy for the holidays. The little ones are sure to love the wooly sheep, chippy birds, twine balls, and teeny tiny stockings...who are we kidding, I love them too. 

Yellows and greens and golds, oh my!

The metallic golds and sage greens of the Golden Glow collection were really pretty. I adored the sea glass ornaments and the faux magnolia wreaths which provided just the right hint of colour against the soft muted pearl ornaments.. The styling is this display was especially impressive. The oversized urn with Wedgewood detailing was just gorgeous and the yellow china worked so well with the tablescape.

And what's Christmas without a bit of icy chill? The Arctic Wonder collection definitely lends a modern vibe to your holiday decor. When I see these cool blues and turquoises punctuated by shiny silvers and sparkling crystals, I think stylish celebration. And did you notice the chandelier dripping with crystal ornaments? What a fabulous idea.

In fact, there were so many great decorating ideas to be found on Christmas Street. I am itching to pull out all my holiday decor and put up the Christmas tree - and maybe make a trip to The Bay for some shiny new ornaments to liven things up!

Which look is your favourite? Are you a traditional red & green kind of gal, or are the trendy tints pulling you in?

* recognize that bathroom floor on the home page of Brian Gluckstein's site? Yes, that was the main inspiration for my own bathroom tile carpet.
**Arren is a former stylist and blogger. Its quite obvious that his stylist's eye and mad vignette skills have had a remarkable influence on The Bay's product displays. Well done Arren! 

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