Irving House’s twist on Christmas tradition: apple garlands

Those seeking ideas for sustainable decorations this Christmas, should cast their eye to the keepers of the past. New Westminster’s Irving House museum is profiled on Gardenwise for their unusual twist on a traditional garland that uses real apples for a beautiful and memorable look.

At Irving House in New Westminster the halls really are decked with boughs of holly — and lots of other traditional accents that transform the home into a celebration of a Victorian Christmas.

There are probably not many better places to evoke the spirit of the season than at this heritage home, where visitors are transported back to the 1860s and the ambiance of Victorian times.

Full instructions (and more illustrations of these lovely and eco-friendly decorations) are on Gardenwise .

The pinnacle of guest room perfection – in New West!

In a recent Globe & Mail column, Vancouver-based HGTV designer Kelly Deck draws on the example of a New Westminster friend’s home to illustrate dos and don’ts of guest room decor :

For seven years, Gillian has been ceaselessly redecorating the interior of her New Westminster home. Last Sunday, we ascended a narrow fir staircase to a room where Gillian has created a warm and romantic retreat for the guests she and Michael are expecting this holiday season. As is her habit, the room is a clever blend of old and new, with a general air of welcome.

As I drove home that afternoon, I thought about why Gillian’s guest room felt right and well thought out, while those in many other homes (ones by designers included) often feel wrong. I think she’s got a few easy do’s and don’ts for us.

Sounds very Queen’s Park to me! Seriously though, I do think that many homes here in New West aspire to that “clever blend of old and new, with a general air of welcome.” Deck never says that her friend Gillian owns a heritage home, but the “narrow fir staircase” and the aim to blend old with new hints at it.

For those who are wondering, the tips in the article include:

  • Give guests room to store their junk
  • Don’t be too feminine
  • Buy good sheets
  • Smash that cheap ceiling light
  • Don’t skip the window finishes
  • Resist putting family photos on the wall
  • Remember the thoughtful touches

From the photo with the article, this is indeed a stellar example of a guest room. Gillian from New West has even framed a collection of cheeky poems as the wall art! Kudos to Gillian. Wonder what other gems local decorating divas have concocted …