Our final issue for 2022 offers holiday inspiration, fabulous East Coast art and delicious local flavours
I love decorating for Christmas. My holiday style isn’t extravagant. We put up a few outdoor lights and a wreath on the door. Inside, in addition to our tree, you’ll find splashes of red and greenery here and there, and pine scented candles. Everything is typically up by early December, as I want ample time to enjoy it.
When we asked homeowners Paula Mullen and Mike Ungar if they would consider decorating a bit early this year for our photographer, the Nova Scotian couple was happy to get a head start on their holiday preparations. Their unique new home is nestled in a forested landscape and offers a modern yet traditional feel, which you can see in the festive photos featured in our cover story (“Classic and modern,” page 20).
If you pick up East Coast Living for the homes, you’re in for a special treat. From city chic to rural retro, this edition has a bit of everything. I particularly enjoy stories about historic homes. In this issue, writer Elizabeth Whitten writes about Susan Drover’s 129-year-old Newfoundland home (“Heritage home meets Nordic chic,” page 14). Drover is the founder of a design studio in St. John’s and provides some wonderful tips for decorating. Also in this issue is a 122-year-old Acadian family home on Nova Scotia’s Surette’s Island. Guy and Patsy Surette’s house, known as “Le Logis des Abbes,” has been in the family for three generations. It’s especially notable at Christmastime, when Patsy turns the property into a picture-perfect holiday card (“Retro, country charm,” page 10).
One of the things I love about historic homes are their stone fireplaces. Although not always the most energy efficient, a fireplace is still a timeless focal point for a room. When you see a traditional Christmas living room, doesn’t it always have stockings hung on a rustic old stone fireplace? Check out Janet Whitman’s article on the age-old classic (“Building with stone,” page 30).
COVID restrictions limited our last few Christmas celebrations, so I suspect many people are looking forward to entertaining this year. In this issue, writer Colleen Thompson put together an amazing sample charcuterie board full of local ingredients and ideas (“Get on board,” page 38). She also offers up some fun holiday punch recipes using local flavours and spirits (“Add some punch to your holiday celebration,” page 42). And as the chilly winter weather takes hold, we have a great hot toddy recipe using local tea and moonshine for you to try (“Winter warmer,” page 44).
The East Coast has no shortage of gifted young artists. In this issue we feature three. See our articles on Alexandria Mass (“Wild and wooly,” page 34), Alex Sutcliffe (“Art reimagined,” page 36) and Natalie Esther (“Art reflecting life,” page 46).
This holiday will be a different one for some Atlantic Canadian homeowners as post-hurricane Fiona cleanup continues in many areas. Although my property in Halifax experienced nothing more than a few downed branches, many homes were severely damaged, and some destroyed. Landscapes are forever changed. This was a fall we will not soon forget.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!
“The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what kind of a year you’ve had — it’s a fresh start.” — Kelly Clarkson