Tattoos, Race Cars and Happy Little Elves…Oh My

Make your guests oooh and aahh 


“Decorating with personality isn’t a euphemism for clutter”

The holidays are coming, and if that makes you want to pretend you’re a Jehovah’s Witness so no one expects you to do anything, you’re…a bit of a weirdo. But even if you’re not exactly Kris Kringle, you still don’t want to look like you’ve just given up when it comes to holiday home décor. Whether you like it or not, people are probably going to come by, and you want them to oooh and aahh at how you’ve spruced the place up, not wrinkle up their noses like Rudolph just left a few Yule logs on the carpet.

Tattoos, Race Cars and Happy Little Elves…Oh My

So just how can a design-savvy urbanite get their space into the spirit of the season without breaking balls – or banks? Grab a glass of good, strong egg nog and pull on your thinking cap – the green one with the bells – and read our home interior design ideas for the holidays.


  1. Don’t try to outdo the Griswolds. Less is more when it comes to decorating your home for the holidays, especially when you have a small space. Condo owners take note: if you don’t have room for the traditional half-the-coniferous-greenery-in-Labrador theme, simply changing the look of your accessories can make a big impact. Now’s the time to bring out those big faux-fur custom pillow cases, plush knitted throws, and boldly coloured or shimmery table runners to add texture and warmth to your existing furnishings.

2. Be yourself. One of the rock-solid principles of design is that a great interior should express the personality of its owner. So if you like race cars and tattoos, why the hell are you shopping for cider-scented tapers at Williams-Sonoma? Why aren’t you doing a crèche with Baby Jesus in a race car bed while Joseph gets a celebratory tattoo? Proper holiday décor should reflect your own tastes and desires while still nodding to the season. One caveat: ‘personality’ isn’t a euphemism for ‘clutter’. Try suspending festive paper garlands (or garlands of boxwood, cedar, pinecones, condoms, whatever) from the ceiling so they don’t take up space on flat surfaces.

3. Seize the moment. When the cold weather hits, it’s a great time to change things up in ways you won’t regret in the spring (unlike the day after boozing it up at the company Christmas party, when you realize it must have been bad because everyone is staring at you). If you’re not ready for a full home makeover, winter is a good time to add a single, luxe item, or even reupholster a favourite couch in a rich fabric that can be accessorized appropriately as the weather changes.


4. Be cool. Your holiday focal point doesn’t have to be a tree; it can be a fireplace mantel, coffee table, or even the wall. But the kids want a tree and they’re saying ‘Can we have a tree? Can we have a tree? Can we have a tree?’ until you want to jab an icicle light into your jugular. The appropriate response is Okay, no problem, you can have a %*&^! tree, but I’m the grown up, so I get to choose wicked cool ornaments. If they don’t like it, just make them watch Santa Claus Is Coming To Town until their eyes bleed.

5. Embrace all areas of the house. It’s no good to have a glam living room makeover then usher your guests into the same old boring little girls’ room; trade up your towels for rich reds and forest greens, keep it smelling good with aromatic soaps (try sandalwood, vanilla, cranberry, pine); you can even add some festive cheer by switching out the bathroom doorknob for a crystal one, from which you can hang all kinds of goodies.

And if all else fails and you still have no f%*#ing clue what to do, call us, we got that shit covered!


Terry Edward Briceland

The Co-Founder & Creative Dictator of teb Interiors.  Terry is best known from his many appearances on HGTV and W Network television programs.  teb Interiors offers complete Interior Design services plus they specialize in custom sewing and upholstery, servicing throughout the GTA.   The firm is known for its edgy, controversial designs and for creating truly one of a kind show pieces that are guaranteed to get the conversation going.

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teb Interiors

201W-639 Queen Street West

Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2B7


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