his tree, unlike its glittery coun-
terpart upstairs, is less razzle-
dazzle and more homely, deco-
rated in ornaments collected
throughout the years and across
several continents, trophies of
the couple’s travels around the
world. “;e tree upstairs is a re;ection of our collec-
tive spunk and zest for life; the tree downstairs is a
celebration of our life together,” explains Barbara.
Indeed, the couple is well-travelled, and their
ornament collection comprises trinkets from Italy,
Kenya, the United Kingdom, Austria and elsewhere.
Each Christmas, favourite ornaments make an ap-
pearance for the umpteenth time while new ones are
While the smaller tree in the den isn’t homemade,
the theme of homemade holiday décor runs through-
out the house. Chris and Barbara are well-known for
turning something nature produced into something
artistic and stylish for their home, especially during
the holidays. Bay grape leaves, glamorously trans-
formed by gold spray paint, are arranged in the shape
of a wreath and adorn the wall above the mantel
in the formal dining room. Atop the mantel is an
arrangement of clippings from casuarina and pit-
tosporum plants found on the couple’s property. But
the real pièce de résistance in the formal dining room
is the chandelier that Chris made using the roots of a
“;e chandelier is a ;xed feature in our home.
Chris made it when we couldn’t ;nd an a;ordable
one we liked. At Christmas we string it with lights
and hang decorations from it,” says Barbara. ;is
Christmas, silver reindeer and glass icicles hang from
the cedar roots, which jut out in all directions high
above the decorated table.
;e handmade table settings are marked with
The pièce de
the dining room:
from the roots
of a cedar tree.
with fairy lights and
various white and
While an elegant
wreath made from
grape leaves hangs
over the fireplace.