Christmas decorating and entertaining ideas

From decorating to entertaining ideas, we're your one-stop online holiday resource. Get into the spirit now!


Need ideas for decorating and entertaining this holiday season? Look no further than this collection of seasonal articles, covering everything from decorating to gift-wrapping to entertaining.

• A Christmas tree guide
Learn how to choose and care for the perfect tree.

• 10 steps to a meaningful Christmas
Design diva Kimberley Seldon shares the two lists she has made for the holidays -- one from the heart and one for the home.

• Decorating: A cosy, country Christmas
Add rustic charm to your holiday setting.

• Inspirational holiday decorating
Get a stylist's advice for making your festive creations and decorations beautiful.

• Festive flowers
Follow our guide to holiday decorating with amaryllis and paperwhites.

• 10 tips for seasonal style on a budget
Stylist, decorator and TV personality Stephen Fermoyle shares his tips on getting the look for less.

• Holiday decorating: Beauty on a budget
With a spark of imagination, holiday decorating can be inspired yet inexpensive.

• Design lesson: Decorating the fireplace
Tips for styling your holiday mantel.

• Simple inspirations
Deck your halls with these easy and elegant decorating ideas.

• 20 festive fix-ups
Make your home its holiday best with simple but sensational holiday hints.

• Design lesson: A festive entrance
Inspired ideas that will leave your foyer brimming with holiday cheer.

• Design lesson: A festive entrance
Inspired ideas that will leave your foyer brimming with holiday cheer.

Shopping and gift giving
• Project: Peppermint candy stick
This easy craft adds a beautiful touch to gift-wrapped packages.

• 8 Christmas gifts for under $50
Keep your holiday budget under control with these 8 chic gifts for under $50.

• 10 great gifts from Canadian artisans
Give the gift of originality this Christmas with these 10 great gifts made by Canadian artisans.

• 10 gifts for food lovers
Treat the foodies on your list to fabulous gifts they're sure to love this Christmas season.

• Wine & spirits: Gifts for the host
Show your hosts how much you appreciate them with one of these thoughtful gifts.
• Organizing 101: Countdown to Christmas
Make your holiday preparations as pleasurable as possible with our helpful checklist.

• Organizing 101: Holiday hot spots
Get your home (and yourself) ready for Christmas in no time at all with this efficient approach.

• Organizing 101: 30 holiday clutter busters
Get organized for the holidays (and throughout the year) with our clutter-busting, time-saving, space-maximizing tips.

• Surviving the holidays
Get through the holidays without losing your cool.

• How do you handle being a holiday hostess?
Real Canadian women share their tips for hosting a holiday soiree with elegance and ease.

• Nice and easy -- and nonalcoholic
A great holiday drink can be both appealing and alcohol-free.

• Winning wines
The authors of Have a Glass debunk some wine myths and help simplify your selection at the liquor store.

• How to welcome guests in styleThe author of A Gracious Welcome shares some ideas for making houseguests feel right at home.

Tradition and Function: The Plantation Shutter

by Matt Goering

If you're looking for a classic combination of traditional interior design and effective, functional window coverings, look no further. The plantation shutter is one of the most proven window coverings you're ever going to find. It provides privacy, protection, great looks, and convenient use, all rolled up into one. For rock solid performance and reliability, you can't beat the shutter that inspired them all: the plantation shutter.
What Is a Plantation Shutter? 

Conjure up visions of interior window shutters, and in all likelihood, that's a plantation shutter you're looking at. Their standard makeup consists of multiple rows of horizontal wood slats with a single vertical bar running down the center. The center bar is attached to the slats so that moving it up or down allows you to open or close the shutters for privacy, and adjust the amount of light you let into the room.
Benefits of the Plantation Shutter

Most homeowners choose to install these interior shutters because of their classic, traditional appearance. Plantation shutters offer a number of other benefits, however, that are often overlooked by homeowners shopping for quality window coverings.

Interior Design— Contrary to window shades, blinds, and other window coverings, window shutters can be painted to perfectly match, or contrast, your interior design scheme. Few other window coverings offer that versatility when it comes to enhancing the interior aesthetics of your home.

Insulation— There's a reason Victorian homes incorporated both window shutters and curtains when it came to window coverings. While curtains set the tone for the room, window shutters provided an extra layer of insulation against what were often leaky and inefficient panes of glass. While today's windows are much more energy efficient and leak free, a plantation shutter still provides an extra layer of insulation. That's a big plus in a time when energy efficiency is a top homeowner concern.

Light Control— Besides design considerations and insulation, a plantation window shutter also provides a level of light control that few window coverings offer. By adjusting your slats to the proper position, you can let in as much, or as little, light as you want. When you add to that the attractive, traditional looks of plantation style window shutters, there's really no better alternative than these timeless window coverings.