Modern Holiday Home Decor

Tamara Wouters helps a new family decorate for the holidays and the results are worth a double take

Credit: Kim Christie

After their family doubled with the birth of identical twin girls, a couple starts from scratch to get their new East Vancouver home furnished – and decked for the holidays – with plenty of help from interior designer Tamara Wouters


The Designer

Inspiration can come from anywhere, says Tamara Wouters, but often it’s the space itself. A large wall in the home screamed for something oversized. The answer: a hot-pink painting by Wouter’s sister, Kim Johnston. It was the launching point for the home’s colour scheme.

Hot pink, jet black and jolts of lime may be an unconventional mix – especially for the holidays – but the audacious hues, says interior designer Tamara Wouters, weren’t “pushing boundaries” for Morgan Tincher and Kimberlee Alexander, a gregarious couple who loves to entertain. When Wouters first worked with the pair, they were living in a condo in Coal Harbour, but with twins on the way, the couple quickly traded downtown glamour for a spacious townhouse in the family-friendly Hastings-Sunrise ’hood. Once they took possession of the townhouse, the couple called on Wouters to reprise her role and furnish their new space.

“We started fresh and couldn’t wait to create a family-friendly home without compromising on style,” says Alexander.

Months later, Wouters was hired again, this time to inject the space with festive flair. She notes that people don’t typically hire a designer to deck their home for the holidays, but twins Ada and Chloe were just six months old and the couple had agreed to host the festivities for extended family.

“Since it was the girls’ first Christmas, we really wanted to make it special,” says Alexander. “Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and since we now had the space, I knew I wanted the biggest tree possible.”

Wouters set the stage for the holiday season by echoing the home’s look-at-me colour scheme. The towering tree was purchased with pre-strung lights and despite its dusting of faux snow, the flocked fir is real and infuses the home with the scent of the season. It’s a modern winter scene – and a fresh take for a new family.

Credit: Kim Christie

The Family


“I love to cook,” says Alexander, “and Morgan is very social so we make a good pair. Plus, with having an ‘instant’ family, we were not as mobile as we once were. Like our family, the number of dinner parties has also doubled.”

TIP: With six-month-old twins, who has time to bake? The snow-white gingerbread houses were made by Geek Sweets.

Credit: Kim Christie

The Dining Room


“I like the drama with the two larger chairs and the bench,” says Wouters. With a table this large, she says, the tufted bench helps break up the space; otherwise there would be too many chairs. It also invites guests to be more casual and conversational, which suits the homeowners’ relaxed approach to entertaining. The black pendant lamps continue the colour theme and add “bang for their buck,” while the tablescape is one of the holiday vignettes Wouters likes to create, rather than solely focusing on a tree.

TIP: Create a floral centrepiece that has staying power: amaryllis and orchids are modern and wintry; spruce and cedar greenery add fragrance and texture.

Click to learn how to make this centrepiece yourself

Credit: Kim Christie

The Living Room


“Morgan really wanted a big sectional,” says Wouters, “but the layout didn’t lend itself to it.” Instead, Wouters compromised with the extra-long sofa and oversized storage ottoman she custom-made and wrapped with durable black vinyl “snakeskin.” Feet can rest on top; inside, the girls’ toys are hidden away, allowing an easy transition from kids’ time to adult time.

Wouters chose the wooden “alphabet” cabinet for its eclectic appeal and decked the top with greenery, candles and lots of lights. It almost functions as a mantelpiece, backdropped with a painting in the home’s chic pink-lime-black combo.