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It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally built my first gingerbread house. It was a messy affair with a number of cousins, nieces and nephews crowded around my grandparents' living room coffee table, eager to turn the standard kit into a work of art. The resulting house was far from classy, but it was kitschy and made with love.

When I spotted these chic table settings in House & Home's November 2010 issue, I realized that even gingerbread houses could be stylish. Homeowner Stephanie McPherson's sister crafted a house for each person at the dinner table, acting as a placecard, complete with trees and hood moulding, too! This Christmas Eve I hope to tackle another gingerbread house, this time inspired by the sophisticated creations I've seen.

A-frames and Swedish style houses are so adorable! A candy cane door frame and double bows create a cute façade. And how about that chimney on the right?

Simple white designs of dots and stripes can work wonders.

This one even has baked-in muntins.

Or get fancy with wide scrollwork patterns!

Need a bit of colour? Coordinate your candy colours with your holiday decor like designer Lindsay Mens did for her home on the left. Or pipe green icing for winter foliage, as was done on this home inspired by Toronto's Rosedale neighbourhood.

Still not enough colour? Use coloured icing and whimsical patterns for a kid-friendly look.

Whether you plan to make something small and cutesy or over-the-top, have fun building a gingerbread house (or two) with your family and friends!

I know I won't be whipping up anything close to this Brooklyn brownstone made by Renee, author of Kitchen Table Scraps. Even the "snow" has been pushed into the corners of the stairs...

But these mini houses that perch on a mug don't look so hard! Can't wait to try it with sugar cookie dough.

To learn how to make a gingerbread house without a kit, watch this Online TV segment and read this blog with extra tips.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
2, 5b, 7b. Martha Stewart

3a. Cake Journal
3b. Taste.com.au
4. Globetrotter Diaries
5a. House & Home November 2008 issue, photography by Stacey Brandford
6a. Lollipops Sugar Shoppe
6b. Ladies' Home Journal
7a. Bon Appetit
8. Kitchen Table Scraps
9. Not Martha

Author: 

Seema Persaud

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