This Christmas is going to be a little different. With vacation and party plans on hold, and extended family get-togethers held over Zoom, many of us will be leaning in to the comforts of home like never before. This is especially true for designer Alison Milne: her home’s Scandinavian-inspired hygge makes it an ideal setting for cocooning with her nearest and dearest, including husband Zack and children Tate, 5, and Oona, 2.
The family lives in a 120-year-old, three-storey brick Edwardian in Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighborhood. “My vision for this house was different from any other project I had worked on because it began with an emotional connection rather than an aesthetic direction,” says Alison, the principal and owner of design firm and contemporary art gallery Alison Milne Co. When redesigning the 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom house, she prioritized the creation of comforting, nostalgic and playful spaces. Rooms were filled with light yet grounded by organic materials.
Alison’s design decisions were also made with an eye to sustainability and longevity. “I wanted to create a space where you don’t have to think about efficiency and quality, you just feel it every day,” she says. “Sustainable building to me meant creating a home that would protect its dwellers through the decades and get even better with age.” When it’s time to layer festive flourishes into rooms for the season, her decorations lean toward sustainability, too. “My approach to holiday decorating is exactly the same as everything I do in design,” says Alison. “I want to know the makers, I support emerging talent, and I carefully collect pieces that are timeless, made with love and can be passed down or reused.”
Scroll down to tour this sustainable Christmas sanctuary in the city.