Lush Boughs Give This Georgian Home A Dose Of Holiday Cheer
Millar House is a grande dame in Port Dover, occupying a prominent position in town, and in the hearts of locals. Its owners, floral and interior designer Cynthia Zamaria and her husband, Graham Loughton, who works in market research, believe they are but stewards caring for this beautiful piece of history. The 5,000-square-foot Georgian home was built in 1857, so the couple started renovating immediately.
Today, architectural features gleam while vintage and big-box furniture and accessories mingle effortlessly with bespoke millwork and to-die-for floral arrangements. Cynthia’s love of locally grown, organic and seasonal florals is apparent in her pared-back approach to Christmas decorating. Often foraged from the property, seasonal boughs and berries quietly find their way into almost every room, highlighting the home’s architectural beauty. “For me, the holidays are about clementines, natural boughs and greenery that make the house smell wonderful,” she says.
Scroll down to step inside this heritage holiday home.
Hang wreaths with black grosgrain ribbon for a sophisticated take on holiday style.
Cynthia in her coach house turned design studio. “We wanted the understated elegance of an English country home and the creativity of a French atelier — something classic mixed with a bit of zip,” she says about her vision for the heritage home.
After the brick wall was exposed during the renovation, Cynthia decided it was a perfect backdrop for an English scullery-inspired kitchen.
“For Christmas, we don’t overdo it; it’s an understated display of holiday,” says Cynthia. “I like things more restrained. We just want to give her a little bit of blush. Most of the greenery is foraged from the property for a very natural look.”
Simple lights adorn the Christmas tree. The dining room and kitchen were relocated and connected to better suit the couple’s casual approach to entertaining. Large groups of friends and family can now be accommodated in the heart of the home.
Cynthia and Graham in their home office. The antique desk once belonged to Graham’s grandfather.
Fill baskets with small evergreens left bare and cut boughs for a lush yet relaxed look.
Key items in inky hues help ground the home office.
Cynthia decorated the living room with family heirlooms, including the cast-iron urn (far left) and convex mirror. A 1960s sofa from Eaton’s finds new life reupholstered in grey linen.
An arrangement of dried ‘Coral Fountain’ amaranth from Cynthia’s summer garden is complemented by rust-colored carnations and red winterberries.
The living room’s feature wall is filled with color. This joyful mix of art is a combination of the work of established artists, thrift store finds and pieces from family members.
A romantic bevelled-glass mirror puts a decorative spin on a classic bathroom scheme of glossy white subway tile and polished nickel fixtures.
Although the articulated wall lights are new, the brass finish gives them a vintage vibe. The bedrooms are joined by Jack and Jill bathrooms that were added to the home in the 1930s.