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Inside A Classic Home, All Dressed Up For The Holidays

Chatelaine logo Chatelaine 2021-11-25 Maureen Halushak
A Christmas tree in front of a whitewashed brick fireplace, with two brown leather armchairs and a coffee table with a bowl of Christmas ornaments in the foreground © Provided by Chatelaine A Christmas tree in front of a whitewashed brick fireplace, with two brown leather armchairs and a coffee table with a bowl of Christmas ornaments in the foreground

Meg and Trevor first whitewashed, then painted the formerly orange brick fireplace, and added the wood mantel. The Ralph Lauren leather club chairs were a Kijiji find that Meg originally regretted—in part because of the faded, sun-baked leather. She was able to bring it back to life with a Canadian product called Leather Better. All of the throw pillows are sewn by Me g—“If I get in the zone, I can do 25 or more a day”—and available in the store. (Photo: Erik Putz)

When you own a beloved interiors store that’s even more of a destination come Christmas, holiday ennui can be an occupational hazard. Luckily, that’s not the case for Meg Gizuk, who owns Oliver and Rust Vintage Interiors in Fonthill, Ont. Every November, Meg and her team shut down the small shop—known for its carefully curated European vintage wares, locally sourced plants and stunning, made-by-Meg throw pillows—and transform it into a holiday marketplace straight out of a Hallmark movie. Over the course of four 10-hour days, as Christmas classics like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone play in the background, they decorate the space from floor to ceiling with ornaments, greenery, wreaths and giftables. “We have a lot of fun,” says Meg. On reopening day, devoted customers line up at the door for first dibs on the new stock —but one thing they won’t find is this year’s equivalent to 2020’s toilet paper ornament. “I tend not to follow trends,” says Meg. “We do a lot of vintage, a lot of green and a lot of neutrals.”

Meg on the main floor of the home she purchased with her husband, Trevor, 12 years ago. The house, whose original structure dates back to the 1920s, is a perpetual work-in-progress—and the majority of that work has been done by Meg and Trevor themselves. © Provided by Chatelaine Meg on the main floor of the home she purchased with her husband, Trevor, 12 years ago. The house, whose original structure dates back to the 1920s, is a perpetual work-in-progress—and the majority of that work has been done by Meg and Trevor themselves.

Meg on the main floor of the home she purchased with her husband, Trevor, 12 years ago. The house, whose original structure dates back to the 1920s, is a perpetual work-in-progress—and the majority of that work has been done by Meg and Trevor themselves. Most recently, Meg made the bold move of painting the worn hardwood in her entryway white, and she has no regrets. The couple bought the bronze bust in nearby Fenwick, Ont.; it was one of their first joint purchases. (Photo: Erik Putz)

It’s a similar colour story at the semi-rural Cape Cod–style home Meg shares with her husband, Trevor, and five-year-old daughter, Emma, as well as 70-pound rescue dog Rico and senior cat Sammy. (Meg’s shop was named for another beloved kitty, Oliver; rust is a nod to the fact that some of the shop’s vintage items are a little. . . rusty.) Once the storefront’s Christmas-fication is complete, maximalist Meg moves on to her house. On the main floor—site of what she dubs “Mom’s pretty tree”—the year-round palette of green, cream, rust and white is amped up with loads of faux

greenery, vintage (and vintage-looking) ornaments and accents, plus a Where’s Waldo–worthy trove of wintery vignettes. Spotted: a bronze squirrel figurine holding a little bowl of bell ornaments, a sweet ceramic village set on her kitchen windowsill and a Santa doll nestled between some vintage Italian glass carboys.

Top: Meg’s childhood Santa sits next to some vintage Italian carboys once used to transport wine. Bottom left: The white ceramic village, another item Meg snuck home from the store, can be lit up with tea lights.  (Photo: Erik Putz) © Provided by Chatelaine Top: Meg’s childhood Santa sits next to some vintage Italian carboys once used to transport wine. Bottom left: The white ceramic village, another item Meg snuck home from the store, can be lit up with tea lights. (Photo: Erik Putz)

Top: Meg’s childhood Santa sits next to some vintage Italian carboys once used to transport wine. Bottom left: The white ceramic village, another item Meg snuck home from the store, can be lit up with tea lights.

(Photo: Erik Putz)

Meg rotates some of the ornaments she uses from year to year, and swaps in new additions from the shop, like this year’s clear glass balls with gold-and-white leaf detailing. But most decorations make repeat appearances: the elf tree topper was purchased from a local greenhouse the first Christmas she was married, while the aforementioned Santa formerly adorned her childhood bedroom. And a trio of vintage brass deer roam the mantel each winter alongside lots of faux garland and giant pine cones. “Big brass animals are so having a moment right now,” she says.

“We have a lot of squirrels,” says Meg. This bronze one is currently available at the shop. 2. The stag centrepiece in the dining room was a surprise hit last season—“I could not keep him in stock,” she says—and will make a repeat appearance this year. The bowl perched on his antlers can be filled with greenery or ornaments. (Photo: Erik Putz) © Provided by Chatelaine “We have a lot of squirrels,” says Meg. This bronze one is currently available at the shop. 2. The stag centrepiece in the dining room was a surprise hit last season—“I could not keep him in stock,” she says—and will make a repeat appearance this year. The bowl perched on his antlers can be filled with greenery or ornaments. (Photo: Erik Putz)

“We have a lot of squirrels,” says Meg. This bronze one is currently available at the shop. (Photo: Erik Putz)

The former dental hygienist has always been passionate about decorating, and she and Trevor have long shared a love of scouring vintage sales in Canada, the U.S. and beyond. In 2009, inspired by Julie & Julia and also by the purchase of her “forever home,” Meg began blogging about her decor projects. A few years later, she signed the lease on her store after running an Etsy shop and hosting vintage sales out of her garage. Parenthood and the pandemic have put a temporary halt to IRL vintage picking, but, for the time being, there’s no place like home. Last year’s Christmas was a quiet one, but a ridiculously fluffy snowfall set the scene for what Meg says was a perfect day—and a much-needed break from the store. “Retail Christmas is hard on everyone,” she says, so the shop shuts down for a few days before its annual winter sale. But even after the decorations are cleared out, the next Christmas is never far from Meg’s mind. “It’s become such a thing for us at the store,” she says. “We talk about it at least eight months of the year.”

A bronze stag centrepiece on a green table runner on a brown wood table © Provided by Chatelaine A bronze stag centrepiece on a green table runner on a brown wood table

The stag centrepiece in the dining room was a surprise hit last season—“I could not keep him in stock,” she

says—and will make a repeat appearance this year. The bowl perched on his antlers can be filled with greenery or ornaments. (Photo: Erik Putz)

“They’re white but they’re still quirky,” says Meg about these stag and fox busts. © Provided by Chatelaine “They’re white but they’re still quirky,” says Meg about these stag and fox busts.

“They’re white but they’re still quirky,” says Meg about these stag and fox busts.

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