Homes Photo Credit: Joel Klasses, Klassen Photography

We Love This Scandinavian-Inspired Holiday Look

Designer Aly Velji mixes patterns and textures for a cheerful, playful (and festive!) style.

Tribal accents and a Scandinavian aesthetic don’t necessarily call Christmas to mind. But then, interior designer Alykhan Velji wasn’t exactly thinking of the holidays back in June, when he worked on this suite for the new Rockford Axis in Walden development. “The concept was to create a home that was modern Scandinavian,” he says—think mixed textures, rustic woods and Velji’s signature: played-up patterns.

Fast forward a few months and we’re all about baubles and bows—Velji included. So the designer partnered with Rockford on Homefront for the Holidays, returning to deck these halls once again and make “modern nordic” look a little more North Pole. “You don’t need to do a whole lot to decorate for the holidays,” he explains. “It can be as simple as changing out a few pillows and adding holiday greens and small, festive touches.”

The newly decked out suite was open to the public for three weekends, with donations going to benefit Homefront Calgary. But in the spirit of the season, Velji chatted with WL to discuss the home’s functional, timeless design—and how it adapts to the season.

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Sleek Storage

Velji’s favorite piece in the suite? That black metal side board takes pride of place in the living room. “The best thing about it is that it has glass on the doors, allowing it to work as a media unit or a place to feature a curated collection of accessories and books,” Velji says. For this time of year, he chose to top it with a vase of fragrant greens.


High Drama

“The reason for wallpaper is to create a statement,” Velji says, “so I say go bold.” This graphic wallpaper (Oblique by Cole and Son) fits the bill, plus calls attention to the bedroom’s high ceilings. Velji loves the dramatic print with its pop of gold, which has a warming effect for the whole room.

“Because the wallpaper is so bold, we went with more subtlety in all the other elements,” he explains. “The bedding is kept to white and grey, all furniture pieces are white, and the bed is a soft wood tone, allowing the wallpaper to be the stand out.” The muted palette also makes the perfect backdrop for those holiday pops of red, which Velji selected as the suite’s seasonal accent colour.


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In the Mix

Velji is known for mixing contemporary and classic aesthetics to great success. Case in point: that modern black and white painting that takes centre stage in the living room. “This unique piece was a standout for me as it helps to create a focal point behind the sofa,” Velji says. “It is dramatic and overscaled but works so well with the armed wall sconce.” At this time of year, it also spotlights a minimalist white wreath, which hangs in front of the piece to create an interesting layered effect.

Meanwhile, bleached wood stumps keep the room from looking too contemporary. “They bring in a rustic touch,” Velji explains, not to mention break up sight lines: “Rather than one large coffee table, these stumps provide a little relief.” We love that they’re topped with a variety of greens. Simple succulents keep the look clean, while a few seasonal boughs add that holiday cheer.

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