A Holiday Vignette with Nicole Phillips of Visual Heart


Continuing with our "Holiday Vignette" series, and for those of you new here, we invited a few style makers that we've come to know both online and locally that we admire, asking them to send in a little holiday style vignette from their home to share with our readers. Today's guest is Nicole Phillips of Visual Heart.  A graphic designer, Nicole has a keen eye for design and we always enjoy seeing what she's up to on her blog and instagram. 





Tell us a bit about your vignettes?
Our Christmas decor isn’t over the top. We live in a loft apartment so we don’t have a lot of storage for seasonal items, so our holiday decor generally involves a simple string of lights, our tree with the same decorations every year and some DIY additions to change it up each year.

Our tree decorations are ornaments collected over the years and include lots of sparkle and metallics to reflect the lights on the tree, along with a few childhood ornaments and a couple of DIY ornaments Andrew and I made several years ago

The tree topper was a quick DIY this year, because I just can’t seem to find one in the stores that I like or that will stay upright on the top of the tree. I used metallic silver pipe cleaners wrapped around each other to form a starburst, I like the way it reflects the light and the fact that it’s so simple.

I picked up a stunning handmade wreath from the very talented Rogue Florist at Got Craft? Market. I decided to put it on the inside of our door so we can look at it all the time, but maybe in a few days I’ll share the beauty with our neighbours in the hallway.

Our fireplace already has an inviting rustic holiday feel with a reclaimed wood mantel, but with the addition of a string of lights, a maple syrup scented candle and a wine cork reindeer I made when I was a child, it’s just enough to make it festive.

Since I’m a graphic designer, I love collecting wrapping paper and designing my own cards and gift tags. This year our wrapped gifts use paper from Ikea and Daiso with the addition of gold ribbon and twine. The gift tags are my free printable tags available for download here and custom tags from Minted.


What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Baking cookies has got to be one of my favourite holiday traditions. I love ginger snaps and shortbread and I like to share them with family and friends. I grew up in a fairly non-religious, non-traditional household where we didn’t really celebrate the holidays, so Andrew and I have created our own way of celebrating and baking cookies is one of them. Here’s a few of my recipes: Earl Grey Shortbread Cookie Recipe
Classic Ginger Snap Cookie Recipe


What are three go-to gifts that you'll be giving this year?
I’m not really into shopping and giving “stuff” but when I do, I like them to be practical, edible, handmade or memorable experiences.

Homemade canned fruit. In the Summer months Andrew and I like to can peaches, pears, cherries, jam or chutney. Bourbon Vanilla Cherries are a delicious gift and to make it extra personalized we made our own labels for the jars. Here’s the recipe and free printable labels.

Dave's Coffee Syrup from Old Faithful Shop is so good! Amazing poured over vanilla ice cream, on cake, or as iced coffee in the Summer. Giving artisan food products is a great alternative to bringing a bottle of wine to a holiday party.


The only umbrella you will ever need to buy. Seriously, I’ve had mine for years and I walk everywhere in wind and heavy rain. The Umbrella Shop in Vancouver has super quality umbrellas. The spokes are rubber so they’re really flexible and wind resistant. They also come in so many great colours.




Thank you Nicole!

Find Nicole online:
Site: visualheart.com
Twitter: twitter.com/visualheart
Instagram: instagram.com/visualheart
Pinterest: pinterest.com/visualheart
Facebook: facebook.com/visualheartdesigns

Jan Halvarson

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