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.”
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.
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.
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.”