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SAMM European Design and friends deck the halls at Lougheed House

Bringing sustainable design to Victorian mansion at Christmas

December 13, 2019 by Centaine Hlushak on SAMM European Design

Calgary’s Lougheed House has been celebrating Christmas in style since 1891. This year, a team of interior designers took a sustainable approach to decorating the historic property for the holidays.

The designers included REAP member SAMM European Design, alongside Designing on the Edge, Homegirls Interiors, Blooming DIY, and Interior Design Shoppe. "I love the Victorian era and the chance to decorate a beautiful, historic house for Christmas, all while volunteering and giving back to the community,” says Swantje Macke-Monteiro, founder of SAMM European Design.

“I have been using all sorts of things found around a house and garden to decorate for Christmas,” she says. In keeping with the Victorian times and her penchant for thrifted and upcycled decor, Swantje employed the era’s decorating techniques by crafting several pieces by hand using vintage mercury glass, recycled and wooden ornaments, beeswax candles and fresh foliage “to trim the trees and deck the halls.” One of her favourite pieces she used is a taxidermized chameleon that once belonged to her grandmother, now preserved under a glass dome.

Swantje was joined by her friend Lina Barakeh, an Interior Designer from Syria with more than 20 years of experience. “I met her when she joined our International Women Network Calgary a few months ago and we’ve been complementing each other’s work since.”

“I’m excited for people to appreciate the simpler side of Christmas and enjoying the festive decorations in such a unique setting as Lougheed House.”


  1. See the holiday decorations at Lougheed House now until January 6.
  2. Check out SAMM European Design for your sustainably-sourced interior design needs.
  3. Connect with SAMM European Design on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  4. Check out SAMM European Design’s Sustainability Profile on the REAP directory.