A note to begin: Yes, yes I know I am sharing our holiday home tour in January. All I ask is to give me grace for being behind or a pat on the back for being ahead of the curve for next year. Either way nobody can turn down a little Christmas sparkle.
I’ll be honest I was a little Grinch-like when it came to decorating our home this year. Don’t get me wrong- I was excited but it felt very overwhelming with all the projects that we still have to do and the things that still don’t have a proper “spot”. It didn’t seem right to pull out all the Christmas decor when I am still trying to just figure out where our normal everyday decor goes. But I’m like that book, if you give a mouse a cookie….if you give me a Christmas wreath, I’m going to want fresh garland too. And if you give me fresh garland, I’m going to want to carry that look into the guest rooms….see where this is headed??
I hesitate to share any of this because I’ve not even shown you what the inside for our house looks like in everyday living. There are still so many projects I’d like to get crossed off the list. I have so many ideas of what I would like to add to our Christmas décor. But the theme that I keep having to remind myself that we will be in this house for a very, very long time and that is half the fun. There’s no need to rush to make it all happen now. If I can be of any encouragement to new wives or new homeowners, let it be this: Enjoy the process of making your house a home. A story is no fun if you rush to the end. Creating and decorating your family home over the years is so much more enjoyable than any 48 hour house flip you will catch on HGTV. So, with that in total honesty you will see the light bulbs still hanging from my ceilings because well, eventually I will find lights that meet my high standards of pretty, vintage/traditional style.
Even after being reluctant to holiday decorating, seeing our Christmas tree set up in the den really did surprise me. There is something about it and I’m still not totally sure what, but it completes the space. It makes our home feel like a home, as cliché as that sounds. I bought this tree 3 years ago in college, and for a college kid, a large Christmas tree seemed like an extravagant purchase. I’ll never forget that Christmas though as I dealt with some health issues and picking out that Christmas tree was a ray of hope in what was a difficult time. Sitting in that tiny apartment with the glow of the lights brought a peace and comfort to me that I desperately needed.
In our home we have both a den, which is open to the dining area and kitchen, and a formal room next to the den. Ninety nine percent of the time, all our “living” happens in the den/kitchen area. We love this space. While both rooms have fireplaces as focal points of the room, the formal room is the one where there really is a “good spot” for tree next to the fireplace. I was torn between putting our tree in the “right spot” or finding a spot in the den because I wanted to be able to see our tree. Knowing we don’t spend any time in the formal room, it didn’t make much sense to put it there. So with the help of the little brother and sis one evening, we moved every piece of furniture in the den, trying out the tree in every corner until I finally settled back with the first spot we started in.
I love that our tree sits right next to the door as you come in and really is the center of all the open rooms. You can see the tree from the kitchen and having it near the kitchen table helps to separate the den and dining spaces from one another. It serves as the anchor to our narrow den too. These open spaces- our front entry, kitchen, dining and living room are the only rooms I focused on decorating for the holidays this year and a little sparkle our master bedroom. I was so tempted to be like a holiday elf and cover every surface possible in all things Christmas décor, but I am so glad I stopped myself at these rooms. I am craving a little more margin and physical clutter, no matter how joyful it is, can also translate to mental clutter. I couldn’t handle that in this season of transition right now too!
I have this vision for our home of being one of a sanctuary. A refuge from daily life tolls in an easy laid back way. I want it to feel like this cozy hideaway in the woods and decorating for Christmas doesn’t change that- in fact, I think it enhances it! I think our home just sings with Christmas décor. My style is very country traditional so my Christmas décor style is as well. The colors in our house-the cypress greens, Americana reds and blues lean in the ways of what I am calling a “traditional chambray country Christmas.”
The tree holds our sentimental ornaments and this year I really want to use ribbon woven into the tree. I was hunting for navy ribbon online for a week or so before I remembered that I had used a blue chambray ribbon for pews bows in my wedding that were exactly what I was looking for! What can I say I know what I like! I dug out the wedding décor boxes and had a ton of the ribbon left over. After watching a few you tube videos on weaving ribbons in your tree- I just went for it. No game plan or real sense of what I was doing- just draping, twisting and tucking the ribbon down the tree and turns out it is literally my favorite look ever. It is so perfect being a little messy in some places with just the right amount of dimension in others, that I decided to try a crazy way of “wrapping” the tree in moving wrap so to store my tree without having to take it all apart!
If you have been around here for any length of time you know my heart sings at traditions and meaningful pieces– and that loves comes out in full force in my decor around the holidays. I have special ornaments to commemorate special life events, like our married Christmas and this year of course a new “house” ornament was added to celebrate the biggest change in our lives.
A few days after our tree was up and I was finished with it, D asked me, “can we have a tree like I had growing up?” I looked at him curiously, not sure what he meant and he continued to explain, “you know one that’s decorated with handmade ornaments and tractors and cars?” Apparently growing up they had quite the collection of “boy” ornaments and my sparkly, porcelain and glass ones just weren’t Christmas enough for him. So when I ran across none other than an Santa driving a tractor ornament, I knew its home was on our tree.
One of my favorite scores from this year was a set of dishes that I happened upon that were identical to pieces we had growing up. We only have serving pieces from my mom’s with the tree and tiny presents, so when I ran across the serving bowl and place settings for literally nothing, I took that as my Christmas miracle. Aren’t they precious?!
I took a bit of the Christmas spirit into our master bedroom and it might have been the best thing I did all season. I have always wanted a holiday bedroom but with a soft yellow bedroom I knew I couldn’t do bright red and green in there. As soon as I saw Pottery Barn’s winter village sheets and the tiny bit of yellow in it- I knew it would be perfect! While I am a fan of PB anything- paying for a set of expensive sheets that only get used for a month or so was just not in the cards this year. So I used one of my favorite tricks for quick updates and refresh without spending a ton. I just bought a set of pillowcases. They matched the flannel sheets I already had on the bed and they transition great into the winter too. Yay for more uses! The tiny twinkling light tree was simple with just a white satin bow topper and our sparkly monogram.
It was such a sweet season celebrating in our new home and now with the decor packed away, I’m back to figuring out how our everyday decor will come together. Of course, I am excited to jump into make our home come alive and celebrate all year round, but this first Christmas will hold a special place in my heart.