t’s July 2020 and we’re in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic. Nothing about our daily lives is business as usual and we definitely didn’t account for this when we moved across the country last year. It would be an understatement to say that we’re hoping things look better by the holiday season so we can be reunited with our loved ones. I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a week now, because well, why not? When I say I love Christmas you probably think, "of course! Who doesn't?" But I'm talking a got engaged at Christmas concert, had a Christmas themed bachelorette party, have at-least five different types of Christmas playlists saved for every type of Christmas hosting opportunity, kind of love for Christmas. You could call me obsessed and I wouldn't argue with you.
The holiday season has become even more meaningful as we’ve moved away and started our own family, and as the number of little ones in our extended family has grown. Our life has been a blur the last couple of years and Christmas usually feels like a light at the end of the tunnel, a moment to pause, reflect and just be present with our favorite people. I’ve never shared a Christmas home tour so in honor of my mood and in hopes to summon a little Christmas spirit, here goes. (Disclaimer: These photos are from our old home. I didn’t take any last year since I had a newborn.)
When it comes to the holidays I prefer a collected style versus a designer look. As much as my mom taught me to love designing and decorating a space, our home came to life each Christmas. Mismatched collections, old and new, funky and classic, it all came together to create a truly magical experience that is still an integral part of what Christmas feels like to me. Rather than put my “year-round” pieces away I typically just add to what is already there and manipulate small pieces rather than replace them.
The sequined trees above the fridge bring a fun pop of color to an otherwise neutral space. The Christmas snowglobe was picked up at the Macy's on 34th St in NYC during a magical Christmas vacation my husband and I took years ago. The hurricane in the back typically holds wine corks to be recycled, but during the Holidays get a refresh with cinnamon scented potpourri .
I always have a blanket thrown across this antique chair and another hiding the stacks of decor magazines in the basket on the floor. At Christmas I replace them with seasonal throws instead. I also swap out the candles on the tray with sparkly red and green and add a few pillows to the sofa. The extra layers and textiles adds to the cozy feeling I associate with Christmas time.
One of my favorite ways to decorate for any season is with floral arrangements. I use mostly faux stems because they’re just so easy and can be reused over and over again. I like to focus on colors and textures that can be used for multiple occasions and seasons. If I’m hosting or come across a great deal, I’ll add real flowers and greenery to my existing arrangements for an extra punch. Tip: Grab scraps from live trees wherever they're sold near you. You can trim them down and add them to your arrangements and have that wonderful pine smell all around the house.
I love having Christmas trees all around the house. This little one in our master bedroom has been with me since I was in high school and lived at my parents. I bought it with my measly paycheck because I wanted my OWN Christmas tree. It’s way too small for the space and starting to show its age, but I’m a sucker for the sentimental, especially when it comes to the holidays. It also happens to be our kitty's favorite spot in the house. Instead of a traditional tree skirt, I love these little throws from Hobby Lobby. I use them all of over my house.
I’m adamant that our “main tree” be real. It is so much more work this way but my husband and I make a little date night out of picking it out and setting it up. This tree is also what we deem the “love tree”. It’s full of hand-me-down and heirloom ornaments from both of our families, those we’ve collected over the years, and a souvenir ornament from every trip we’ve ever taken together. In this house we had a bay window in the front of the house and it was the perfect spot for it.
What would Christmas be without a place to your stockings by the chimney with care (in hopes that Saint Nicholas should would be there)? We’ve hung them from metal stocking stands, created faux mantles out of shelves, and finally in this home had our first fireplace. My mantle garland is one of my favorites. I like to start with another white light classic garland as my base and then add a decorative garland in and add in some additional floral stems based on whatever look I’m going for each year. This slim tree next to the fireplace is kept simple with just some stems that match those in the mantle to tie it together. I'l let you in on a little secret, the "tree skirt" around this one is an old silk curtain panel.
At that wraps up our 2018 Christmas home tour. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope you enjoyed seeing how we celebrate and maybe even felt inspired to start thinking about Christmas 2020. My son may not be old enough to understand but I expect him to enjoy the sparkly lights and extra family time. If any one has any tips on how to decorate with a toddler who gets into everything, send them my way!
I hope you and your loved ones are all healthy and safe. They say "all hearts come home for Christmas" and I hope we all get to go home for Christmas this year, with our hearts and our bodies.
One last thing... just for fun I thought I'd share my absolute favorite view at Christmas time; the overflowing mantle at my parents house. It represents so many memories and so many loved ones. It's hard to believe our family has grown since this photo was taken, my parents may have to remodel to keep up!