I mentioned last week that I made a vow to figure out my holiday decorating, and incorporate more vintage pieces. When I packed everything away at the end of the season, I got rid of a lot of the junk. I kept decor that I felt represented my current design taste, and things with sentimental value. Of course, I’m speaking of all that “stuff” – not the ornaments. Just about every ornament on our tree has a story, so those are here to stay, no matter how silly or weird looking!
I wasn’t left with a lot of decor, aside from the stockings, nativity, and a couple of smaller sentimental items. Instead of going out and purchasing more decor, I used a few thrifted vintage pieces I found earlier in the year, and bought some live greenery. I also removed and moved a lot of things that we normally have in our large living area. Here’s a look at what the space usually looks like (although this was before I replaced the chandelier and my dining chairs):
I took out our striped rug that is normally layered over the sisal rug, and I moved the piece of art that hangs above the fireplace. I wanted to “calm” the room since the busy tree was a focal point. I also moved our bar cart into the dining area so the tree can fit near the fireplace. Unfortunately, that is the only space the tree will fit! I wish we had a better space for the tree, but it’s one of the only corners in the house!
Without further ado, here is my modest Christmas decorating for 2014!
Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care! I’m working on a needlepoint stocking for each of the boys, but it takes a really long time. So, in the meantime, my five year old still uses his “Baby’s First Christmas” Pooh Bear stocking! Poor kid!
I decided to give those two Staffordshire pups a place on the mantel for the season, though they could get shipped out at any time because they’re currently available in the Pursuing Vintage Shop! (Maybe you’d like them on your mantel?)
I added a live boxwood wreath to the mirror, and placed some live pine garland on the mantel. I decided against ribbon or other frills, and just kept it simple.
The boys use this coffee table to play all the time, so I’m keeping it real here, and just keeping it minimal. Anything I put on there would get broken or used as Transformers enemies!
I’m really happy with the simple, open feeling of the room. In my small home, too much of anything will just accentuate the lack of space.
I placed the nativity at child-height this year. A little nervous about it, since it’s porcelain, but so far the little guys are being gentle and respectful. And under that fabulous painting by Kerry Steele, I placed my large vintage brass reindeer and our “Chain of Gratitude,” as we’ve named it. Each night we think of one thing we’re grateful for, and add a link. It’s a new ritual this year, and one we’ll definitely keep in coming years!
I replace my flowers weekly, so the arrangements are always changing. I love the pop of color fresh flowers provide. The silver Revere bowl with fresh fruit also provides a bit of color and is totally functional. (If you like the look of Revere bowls, I have a similar one in the Shop!) The kitchen doesn’t get in on the holiday fun, except for the mistletoe hanging in the doorway.
Over the years we’ve collected nutcrackers, some from when I was younger, and a bunch that my stepdaughter has collected. In years past, they’ve been covering every available surface in the house. This year we’ve consolidated them to one locale – the little ledge on the landing of our staircase. Looking at this photo, I’m thinking that I should do some sort of DIY art to replace those paintings just for the Christmas season. Something that compliments the nutcrackers, and doesn’t compete with them. What do you think?
There you have it! My Christmas home – real and lived-in! A work in progress (as is the theme in most of my home, if you haven’t picked up on that!). I’m always getting ideas and changing things, and for me it’s not realistic or fun to swoop in and do it all at once. I love layering in things and finding great pieces here and there. By the time Christmas arrives this year, I’m sure I’ll have added and changed a few things and these photos will need to be updated!
Do you decorate the same way I do (gradually)? Or do you prefer to complete a space? Do you try to have your rooms photo-ready for the holidays, or do you “keep it real”? I’d love to hear about your holiday decorating philosophies.