We have a bit of a nutcracker collection happening in our home.  In previous years, they have taken up every flat surface in our home, resulting in a cluttered, unfocused hot mess.  I’m fairly happy with how we’ve displayed them this year, contained in one space — the ledge that is on our staircase landing.


Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Nutcracker Collection

As I mentioned earlier this week, I want to do something with the art in that space for next Christmas, replacing our paintings temporarily in favor of something more “holiday-ish”.  But that’s another project for another day!

Our nutcracker situation also got me thinking about nutcrackers, and how they’re such a classic Christmas symbol.  I searched around, and pulled some inspiration for other ways to incorporate nutcrackers into holiday decor.

Nutcracker tree skirt via Horchow


Nutcrackers on the stairs via Houzz


Nutcracker under glass by Emily Henderson via Lonny


Gold nutcrackers via The Sweetest Occasion


Nutcracker stocking holders via Horchow


Nutcracker collection via Midwest Living


Nutcrackers on the mantel via The Glitter Guide


Nutcrackers with greenery on the mantel via Color Outside the Lines


Nutcracker tablescape via Mrs. Hines Class


I have fond memories of seeing The Nutcracker downtown Chicago as a little girl.  I can’t wait to take my boys here in DC!

The Nutcracker at Joffrey Ballet

In the meantime, they’ll have to just enjoy our collection!

Pursuing Vintage / Nutcracker Collection





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):

Dining & Living Room

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!

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Living Room 1

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Fireplace

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!

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Stockings

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?)

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Staffordshire Dogs

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.

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Living Room

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!

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Christmas Tree

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.

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Dining Campaign Console

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!

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Dining & Kitchen

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.

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Dining Room

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?

Pursuing Vintage Holiday Home Tour : Nutcracker Collection


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.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love it if you’d share any images that inspire you on Pinterest or Facebook – and be sure to follow me there, too!




vowed last year  that I would add more vintage to my holiday decor.  (If you blog about it, it has to come true, right?  Now that’s accountability!)  Well, I’m happy to tell you that I’m following through.  I’ve stashed away some great winter vintage finds throughout the year, and now I’d like to share with you this incredibly easy winter decor project.  And if I say it’s easy, it is!  I am NOT Martha Stewart!

Vintage Holiday Sled : Pursuing Vintage

You’ll just need a few supplies for this project.  I found the vintage sled and skates at estate sales earlier in the year and stashed them away.  Craigslist and ETSY are also great resources for finding these items.

  • Vintage sled
  • Worn or vintage ice skates
  • 4 yards of ribbon (I used what I had on hand)
  • Small pine wreath or centerpiece (a Pine Centerpiece from Trader Joes works perfectly!)
  • (optional) Extra string to attach wreath

Vintage Sled Tutorial : Supplies : Pursuing Vintage

First, I took the old, grungy laces out of skates and re-laced them using approximately 2 yards of ribbon for each skate.  I used some red satin ribbon that I had stashed away from gifts-of-years-past, but you could use any type.  You can really adapt the look of the whole project depending on the color and texture of ribbon you choose.

DIY Vintage Sled Tutorial : Laced Skates : Pursuing Vintage

Once you’ve re-laced the skates, hold them together and let one fall about a foot lower than the other.  Tie a knot half-way between the skates and the end of the ribbon.

DIY Vintage Sled Tutorial : Ribbon Skates : Pursuing Vintage

Next, I attached the pine wreath just below the sled yolk.  My wreath had a wire attached to the back, which I just twisted around the metal part of the sled.  If your wreath doesn’t have the wire, you’ll have to attach some string (or leftover ribbon) to the back of the wreath and tie it onto the sled.

DIY Vintage Sled Tutorial : Wreath : Pursuing Vintage

Then, I took my newly laced skates and threaded the ribbon through the metal part of the sled under the yolk (where you attached the wreath), and tied a knot to secure it.

DIY Vintage Sled Tutorial : Affixing the Skates : Pursuing Vintage

Finally, I tied a bow with the length of ribbon that was left hanging.  I used what was left because I wanted to keep it simple and inexpensive.  Another option would be to trim the extra length of ribbon, and construct or purchase a large bow to affix to the wreath.

DIY Vintage Sled : Pursuing Vintage

There are so many ways to customize this project to fit your needs and coordinate with your existing decor.  I wanted to keep it simple and inexpensive, so I used what I had and tried not to purchase anything extra.

DIY Vintage Sled Holiday Decor : Pursuing Vintage

I placed my vintage holiday sled in front of my home – it looks great with the stone front and red door.  I love the vintage feel of it, and am so happy that I gave new life to a few forgotten winter toys!

Easy DIY Vintage Holiday Sled : Pursuing Vintage

For more wonderful vintage finds that are ready for a new life, check out the Pursuing Vintage Shop.  I’m adding unique and beautiful pieces daily!