Welcome friends, new and not-so-new. Before you (photographically) walk through our doors, I feel obliged to warn you: There are some AMAZING holiday home tours out there (search Pinterest). Truly amazing, awe-inspiring homes decorated by amazing, awe-inspiring bloggers. This isn't one of them.
I love, love decorating for Christmas. In the most cliche way possible, it's my favorite time of year. That palpable seasonal spirit – the warmth of human kindness that brings us all together – that's what makes this time of year so special to me. And for me, decorating my home is a tangible expression of that warmth. Most of what you'll see in my home was either passed down to me from an aunt or grandmother, was handmade by myself or my kiddos, or is a treasured gift from friends and family. In other words, like the holidays themselves, our Christmas decor has meaning.
It's not super glamorous. It's not magazine-perfect. It's not staged. It's just our house during the holidays, and I'm honored to share it with you.
First stop: The front entry
I had fun using holiday brights in the entry this year. I've stashed an old dresser I bought for $10 at an estate sale there, and the pops of turquoise, green and pink seemed to fit. With all boys in the house, I don't often get to incorporate pink into my decor...
Next stop: Living room
We bought this nine-foot tree a few years ago, when we first moved into a new house. I've had fun expanding on my rustic woodsy theme each year. This year, I added lanterns and decorative wooden skis.
I love how the Christmas lights shining behind the lanterns make it appear the lanterns themselves are lit. And as always, I worked in a variety of plaids and burlap on this year's tree.
And the view of the couch; I love a cute Christmas pillow. Which is why I can't resist buying them, making them, stealing them...OK, not that last one. I swear.
And a few other fun touches around the living room:
And of course, no living room tour would be complete without a peek at the one who enjoys buffalo plaid the most:
Next stop: The dining room
Most of my Christmas metallics land in the dining room, which makes for some very sparkly holiday meals. Not just the usual silver and gold, but copper, bronze, mercury glass and even a little rose gold this year.
Next up: The kitchen/breakfast room
I found this sweet rusty star garland from a vendor on eBay this year, and fell in love with it. You'll see it on several trees throughout our house. This little one sits on the counter in our kitchen. I added some simple berry and green picks to it.
This small feather tree, which came from my great aunt, also lives in the kitchen/breakfast area. I use it to display my grandmother's collection of rocking horses and carousel horse ornaments.
And speaking of grandmothers...this is our "Grandma" tree. It has photos of my grandmothers and my husband's grandmothers, and each year we add ornaments that have special meaning related to our memories of those wonderful women. Note the many white crochet snowflake ornaments - those were handmade by my husband's Grandma Mallory. They are a treasure in our collection! I've also added vintage lace from Granny's sewing stash, and other mementos from both sides of the family. There is a story behind everything on this tree, new and old, and it has been a great way to share our memories of these amazing women with our kids.
Also new this year...I added a hot chocolate bar to the kitchen. My boys (all of them) love hot chocolate, so this was a pretty natural addition to our holiday setup.
Moving on: The den
No, this tree will never be favorited on Pinterest, but it's a favorite in MY book, because it's all the ornaments my boys have created over the years. Frankly...it's a hot mess of a tree. They help me decorate it every year, and anything goes! We add to it each year with new ornaments; this tree is really about the experiences and memories that go into everything on it.
Next stop: The back entry
Nothing super fancy here, but I did transform our "coat rack" into a Christmas card display this year. Normally, the hooks on this antique gate hold backpacks and jackets instead of glittery stars and greeting cards.
Up next: The bedrooms
For the first time ever, I decided to spruce (ha, get it) up the bedrooms a little. The boys each asked for trees in their rooms, and I liked the idea of spreading the holiday cheer a bit further. So here's a small peek at the master bedroom and my middle son's room.
Up next: The basement
Being from Missouri, of course our household is a staunch supporter of the St. Louis Cardinals. I wanted to work that theme into our basement decor this year, without going full-out baseball. So instead, I pulled together a red, black and white tree with cardinals and birdhouse accents.
Buying all new ornaments is expensive, so I made a lot of these (black chalk-painted clay ornaments, burlap stars and felt blanket-stitched ornaments). I also found a large lot of very 90s-esque decorative birdhouses on eBay, bought them and spraypainted them white. Much less expensive than buying birdhouse Christmas ornaments, which were as much as $8 per piece. I don't have more than $8 total invested in all 14 of my recycled birdhouses. Ribbon can also be expensive, but I found jute webbing in bulk on Amazon for a bargain. With 72 yards at hand, expect more projects out of this stuff!
To match my black-and-white checks theme, I added some decorative pillows to the couch (a steal at $6 each from Amazon). I found this red and gray checked flannel on Etsy and have been hoarding it away for the perfect project – these pillows fit the bill.
I'll be adding a post later on some of this year's favorite DIY Christmas projects. In the meantime, I'd love to see what your home looks like during the holidays, so feel free to share a photo on our Facebook page.
Merry Christmas to each of you. This has truly been a blessed year for our c/curated family, and I'm so glad I got to share it with you.