I use the term holiday “home tour” loosely because I only decorated one room this year. I tend to obsess about Christmas decorations, and if I let myself I’d keep adding and tweaking things until December 25th. Knowing this tendency, I gave myself 24 hours (which turned into 48) and decided whatever was done at that point was good enough. Ironically, I like this year’s setup better than the ones that took me ages to pull together.
Deadlines are funny like that…Sometimes the best inspiration comes during crunch time.
Maybe creativity is a procrastinator.
Honestly, I was tempted not to decorate at all. Call me a scrooge, but we had originally planned to be out of town for the holidays, and I hate decorating for just a couple weeks. Turns out we are staying in town this year-which makes me so happy for a million reasons. I really do love Christmas decor…I’m typing this post to the glow of twinkle lights snuggled in a fuzzy blanket. #happyplace
The jumping off point was this gorgeous abstract art by my friend Lindsay Letters. It’ called “Pine on Snow”, which I think suits it perfectly.
You guys, this artwork is just insanely beautiful in person.
I have big plans for it once the holidays are over, but for now it gets to be the star in my living room. I wanted to keep the colors really classic for Christmas decorations this year…emerald, red, white, and gold. I decided to add in wood details as well. (BTW-I’m kind of having a love affair with emerald right now. Favorite cardigan, new stationery and phone case? All emerald green.)
The basket is a Target find that usually holds random toys, but for Christmas it gets to dress up and house my favorite scarf. (PS: If you’re not decorating with scarves, get on it. They can be draped over a chair, used on a table, or crawling out of a basket making you look all Better Homes & Gardens. If you find a cute plaid scarf, just snag it and go to town.)
The mini Christmas tree was a clearance find last year. The candlesticks are one of my favorite vintage scores of all times. Under $20 for the pair.
The nutcracker was actually an ornament from Target that I cut the sting off and placed in an existing glass cloche. The red stockings were a new purchase. I’ve been craving cable knit stockings and thought I wanted white. (I even bought the white ones and returned them.) I love how the red pops off the mantel.
THE GARLAND THAT ALMOST WASN’T
Ok, this garland nearly ended up in the garbage. More than once. I had an itch to do a DIY. Now, I’ve mostly moved on from DIY life except for artwork. Buuuuut Christmas time does something to me, and I felt the need to get a hot glue gun in my hands.
I was determined to make the cheapest garland ever, so I headed to my favorite place to spur DIY ideas…the dollar store. The garland is made from two rolls of $1 wrapping paper. (Can you believe it?) I traced and cut out “leaves” from the wrapping, folded them in half and glued them to a string.
It sounds so simple.
It was not.
I’m not gonna’ gloss anything over…It took me three hours. There was cussing, hot glue gun burns, and stress eating. At one point, I almost crumpled the the whole thing up and went to bed. Eventually things came together fine, but it was a close call. Of course this all happened at like 2:00am. (I was on a deadline, remember?) But it only cost me $4 for the thing, so I’m calling it a win.
The little “berry” sequin ornaments were also from the dollar store. At .33 cents a piece, I should have bought dozens.
The second piece of art is another Lindsay Letters goodie. You can find it here. I had totally different plans for the little white balls. It’s the felted ball garland from West Elm. I thought it would be swagged across something, somewhere. I didn’t really love it across my mantel and planned to return them, but just for fun put them in a bowl. I ended up really liking them this way.
This little German village was from my childhood. For as long as I can remember, my brother and I would take out the little houses and people and set up our village night after night during the month of December. (There’s more to the village, but Gemma is really into hiding parts of it all over the house.)
My mom used to live in Germany and on a family vacation when I was just a toddler she brought this back with us. Handmade wooden decorations are a big part German Christmas decor, and I have such a soft spot for it.
I think one reason I love this year’s decorations so much is because I intentionally used wood accents…It feels really nostalgic to me, and I’ll probably keep doing it for a few more years.
This year I wanted to be intentional about starting a couple Christmas traditions with Gemma. We’ve been drinking hot cocoa with candy canes almost nightly, and she’s been schooled in the classic Christmas claymation movies. I was most excited about starting the advent calendar with her. (This and the snow globe were both from Target, my Achilles heal of retailers.)
I grew up with a little German advent calendar that was just a painted cardboard scene with little glittered windows you would open to reveal another picture. When I found out that other kids had advent calendars with candy and prizes in them, I felt totally jipped.
This wooden house advent calendar is great because I can fit small trinkets and a little verse in each of the containers. By the way, I totally underestimated the amount of perseverance my almost three-year old would have to try and sneak her prizes early.
I decided in addition to the advent calendar, I wanted to start Gemma a collection. We’re thinking she’ll get a new snow globe each year…She’s just a toddler now, so we’ll see how I feel about that when she’s 8 and I have no where to house all the snow globes. I’m not committing long term.
And this is the extent of my exterior decorating. Because…well, I’m too lazy to put out lights in the cold.
In case you’re new to the blog or missed these before, here are some of my favorite Christmas decorations and DIY’s from the last 4 years.
DIY gold garland
my Scandinavian mantel
DIY himmeli wreath
Anthropologie inspired wrapping paper
black and gold styling
May your days be merry & bright, friends:)
cassie @ primitive & proper says
heather, this is amazing! i love love love the gold garland, and those little white pom pom houses slay me! so fun!
Thanks so much, Cassie!! xoxo
Erika Ocaña says
I just loved absolutely every single detail!
I am not very into golden anything but the way everything looks together is amazing.
So you rearranged your living room just for the holidays???? OMG
Thanks so much, Erica! No, I had rearranged my living room prior to this month. Just a little tweaking to get the tree in:)
Oh there is the village and the pyramid. Love them! And I absolutely adore your fireplace mantel. The artwork and that garland is so so pretty. Your tree is stunning too.
Thanks, Julia! My mom’s pyramid that I grew up with is two-story like yours, but my little one works for now until I get a larger one. (Besides my toddler nearly destroys it everyday.)
Mary Jo says
First of all, I think setting a deadline is GENIUS. It prevents you from digging out the wreaths and then two weeks later getting a tree! I’m doing that next year for sure…
And I absolutely love the way you incorporated Lindsay’s art work into your home. In fact, I featured it on my blog (http://www.maryjomajor.com/blog/) I loved it so much. Thank for using beautiful art in a tangible and easy way!
Thank you so much, Mary Jo! I’ll head over and check it out:)
Your decor looks lovely. In the past, my modus operandi was to,tuck greenery and ornamentation around every immovable object. But this year, due to a lot of health issues in our family, “quality over quantity” became our mantra, too. Like you, I find the understated decor much lovelier and more restful than the overly-staged look that I have undertaken in previous years.
Yes, yes! Right there with you, Vicki. Hope that even with the issues you enjoy this season and the simplicity too:)
Comment about snow globe collections, learn from my mistake. My boys have nutcracker collections so when I finally had my daughter, I figured snow globes. She’s 11 now and in about half of them, the water has turned yellow. I don’t know why but we switched to Christmas music boxes or musical figurines for her collection instead. Loved your home tour!
Eeeek! Thanks so much for the warning, Mary! Ok, looks like we need to pivot to something else SOON. I love the idea of music boxes:)
WOW! Every detail is so beautiful friend! I love the traditions!
Thanks so much, Summer:) xoxo