Welcome to our home! There are some years that just call for going all out for Christmas and for me, this was one of them. You know how some years it's fun and you can't wait to decorate, but other years there is nothing that feels easy about it? I have always enjoyed decorating for the season (even as a kid), but truth be told, we have been coming off an extremely difficult season of our lives where doing almost anything required more energy than I had. Last year, while I did set out a table, the only other thing I got out was the tree and called it good with just the lights on it- it was still very pretty, but also very uncharacteristic of me. Why am I telling you this? Mostly in the spirit of keeping things real, but also to share that if this year is a struggle, or even if you have a few years where it feels difficult, there will be a time that the dark clouds lift. The things that were sweet before, while they won't be the same, are that much sweeter because you know just how difficult it can be. Whew! This was not intended to be so heavy, but I also want to share that my goal is to inspire and add beauty in ways that I know how but please know that pictures only tell one story. So having said all that, it was great to be able to really, genuinely get into it this year again. Enough of the heavy stuff- let's take a tour!
The Dining Room
In our dining room I stuck with the traditional red & green of Christmas. Some of the items on the table I have had for years, while others were new this year. The plates, chargers, table runner and taper holders & garland I had on hand. I filled in with the red mercury glass balls & napkins from Pottery Barn and the emerald green pressed glassware from Crate and Barrel that I am obsessed with (they also comes in red). And I can't forget to mention the champagne flatware or the french wine glasses as well. So pretty. I love the varying heights of the taper holders, yet they are narrow enough to not obstruct the view from across the table. In the center I placed a floral arrangement to finish it off. I try to do live greens & flowers in some form on the tables because both those and candles add an energy to the table that's difficult to acheive otherwise.
The Piano Room
The next is my winter-green room. This room is the most formal and usually takes on a winter theme in one form or another from year to year because the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's gray owl which is the perfect soft blue-gray for a winter type setting. I found some beautiful hand blown green glass balls that were the starting point for the theme this year. The color palette is a beautiful green, white, and silver with crystal accents. I used a simple but elegant crystal garland swag on the fireplace mantle and tinsel on the tree so it would reflect all the light and give a magical, snow-like effect.
The Breakfast Room
I have a large extended family- I am the oldest of 6 and it is not uncommon for us to have anywhere from 20-30 people at the holidays- all of varying ages. Happily, there have been very few years where we don't have enough young ones to justify having a 'kids' table. This one is always a good one to have fun with. I went all in with a peppermint/candy theme which was easy because I had most of the items already on hand. I have had a similar theme the last few times I have set a kids table so I have been gradually adding to it. The plates, while cute, are melamine so they won't break and peppermint cups are reusable plastic. These sweet peppermint ball candles are flameless so you won't have the same problem I did of the kids promptly blowing our real ones out as soon as they are lit. (you're welcome ;) ) and here are some similar felt coasters that would be the perfect addition to a kids table as well. One year I realized I had so many santa hats that I added them on each chair. Not only did it add a great pop of red tying into the table, the cousins had so much fun with it that it has become a tradition for them to wear the hats at Christmas Eve dinner.
The Living Room
In our main living area I went with a red and gold theme (of course the garland and tree adding natural green). Is anyone else loving the soft, champagne gold that has become readily available in the last few years? It plays well with both warm and cool and has become a great go-to instead of the harsher, brassier golds. My favorite addition this year are the glass hurricanes that fit perfectly over each taper on the mantle performing double duty: guarding the flame and elegantly reflecting the light. I have also been experimenting with asymmetrical floral arrangements and created an oversized one with magnolia leaves, winterberry, incense cedar, ruskus, protea and curly willow. I'm hoping it will stay good throughout December, but time will tell. Since we didn't order wood for the fireplace this year, I placed various sized creamy white pillar candles to stand in for where the fire usually is. I was happy with the results- what do you think?
This was a last minute addition to our Christmas decor this year. It wasn't planned but when I realized I had an extra garland that wasn't being used, instead of putting it away I decided to throw it up over the hooks in the mud room. I added some awesome giant jingle bells I found at High Point Market and grabbed some Christmas throw pillows to finish it off. It started off with pillows I had on hand but then I remembered Pottery Barn has been having such cute shaped pillows for the holidays the last couple of years, I bought the snowman and the snowflake to add to it :)
For our entry this year I stuck with greenery and red pointsettas. I added some red cyclamen to our topiary pots, some lanterns on the ground with fairy lights and called it good! It is simple and effective and I'm loving it. We have an outside seating area that is the perfect place for a hot chocolate station. It is set up with a choice of cocoas and there are also cinnamon and peppermint stick stirrers and our favorite new find from Trader Joes- peppermint marshmallows.
Christmas Decor Ideas
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Overall, I kept everything pretty traditional this year and was happy with the result! Now it's time to sit back and welcome friends and family (and full transparency- probably start scheming for next Christmas!) I'm wondering if you have any favorite trends for this year? Are you sticking to traditional or doing something completely different? Let me know in the comments below!
Merry Christmas friends! I pray wherever you're at, you find peace and beauty this season. And beyond all the decorations and presents and hype, may you carry the original Christmas in your heart not only through this season, but throughout the year.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”- Charles Dickens