We live out in the country and are located at the end of our street. So we have three neighbors who actually drive by our house when they come home. We went from living on a fairly busy residential street where people we knew and didn't know became very familiar with our home. It is different now to be in a home where these holiday decorations are mostly just for us. So thank goodness for a blog to share all this effort!
It has always been a dream of mine to have wreaths on all the windows of a two story house. This was the first thing we did and I have been enjoying it for weeks!
I already had the five wreaths that I put up on the second floor and needed a few more to match. As I mentioned, we live out in the country, and even the closest town with regular shopping is fairly small. We have a Target, Walmart, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Lowe's and TJ-Maxx (thank goodness for TJX!). No Joann's or Michael's - those are all a forty five minute drive. So when it came to buying a few more wreaths to match, we lucked out that Walmart had the same size (and for only $2 each!). I also picked up a bunch of $1 bows while we were there...because again, no craft stores. And really I didn't have time to tie a bunch of bows anyways.
We got all the wreaths and our Christmas lights up while my mom was visiting so Brent and I went on the roof to work while she held the baby. She was so stressed out about us both being on the roof saying things like, "remember, you have a baby now!" We joked that if we both fell off the roof that she could take Titus back to California with her. She did not think that was funny.
As we are still unpacking, all of our empty boxes and paper are being stored out in the shed! At least in the photo they appear to be stacked nicely!
I'll try to not go into too many details about the house and save that for a future post. But after looking through all these photos I think I would like to paint the deck floor white. And I am pretty happy with the landscaping but am wondering if we could replace some of the dead bushes with something else that will stay green a little longer.
I love our Adirondack chairs out on the porch. It is fun to see our old things brought to life in a new location.
The side of the porch has a beautiful little porch swing. It is one of my favorite features of the house.
We pretty much lucked out with the look, size, and location of our home. Everything is definitely livable but there are a few things I would like to update one day. I wish our house was just slightly more white than cream. But I also didn't like the exterior color of our house in California but it ended up growing on me. So I will give it time. Perhaps with a few personal tweaks it will start to feel more personal. But really, we couldn't have asked for a better home.
Inside the house we set up one tree (we usually have two - one for ornaments and one decorative). I am happy with our tree that sits right in our entryway but do wish I had the time to put up our second tree. As I was going through our ornaments I realized we have way too many for this short little tree. I purged a few non-sentimental ones and this is still what we ended up with!
We added a third stocking to our family this year! I found this gray and blue one at Target that coordinated with our existing stockings.
While we don't have a mantel or fireplace, we do have stair rails which I was very excited about! I finally get to hang some greenery on the rails! This makes me very happy.
The colors on the walls are pretty neutral and livable but I am dying to paint the whole house white. I am waiting for when my mom visits again to start tackling the job.
I also think the rails need to be white but I will see after the walls get painted.
I have a few little vignettes around the house that help me cope with not having everything quite settled. It isn't much but I am really happy with the placement of this bookcase. It was in our kitchen in our last house (with the kitchenaid and tea cups). It has been a fun challenge to see how we use our things in different ways in this new home.
Then into the kitchen I have a few more wreaths and this Merry Christmas banner.
We don't have enough of the Ikea curtains we use so I have these sheers up temporarily until we get more. We lived without curtains for a few weeks but once I actually took the time to put them up, they made such a difference. It is amazing how much cozier and familiar it feels with window treatments. The blinds that were left are very nice but I think we will eventually take them down. I love having the open exposed windows.
Besides the porch, my other favorite feature of the home is the kitchen. It also is set up pretty close to how our old kitchen was with the open shelves and placement of sink, window, and appliances. Plus this was the only house that we looked at that had cabinets that were already white. Not having to paint cabinets and already having a kitchen that I love is huge!
It's funny to see how I styled some areas of our home almost identical to how things were in our old house. I spent so much time trying to get things right in the past that I just want to repeat it. I don't have the same time and energy that I used to plus the familiarity I find very comforting.
We brought our touch faucet with us but haven't gotten it installed yet. I keep trying to touch the faucet for it turn on! Makes me a little nuts!
This new little tin for soap and the dish towel are from Jones Design Company. Since this house is more farmhouse I have been keeping my eye out for little things to make it feel more rustic.
Here are a few more photos of the exterior of the house I took with my other camera with a wider angle so you can see a little more of our property.
And a few photos at night with all the lights on. Brent bought an automatic plug in timer for the lights so that they come on when we aren't home (they come on at dusk and shut off a few hours later based on your settings). Since we don't come and go that often, it is nice to have the lights on when we drive up at night after we usually have been gone most of the day.
We have a glass door in front of our regular door that I like to keep open most of the day to let some extra natural light in. It is fun to be able to see our Christmas tree through the window (these photos were taken before I got the ornaments up). If you noticed the lovely giant black chord running through the house, that is for the TV. In normal Ashley fashion, I want the TV in a room that doesn't have hookups. But to my defense our sectional is really large and could only work a few ways!
I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of our outdoor wreaths from the inside, but I did post this one on Instagram to give you a feel of what it looks like. It is so fun to be able to see the wreaths from our bedroom and the nursery! This small detail makes the effort well worth it!
So that is our home for the holidays this year. Just cozy enough to feel festive with at least five more boxes in the basement filled with unused decorations! Thankfully Christmas will come again! But I hope to look back at this first Christmas with our son and in Virginia for the first time with fond memories of it's sweetness and simplicity.