Christmas Home 2017

Here we are just a week away from Christmas and I cannot help but wonder how the time passed so quickly.  Our home has been decorated for a good couple of weeks now but I am just now getting a chance to share it all with you today.

When it came to our Christmas decorations this year, things felt different.  While I purged quite a bit before we moved, I still found myself overwhelmed by all the Christmas decorations we have.  The problem is I like all of it.  But this year, in a new home, a lot of it just didn't feel right this year.

I craved simple and natural - something that is very on trend right now.  But I also think that with having a little one around the house, I crave neat and tidy.  Since we spend all day spreading out toys, I wanted less clutter around the house.

So I went with what felt much more simple and minimal.  And yet the home still feels plenty cozy and decorated.  The biggest challenge I had was not wanting to pack up all the decorations I didn't use and drive it to The Salvation Army.  While I am a firm believer in getting rid of what you don't want or need, I can't help but wonder if this is a season.  I think back to all our parties in the past and I would hate to get rid of a beautiful collection of things that I have saved over the years because one day I was feeling overwhelmed by it.

It is a hard balance to want to have less for the sake of living a fuller life.  But I also don't want to get rid of everything only to buy it again in a year or two.  I don't want to be wasteful OR feel bogged down by things.

It is a hard balance and one I really struggled with this year.  So I am going to hold on to those boxes sitting in the basement for at least one more year.  This is our first year where I actually feel present during the holiday season here in Virginia and I want to give it the test of time before deciding some of those things don't work for this home.

Plus I really want to find contentment in what I have.  As I mentioned in my last post, I would love to update some of my wreaths for the sake of staying up with decor trends.  And I have made a mental note that perhaps next year I may shop the sales before Christmas to find some.  But mid December I didn't want to run around like a crazy lady looking for the perfect wreaths.

While, I myself, add to the decorating pressures with a home decor blog, I want to inspire you with using what I have but in different ways each year.  To remind you that you don't have to have new decorations each year to make your home feel festive.

So with all that being said, here is a little tour of our Christmas home this year.  I chose to mostly use all my faux green trees and wreaths this year for a sense of cohesiveness.  I brought out my faithful black and white ribbon collection as a simple accent.  And of course, it wouldn't feel as magical without plenty of twinkle lights.  While I believe lights don't always photograph well, the sparkle they bring each evening makes them a worthy investment.

A favorite Merry Christmas banner from my dear friend Deb (from Target) and a simple silver tree dress up our dining area shelf. 

This is one of my favorite styled spots in our house and took me forever to get right.  But I finally found a balance of functional yet pretty - storage on the bottom with draw your eye items higher up.

The back corner of our kitchen and dining area is probably the darkest corner of our main level.  While the area is open and spacious I really struggled with how dark it felt compared to the rest of the space.  I wanted something simple but bright for where we kept the buffet. 

While the rest of the house was pretty much finished by nine months, I want to say this spot took me over a year to finally figure out.  I am so happy that I finally settled on something I love.

I found these two lamps with black shades to add just a little contrast (from At Home) that didn't break the bank!  And the large gold frames hold some photos from our New York trip (from Target). 

Not the best photo as the window reflects a lot of light on this corner, but I did purchase two new things this year - a countdown calendar (Target) and green tree (TJ-Maxx) to create this little vignette.  I had been looking for an advent calendar that could serve as a countdown (and not hold gifts) that worked well with our existing decor. 

Here is a better picture where you can see the numbers a little bit more.  I made the little gold star as our countdown marker.  I tried shopping for an ornament but unfortunately they were all too big.  This little DIY ended up working well!

I decided on putting up the tree in the office.  Which is a weird place to put a tree.  But with a sectional in our living room, we are really limited to how we can configure things.  I wanted the tree to be seen through the window as well as admired throughout the house.  Putting it in the office provided me both of these things.  We can see the tree from our living room and dining table.

Since we have a one year old, I figured that I didn't even want to bother with ornaments this year.  Our massive collection of ornaments will hang again another year.  But it was actually really freeing to not have to worry about putting up ornaments and then constantly keep an eye on them.  A simple collection of ribbon fit perfectly with my need for minimal this year.

The living room is one of my favorite spaces in our home.  Mostly it is the wonderful natural light that comes in.  But we use this space so much during the day and I love that it can be simple, functional, and yet still beautiful.

Decorating a blank wall behind a large sectional can be tricky.  I liked a little of the empty space with just the mirror but after awhile I felt like it needed just a bit more.  Adding a few books and frames to the corner add visual interest without an entire gallery wall.  The illustration of our son at birth is from The Birth Poster that I got for Mother's Day this year. 

To add a little Christmas cheer to this corner of the room I put out a small tree and this white papel picado (similar) I picked up in Santa Fe, New Mexico on our cross country trip

Since we do not have a mantel I hung our stockings on some hooks (hooks from World Market, mirror from Target).

Anyone else buy photo frame ornaments and then not fill them until a year later?  Well, I do!  Since I had last year and this year's photo ornaments out and finally filled, I added them to our stockings so I could at least enjoy the work of my year long procrastination!

I don't believe I have shared many details of some of the new items we have purchased for our home this past year.  But we bought this white area rug from Home Depot and it has held up really well.  We put our old white coffee table down in the basement guest room (with the rug it was way too much white).  And then we found this round smaller coffee table that worked well to add a little contrast as well as give us more space for playing (from Pottery Barn).

Now here are some photos of when the lights are all on.  You can also see how the rooms flow together and how we can see the Christmas tree from around the house.

I love being able to sit on the couch in the evenings and see everything light up.  Plus with a baby down for the night and a piece of Ghiradelli peppermint bark in hand - this is parenting perfection.

The animal horns (bull?) were also a souvenir from our cross country trip that we bought in Texas.  This simple little table is one of my favorite vignettes.

In case you still need to wrap gifts, I love this inexpensive buffalo check wrapping paper from Target.  Emily Henderson and Emily from Jones Design Company used it this year so I'm feeling pretty proud about my purchase!

And then in the kitchen, the hub for daily meals three times a day, I went super minimal and just put up a wreath in the window.  Having cleared off counters on a daily basis is it's own Christmas miracle so I decided to pass on to much decor!

Bubble up brush from Grove Collaborative and striped dish towel (that I love and have four of) from Jones Design Company's shop.

Thank you for joining me on this little Christmas home tour!  It is always a joy to share year after year.  You can see all my Christmas posts here.