Decking the Halls!

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Traditionally, I have saved Christmas decorating for the weekend following Thanksgiving. It just felt wrong to start before the turkey was carved.

This year? I decided to break the rules and start a little early. Partly because Cowboy was gone hunting and I could have my little glitter explosion without his observing it and partly because I had the crazy good luck to inherit an insane amount of Christmas decor from a friend who was downsizing. I simply couldn’t wait to break into tubs of holiday treasures and deck the halls! And the fireplace, and the living the room, and my shelving, and every surface visible to man . . .

Because let’s be honest. Those of us who love decorating in general go completely ballistic when Christmas rolls around! It’s this giant excuse to rearrange, restyle, and get a huge fir flocking fix. And so, of course, I go completely nuts. This year we’ll have four Christmas trees (maybe five) and enough twinkle lights to stretch to Santa’s Workshop and back. Time to get my Christmas on!

fireplace
Yes, those are my stocking feet on the left. I said decorating for Christmas was fun, I didn’t say it wasn’t exhausting. And so I am lying on the couch in  heap after finishing the (9 foot!) tree and the formal living room. Put a bow on me, I’m done. (The hook broke off my Pottery Barn “E” in my “PEACE” stocking holder!  Must have happened when we moved? I had to tuck one stocking under it – anyone from Pottery Barn reading this, shoot me an email. I would like a new “E” for free please!)
shot-of-stairs
The past two weeks we’ve had painters in the house painting all of our trim white (yay!). The biggest part of this project was having all of our golden oak stair railing painted white with black accents. They actually have one day left on Monday so I haven’t showcased the project on the blog just yet but I will. This angle gives a great sneak peek!
fireplace2
We actually moved our furniture around a bit when the painters were here. In the chaos I realized that if we slid our sectional and entertainment center over a little we’d have room for my vintage recovered Ethan Allen chair. Now we have a place to sit next to the fire with a good book. Loving it! — Oh, and yes, this tree — It is massive! It is 9 feet tall and one of the Christmas pieces I was given by a friend. (Yes, she’s been elevated to best friend status after this, I couldn’t believe it! She was downsizing and I couldn’t believe it either.) This is the first time I’ve had to use a LADDER to decorate my tree. It was hysterical. The theme of this tree is rustic/vintage so I chose a lot of burlap, wood, white, ivory and metal for this tree’s theme.
ornament
I picked up these little ornaments at Burlap, a local boutique of all things vintage. They were just perfect for the theme of this tree – burlap, iron, and wood.

The second tree that I finished yesterday is in our parlor. In my Christmas Past this six foot tree used to be our main tree and I previously had collected a lot of white and silver for it. I stuck to that theme in this room  and really love how it turned out. The only thing I added was some wooden flowers to add some rustic flair so it would still fit into the overall style of our home. tree2

Oh wait, back to the living room. I almost forgot! A really neat addition I picked up yesterday was this sweet antique chippy little black chair. I previously had a larger burlap style chair from Pier 1 Imports here but it was so solid it didn’t compliment the decor and family photos I was using this desk to display. I knew I wanted a wooden piece here and when I saw this little chair (for only $18!) I knew it was just perfect.

chair-firechippy-chair

This desk is not functional, it is decorative. So I am not too concerned about anyone sitting on this and crashing to the floor! For it is a little rickety, which makes me wonder what its story is? I always imagine pieces like this made it here on a wagon train. Truly. I do.

The final room that I tackled this weekend was the dining room. I went with red holiday accents in this room as it goes so well with this black buffet. Originally, this piece was sage green back in the early 2000’s when that color was the rage. I painted it black about 5 years ago and just love it still.

hutch2black-hutch

tablescape
I usually only do tablescapes the day of the actual holiday. This year I put my Pottery Barn plates out on our formal dining room table as a part of the holiday decorating. That is about as serious as I’ve gotten about tablescaping. I know some people are REALLY into it. But for now – I slapped some plates on the table and am keeping mine simple. (Setting your table warms up the space, in case anyone thinks this is weird. It is a trend that hasn’t necessarily caught on in our part of the country but I’m giving it a very simply whirl. Don’t judge me, I realize this is pretty naked. Baby steps!)

mantel

Last but not least, check out that vintage beam in the corner. You know what that is? It is going to be our new . . . . mantel!!! After Christmas, Cowboy has some really amazing plans for above the fireplace. That mirror will be history and I cannot wait to show all of you when it is done!

And so, this completes my updates: trim and railing painting peek, fireplace project plans peek and a peek into my Christmas decorating so far (hey, the weekend isn’t over yet and I’ve got two, maybe three!, more trees to tackle.)

Next weekend I’ll showcase more of the trim painting project when it’s all done and I just might have to devote an entire blog entry JUST to the stairs. The transformation is amazing! I can’t believe how much that has changed the look of our home.

I’ll leave you with a few Christmas decorating design tips:

Design Tip

Christmas decorating can either be daunting or enjoyable. I always play Christmas music when I decorate and try to incorporate the kids. Although this year my teenagers were less than thrilled. One had her period and was super crabby and the other was working on a project for school and could not be bothered with this nonsense. Gone are the days of my making cocoa and telling stories attached to family ornaments while my kids don Santa hats and dance around to Bing Crosby! But that was fine by me – I just cranked up the music and enjoyed it. They did ooh and ahh when I was done and I know in their hearts they do appreciate the transformation and the cozy feel of Christmas. (They did confess this when I was done!)

Design Tip

I am super over the top when it comes to this crap. I confess. But you need not be – simple statements can make a big impact. More than anything, use the season to express your style and put out items that make you happy. Use the inherited items from Grandma, the colored lights, the old fashioned tinsel – who cares? If you love it then you use it. It is your home and there is no right or wrong way to decorate for Christmas in your home. Because the point of this is to acknowledge the birth of our Savior. And I am pretty sure that someone who was born in a stable isn’t going to care if your nod to Christmas is an elaborate theme or one single string of lights around a window. Whatever you do in your home to welcome in this joyful season know that it is more than enough.

On a final note, I want to share a picture from our Christmas photo shoot of me and my Cowboy. (Yes the kids were there but I don’t share photos of my children on my blog.) — If you’ve been reading my blog you may remember my post from last spring titled, “Rebuilding Us.” You see, our marriage almost didn’t make it and we separated last year. I am very very grateful for the love of Jesus Christ and the role He played in our reconciliation. Marriage is hard hard work and it involved a lot of patience, forgiveness and acceptance. Through prayer and faith we thankfully found our way back to each other.

And so here’s a little nod to my Cowboy and the life we are building together and what this new home represents – a beautiful miracle that I will always treasure . . . my family.

Love you, Matthew!

Audra&MattColor.jpg

Peace, Joy and Blessings, 

~Audra

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:11

8 comments

    1. You are so sweet – thank you! As for tips along those lines – remember, you can’t see behind the camera in my photos, we do live here 🙂 — I have two teens still at home – their rooms are TORNADOS! 🙂 — My first tip is lower your expectations. Life happens. Some days are just busy and you have to roll with it. But otherwise – my biggest tip is having a place for everything – so when it is time to “pick up” – everything has its place. I use baskets A LOT for storage and organization – especially within cabinets and cupboards – wire, wicker, plastic – whatever works! I also have a routine and certain cleaning tasks I do daily. So try to establish a routine – and get your family engaged. You can never do this alone. Make beds daily, sweep floors daily … etc. I honestly feel everyone can have a clean and tidy home. It just takes commitment and balance.

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      1. Okay thank you! Yeah the part I’m having trouble with is the other people in the house… 😦 If you ever have time please do maybe make a blog post on decluttering too and how to motivate family members/people you live with as that’s what I struggle with most… I see photos of the homes on your blog and it makes me feel all dreamy like someday somehow I can live in an immaculate home…. 😊 Thanks for the interior inspiration too! ❤

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      2. Thank you so much for the suggestion! I have been meaning to do a “real life” post – maybe post some pictures of my home’s disaster areas so people can relate! — My best friend has five kids — I have kids — and four cats who like to barf — and a husband who thinks window seats are for his pants…. 😳😳😳 — Mainly you have to just pick your battles. I always focus on the main living areas the most …. the rest is hit and miss. Remember, too – that stages of life come with different demands – when your kids are little it is really is shoveling in a blizzard – and sometimes life is just crazy busy and you just can’t get to things …. that is ok! Focus on the one “dreamy” corner on those days and turn a blind eye to the rest. I will do a post on tips and tricks that work for me …. but mainly? Give thanks for your blessings and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses …. life is too short to have an immaculate home. 💕💕💕 God bless and thank you for stopping by! I am opening a decor store right now so hope to post later this week – 😃😃👍👍👍

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      3. Awww thank you for the advice it’s helpful and has cheered me up! Yeah I think focusing on a ‘dreamy corner’ and just areas like a desk is a good first step… Thank you! From Catherine in England

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