Christmas Around Our Home

December 6, 2017

We believe we should all love where we live.

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I love this time of year, but to be honest, sometimes it makes me feel claustrophobic in my own home. To the point where on December 26th I’m ready to take the decorations down–and I do! It’s not too merry of me. I was sure there was another way. This year, I really focused on keeping our Christmas decorations non-disruptive of our regular furnishings and decor, but still enough to fill our home with holiday spirit. That meant no trees in the middle of the room, no rearranging furniture to accomodate Christmas decorations and only a few swap outs of regular decor and we struck a perfect balance.  I also stuck to the main area of the home (in past years, I also decorated our bedroom, the guest room and the girls’ bedroom, plus the bathrooms!), and discovered once again how far lighting some good holiday scented candles, keeping things squeaky clean and playing holiday music goes–spoiler, a long way! It puts everyone in a good, Christmas spirit almost subconsciously.

In the entry:

A live wreath mixed with faux garland (that would fool anyone!) on the stairwell is a balance I can live with. I love the simplicity of the ribbon we used to tie the garland in place.

Wreath | Wreath hanger | Bells (similar) | Front Door

Faux Garland | Ribbon | Railing | Honeycomb Chandelier

In the reading room:

When we bought this house, I knew that this would be the perfect spot for a Christmas tree, since you can see it from the street. But, as a family, we spend the majority of our time together in the great room. So this room still gets a Christmas tree, but I kept it simple by just stringing a few pompom strands on it (which you can barely see in these photos) and skipping the ornaments. But the shelves I made festive by swapping just a few decor pieces, for little houses and trees (my favorite Christmas theme).

Stockings | Nutcracker | Wooden Trees | Tree | Tree Skirt | Felt Garland | Area Rug | Fur throw | Tree topper | Stocking holders (Target Dollar spot) | Paint Color: Pine Grove by Clark+Kensington

In the Living Room:

The focus of this room is definitely family. Our flocked tree in here is filled to the brim with ornaments attached to memories. Chris and I love to pick up an ornament on every trip we take–we have one from our honeymoon! When I went to Mexico for my sister’s wedding! One I made in a glass blowing class he got me for my birthday one year! The girls’ first ornaments. Charly’s paw print. It’s a really happy, special tree. Besides that, I layered a plaid blanket over the striped one that’s almost always on the arm of our Charly sofa, added a few faux snowballs to the coffee table and put a small faux tree in a basket.

Couch | Rug | Coffee Table | Tray Basket | Snowballs | Navy Velvet Pillow | Green Velvet PillowBasket | Small Tree | Flocked Tree | Tree Collar | Wood Metallic Ornaments | Letters to Santa Ornament | Felt Letters Ornaments | Clay Paw Print Ornament | Star Tree Topper

In the Dining Area and Kitchen:

You read about our dining room update in yesterday’s post, but I didn’t touch on the simple branches on our table. They are real, trimmed from a friend’s Christmas tree!, and I love the smell as much as the look in the textured white vase 

We always strive to keep our open shelving functional, so I don’t keep strictly decor on here ever, but I swapped out our normal mixing bowls for a few more festively colored ones (that we use all the time!). On the counter, a cookie jar–a must for this time of year!–another small faux tree and a good candle.

 Tree (sold out, similar) | Striped Bowl | Gold Bowl | Wooden Tray | Candle

Something I didn’t get a picture of is our exterior (I’ll try to put one on Instagram at some point)–The girls love exterior lights, so we always line our roof with white lights and wrap one tree in red and one in green. (We actually pay a landscape company to come do it and they do such a good job, plus take them down and store them all year, worth every penny.) That, plus a wreath over each light flanking our garage and we’re good.

How do you decorate for the holidays? Want to know something crazy? This is the first year that I’ve incorporated red into our color scheme! When we had our dark indigo rug, I always felt like red clashed, but now I’m loving the warmth it brings. Hope your home is feeling merry!

What do you think?

  1. Jennifer says:

    How did you like the garland from Lowes? Planning to use it again this year?

  2. Lori says:

    I love that all of your ornaments are special to you all and are tied to memories and experiences. How did you make sure the ornaments came together well when you were picking them up slowly over several years? They all look so great together!

    • Julia says:

      Honestly, the flocked tree really helps with that. I never think about how they would look together. We have every ornament color, size, material and shape under the sun–but the flocked tree really is a great backdrop for all of them. I also do hang some large round ornaments in gold and white all over the tree and that helps tie it together, too.

  3. Jennifer says:

    My husband and I just made our 1 year anniversary in November and we do the same thing with our ornaments. We get one on every trip we take and just made a paw print ornament of our pup! It’s my favorite thing we do! Love love love your tree! :)

  4. Adrienne says:

    Love love love your family tree. Just want to reach through the screen and hug it. Man i shoulda gone flocked!

  5. Lilian Larkin says:

    I usually feel the same way about our Christmas decorations!!! Totally taking some tips to simplify this year :)

    Where did you get the house cookie jar? Did you paint the kitchen shelf brackets? I thought they were gold before.

    • Julia says:

      The brackets have always been stainless. Rejuvenation has some pretty brass ones, but we needed deeper than what they have! The house cookie jar is from Crate and Barrel last year. :/

  6. Tim says:

    Where did you originally get the bells hanging from your door handle?

  7. Rosemarie says:

    I bought that same tree topper this year and love it! Only wish you couldn’t see the seams, I was hunting for one without seams and only one I could find was a star someone 3D printed. But I like this version better than one I saw on Amazon that you clipped together and you could see the clips.

  8. Kate says:

    Hi! Love your blog! I could not get the link to work on your bowl full of fake snowballs. Also, curious about your huge felt? Deer in your first pic on your lovely book case. Thanks in advance!

  9. Val says:

    I love this approach and your style, it looks great! I especially love the flocked tree and the special memories it holds. ????

  10. Terry says:

    Can you share how much you paid to the landscaping company to put up your lights? It’s something I would consider but am not sure what ballpark range it would cost. Thank you!

  11. irene says:

    Sorry – this may sound like a rant, but I am just responding to how sad it seems thaat you feel crowded by your beautiful decorations. We really love holiday decorations but don’t put them up until a week or so before christmas, and then take them down on new years day. Having them for a shorter period means you don’t get sick of them! I am so sad when I hear of people who take the decorations and tree down the day after christmas – the original holiday was the 12 days of chirstmas – the days between chirstmas and ephiphany, but consumerisum has pushed the decorations earlier and earlier every year. My parents are european and this is just the way we have always done it (decorate the tree on christmas eve). Our current house is small (1200 sq ft) so this is an extra reason to wait to decorate. Honeslty, lots of blogs this year are talking about “simplicity” and doing ” less” decorating – I think the problem is the pressure blogs (and stores who want people to buy more) create to HAVE all these excess decorations (more than one tree, etc) and to have them up for Such A Long Time – even before Thanksgiving! I find it amazing the people have different “themes” for trees – tradionally a christmas tree just has ornaments that have been gathered over the years. (Just because you can go to Target and buty 40 blue and silver ornaments for $ 11.99 does not mean people should buy newornaments each year or have a tree in every room – I have seen blogs that have trees in bedrooms!). Your house really does look lovely, now and alwsys, and I hope you and your girls can still apprecate it by thte time Christmas comes !

    • Julia says:

      I think as bloggers, we sometimes do feel pressured (by our readers and by sponsors!) to decorate early and buy new every year. This year, we decided early on NOT to do that. We got new stockings because we had a new baby and a new dog and hadn’t gotten new stockings for several years, but besides that and a fresh wreath, we used what we had.

      However, I think the real problem came in years past when our main tree was in the middle of the living room. This year we scooted the couch over and it’s much nicer having it tucked in the corner. We love LOVE the tree full of memories (I’m sure you read about that) and are happy with the balance we struck this year. I’m also glad that a lot of bloggers are talking about doing less decorating and keeping it more simple this year–because that shouldn’t be the focus of the season.

      We generally wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to decorate, but this year Chris’s parents were leaving on a mission and we had Christmas and Thanksgiving combined at our house, so we made an exception. I love the season and the spirit–but not all the stuff all the time. :)

  12. I’m so in love with your flocked tree and how packed it is with meaningful ornaments! I also love all of the texture the tree collar adds. Hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas! :)

  13. Kara says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing. I have always struggled with how to decorate for the holidays without making everything look cluttered. My husband and I just bought our first home, and you are one of our biggest inspirations for how we want to decorate! :) Love the blog and podcast.

  14. Kristi johnson says:

    This post rang true to me and so glad to hear it coming from someone else. The past couple years I’ve paired down my Christmas decor. I found the process consumed too much of my attention-away from time I could be spent making holiday memories with my family. My decor is now simple, with the main features being the tree and nativity set.

  15. Katie says:

    Did you guys get a new pup? Pretty dog

  16. I love that you actually decorate your tree with real family ornaments. I notice more and more people wanting to style their tree so it loses all of the personal family love! Thanks for the constant inspiration. :)

  17. Hannah R. says:

    Your home looks so beautiful! Your blog has been my primary source of inspiration for our home renos; thanks for sharing amazing details of your projects. I was wondering where the semi-flush pendant in your entryway is from? It is lovely. Happy Holidays!

  18. Caitlin says:

    Would love to know the source or look-a-like for that cookie jar!

  19. Sue says:

    The small tree on your counter and beside your sofa. Thanks :)

  20. Sue says:

    Is that a medium or large wooden tray from Target? Also, the small trees are different. I’m assuming they don’t sell the ones you got anymore but do you know where they were from? Looking for small, natural looking and non-flocked. Thanks!

  21. Shell says:

    Looks beautiful guys! So warm, welcoming and festive : )
    Happy Holidays!

  22. Michelle says:

    Did I miss you say where the adorable cookie jar is from? Thanks!

  23. Victoria says:


  24. Victoria says:

    I wonder if you could consider looking at the website layout? Both on the site direct and Bloglovin the top menu and the pop up advert from the bottom leave less than a third of the screen to read the post. The top menu slides back up when you scroll up, but comes back down when you scroll down. Maybe it isn’t happening for everyone but it’s putting me off reading your site so wanted to let you know.

    • Julia says:

      Are you using an iPad or tablet by chance? We don’t see this on our end but this is the only device we haven’t tested it on. Let me know!

      • Liz says:

        I have the same issue on a Kindle Fire tablet. It’s even funnier that on the Kindle, at times I see the header (projects, shop …) and the ad at the bottom and then ads in the middle so I see none of your blog. And the ads open and close so the page shifts up and down! But, it is a cheap tablet that I use for reading purposes. I also have the Kindle on the landscape layout. When I rotate it to the portrait position, there is more reading room, but the type is a lot smaller.

        So, I just wait and read your blog on the laptop where I have an ad blocker. It would make me frustrated if the only thing I had to use was a tablet.

      • Sara says:

        I’m on a laptop, though a very small screened one, and I have the same issue, but can close out the bottom advertisement. It’s not deterring me from reading, but it is happening on my end on a computer not a tablet, as well, so figured I’d let you know.

      • Victoria says:

        Yes I’m on an iPad. It’s funny, as I write this comment I can’t see what I’m writing because the header has come so far down I can’t see the comment box! If I line it up just right I can see a small part of the box between the header and my keypad. Don’t mean to be awkward but it’s not a fun read if I can only see half an image and never the image and the text that goes with it at the same time.

      • Julia says:

        Totally! Thanks for letting us know!

    • Michelle says:

      I hate the way the menu at the top and the ad at the bottom eat up the screen space and cut into the pictures. Now I have to scroll to see a whole image which throws off the context a bit and doesn’t really let me appreciate the content as much. I keep reading, though, cause your blog is one of the ones where the text isn’t all blah blah blah blah.. :-)

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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