Hi beautiful friends! I’m so honored to have you over for a little holiday hangout sesh. If you had told me a year ago that I would be a part of a Christmas home tour with Country Living Magazine, I would have snort laughed. Seriously.
I am absolutely humbled to be a part of this incredibly talented group of home decor bloggers. Ashley from Cherished Bliss was so gracious to invite me and my house along for the ride.
If you’re stopping in from Shannon’s lovely abode at AKA Design, I’m so glad to have you here! Please accept this giant virtual cup of hot cocoa and stay awhile. Wink wink.
I guess since you’re walking through the front door right now, I should tell you I am not a gal with an interior design degree or a bank account full of home decor spending money.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with a slight Fixer Upper / Pinterest addiction and a determination to make our suburban stock builder home a modern farmhouse with as little money as possible. So far, the thrifting marathons and naptime makeovers seem to be working out for us. It’s amazing how God can show you abilities you never knew you had when you’re faced with a challenge, right? Our journey in our home has definitely brought our family even closer together and has made us even more grateful for what we have.
My husband Robert, three year-old daughter Olivia, and I have had so much fun making this first house of ours into something we are happy to share with friends and family.
Pretty much any time of year, if you pop in for a visit, you’ll see greenery in every room. It’s my favorite way to make a room come to life. I sort of went crazy with it in here.
I usually try to spend as little money as possible on seasonal decor, so this $9 thrift store typewriter usually gets a seasonal update with a quote or scripture or something cute for the time of year. And well…sometimes Santa needs an explanation for our “bad days”. Chill out, dude. Nobody’s perfect. 😉
I find Olivia playing with this typewriter pretty much every day, and she gets a good giggle out it.
Beside the foyer, our dining room is a spot that we only use on special occassions. Birthday parties, family gatherings, holidays all happen in here. I love that so many hand-me-downs from my grandmothers have found a home in this space.
My paternal grandmother’s side of the family came from Sweden, so I pulled together this centerpiece to resemble St. Lucia’s Day in honor of her along with my maternal grandmother’s Depression glass.
I love using lots of texture on our walls, and these old shutters a friend gave me work so well as picture holders for photos of past Christmases.
And of course, I had to put one up of me and my main squeeze. Robert is the kind of guy who can still play like a little kid, build like a handyman, talk to you like a best friend, prank you to the verge of driving you crazy, and then sweep you off your feet all over again…or maybe that’s just me he does that to. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky.
Down our hallway we have this makeshift mudroom where we can toss our winter gear and shoes. We’ve started a new tradition this year with this DIY advent calendar that I made using leftover craft supplies. Olivia loves getting her chocolate fix from it everyday (what girl doesn’t?) and we read the scripture inside together when Robert comes home from work each evening.
Can you believe this old wagon bench was $35 on Craigslist? Best. score. ever.
Across from the hallway bench, we hung up this old window that we pulled out of my in-law’s barn. This once hung in Robert’s childhood home that was built in 1904. All it needed was some chalkboard paint. Voila!
And my mom gave me these deer antler candleholders because they reminded her of me. She’s my bestie.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with my chalkboards. They’re so easy to update throughout the year. My handwriting looks like our three year-old’s though, so I use this trick to make it all snazzy.
Our kitchen will be getting a makeover in the spring (fingers crossed!) but I gave it some lovin’ with a small hot cocoa bar.
Somehow we get schmoozed by Olivia into giving her hot chocolate most days. If you’re wondering, yes our kid runs on chocolate. Literally. Runs. #nojudgementparentinghere
Our kitchen and breakfast room open up to our living room, and it’s always great for having lots of company over. Although, most days, those white dishes and driftwood chargers are often replaced with sippy cups and Play-Doh.
Ever since we installed that $80 wood beam and our DIY faux fireplace, our house has been completely transformed. Robert wanted to hang garland from the beam this year, but we had a budget to consider. We get giddy-goofy-dancing-level excited about busting out the decorations.
I had a bunch of cheap glass ornaments and a stack of old sheet music lying around, so I just used a bottle of Mod Podge to make these sheet music ornaments. I use them everywhere- bowl fillers, place setting decor, nestled between garland, you name it. Oh, and on our tree of course.
This year, I was determined to replace some of our pipe cleaner looking garlands (that probably should have been tossed years ago), so I hit the stores early in November for the 60-70% off decor sales. Ya know, when you’re wondering who are these crazy people buying Christmas stuff around Halloween? Yeah, that’d be me. It’s cheaper then. Because well…apparently there are only a handful of Buddy the Elf types who do that.
One of the biggest reasons we built this faux fireplace in our living room last summer was so we could hang our stockings. Because it’s totally normal to be thinking about Christmas stockings in June, right? It was the first project we thought up when we moved in December 2013, and it was pretty much the one that started it all.
Oh, and our moody Yorkie-Schnauzer Lola gets a stocking too. Even if she does terrorize the UPS guy. She thinks she’s big and bad.
We’re usually a neutral lovin’ crowd around here, but I love busting out the red this one month of the year. It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me without red.
This Coca-Cola crate I found while out thrifting likes to make an appearance around July 4th too. It’s perfect for holding odds and ends that often show up on our coffee table. I picked up a bunch of little Christmas trees at the Target Dollar Spot on the cheap too.
We’re still working on decorating our front porch, where this old sled will most likely end up. It seems right at home leaning against our tree though.
I love figuring out ways to use sentimental items in our house, and this is one of my favorites. It was my mother’s (and I think even my grandmother’s) growing up. Since we live in South Carolina, we only get usually one good winter storm each year. When I was little, my brother and I took every opportunity we could to zoom down the hills in our neighborhood on this baby.
We kept our tree mostly the same as last year’s with lots of homemade ornaments that are a reflection of our family. There are a few dollar store decorations in there too. I wound a couple of spools of burlap ribbon around it that I found on clearance a few years ago.
Living Room Sources: Wood Barrel Tree Stand Planter | Firewood Basket | Burlap Stockings | Mantel Lanterns | Flocked Garland | Coca-Cola Crate | Faux Fur Pillows (similar) | Cable Knit Pillows (similar) | French Script Pillows (similar) | Faux Fur Throw Blanket (similar)
Robert always wants a real tree every year (I told you, he’s a Christmas-loving little kid), so this year we got one of the first picks on the lot. We skipped the tree skirt and used a wood barrel planter instead, then “flocked” it with just a couple of $1.50 cans of canned snow from Lowe’s. I think we’re officially addicted to this stuff. If you stand still too long, you might get snow-canned.
Isn’t it purrrrdy? Magic, I tell ya.
I’ve loved wrapping up presents in pretty ways ever since I was little, and year-round I often use brown shipping paper to embellish for the occassion. You can see more about it here. The stamp printables are from Vintage Fangirl and Graphics Fairy.
Oh and this is my little helper elf. Teehee!
We often have a lot of scrap wood from leftover projects hanging out in our garage, so I whipped up this wood and metal noel sign for our living room media cabinet. I love how it turned out!
Robert found this nativity scene at an antique shop last year. The birth of our Savior is what it’s all about. I love being able to pass down the Christmas story to Olivia and tell her all about little “beebee Cheese-us” (that’s how she says it).
Up in Olivia’s bedroom, I used her ballerina theme as a jumping off point for The Nutcracker. I danced that ballet so many times that I still cringe to this day hearing Tchaikovsky playing at the mall, but my love for the story will never fade.
We twirl all around this room together, per her request…which is pretty much 24/7 if she had it her way.
I picked up these burlap snowflakes from the Target Dollar Spot to string together for her canopy. I might even add fairy lights behind it eventually.
I passed down all of my decorations to her that once hung on my own Christmas tree in my bedroom as a little girl. I collected the nutcracker dolls in my dancing years too, and they seem totally content on her dresser. Although, Olivia is scared to death of that Drosselmeyer one, so I have to hide it usually. Haha!
Next week, I’ll be sharing a bit more of our house all done up for Christmas in the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes with Evolution of Style.
But as you leave today, I hope you take the time this year to truly experience Christmas for its true beauty. It’s never about buying the presents or decorating every nook and cranny of your house. I hope, most of all, that you are present and take time to enjoy your family. I hope you give, even if you can only afford giving your time, to those who need it. I hope you are the light this world so desperately needs and find ways to spread kindness in even the smallest ways. And I hope, through the hustle and bustle, we remember the One who is our constant redeemer and makes it all possible.
It was a pleasure having you here, friends!
You can continue the tour over at House By Hoff, where I’m sure April has all kinds of inspiration. Or you can start the tour from the beginning and see the full line-up at Cherished Bliss if you missed any of them.
Be sure to join in on the party over on Instagram with us and Country Living Magazine to share your own Christmas decor. Just use the tag #CLChristmasTour as we’ll be choosing favorites to feature throughout December!
*Affiliate links are provided in this post for convenience. For more information, see my full disclosure here.