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Holiday Housewalk 2018

A Christmas home tour with decorating ideas using thrift store projects, DIYs, free printables, and budget-friendly decor tips that are easy to do.

Merry Christmas, y’all! It feels so good to finally say that since our house has technically been decorated for the occasion for nearly a month now. I am absolutely overjoyed to show y’all around our digs today for Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday Housewalk!

If you’ve never heard of this tour, it runs Monday through Friday, each day featuring a group of bloggers’ homes all gussied up for the holidays. I’m so honored to be among them this year!

We are stop #7 on the tour today. You can see Jennifer’s gorgeous home at Dear Lillie for stop #6 or start from the beginning of the tour at Jennifer Rizzo’s.

I moved into this house just a year and a half ago in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina with my hubs Robert and 6 year-old daughter Olivia. We have extra cause for celebration this year as we just brought home our baby girl Regan 6 weeks ago!

Decorating for Christmas on very little sleep has been… um… interesting. Ha! Totally worth it though.

Our house has come such a long way in a short amount of time thanks to a lot of DIY projects, working with what we have, scouring thrift stores, and good ol’ hard work.

Foyer

Right when you walk through our front door is our foyer with my and Robert’s childhood homes framed on the wall. It’s the perfect reminder of our roots and all we hold dear.

Behind me is still a major work in progress, but for the rest of this foyer, a strand of garland on the banister and a vase of holly perks it right up for Christmas.

Normally, I love using fresh greenery, but with a baby in the mix this year, I’m just lucky there’s not laundry toppling over on the steps and dirty shoes by the door.

This marble topped Eastlake chest was actually a cheapo Craigslist find that I just gave a good scrub down, and it was the perfect spot to display our nativity scene. It seemed like the perfect place to show off the most important reason for the season front and center.

That is along with photos of our family, important reason for the season #2.

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Dining Room

Past our foyer is the dining room, which sees more action now than any other time of the year.

This table was a Craigslist find too that we jazzed up with a DIY oak top, and this wall of mirrors were all ones I collected from thrift stores and eBay.

I love how they bounce the light around and catch the glitter of our Christmas tree in the corner to add even more twinkle in the room.

On the table, I just stuck this pedestal bowl I found for $5 at Goodwill with some glass ornaments as a centerpiece.

And the place settings feel a little extra special with a simple bow of green ribbon as a napkin holder.

Kitchen

Past our dining room is our kitchen that we gave an inexpensive facelift this past summer using mostly just paint. The dark green lower cabinets are perfect for Christmas!

We plan to do a full gut job one of these days by ripping out the tile floors and reworking the layout, but this is one of those work-with-what-you-have spaces that turned out so much better than I ever imagined.

Over the window, we hung up this artificial pine garland that is the most realistic plastic one I’ve ever seen. And that magnolia wreath and those artificial paper whites make doing dishes so much more enjoyable.

Before jazzing up this space this year, I really wasn’t a fan of these kitchen shelves, but now they’re one of my favorite little corners to decorate.

Beside the shelves, I preserved and hung up three handwritten recipes from both of my grandmothers and great-grandmother. Cooking up a storm during the holidays always reminds me of them, so it seems only fitting to honor them in my kitchen when I usually need their legacy of cooking skills the most.

For some extra Christmas twinkle, I stuck some fairy lights underneath a cake dome and cloche and found these adorable gingerbread houses to display (because we do not possess the artistic skills around here for real ones).

A little tip if you ever need to make a pretty Christmasy dessert; fill up a supermarket bundt cake with fresh cranberries and no one will be the wiser.

Entryway

Our back door is just past our kitchen where we normally have coats and boots flung everywhere.

I love swapping out this gallery wall every season of the year with different botanical prints that I printed for $3 each. You can grab your own in this post. I usually keep them displayed all the way through January and February too.

P.S. The sporting equipment section of Goodwill is one of my favorite secret places for finding Christmas decor. It’s where I found these used figure skates. They hung on our front door with some ribbon as a makeshift wreath a few years ago too.

And this year, I scored a pair of old snow skis that I’m currently painting and can’t wait to show off soon.

Living Room

Out of all of the rooms in our house though, my favorite is definitely the living room.

We watch every Christmas movie known to man in here while we flop together on the couch with popcorn.

And while midnight feedings with baby Regan are usually exhausting, they feel so much more enjoyable by the glow of the Christmas tree.


Little tip: you can decoupage old sheet music to just about anything, including plastic Walmart ornaments, and it will look instantly cute and vintage-y.

Every year, I try to change up our decor without spending too much or adding more stuff to our stockpile. Just swapping out a couple spools of wire ribbon normally does the trick to create a whole new look from the year before. This was a Black Watch Tartan plaid kind of year.

Two spools of ribbon was all it took to add a little drama to the tree, the mantel, and some of our presents for a grand total of $12.

To make our Target stockings look like custom designer ones, I just attached these ID badge tags and made name labels on my own printer (which you can get for yourself here).

And adding a couple of candles always makes the room feel warm and inviting in the evenings when it gets dark so crazy early.

Adding these IKEA wreaths to our windows makes the whole space feel extra cheerful too.

One thing I’ve learned to cut down on the Christmas storage and stretch our decor into other seasons though is to use non-seasonal specific pillow covers.

I used all of these green pillow covers this past fall and just kept them on into the holidays by changing the greenery in the space instead. Green and blue are my favorite colors to decorate with because they can work for any time of year.

If you want to see the rest of our house or want to know about any of the other sources and DIY tutorials in these rooms, you can see our home’s full before and after here.

I can’t wait to see even more of this place’s progress in 2019 because we still have plenty more rooms untouched since our move that we can’t wait to get our hands on.

No matter how our home looks though, it’s the people who fill these rooms who matter more than anything. And I hope you remember the same thing at your house too.

“Because the beauty of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence.”

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

Next stop on the tour is Annie’s house at Zevy Joy. I promise you will be blown away by her style!

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Merry Christmas, friends!

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32 Comments

  1. Love everything. It is amazing you found the time to decorate with a little one that needs so much attention. She is good to her mama! The black watch tartan is such a great color and so very different for the holidays. It makes the room come alive! I have the same figurines in your Nativity set. They were a gift from my mom so are very special. Have a great holiday with your lovely family!

    1. Thank you, Barbara!! My husband and I are very blessed to be able to take turns caring for the baby and decorating. I enjoy Nativity scenes. The image it portrays is special itself. But, to have one that also has sentimental value is that much more.

  2. Love this beautiful housewalk Lauren! The plaid ribbon is so dramatic and beautiful. I love all of the creative touches you always add, like the ice skates. Merry Christmas to you, and hang in there mama! These newborn days are a delight but also a challenge, and I’m right there with you!

  3. Merry Christmas Lauren. You never fail to wow us with your clever use of strategic decorating. Just a few changes and the whole house looks like it has been made over. I love the pretty ribbon you used on the tree. And I agree about the pillows staying neutral. Yours look very elegant while hinting at winter. Now if only I could find a nativity at a reasonable price!

  4. Your Holiday Home looks beautiful and I can’t believe you pulled it off with a new baby in the house! Thank you for the tips on how to stretch decor into the post Christmas winter and for the reminder about the real reason for the season. May God bless you and your sweet family.

  5. Love love love your perfect home – how on earth did you manage that with a newborn?

    You are amazing – and I absolutely adore your style – best tour I have seen. Love love love it – can’t say it enough.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Seriously.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Thank you, for ALL this love. LOL. My husband has helped tremendously with decorating and holding down the fort while I step away to decorate. I cannot take full credit. He has been AMAZING!!!

  6. I love your house, Lauren. I have followed your blog for ages and especially appreciate your tips to a beautiful home without always buying new items and then having to find a place to store them.

  7. Hey girl, you said awhile back that you were going to allow your hubby to do the decorating this year, so you can imagine how excited I was to open up my mail to see in fact that you did indeed decorate after all! Yeah!! It was like opening up my own present to myself from you! 🙂 I just love all of the touches that you did this Christmas to your already gorgeous house. This is by far my favorite house. Ironically I placed our Nativity scene right near the front door as well. Thank you for some more great ideas and the care in which you have done it. I will be referring back to your house for some more great ideas to add to my home this year! God Bless You Lauren and your family as well this holiday season and in 2019 too! 🙂

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