Holiday Housewalk 2019

A cozy, traditional-meets-modern holiday home tour with sentimental details and Christmas decor ideas for all budgets.

Merry Christmas, friends!

It feels SO good to finally say that officially now. (Even though I’ve been saying it “unofficially” for weeks… livin’ on the edge, I tell ya.)

I’m so excited to be part of Jen Rizzo’s Holiday Housewalk Tour again this year, and I feel so honored to be among the massive amount of talent in the participant lineup this week.

I am stop #3 on the tour, so if you want to see the tour from the very beginning, start here.

If you’re visiting from Shannon’s beautiful home at Fox Hollow Cottage, welcome!


Enjoy this virtual cup of hot cocoa and come on in!

Christmas decor ideas | Modern meets traditional Christmas foyer with red amaryllis and real looking faux garland


Just don’t look in the closets. They’re booby trapped with all of our junk and unwrapped presents that we stuffed out of sight before you arrived. Oops… I didn’t say that.

By the way, if you’re new here, my husband Robert and I live in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC with our two little girls: Olivia (7) and Regan (1) and Lola, our Yorkie/Schnauzer mutt who thinks she’s the baby.

Christmas decor ideas | Modern meets traditional Christmas foyer with red amaryllis and real looking faux garland

This is our third Christmas in this house, but believe me, this house has seen way more than that, about 56 more to be exact.

And this year, I filled our home with lots of my grandmother’s precious Swedish heirlooms, like this crystal bowl she loved. The tapered candleholder is a vintage piece from Sweden too.

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

I’m a sucker for black-and-white family photographs, so I sprinkle them around every chance I get. It seems only fitting that our most precious family photos hang on the staircase in the very heart of our home.

And I framed old sheet music of “O Holy Night” on our thrifted foyer chest. My grandfather sang that song for a solo in church at his very last Christmas 10 years ago, so it always reminds me of him. He always said, “Sing or make a joyful noise, whatever you can do to praise Him.”

Christmas decor ideas | Modern meets traditional Christmas foyer with real looking faux garland

Foyer Sources:Β  Chest (similar) | Mirror | Gold Mirrored Tray | Mercury Glass Candle | Garland | Pine Branches | Red Velvet Ribbon | O Holy Night Sheet Music Print | Amaryllis Flowers | Picture Frames | Wreath | Skinny Candles

Dining Room

Christmas decorating ideas | Christmas tree in the dining room with garland on a chandelier and wreaths on windows

Truthfully, 90% of the year, this room is our craft room, project room, displaced items room, whatever kind of room with randomness sprawled all over our semi-DIY dining table until we can start our home office makeover (which will be in 2020… fingers crossed).

But around Thanksgiving and Christmas, she’s finally shined up in all of her glory the way she was supposed to look. (And apparently our dining room is a “she” now, so just roll with it.)

If I can get away with just decorating and being the gathering place for our friends and family while everyone else cooks and brings the yummy food to sprawl around this table, that is totally fine by me.

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas tree in a dining room

But this tree was cute enough to leave half-naked.

With a mobile 13 month old running around, I didn’t feel like fighting the ornament battle. I let her play with these bell ornaments for 5 minutes until she lost interest after that. Christmas decorations are only fun when they’re off limits, right? πŸ˜‰

Christmas decor ideas | garland hung from a chandelier

Little tip: 1 strand of garland, 3-4 pomegranates from the grocery store, a yard or two of red velvet ribbon, and some taper candle holders is literally the easiest table centerpiece to recreate ever.

(Former English teachers don’t use the word “literally” unless they mean it. πŸ˜‰ )

I was so excited that, this year, I could dress up our new chandelier with a little garland too. Doesn’t it look real? It’s totally plastic.

Christmas decorating ideas | Simple Christmas centerpiece

I really wanted to keep it fairly simple this year: the simple centerpiece, the dishes we’ve owned since our wedding, only a handful of ornaments to place on the otherwise bare tree.

“Less is more” is so totally true for us in this season.

Christmas decor ideas | simple Christmas centerpiece

Dining Room Sources: Christmas Tree | Wicker Chairs (similar) | Slipcovered Chairs | Rug | Table Runner | Chargers | Green Garland | Red Berry Stems | Bell Ornaments | Chandelier | Candle Holders | Flax Napkins | Art | Gold Flatware

Christmas decor ideas | vintage modern Christmas dining room


Christmas decor ideas | Hang a wreath and garland on a kitchen window

There may or may not be dishes sitting in that kitchen sink. πŸ˜‰ But you know what? We live here. We create memories here.

And even though this is likely the most tidy this kitchen has looked in weeks, I’m thankful when it gets messy again. It’s a sign of full bellies, good memories, and a happy family.

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas kitchen shelves decorated with gingerbread houses and a cocoa bar

My mother’s, grandmothers’, and great-grandmother’s handwritten recipes framed on the wall will attest to that.

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas kitchen shelves and framed handwritten recipes from past generations

Kitchen Sources: Wreath | Garland | Cake Stand | Paperwhite Bulbs (similar) | Float Frames | Cutting Board (similar) | Wooden Gingerbread Houses | Cake Dome | Pine Branches | Stools (similar) | Wooden Platter | Pendant Light | Track Light

Breakfast Nook

Christmas decor ideas | real looking artificial garland and mistletoe in a breakfast nook decorated for the holidays

We call this space the “breakfast nook” when really it’s the “all meals” nook. But the fancy table setting is for special holidays only.

And I guarantee we’ll be wearing our footie jammies in this Christmas candlelight.

Christmas decor ideas | cozy holiday place setting

This little nook of our home has hardly any natural light at all, so it makes the glow even more welcome.

Christmas decor ideas | cozy Christmas breakfast nook and console table

Christmas decor ideas | cozy tablescape round table

Breakfast Nook Sources: Table | Chairs (similar) | Mirror | Console Table | Goblets | Napkins (similar) | Chargers | Map | Holly Wreath (similar) | Boxwood Wreaths | Red Stripe Ribbon | Mistletoe | Brass Lanterns (similar) | Mini Tree (similar) | Wooden Bowl (similar) | Baskets | Rug | Chandelier

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas living room with real looking fake garland and mistletoe and cozy breakfast nook

Living Room

Christmas decor ideas | Cozy Christmas living room with wreaths on windows

But this is where the real magic happens.

It’s where we have family game nights and curl up by the fire watching Home Alone for the millionth time and our little ones clamor around the tree and we read “The Christmas Story” and we celebrate the One who made it all possible.

Christmas decor ideas | Swedish Christmas tree and French doors

And every year, the older I get, I find myself more excited about giving the gifts rather than receiving them.

I believe the best gifts of all are the gifts of quality time.

I believe that laughter is the most beautiful Christmas music of all.

And I want to hold on tight to every single little moment.

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas mantel decor with TV

Because it doesn’t matter what ends up in the stockings Christmas Eve. It doesn’t matter if you checked your list twice. It doesn’t even matter if there are any gifts under your tree at all.

We already have so much to celebrate and so much to be thankful for.

Christmas decor ideas | modern cozy Christmas living room

Christmas decor ideas | Scandinavian Christmas

So I hope, this Christmas, you don’t let the to-do list get the best of you. I hope you find peace around every corner. And I hope you know how loved you already are.

Christmas decor ideas | vintage modern living room mantel with TV and Christmas tree

Living Room Sources: Christmas Tree | Stockings | Scandinavian Art | Basket | Cranberry Garland | Red Stripe Ribbon | Holly Stems | Paper Trees | Sconces | Gray Vase | Coffee Table | Rug | Accent ChairsΒ  | Ceiling Fan | Lamp | Fireplace Screen | End Table | Jingle Bells | Ottoman Bench | Mini Tree | Boxwood Wreaths | White Lumbar Pillow | Red Throw Blanket | Red Lumbar Pillow | Red Cable Knit Pillow | Gray Textured Pillows (similar) | Ivory Throw Blanket | Faux Fur Accent Rug | Vintage Christmas Tree Art Prints

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas mantel with TV and living room

Seeing Christmas through the eyes of my little girls makes me realize all of those things all over again. And it is absolutely beautiful, messes and all.

Christmas decor ideas | Christmas playroom

“May our hearts prepare Him room,

our lives reflect His presence,

our homes radiate His peace.”

The next stop on the tour is Bre’s beautiful home at Rooms for Rent. Go tell her hi!

(And if you missed it, you can start the Holiday Housewalk from the very beginning here.) You can also follow along with the tour on Instagram by searching the hashtag #JRHolidayHousewalk

Have a merry and bright week, y’all!

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  1. Lauren – as usual your home is as beautiful as it is inspirational. Have a very blessed Christmas and thanks for sharing. And oh, BTW — where did you get that fantastic wooden menorah candle holder? Gorgeous!

    1. Thank you, Penny! The candle holder is an antique from Sweden. I used a lot of my grandmother’s Swedish heirlooms sprinkled all around our house this year. πŸ™‚

  2. Lauren, it all looks so beautiful. Each and every room. I can totally relate when you were talking about the closets and dishes in the sink. Except my whole front hall was full of Christmas decor. I can’t even tell you which room I like the best. They all look so lovely. I also love that your using family heirlooms from Sweden. So special.

  3. Everything is just beautiful and reminds me of the Christmases I spent in Norway as a child with my Norwegian grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. The beauty is in the simplicity of the decor and it allows you to focus on what really matters…family!

  4. Hi there, Lauren! Your decorating style is so beautiful. The wreaths look stunning on the traditional mutton bars! Everything is so welcoming. I loved your closet comment ha ha… Sharing it all on FB & IG today!

  5. What a warm and beautiful house. I love a house that is welcoming and looks lived in. I enjoy your blog and your words of wisdom. Merry Christmas πŸŽ„

  6. Hey Lauren. I too live in the subs if Chlt, and ai was wondering where you purchased your garland? I am looking for some to drape on my staircase and haven’t been able to find it at the tree places around here. BTW- I adore your home, my husband and I are installing that backsplash next weekend, we had the same hideous grey black tiles as well.

  7. Can you suggest how to hang the garland and stockings over the fireplace? I can’t put nails into my mantel, and stocking hooks (the ones you just set on top with the hooks that hang down) are in the way of the cable box, etc. I usually stick the garland on top in front of all that anyway and everyone can just suffer with difficult electronics, haha…but would love to get it down onto the front like you have it. I thought command hooks but we have moulding/grooves right in front…

    1. I just use clear push pins. I don’t know if that counts as nails really, but the holes are so tiny that I don’t think it counts as nails. πŸ˜‰ I might try to put together a tutorial, if possible sometime soon. The garland is hung up with push pins too.

      1. I’ll try that, but I can’t even get nails through the top at all, even with my husband doing the hammering, haha! I never thought to try push pins on the front, maybe it’ll do the trick. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  8. Lauren you have outdone yourself! I love how you’ve created such a magical home for your kids. My favorite is that amazing gallery wall of Christmas trees and the fact that they are free is such a great gift!

  9. your home is SO beautiful and i can’t believe you’ve already been there 3 years! i looooove the kitchen decor and cabinet color and my sink also had dishes in it when i photographed it. πŸ˜‰ real life! everything looks amazing, lauren, and i love the bright pops of red throughout. merry christmas!

    1. Crazy, right?! I can’t believe time has flown so quickly for y’all in your new house too! Feels like yesterday y’all were announcing moving south. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet fam too, Cassie!

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