Hello and welcome to our home! I appreciate being able to link up to some great holiday decorating parties and to embrace those not-so-perfect homes like ours. Having 3 big dogs pretty much negates a house full of delicate or luxurious fabrics, pricey knick-knacks, or too much “stuff” on horizontal surfaces. That’s OK by me! I have managed to make a very comfy nest for my husband and the dogs with a little creativity and knowing what works for our family and what does not. My decorating style is best described as a mix of vintage/cottage/coastal inspired, but at Christmas, vintage takes precedence as I love to enjoy the decorations that were passed down to me from my family. Our German-inspired traditions are very important to me. Without further ado, let’s take the tour!
Here is the front entrance. Too bad there isn’t any snow – I love to see the lights glowing when the house is blanketed in fresh snow. The snowman brigade is here to welcome you.
Once inside, here is a view of the foyer. I made a simple garland to frame the entry using burlap ribbon, vintage Christmas postcards, and clothespins. The ornament wreath was from a local antiques mall. I love the colors and the patina – I just added a silver bow a few yrs ago and haven’t changed it since.
As you walk in the house, the dining room is to the left. Lots of fresh greenery gathered from the neighborhood makes for simple decorating in here. The dining room centerpiece is one of 20 that I am making for our company holiday party in early January. Love the little zinc-lined birch buckets!
The main floor of the house is open plan, with the living room and eat-in kitchen next to eachother with no real separation, other than the flooring transition. Here is where we put up a real Christmas tree each year. It is tied on one side with fishing line to the window sill, in case any rambunctious dogs get too close for comfort. I didn’t take out all my decorations this year, just kept things a little more low key, and it seems to be less stressful that way.
This is the hutch where my Blue Willow china collection is displayed. When we got married in 1997, I knew I didn’t want a new china set – instead I asked for individual pieces that my family would pick up at antiques shops and yard sales. I love how my collection is truly “collected”! The soup tureen is a special wedding gift from my aunt – I have never seen another one like it. The hutch came from an antique store and I made a beadboard backing for the shelving unit top, and gave it a few swipes of blue and green with a mostly dry brush to try and make it somewhat match the original colors. Good enough 🙂
The main Christmas tree contains a mix of vintage, heirloom, pet-related, travel, and sports ornaments. My family always used real tinsel from Germany, so the actual tinsel on this tree gets re-used each year. As a child, we never used garland, so I have not attempted to use it, preferring the “way I remember it looked growing up”. Last year our tree was small enough to fit in the smaller tree holder, so I placed it in a nice galvanized bucket and loved how that looked. This year, the trunk was too big for the smaller tree stand, so I had to use the skirt. I made a quick bow for the top using ribbon I had from last year. Reminds me of the Burl Ives song “Silver and Gold”… see, you’re humming it in your head now 🙂
This year, we decided to move our Nautical tree from the dining room to the other corner of the living room, so we could admire it every day. This is my husband’s favorite tree. We have collected the ornaments of sea life, animals, boats, etc. from our travels and we enjoy trying to find new ornaments to fit this theme tree. It is a fake tree, with pinecones and mixed greenery, that we got from his parents who were downsizing. I use sea stars to scatter them among the ornaments – one of our old dogs used to eat them right off the tree, so I don’t put them on now until Christmas Eve when we will be home for a few days straight.
In the kitchen, there are a few holiday touches as well. From the retro inspired tablecloth to the poinsettias and tinsel tree with vintage mini ornaments, I enjoy working in here. We tape up all the Christmas cards that arrive on the back of the pantry door so I can be greeted by all the smiling faces of my family and friends. My little gallery wall contains watercolors from vacation places we have been – I am always on the lookout for watercolor prints to add to this wall when we travel. An enamelware pan holds extra ornaments on the island.
I participated in a cookie exchange at work this week – here are the results of everyone’s hard work! This platter will be saved for Christmas Eve when family comes to visit. Two years ago, the dogs got to the platter one day while we were at work, even though it was high up on the counter and pushed to the back, and the only thing left was an upside-down platter on the floor. They didn’t get sick, but I didn’t get to enjoy the yummy treats we worked hard to make. The dogs got moved to the “naughty” list after that move.
Downstairs, we have the sports-themed living room. The Baltimore Ravens tree takes precedence in this room, and we like it so much we leave it up all year long! Purple lights purchased at Halloween are the perfect addition to this fun, themed tree. Go Ravens!!
Heading ustairs to the bedrooms there is a small display area by the landing – I just added some snowmen I already had. My mother-in-law made the lighted tree cutout for us a long time ago.
Our bedrooms are not decorated for the holidays, so I will just show you the dogs’ Christmas tree. Yes, they get their own tree. This tree is up in our master bedroom and has a bunch of Scooby Doo ornaments mixed with other personalized ornaments for the dogs, both past and present. They usually like to have their tree up after Halloween and come down in January. Those crazy pups!
And speaking of those crazy pups, here are some photos of them for your viewing pleasure. My favorite subjects for photography 🙂
Macky – 5 year old black English Labrador
Jolly – going on 8 yrs old in March – Harlequin Great Dane
Smokey – the baby at 3 years old – Black Great Dane
Thanks for taking a look around with me! Have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family. God bless you!