Disclaimer: If you don’t like sarcasm, skip this post and come back on Monday. (OK, who are we kidding, we’ll probably be sarcastic on Monday, too.)
Ahh, the holiday season. Buying gifts, spending time with family in large groups, traveling, following well-trod traditions, hoping the rest of the blogosphere doesn’t notice that we’re not Christians… we love it because it is filled with joy and not at all stressful, overwhelming, or commercialized!
We especially love the explosion of beauty and simplicity that fills the blogging world at this time — particularly the
christmas holiday decorations and home tours that prove that there are just an infinite number of ways to embrace the themes of glitter, coziness, effortlessness, and #blessed. I mean, is there anything that isn’t improved by a non-traditional color scheme? We can’t think of a single example.
This is really the time of year that we are at our happiest.
With that in mind, we each want to share a mini home tour, with a few scenes of how we’ve decorated our own homes to embrace this beautiful season.
Naomi’s Holiday Home Tour
I am thrilled to say that it is only mid-December, and my house is already fully decorated for the winter holidays! My theme for this year is “simple paper products”… as in, I have a lot of paper products involved in my decor, and simply not a lot of decorations. I think its a really fresh take on the traditional look.
For example, I’ve decorated my dining table with this sweet vignette, displaying some of my most cherished catalogs, coupons, mail that I haven’t had time to sort through, and bills that I haven’t had time to pay because I’ve been spending so much time shopping online.
The dining room is also where we’ve got most of our holiday decor, including a pretty little Christmas tree.
I particularly love how its earthy tones pop against the bright colors of the cheap paper decorations that I still have up from Brad’s birthday (which was in October).
I also love the contrast between its rustic look, and the clean, modern lines of my menorah. The great thing about decorating this year was that, although I bought this menorah last year, it sat in my “put away in basement” pile at the top of the stairs all year… so I didn’t even need to go downstairs to get it. So easy!
And here is a wider shot on that same image, where you can see all the mess that I cleared out of the frame to get that one pretty shot.
Continuing my paper theme, the living room is where I am displaying my growing collection of cardboard boxes that I haven’t bothered to recycle or carry down to the basement yet. I think that their varying heights and vaguely triangular arrangement make them a fresh and modern take on a Christmas tree.
Whenever I worry that I’ve been buying too much, I just reassure myself that this is just part of properly celebrating the changing seasons. (After all, American spend over $600 billion on the winter holidays, nearly double the amount they spend on charitable giving year round.)
And how about a closeup of that with a blurry background?
And that whole arrangement is even better with the warm glow of our space heater in the foreground. (We’ve been getting to enjoy that a lot because we still don’t have heat — a long story that I’ll tell another time.)
I think that shot really sums up how I’m feeling this holiday season. Now, I can’t wait to see Sage’s home!
Sage’s Holiday Home Tour
One thing I love about blogging with Naomi is that we really challenge each other to be our best, and it’s so awesome to have someone constantly inspiring me with her creativity and decorating talents. This year I’m especially feeling that — to be honest I wasn’t super energized to decorate my home for the holidays, but after seeing what Naomi did with her home I just couldn’t sit by and do nothing.
The great thing is that with just a few hours of work, I was able to strike that perfect balance between “so subtle you can’t even see it” and “actually decorated.”
Let’s start outside, shall we? Normally I don’t do much decorating outside of the house, since I’m a terrible grinch. But this year I realized I had the perfect decor already on hand:
You may recognize these from the fall crafts that Naomi and I did a few weeks ago (in preparation for Fall 2016, obviously). I was going to throw them away because I already photographed them (so who needs them in real life) plus they are sort of starting to rot, but then I thought: “no, I don’t feel like bending over to pick them up and put them in the trash can.” Since it’s been unseasonably warm here in Boston, though, I think they’re still seasonally appropriate.
Move on into the house! Right inside the door is one of my favorite holiday vignettes. I have to admit, I basically re-create the same thing every year.
Nothing says “holidays in the northeast” quite like an unruly pile of hats, mittens, and scarves reminding you of the hellish winter to come. To be fair, we usually have a large wooden chest next to this shelf that we use to store spread out and dry our large collection of winter-wear, but that is still hanging out in the bedroom where we moved as part of our Thanksgiving decorating. As much as I love decorating for Christmas, sometimes I have trouble letting go of the Thanksgiving decor.
Anyway, back to the holiday in question. Walking from the sunroom into the kitchen, you’re greeted with this sight:
I know there is a lot going on here, so below is a breakdown of all the little details I’m so excited about:
Getting this perfectly effortless look isn’t easy, but Murphy has been really helpful. Every time the blanket somehow finds its way back under the tree to act as a tree skirt, he helpfully rearranges it. And I love how pretty it looks lit up at night:
Murphy is such a little helper, he really has a way with textiles.
Lastly, I want to show you my favorite “behind the scenes” space. As we all know, the holidays are mostly about giving a lot of presents to immediate friends and family (I guess unless you’re one of the 48 million Americans living in poverty and focused on choosing between paying for food or heat in the coming months). One of my favorite ways to remind my loved ones about how amazing and crafty I am is to invest significant time in wrapping my gifts for them in thoughtful and creative ways. To do that, I put together a little holiday wrapping station!
It has wrapping paper, scissors, tape, tissue paper…all the things I’ll need to wrap presents as soon as I finally get around to buying them. The best part about this room is that it has no heat or overhead lighting — I’m already looking forward to crouching on the hardwood floors wrapping presents by the dim light of a lamp in the freezing cold. I’m just so excited that it’s that time of year again!
Free Holiday Printable
Now, because we want to give back to all of our lovely readers this holiday season, and because we have a lot of time on our hands and clearly nothing better to do, we made you a free printable. Feel free to grab it to infuse some holiday cheer into your own homes!
We loved having you be our “virtual guests!” Thanks for taking this journey through our homes in this most magical of seasons.