Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Home Tour 2015

This Christmas season has been special for me. With a three and four year old, it is absolutely the best time of year, so I have been taking things slow to savor all of the sweet moments and create lasting memories. I decided to hold off on doing a holiday home tour post for just that reason, but I'm happy to share it with you today.
I was invited to two large group tours and was a bit sad to turn them down, but I knew it would cause me a lot of stress getting our home all done up the week after Thanksgiving. I wanted to take my time and not get lost focusing on what everyone else would be impressed by, but what would make every day magical for my little ones. So that is what I am sharing today: our kid-centered, real life holiday home. I hope you enjoy the "visit"...

I always like to preface these posts with a disclaimer about "real life"...I went on the assumption that you might not want to see toys all over or a messy dining table, so I cleaned this place up pretty good for these photos. The pillows and blankets are never this neat and tidy and there are always TONS of toys EVERYWHERE - no joke.

In a nut shell, this is how the kids and I decorated together to make this Christmas a truly special and personal one, but it is merely a moment in time captured through a camera lens. Our home is well used and well lived in. The floors are often dirty, laundry and dishes are piled up and creative "work in progress" projects can be found all over the place.  This is the cleaned up and edited version :)
Hazel wanted to welcome you in herself. She is four and one of the sweetest little girls you ever could meet (even if I do say so myself).
This is the only time of year that I actually like the color of our front's pretty festive.
I shared details of our Christmas living room last week, but here are some more shots around the room. I made all but one of the pillows in here and found the wool throw at the Salvation Army. (A full source list is at the end of this post). Last year, I also had fun turning "ugly" Christmas sweaters into throw pillows which you can read about here.
I wanted the tree to be really colorful and fun for the kids so I began by asking Hazel to make an angel for the top. She set right to work drawing the sweetest little angel (holding an ornament - her idea!). We turned it into a tree topper by adding a paper cone to the back.
I used mainly vintage ornaments, some that I recently purchased at an antique mall (like the one below). I also received several of my grandparents' ornaments, from my mother, so those make this year's tree extra meaningful.
Hazel and Owen each got one new ornament this year. Owen, an owl, that he was happy to help place on the tree.
Hazel loves wolves, so she was thrilled when we found this wolf ornament at Target. We had to have it for our tree!
Since many of our ornaments are vintage and mid-century, I wanted to have a tree skirt to coordinate. I had a vintage gown (that was way too small for me), which I decided to turn into one. I love the gold shimmer and vintage glam look it gives the base of our tree.

Hazel did some Christmas shopping at school (and wrapped them herself!) so we already have some presents under the tree.
All of our Christmas and winter books are accessible for the kids in the living room. We love cuddling and reading together almost every day.
One of my favorite Father Christmas figures welcomes visitors next to cinnamon scented pine cones.
And, I love when I happen upon my kids own decorating, like how Hazel put this vintage wooden Santa inside her Littlest Pet Shop Beauty Salon. Too cute.
Our vintage nativity is on my grandparents' HiFi record console surrounded by several star wall decals from Wallternatives. Both kids love this! They play here almost every day.
I rarely show the angle below in photographs because we have been working on it for ages. I did talk about the progress in this post previously where you can see the "before". We removed old carpet and wall paper, but getting it fixed up has been a slow journey. The stairs still need some work and the walls need paint. Slowly but surely...
The door to the downstairs bathroom got a festive touch with some nutcracker window clings I found at the Dollar General. The kids got their own and decorated all of the downstairs windows. Hazel added a few of hers here as well.
Now, we will head around the corner into the dining room. I actually managed to get it cleaned up and decorated to share with you! (The kitchen not so much...sigh.)
Our salvaged mantel is in the dining room, and I love redecorating it every season. A couple of weeks ago, I shared how I made the advent calendar, but here are some more details of the top vignette. I was going for a vintage-whimsical-Anthropologie-inspired look. I didn't buy anything new for it...just got creative with what I had in my Christmas and basement stash.

Every morning Hazel and Owen come downstairs super excited to open the next advent envelope. They get such a thrill out of seeing what activity we will do that day (and hoping for an extra surprise in it, of course, like candy or a little present).
Because everyone always asks...our dining room chandelier is an antique Craigslist find. It was a pretty good steal at $75.
For the centerpiece of our new dining table, I clipped some pine branches from trees in the yard and put them around a mercury glass candle holder. I also added some cinnamon sticks and a pair of vintage elves that my mom gave the kids. They no longer had hats so we made them some!
On our accent cabinet, I created a little rustic vignette with my collection of nutcrackers, an old metal bucket and more tree clippings.
Finally, we have a little vintage elf (that Hazel named Snowy) staying with us again this year. He gets into a wee bit of mischief each night but only with the hopes of making the kids smile each morning. They love finding what he is up to every day!
I hope you enjoyed this "real-ish" life holiday home tour! Christmas is such a wondrous time and it's made even more so watching it through the eyes of children. I am enjoying every single day with them, and while they can't wait for Christmas day to get here...I could go a few weeks longer just soaking in all the magic, excitement and beauty this season has to offer!

Source List:
(Contains some affiliate* or tracking links for products I have previously received in exchange for blog posts**. I have not been compensated in any way for this post, but may receive a small commission for any sales made through the affiliate links.)

Reindeer - Lowe's
Wreath - Lowe's (with plaid ribbon and thrift store ice skates added)

Living Room:
Wall Color - Glidden 'Antique White'
"Driftwood" Finish Bamboo Shades - Home Decorator's Collection from Home Depot
Saddler Leather Sofa - Raymour & Flanigan**
Tufted Ottoman - Homegoods
Pouf Ottomans - Jonathan Louis
Marrakesh Shag Rug - Rugs USA
Faux sheepskin- Ikea on Amazon*
Throws/pillows - vintage and handmade
Deer Pillow - Craftberry Bush
Tree Skirt - reconstructed vintage dress
Chandelier - vintage via Craigslist
'Seasons Greetings' Tray - vintage via Mom's Antiques N' Things (my mom!)
Burlap Reindeer - JoAnn's
Bohemian Elegance Table Lamps - Raymour & Flanigan**
Star Wall Decals - Wallternatives**
Nativity - vintage
Silver Branch Wreath - Christmas Tree Shops
Nutcrackers Christmas Window Clings- (I found them at the Dollar General)

Dining Room:
Mantel - ReHouse Architectural Salvage
Chandelier - Antique found on Craigslist
Bottle Brush Trees - eBay and diy bleached green trees
'Believe' Banner - Etsy shop that is now closed
Trevelin Dining Table - Raymour & Flanigan**
Felix Dining Chairs in Gunmetal - Raymour & Flanigan**
Leather Dining Chairs - Raymour & Flanigan but now discontinued
Mercury Glass Candle Holders - Christmas Tree Shops
Sullivan Accent Cabinet - Raymour & Flanigan**

Everything else is vintage, flea market, thrift store or one of a kind finds!

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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