Monday, December 21, 2009
I've been meaning to post photographs of the house all decked out for the holidays for several weeks now, but between long workdays and even more demanding nights and weekends (I can't remember my social calendar being this full since, well, ever!), I've only just gotten around to uploading the pictures. In an effort to work with what I've got, I didn't go out and buy all new decorations this year -- though I'll readily admit I was tempted, especially since the color scheme in the old house (largely browns and golds, with some red and green accents) is so different from the color scheme in the new house (primarily blue and white, with a strong dose of metallics for good measure). Accordingly, I can't say that the end result represents precisely the look I was going for, but I'm happy overall with how everything turned out, especially in light of my limited time to devote to decorating this month.
I'll admit that I love a real Christmas tree; however, between my allergies and my neatnik nature, real trees don't exactly love me. My compromise then is to pick up a lovely spruce wreath every December at Whole Foods for the front door; that way, I get a bit of that gorgeous smell every time I walk in the door and the mess (and my hay fever) stays outside where it belongs.
I love the look of gorgeous garlands draped dramatically down a curved staircase. Alas though, this year I couldn't find one that suited both my taste and my budget, so I simply made do and threaded a few light strands around the banister. Hopefully I'll be able to score a few garlands on the cheap during the post-Christmas sales. So while my light installation isn't exactly gorgeous during the day, at night it beautifully frames the lighted Christmas tree, drawing you into the great room.
The dining room is where most of the new holiday items found a home. Inspired by the many images of gorgeous chandeliers bedecked with graceful ornaments that I've seen this year, I picked up a few sets of inexpensive snowflake ornaments from Target to outfit the chandelier. The mirrored Christmas trees (which I love -- they're truly impressive in person!), beaded runner and mercury glass votives are also from Target. The tablecloth is by Marimekko and available at Finn Style.
A close up of the snowflake ornaments. I initially started with just 6, but added another layer after deciding that it looked a bit underdone.
I pulled a similar trick in the breakfast nook, only this time I went with larger mercury glass ornaments (also scored at Target) that I rehung using inexpensive ribbon. Since this chandelier is much smaller, I thought it could handle just a few larger ornaments. The beaded snowflake runner is also from Target. Next year, I'm going to try and add a few lights and/or ornaments to my topiary for a bit more festive flair.
The mantle was decked out in our Christmas stockings (which I purchased at Pottery Barn several years ago) -- and yes, even the pets get their own stocking. I'm hoping to replace these in the next year or two with a bespoke set in silver, white and blue to coordinate better with my new family room.
The Christmas tree, with Olivia sleeping underneath it (all the animals love the Christmas tree and spend the month of December camped out underneath it -- I assume they're attracted to all the sparkling lights). You'll notice my tree doesn't really have a theme; rather, the ornaments are a mishmash of heirlooms (I have several sets from both grandmothers), childhood favorites and new purchases. While I adore the look of a well-curated Christmas tree, with ornaments in only one or two different colors, in practice I can't part with my own rag-tag collection, which bring back fond memories of childhood and my grandmothers.
My attempts at a high quality shot (which was supposed to end up on our Christmas card) of Olivia underneath the Christmas tree were largely fruitless. That said though, doesn't she look adorable all curled up in her pink bed and wearing her pink coat?
And what about you? Did you go all out and deck the halls this year? If so, please send me your photos -- I'd love to share them here at Odi et Amo.