December 23, 2011

It's Christmas Time: The Dining Room

Yesterday I showed you some of the living room decor. So, today I figured I'd show the dining room decor too. It's my usual blue, white, and silver winter theme. I never tire of it. And since winter lasts a while, the decorations can stay up too.

The table is set with my Noritake china. You know, the kind of china you use a couple times a year and then put away for a while. And the snowflake tablecloth is still my fave. Wish I could find another just like it (but in a bigger size).

The simple centerpiece is a trifle bowl with faux snow, pine cones, and ornaments. There are some mercury glass votive candles set around it.

And the chandelier above the table has the same silver ornaments hanging from it.

The left wall has an assortment of my blue Wedgwood china and more ornaments (I love ornaments in case you didn't know). The white platter at the top has a silver "Merry Christmas" ornament hanging from it. Underneath the 2 side shelves, I hung some icicle ornaments and a glittery candle ring from a nail.

The center shelf has a bottle brush tree sitting on top. I LOVE bottle brush trees, yet I can't seem find them anywhere. I got this one from my mom, and she had it for quite a while. Anyone know where to buy pretty ones? When I find them eventually, I'm stocking up!

The right wall has a shelf full of snowflake-themed items.

The snowflake platter is new from Target. I set it vertically to add height to the space. The white pitcher on the opposite side of the shelf keeps things balanced.

I hung a snowflake ornament from the center of my glittery wreath.

The center of the shelf has a variety of items sitting including a book with my favorite poem by Robert Frost (and beautiful illustrations).

And lastly, a few pretty ornaments hang from the pegs below the shelf. Of course, a couple ornaments have to fit in to my snowflake theme.

So, there you have my wintery dining room. Hopefully, by this time next year, we'll have new window treatments and a new area rug in this room. We'll see what 2012 holds for us! Pin It

December 22, 2011

It's Christmas Time: The Living Room

The other day, I shared some pictures of our Christmas tree, but I thought I'd share a few pictures of the living room, which I finally finished decorating last weekend. I kept it pretty simple - using just some reds, greens, and golds to add a touch of color and that Christmas feel to the room.

The fireplace and built-ins got the most attention. Even though I can't place a lot of decor on the mantel (since the TV gets in the way), I loved hanging the garland down around it this year. Your eye tends to focus on the fireplace and garland rather than the TV when sitting in the room.

And I must say that I still have no regrets about painting the fireplace white this past summer. It's the perfect backdrop for all the red and green. On top of the mantel, I placed a bunch of individual picks across the top. Then one continuous strand of garland hangs on the bottom.

I bought the red and gold ball picks for a few dollars and stuck them in throughout the greenery. They look like ornaments even though they are just plastic balls with a green wire attached to them.

The shelves to the right of the fireplace were just layered with a few simple items. I left the baskets I normally have sitting there. I added some Christmas place mats as a colorful surface for setting the lantern, candles, magazines, and glass hurricane on. I hung the pretty glass ornament from a thumb tack I hammered behind the ledge.

The top shelf has a big poinsettia my parents gave us (we have to keep it up high so the cat won't eat it). I also added one of my favorite Christmas books and pretty candles I got last year. The 2 candle holders I recently bought at Target.

On the right wall in between the windows, I hung a new canvas print I purchased in November. I'm getting a coordinating print from my mom (it's wrapped under her Christmas Tree). The prints are beautiful for hanging during the Christmas season. There are actually about 8 prints total in the Christmas set.

Here's a view of the living and den from the other direction. I love having the tree centered in the doorway.

A few accessories I placed about the room are Christmas pillows, a Tree snow globe, and a Christmas wreath that I made in about 10 minutes using a grapevine wreath, winter-y picks, and a little nest and bird candle in the center. It hangs on the front door in the living room.

So, tell me, what is your favorite thing to decorate at Christmas time? The tree? The mantel? The staircase? Share, share! Pin It

December 15, 2011

The Tree

And 2 weeks after my last entry, I (finally) have some pictures of our decorated Christmas tree. So, I thought I'd share them with you. Nothing extra special or fancy. It's just an "us" tree.

I do tend to decorate the tree in layers. I use the same method every year. After Joey strings the lights around the tree, I string the gold beads around the tree. I don't try and get the beads even and perfect. I like them a little "sloppy". I find the beads help fill in the gaps between the branches. Sometime I'd like to string popcorn or cranberries and see how that looks. But for now, beads work.

After the beads, I add all my plain red and gold balls (both big and small ones) so that they are evenly dispersed in and around the tree. I also add my glittery gold snowflakes (for bling) at that time.

Next I add all the other ornaments just making sure things look balanced with no bare spots. I hang the light ornaments on the small branches and the heavy ornaments on the larger branches. I'm smart!

Last to go on is the tree skirt around the bottom. I love the colors and patchwork pattern of this skirt, but I would really like something that is more full and layered looking. So, I may have to look into something different next year.

Oh, I forgot... the star at the top is actually the last thing to go on the tree. I always love the pattern it casts on the ceiling. Sorry the pic is a tad blurry...

This year I purchased some new ornament hooks from Hobby Lobby. They are gold S-shaped hooks. They are pretty and sturdy and won't lose shape. You can probably see it best on the bell ornament in the picture below. I changed out about 50% of my hooks to these and love them. I need to change out the rest before putting the ornaments away after Christmas. They only cost about $2 for 50 hooks (based on my memory).

We're enjoying the glow of the tree every evening, and since we were a bit late in getting it up and decorated this year, I may leave it up until about the middle of January (which is much longer than normal) as long as it doesn't dry out and start dropping needles everywhere.

More pics to come of a few other decorations around the house. So, stay tuned. Pin It

November 30, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas holiday season has begun. First things first, the tree. We're a little on the slow side this year - just having picked up our tree last night. We got a real tree. It's a Frazier Fir pine tree. It's the right height for the room, but a bit narrower than our tree last year. Although, it will widen some as the branches drop down a bit more.

Here are just the "before" pictures. Decorating will occur over the next couple days! The tree is sitting in the middle of the den for now so we can easily make our way all around it when we hang the lights and ornaments. Then we'll push it more toward the corner of the room.

We've had our tree stand for a few years (think we got it from Menards). It's genius. You stick the tree in the center rotating cup and tighten the screws to the trunk. Then push your foot on the lever and rotate the tree until it's perfectly straight and the "good" side of the tree is facing out. No leaning! Super simple. The round stand is nice and sturdy so the tree won't fall over. Plus it holds a ton of water so that we don't have to constantly refill it.

As a bonus, we bought a body tree bag. It goes around the base and is covered up by the tree skirt. When the time comes to get rid of the tree, you pull the bag up around it before carrying it out. It prevents needles from going everywhere.

Spike was quickly entertained by the new living thing standing in the room. He wouldn't hold still long enough for me to even get a clear shot of him. He did circles around it. He usually tries to drink the water too. Silly kitty.

More pics to come once we have lights and stuff on the tree. Pin It

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 22, 2011

Table Centerpieces for Thanksgiving

I was browsing through Better Homes & Gardens website when I came across selection of centerpieces that I thought were really pretty (and really cheap/simple/easy) for Thanksgiving. So, I thought I'd share in case you need a spark of last-minute-creativity for Thursday's table. Enjoy!

1. Wire Basket Thanksgiving Centerpiece with a sage green table runner: Simply tuck pears, nuts, and fresh or preserved leaves in a large wire basket for an updated take on the cornucopia. A great part of this display is its portability -- simply lift and set elsewhere to make way for the Thanksgiving feast.

2. Golden Thanksgiving Centerpiece: A vase filled with wheat adds texture to the centerpiece. Fill a tall cylindrical vase with dried white beans. Add a berried branch to another vase to complete the setting.

3. Thanksgiving Buffet Presentation: Drape harvest-theme table runners across a wood buffet table. Serve favorite Thanksgiving dishes in simple white serving dishes. Dress up the rest of the Thanksgiving table with a pair of earthy brown candles and use a pretty Japanese maple as a backdrop.

4. Flea Market Finds Centerpiece: Rely on the old for fresh Thanksgiving decorations. Here, a glass bowl on an overturned silver mold teams with a canning jar. Adding pecans, wheat shocks, and ears of Indian corn gives the centerpiece a harvest flair.

5. Antique Thanksgiving Display: Instead of a cornucopia basket, opt for a found object to hold fall bounty. Here, a large metal antique scoop (lined with a fall-hued handkerchief) replaces the traditional cornucopia basket for an eye-catching display.

6. Natural Table Runner: For a fresh-from-the-pumpkin-patch table runner, arrange a line of miniature pumpkins or gourds in the center of the table and weave double-faced ribbon around them. Top with a bittersweet stem for a blaze of color.

7. Nuts-and-Stands Centerpiece: Compose a striking table display with a collection of dishes of varying heights and fill with nuts, small pinecones, or other items found in the grocery store aisles.

8. Bittersweet-and-Candles Display: Bittersweet branches and colorful gourds bring seasonal splendor to a simple candle centerpiece. Tip: Arrange all of this on a platter or tray so you can move things easily to change the tablecloth.

9. Pumpkin-Based Centerpiece: It doesn't get much easier than a pretty vase of flowers surrounded by pumpkins. Prop a few on an old wooden stool or a pedestal cake plate to vary the height.

10. Autumn Sampler Display: Serve up a stylish centerpiece by simply centering a serving tray on an autumn-orange table runner and filling it with a sampling of mini pumpkins and fall plants.

11. Bookend Display: Sometimes the best decorations come from unexpected places. This Thanksgiving centerpiece is built on a foundation of books, whose bindings add color to the table. The stacks are surrounded by an assortment of mismatched vessels filled with fall-color blooms. Other seasonal accents -- such as the feathers and pear -- add visual interest.

12. Centerpiece with White Dishes and Pumpkins: Choose white pumpkins for a soft yet stunning arrangement that will stand out amid the Thanksgiving table fare.

So, tell me, which centerpiece is your favorite? Pin It

November 10, 2011

Looking Forward to the Holidays

Time is a-flyin'! I can't believe how busy we've been, and it's only gonna get busier as we get closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been slightly absent from blogland amidst the hullabaloo of work and family and just good ol' life. So, my apologies on that front, but I'm hoping to do some more frequent posts between now and Christmas. Gotta show ya our Chrissy tree and all.

Is anyone else looking forward to the holidays like I am? I mean, can you believe we are only 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving and 6 weeks away from Christmas? Really?!?! It blows my mind. Certainly you're playing Christmas music and watching Christmas movies too. I've jumped aboard that train, and I'm riding it all the way until December 31st!

Oh, and we got our first peek at snow flurries today. The ground was too warm for them to stick, but I saw them in the air and on rooftops for a bit. So, as they say, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (kinda)!

Speaking of Christmas, I got Ballard Designs Christmas mag last week and L-O-V-E-D it. It's full of stuff I want to buy (but can't afford - but no harm in looking, right?), and it has some ideas worth duplicating.

Here are a few of my favorite items I cherished...

Trapunto Stockings: $28.00 each - I want the red ones. They would look great against our newly painted white fireplace. I love the white piping on them too.

Venetian Star Tree Topper: $75.00 - What can I say? This is just gorgeous. It fits in perfectly with the sunburst mirror trend right now, but this star would be classic for a long time.

Magnetic chains ($45), ornaments ($39), and crystals ($35) - I already hang ornaments from my dining room chandelier using ribbon and things, but I love the idea of using magnets to hang them. This is something I want to DIY as the prices here are a bit high for my blood.

Holiday Script Chandelier Shade: $18.00 - The magazine has a lot of different holiday shades, but I like this one in particular. The music notes and script just spoke to me. So charming.

Mariana Button Wreath: $79.00 - This is a great DIY idea. I love buttons, and this wreath could be hung all through the winter. Using white buttons makes it versatile for any room too.

Mercury Glass Hurricanes ($25-$39) - These are beautimous and worth the price in my book. I may buy one (or two) unless I can find them somewhere else cheaper. Gotta look around for them...

Carriage Lantern ($15-49) - I just love lanterns. Any shape. Any color. Any time.

Spruce Alphabet Wreath: $45 - Could I DIY this? Maybe? It's clever!

Snowflake Bordered Sisal Rug ($39-$109) - This is seriously something I'm begging asking my husband to buy me for Christmas. I want to use it in our den where we stand our Christmas tree. It goes perfectly with our color scheme. I would use it from November 1st until February 28th every year (because we get snow until at least March). And the price really ain't that bad. Please, please, please ....

Lastly, here are just a few of the pretty Christmas rooms that I found enchanting in the magazine...

So, who else has started the Christmas decorating planning? I know I'm not the only one! 'Fess up! Pin It
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