Real Life Christmas Decorating

November 28, 2017


Cottage style Christmas Decorations

Each year when Christmas rolled around, I would tell my husband "this year we're going to get a tree for the family room". He was never thrilled with the idea. This beach cottage is small and maneuvering around another tree did not sound exciting. He just didn't see how one would fit, I understood his concern, but we spend a lot of time in that room and other than a few lights, it never really looked all that festive.

And I craved festive.

Well, after talking about it for over a decade, this year, I decided that I was done with talking. I dragged that boy and his pickup to the store and we bought a pack of two four footers in the prettiest little urns for a super bargain price.

I was thrilled that I finally had my tree, even if the decorating process didn't go as planned.

I'm eager to show you how it all went down, but before I get to my tannenbaum tale, I would like to welcome you if you're here from Twelve On Main's Porch and Entry tour. Today, a few of my friends and I are sharing different rooms of our holiday homes.

Holiday Home Tour

Mine is...well, you guessed it...the family room.

So let's get back to it, shall we? 

My story starts off happy, jingle bells and all that jazz, as Lucy from Peanuts would say. The trees were sweet, way better than what I expected for the forty bucks I paid for the pair. I was smitten from the start. 

They were very simple, no flocking or pinecones, no ornaments or bows. The were modestly dressed with a single strand of lights. And I loved them.

But that couldn't be enough, right? I mean, I know that I just finished preaching about decorating simplicity, clean lines and the art of less, but that doesn't apply at Christmastime. Does it? 

Well, in the interest of festive, I went against my gut and added more. 

I started with the crates I rescued from the curb last fall. I filled them with some random stuff I had in my bins and placed them next to my tiny, naked tree.

Wooden Christmas Crates

I added some wrapping paper for color, my latest sticker sign and an old cutting board I picked up at my crappy thrift store in July. 

Small prelit Christmas Tree in an urn

Then I ran to the kitchen to grab the Santas I had on my buffet and the wooden gift bag sign off the living room mantle and placed it under the table.

When I was done, I stood back to admire my handiwork. 

Wooden Christmas Gift Bag Sign

And you know what? I didn't like any of it. As a matter of fact, I hated it. 

My first thought was that my husband was going to topple those Santas every time he went to grab a remote or put his drink down on the table. 

My second thought was that someone (probably me) was going to trip on the crates every time they (and by they, I mean me) walked in and out of this narrow room...AND all of the stuff in the crates was going to get very dusty, very quickly and send someone (definitely me) into a giant sneezing fit.

No thank you. 

As if all of that weren't enough, I couldn't shake the feeling that the room looked messy. I liked it so much better before I started, when it held nothing more than a softly lit tree and few strands of lights. 

So...I went back to the holiday drawing board and redefined festive. I subtracted. I moved the crates into the living room, where no one would trip over them and replaced the dust collectors with actual wrapped gifts. 

Farmhouse Style Christmas Crates

The Santas went back to the kitchen and I put up this sweet ceramic church that my sister gave me years ago. It looks just like the one she and I were both married in and with the addition of a $2.99 LED battery operated light set, it glows. Plus, it's squatty and sturdy, no one is knocking it over.

Pretty. Practical. Perfect. 

Ceramic Christmas Church

Now there's just one small candle, two strings of lights and a very small tree decorating my family room. It's simple, elegant and fabulously festive.  

More importantly, it functions well in real life and looks great from my kitchen, too. 

Simple Family Room Christmas Decorations

Which, incidentally, is where the second tree landed. 

Country Christmas Kitchen Decor

You know, in case you were wondering.

Happy Holidays. 

Decorating for the holidays with real life living in mind.


Hey before you run off, make sure you pop by and visit my friend Kristi at Chatfield Court. She is the gracious hostess of this tour and up next with her fabulous dining room decorations. Then be sure to check out everyone else on the list! 

Ho Ho Ho!

Cottage Style Christmas
Cottage Style Christmas Decor
Rustic Christmas
Rustic Christmas Decor

62 comments:

  1. Hi Kim! Love your trees, I just bought the same ones for my porch, super cute!
    Happy Holidays to you and the family, hope to catch up soon!
    xoxo Jen

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    1. Thank you, Jen! I wanted them on my porch literally *forever*, but when I got them home, I couldn't part with them. I needed them inside. Let's catch up soon for sure. xoxo

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  2. I like the final redo . . .
    Funny about decorating . . .
    It has to work with the eye . . .
    A vision happens in the mind
    but the final depends on that ole’ Eye thing . . .

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    1. I agree, Lynne. I depend on my eye for most things. I don’t even trust the ruler!

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  3. Love your decorating. I have to clean house tomorrow and than on Thursday I will get everything out but the tree. We are putting a real one up this year.

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    1. A real tree sounds lovely, Betty! We've only had one in all our years together.

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  4. I'm a big advocate of less is more ... and I totally agree that you have to be able to live comfortably in the space! Your room looks so welcoming and inviting ... I love the lights!

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    1. Thanks Randi! It’s a small cottage, so the more light (and the less stuff) the better! Merry Christmas!

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  5. I love your trees, and the red behind your bookshelves are so pretty, too. I have the same problem as you: smaller home, and no place (really) for a tree. I went all out for Thanksgiving, but I think that we're downsizing the Christmas decor since we'll be out of the country for Christmas. You've given me some great ideas!

    xo,
    RJ

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    1. Well, that sounds like a lovely Christmas plan. Enjoy your trip!

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  6. Kim,
    Your home is always charming, beautiful and inviting, now it is all dressed for the Holidays and looks perfect!
    Happy Tuesday,
    Jemma

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    1. Thanks so much, Jemma!! I really appreciate the super sweet words.

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  7. Kim I love it. Looks so pretty lite up at night. I have been doing the same thing in my tiny house this year. Less is more is what I am embracing but I seem to have to change up the first few tries of where I am putting things too. Have a great new week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! The lights are everything...so I have decided to let them take center stage this year. I am loving it, too. xoxo

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  8. I love those simple trees of yours Kim. And I think they need nothing more then just to stand there. Your family room has so much warmth from the reds and the sofa that all you need is just that pretty green! Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Thanks Mary! That's how I felt in the room. I'm glad my vision translated.

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  9. Kim, you know we are our own worst critics. Love the tree sizes. I totally know what you mean though about hating the final look. I have that same situation here with something I'm working on. Your room looks delightful with the lights over your curtains! Loving that look.

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    1. Thanks Florence, I do that every year. I used to add garland, but I find that the lights on their own is just as pretty! And a whole lot less work.

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  10. Kim, your Christmas decor is beautiful. I love the tree and the crates are lovely too.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa!! You are super kind!

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  11. So pretty Kim. I am loving the final look of the simple tree and twinkling lights. It's so elegant and festive. I had the same issue, adding and then subtracting. Getting frustrated and then moving stuff around. Shouldn't Christmas be easy? I say yes. Thanks for sharing your beautiful "real life" Christmas family room. :)

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    1. I agree, Kristi! It should be easy and I am trying to make it a little simpler each year. Thanks so much for your sweet comment and the chance to hop! xoxo

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  12. I love simple white trees! Last year I found a prelit pencil tree at a local thrift shop for $15. I used it in my boys Sunday School classroom until Christmas then brought it home to enjoy at my house from Christmas to New years. I love it! I haven't had a tree in my living room for a long time & really enjoyed not having to move furniture every Christmas. But the pencil tree is a perfect fit.

    I'm trying to get it set up & decorated this week.

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    1. My sister found a pencil tree this year that she loves and now my wheels are turning. I wish I could find one at the thrift store for $15 though. Wow...that's a deal!

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  13. I love your little trees! They look perfect with their pretty lights and the size is just right. I subtracted a lot this year too. I didn't get out a lot of stuff. I know I'll appreciate it when it's time to put it all up. :)

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    1. It certainly gives you more time to enjoy the season instead of worrying about all the stuff…Hoping to catch a glimpse of your Christmas pretty!

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  14. I love how it turned out. The crates are perfect! Enjoy it and Merry Christmas to you! xo

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    1. Ah, those crates, gotta love trash night! Thanks so much and Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  15. thinking Audrey Hepburn and a little black dress with pearls...
    one can never go wrong.
    love your end result! xo

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    1. An Audrey Hepburn house...could there be a better compliment? I think not. Thank you, Tammy!! ❤️

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  16. Always love seeing your lovely home, no matter what the season.

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  17. Real Life Decorating ... you hit it my friend. With two teenage boys! Yep, I have to be real life. ;-)
    Your ideas are always lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    Our neighbor has two little girls. They have a pink tree. ;-)

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    1. A pink tree sounds fabulous, Carla! We bought one for my mom last year to brighten her room and it was the ultimate girl accessory!!

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  18. I was wondering where the other tree landed!

    I think they both look great where they are and really add a festive touch! I know what you mean about trying decorations out and deciding to go with less!

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    1. Less has become way more around here, lately, Deanna!!

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  19. I love the trees in the urns. Perfect for your rooms. I love the crates and I'd be really envious but I found one myself that I filled with birch logs and greens. Simple and pretty!

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    1. I saw your pretty crate and love what you did with it AnnMarie. I bet you won’t be putting it away come New Year’s!

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  20. Simple is good! A lot of times I see super decorated rooms and think, how do you live in there? How do you clean it? Where is there space to relax?? Yours looks sweet with all of the tiny white lights. Me like.

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    1. Thanks Gina! I think the same thing…and I cannot deal with all the extra dust. This works out much better for us.

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  21. Love your decorating, it looks lovely.
    We will not be doing ours for a week or two ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jann! I bet your place will look lovely. And thanks!

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  22. I love it! Truly, it's probably very similar to what we will be doing in the future.

    xxx

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    1. So much easier than a big giant tree, Doreen. Of course, we have those two, but I told my husband, maybe next year we should forget the big trees and just have a forest of these! xoxo

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  23. Loved it all! Thank you for sharing!!!!! Happy Holidays!! Sincerely, Cynthia

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    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia! I'm glad you enjoyed the peek inside. Happy Holidays to you, too!

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  24. Hi Kim, as usual your Christmas decor looks just beautiful! I really do love those crates and how you decorated them for Christmas.
    I loved that apple pie story too! I never heard of baking the pies that way and it does sound really dangerous.
    Enjoy the rest of the week
    Julie

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    1. Haha...Julie, I think it is dangerous. That is one family recipe I will not be sharing or handing down. And thank you, my friend!

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  25. My place is small / always had to have small trees placed here and there / THIS year with my son and his dog moved in I had to downsize from THAT :) It still works / whatever works for you, me, or anyone :) This morning on FB I saw a relative taking in a family as their house burnt down next door...this puts it all into perspective :(

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    1. Absolutely, Deb. A little sparkle is all I need, there are so many more important things. Prayers to that family....

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  26. I love what you did! It's simple, elegant and just perfect.

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    1. Thanks Christine! No better compliment than that!

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  27. Dear Kim ... As always, I love your precious home. It is so cosy, so warm, so welcoming and so, so charming. Homespun Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Thank you so much, Teri. I love it in the evening, when the lights are low and everything feels so warm and comforting. It's best during the holidays for sure.

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  28. I totally agree Kim! We live in this house so the decor has to convey that. I decorate with a lot of greenery, white candle light and white lights. At night it’s magical�� Your home always looks so amazing, so cozy. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Magical is right, Rhonda. It sounds dreamy! Thanks for the comment my friend. Enjoy the season!

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  29. Sometimes you just know when something is going to work or not. I love your final result - so simple and elegant. You don't need a trip to the ER at Christmas anyway!...
    Shelley

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    1. Exactly! It's got to work for me. Thanks so much for popping by and leaving such a sweet comment.

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  30. I also have a small tree. The last few years I have had a small tree instead of a full size one. It fits better in my small house and I put mine on a table so that it is out of the path of the dogs. This year when we are all together for the holidays there will be seven dogs, two that live here and five that visit and there is the very real possibility that they might all be in the house at the same time. Your trees are lovely and the photos are very beautiful.

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    1. Seven dogs, oh my! That sounds very festive, Lorri, I love that the dogs all come! I also think that a shot taken of them in front of your Christmas tree would make an awesome holiday card. THAT would be an outstanding photo!! And of course, a small tree on a table sounds like the way to go! 😉

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  31. You always have me laughing as I follow your adventures, Kim, As always, all is well that ends well - the room looks amazing and so warm and welcoming. You are sure to enjoy your family time. Also, I love the crates!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thanks Amalia. I always hope that people get my tongue in cheek take on decorating. There shouldn’t be anything very serious about it and while I make a big deal about my little decorating dilemmas, I’m generally giggling through my words. xo

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