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A Simple, Rustic Cottage Christmas

December 18, 2014

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Choices in holiday decor set the mood of the room.

This year, I was going for a more serene feel, I wanted simple, rustic cottage Christmas decor.  

Cottage style living room decor

 I love drama in decorating.

I think that's why I'm so drawn to the color red, especially when it's coupled with the color white.

The clean, bold palate created by the combination of those two specific hues, energizes me, yet calms me at the very same time.

There is something very pleasurable about viewing such a room, at least to me anyway, and I know that there are many of you out there who are nodding in agreement.

So it only stands to reason, that Christmas should be my favorite decorating holiday.

Red reigns supreme in December!

The addition of even more red in my home (if at all possible) has heralded the season for as long as I can remember. Exhibit A is last year's tour.

Merry Christmas Wooden Sign

However, this year, I felt the need to tone it all down a little bit.

I don't know exactly why, but when perusing through my Pinterest boards and looking at pretty magazine pictures, I was drawn to a whiter, lighter Christmas look this year.

The photos invoked a very calm feeling in me, almost like I was on a country vacation. That sounded wonderful.

I could use a vacation.

So I decided to embrace the lodge look of my living room and celebrate with a rustic Christmas in my tiny beach cottage.

Rustic Christmas Ornaments On a tree

Since I didn't want to buy much new, I have 20 years of Christmas in my basement already, I decided to give myself a $10 budget. And I can honestly say that I've stuck to it.

I repurposed decorations or used items that I normally don't put out, but mostly, I just put out....less. I have been on a simplifying kick all year.

Christmas has proven no different.

Candy Canes and garland on fireplace mantel

 I have white lights in every room, like every year, and my Santa collection is peppered about, as well.

My kitchen server is dressed for the season.

Kitchen counter Christmas decorations and towels

And my family room has a tasty little seasonal glow.

Candy Cane Hurricane Candle Display

I whipped up a holiday printable to decorate my countertop.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas Printable in frame

I swapped out the red ribbons on my wreaths this year, in favor of a more charming accent.

Rustic Evergreen Triple Door Wreath for Christmas

I even used old newspaper and an existing basket to help up count down to the big day.

Don't tell the others, but I think this one was my favorite Christmas craft of the season.

Newspaper Advent Calendar DIY

The whole house has a little seasonal sparkle

However, when I think of Christmas at home, this is the room that immediately comes to mind.

I wrap presents in here, Santa shows up in here and we gather with family on Christmas day to celebrate in here.

Even more special to me are the times throughout the season, when I find myself sitting with my kids or my husband in this very room, by the lights of the season, talking quietly about their day.

No iPhones, no tv, no distractions.

There's something about that tree that just commands quiet and I love it.

Stone Fireplace Rustic Christmas Cottage Decor

Sometimes, I even take a minute to slow down myself.

I grab a cup of hot water, take Santa on my lap, rock in that chair and just stare at the tree. I find it very meditative and peaceful and that is the feeling I was looking for this year.

It's actually better than any present and it cost me less than ten bucks to create a room awash in seasonal serenity.

Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to all of my bright sentimental ornaments, the colorful ones that make me ooh and ahh, and maybe even cry a bit, when I unwrap them that first weekend after Thanksgiving, you must know that this sappy, sentimental Christmas girl put them out somewhere.

What are the holidays without babies' first handprints or red-nosed reindeer singing from an artificial bow?

Christmas Tree with bright red and multicolored ornaments

If they didn't make the "rustic" cut upstairs, I just relegated them to the basement family room tree.

I can still see them whenever I want, or more likely, whenever I do laundry (a lot!).

It's not as calm down there, but definitely just as festive.

It's the best of both worlds.

I wish you a peaceful holiday.

Merry Christmas, Friends!
Kim Signature

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  1. Lovely sitting room: great idea to have the bright mix in a place where you're working..a celebration of Christmas that changes its tone as the family grows and changes,keeping the best of the old and gently incorporating the new!

  2. Your house looks beautiful Kim, very warm and inviting. Wishing you and the entire family Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!


  3. What a lovely way to put it, "keeping the best of the old and gently incorporating the new"...I love that, Linda!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! :)

  4. Kim- What a wonderful post. I have always had lots of red and green every year for Christmas, too. However, this year I, too, am drawn to the white and brights and softer colors of the season. Kinda scary. lol

    I love your tree and you room looks just gorgeous. I can see why it inspires peace and low tones when talking. Love it- xo Diana

  5. Thank you, Kris! Merry Christmas! :)

  6. Love it / was instantly drawn to the shot in the link party : )

  7. Thanks so much, Deb! You just made my day!! :)

  8. Thank you so much, Diana! It is a calm room...even calmer when the kids are at school! ;) I saw your pretty white dining room and thought the same thing...scary!! I guess it's true what they say about great minds! xo

  9. KIM! Your house is so darling. You have beams just like me! I love that you stuck to your $10 budget; that is admirable because these days, you really have to be creative to stick to a certain amount in the budget but get maximum results, as you have done here. I am typically not a red person, but this year, I am drawn to it. A friend brought over the most GORGEOUS poinsettia yesterday, and I am loving that energy of which you speak. That is why I love my gray and white background so that pops of color do create a dramatic effect!

    Your cottage is ready and so beautiful. HAVE FUN! Anita

  10. That pop is so visceral, isn't it Anita? There is just something so pretty about it, I can't look away. I actually think that my year round red accents stand out in the room so much more now, against the muted tree. Enjoy that poinsettia! :)

  11. Beautiful. I am doing less this year as well, but not necessarily because of a conscious decision, it is just kind of happening that way. Merry Christmas Kim!!

  12. I guess we're all having a simpler sort of Christmas, Lorri! Merry Christmas to you too, my friend! :)

  13. kim this is absolutely beautiful and I agree such a peaceful feeling.

  14. Your decorations are so pretty! I usually like bright colors best, but your white decorated tree looks magical!

  15. I found your rustic comfort room style warm and inviting. I would enjoy spending time there. I think I would find a similar comfort sitting around your memory tree downstairs. I am inspired by your ten dollar minimum!
    I think I need to try that.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  16. When can I come over?!! If you'll have me, I'll want to sleep, eat, play, sing, talk, in this gorgeous room! In other words, I won't want to leave it! Kim, it's quietly pretty, subtle in its spark, and earthy in its charm!

    Merry Christmas, my friend!


  17. Wow, this really works, Kim! It's like a positive/negative thing. The white tree is all the more "visible" because of all the red that already exists in the room. If you had put up a mostly red tree, although it would be gorgeous in this room, I don't think it would have been as outstanding. I love it! xxx ~ Nancy

  18. I had to come back and tell you that I'm madly in love with your fireplace! It. Is. To. Die. For. ~

  19. I love what you have done. I love your living room, it is like the set in that old movie "Bringing Up Baby". (I love old movies.) It is with Carrie Grant and Katherine Hepburn. It has so much character with the beams and the stone fireplace. So charming.

  20. Love the idea of a tree in the basement! I have two but only have room for one upstairs.

    Please drop by!

    Happy Christmas,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  21. Dear Kim ... Oh my, so charming, cosy, homey and shares such a warm WELCOME! Thank you for sharing. Warmest Blessings ♥ Teri

  22. Thank you, Tiffany. I really don't sit in there enough! :) Need to change that in 2015!

  23. Thank you Angel. I usually like bright colors, too. My hairdresser did her shop tree in blue and purple and it is stunning!

  24. Merry Christmas to you too, Lynne. Yes, that second tree was worth every penny. We bought it last year and I love looking at all the old ornaments. It provides a peaceful feeling in its own sentimental way. Merry Christmas to you too, friend!

  25. Hop a flight, Poppy!! You know there's alway room here for you and I bet we could chat for hours! I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas too, my friend. I will be thinking about you across the miles and sending good cheer your way! xo

  26. I thought the same thing, Nancy. The tree just stands out now. I am happy with it. Thank you for your kind words, as usual!! xo

  27. Thank you, Nancy. That is the first thing we saw when we walked through door, when viewing the home for purchase. We just looked at each other and said, "Done." We had no idea what the rest of the house looked like, what the space was like...nothing. We just saw the fireplace and fell in love! We converted it to gas several years ago and now we use it almost every day. With the flick of the remote, we can have a roaring fire in an instant and if I have to leave the house to carpool the kids around, I just grab the remote and turn the fire off. Technology is amazing! :)

  28. I know that movie, Sue!! I love it, too. I am a HUGE fan of old movies. I actually quote them often to my kids' dismay (although they are really starting to appreciate them). So, you just paid me a terrific compliment!! Thanks! the bell garland. I keep thinking about making one for my fireplace!

  29. Why thank you, Teri. You just used a bunch of adjectives that I adore, that's just what I was going for in the room! I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. <3

  30. We have had a second tree in the basement for many, many years, Laura. It was something my mom always did, as well. Growing up there was a big one in our basement family room, near the fireplace and a small, tabletop one upstairs in the living room. I just love how it makes the whole house feel festive!! Thanks for the visit!!

  31. Hey Kim, I love the way you decorated your house for Christmas! How nice to have 2 trees too! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hugs, Julie

  32. Thank you, Julie. I wish you and yours the same! :)

  33. I'd like that too. Our basement is a dungeon but it would make laundry more fun!

  34. It does make laundry a little more festive, Laura...especially since my laundry area is a dungeon! Cinder block walls and unfinished walls are not pretty!! :) Thanks for the visit and Happy Holidays!!

  35. This is so so so pretty! Pinning!
    And Merry Christmas :)

  36. Kimmie, you have one of the coziest home I have seen. Warmth is everywhere! Even within you dearie! xoxoxo Jen

  37. Oh, I love getting pinned, Mila!! Thank you and Merry Christmas to you, too!! :)

  38. Your home is so cozy and inviting, Kim! I, too, love the color red and the way it warms up a room. You've decorated your charming home to perfection! Merry Christmas!

  39. Thank you so much, Vickie! I am a bit red obsessed, it's nice to meet someone else who appreciated the color. Merry Christmas to you, too. I hope it was a fabulous day. :)

  40. I find your corner very cozy and comforting. I think I'll grab a cup of coffee, have a seat and enjoy the beautiful tree!

  41. Perfect, Bonnie!! I'll join you! ;) Happy New Year!

  42. Hi Kim. Just popping in, again, to say I'll be featuring your charming home dressed for Christmas in tomorrow's Every Room In The House - The Finale party. Thanks so much for sharing it. Happy New Year! Nancy

  43. Nancy, thank you so much! It is always an honor to be featured at your party. It was a super fun year checking out everyone's charming rooms. I can't actually believe it's been a year though. I remember being so excited to link up last January and now we have come to January again! Time certainly flies! I wish you a fabulous New Year!! :)

  44. Can't believe I missed this - your home is gorgeous!!!!! Magazine-worthy and swooning over the simplicity of it all (you know me, Miss Christmas Overload!)!!!! Love the relaxed feel and how you used your candy canes!

  45. Thanks Vel! You are too nice...and I love your Christmas overload!! It's Christmas after all, what could be better than three trees?? ;)

  46. I love Christmas too. it's just the coziest time of year!
    and I love your touches of red. always!
    so cheery and welcoming. you're making such wonderful memories for your children. XOXO♥

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy...enjoy the season!! :)