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Timeless Christmas Decorating

December 15, 2018

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Trends come and go, but it can be exhausting and expensive to keep up.

I prefer a timeless Christmas decorating approach for a classic holiday season home.

Merry Christmas Pillow Cover

When I was a little girl, Christmas decorating was the highlight of the season. Our everyday home was transformed into a holiday wonderland full of tinsel, lights and great anticipation.

My brother and I would rifle through boxes of red and green, peeling away layers of newspaper to uncover sentimental favorites, while my sisters assembled the tree.

It was a lovely time that I can still recall in great detail, even though I was less than a decade old.

There were no rules, my mom gave us free rein with the decor and we always went crazy, covering every surface with elves and Santas and nativity sets.

In my childhood home, there was no such thing as too much Christmas.

It's a motto I lived by as a homeowner, as well. For years, I shopped obsessively, buying holiday decor at a rapid-fire pace and I can't say I was very discerning. For the right price, I bought it all.

Then, like my mom, I would pack away my everyday decor and fill the empty spaces with my own elves, Santas and nativity sets.

Once the kids came along Elmo, Charlie Brown and the entire cast of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer joined the scene.


A few years ago, my fabulous, full, Christmas house and all its trendy decor began to smother me. I'm not sure why exactly, but for some reason, it all needed to go. I barely wanted ornaments on the tree.

Since then, each year when the buckets come out, I cull a little more, keeping only the most treasured pieces and a few adorable sentimental favorites.

What I have in my home now, are timeless Christmas decorations. Santas, white lights, candles, trees, flowers, nativity sets and the color red. They're things that have been in style forever because they're classics.

And with just a few of them peppered about my small home, they stand out more so I can truly appreciate them.

Santa is a Christmas icon, so I have several. I used to have a lot more, but this year, I tossed all the junkie ones, the broken ones and unless they were vintage pieces, the older ones.

Dollar Store Christmas Salt And Pepper Shakers

Oh and for the record, timeless doesn't have to be expensive.

A few weeks ago, I picked this fun pair of the Mr. and his Mrs. up for a buck and they're currently my favorites.

They decorate my kitchen along with a few other aforementioned holiday staples, flowers, candlelight and red. In this case, I've used apples.

Sitting atop a faux wreath and coupled with a pair of votive candles, which were also a buck, I've created a warm and festive centerpiece that would look at home in any decade.

Timeless Kitchen Decorating Tips

In the background, I filled my white pitcher with grocery store flowers.

Roses of any color add to a room no matter the season, but I find that I'm drawn to white ones at Christmas.

White Roses For Christmas

Maybe it's because my husband gave me a dozen of them on our first Christmas together.

Maybe it's because they compliment the lights that I have hanging in my windows or maybe it's the fact that they play so well against the red.

Timeless Christmas Decoration Ideas

Perhaps it's all three, but I guess the bottom line is that I adore the way they look in my kitchen.

They're cheaper than evergreens, which don't bode well with my allergies and can be messy after a while, but they bring life into the room and a sophisticated air.

I usually buy two dozen of them, for about $15 and split them up around the room.

I find that the repetition of a certain element leads to a clean, cohesive look, so I do the same with my faux apples.

Classic Christmas Decoration Ideas

They're on my island, on my pine server and on my desk, snuggled up in my half a pig bowl.

Of course, the best part about all of these holiday accessories, is that they're not really Christmas decorations.

So packing and unpacking is not a big deal.

The majority of these items are thrown away (like the flowers) or just reused throughout the year.

They are timeless decor pieces that when paired with a little greenery or a Santa and some lights, become extremely festive.

Christmas In The Kitchen

My family room decorating was even simpler, since the majority of that room is already red and green. 

Convenient, huh?

Country Christmas Decorations

There are lights in the windows, a small pre-lit tree and the apple candle ring I made this fall, more repetition.

Other than that I just added a new pillow cover for some seasonal flair.

Pillows will never go out of style and the covers are so inexpensive now, it's something I can afford to splurge on...especially since a pattern like this one will look current forever.

I used the same trick in my bedroom this year.

A new pillow makes all the difference, just enough to bring the season into my master, but it doesn't clutter the space.

And again, this pillow and its pattern will stand the test of time.

Christmas Pillow DIY

The living room is the place where most of my Christmas decor resides.

However, even this room has been put on a decoration diet.

While my house was built for summers at the beach, this particular room was made for Christmas.

It's all about that stone fireplace and ceiling beams and by cutting back on the Christmas decor, the room itself is the star.

Red and White Country Christmas Living Room

Like a beautiful woman in a black gown and simple strand of pearls, the room is elegant and understated dressed in less.

It may not suit your particular taste, but there's no arguing, it's classic Christmas.

The tables are clear except for a lighted church, a nativity set my mom gave me and my grandmother's gold gilded glasses that I recently dug out of storage.

They hold tiny votives and look just dreamy.

I decided that they needed to be seen.

Tucked away in a box or a cabinet was no way to enjoy them. And with less in the room, these heirloom beauties take centerstage.

Elegant Christmas Decor

The tree is topped with a red cardinal, a gift from my cousin, in remembrance of my mom.

Red Cardinal Tree Topper

And the evergreen branches are decorated with very few red bulbs and only a handful of our most special ornaments.

The lights are the true star of this season.

Red Christmas Ornaments

The packages are decked out in traditional red and brown paper and while I originally bought these bags to make Christmas signs, I decided that I didn't really need any more decor.

What I needed was a stylish place to keep my wrapping supplies.

So that's what's hiding inside.

Christmas Gift Bags

A few more votives, red paper stars in a galvanized bucket, my Merry Christmas sign, a couple of cherished Santas and an unadorned pair of old wooden skis.

Another gift, from a dear aunt and uncle, surround the fireplace.

Rustic Christmas Living Room With Stone Fireplace

Sometimes, I sit in here and think that this room could've looked exactly like this when the house was first built, way back in the 1920's.

Simple touches to celebrate the season.

A tree illuminated by the warm glow of a few candles.

Packages wrapped in paper.

Perhaps a Santa sitting on the mantle or a bouquet of flowers on the table.

Classic decorations.

Timeless symbols of the season.

Once again at home, in my home.

And what could be better than that?

Merry Christmas, Friends!
Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 48 Comments

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  1. It's positively beautiful! And you have gotten VERY good with photography and styling. Are you shooting in Manual or Automatic? I still use automatic.

    1. Thank you, Brenda!! I do love playing with the styling. I have tried manual and I know that it captures the light better, etc., but I don't have the patience for the tripod and the settings, so I shoot mainly in automatic. I'd rather play with my words than the camera!

  2. That is how I decorated for Christmas to. I love traditional Christmas. And less clutter makes me appreciated the pieces I do have. Your home is lovely.

    1. Thank you so much, Penny! Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Your home is a Christmas delight. Thanks for sharing! You inspire.

    1. Thanks so much, Sally. What kind words...☺️

  4. Great post, Kim. Fun to see your home dressed up for Christmas. I am not there yet but hope to be soon. Last year it all happened in the last couple of days before the holiday, just in time for the kids coming home. This year I hope to do better. Lots of my stuff from previous Christmases is not working this year so I will be trying some new ideas. We will see.

    1. That happens to me every year, Lorri. Each year I say, this is perfect...until I open the boxes the next year. But a fresh perspective and a little rearranging is always fun. Enjoy the process...and the kids!

  5. Oh Kim I love it all. I love the salt and pepper Mrs. Claus and Santa how adorable. Your tree is beautiful. Don't you love the glow of the tree at night. Just magical. You know they say when a cardinal is near it means someone that has passed is near. I love that your cousin gifted this in memory of your mom. How special. I know your mom will be near you this Christmas. Your decor is so pretty Kim. Happy Weekend.

    1. Kris, thank you so much. It’s so funny, I do know the story of the cardinal and they keep popping up around me this season. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. And I wanted to tell you that we went to a Christmas shop last weekend and we each picked an ornament. Well my youngest didn’t want a traditional ornament, she chose a nest to put in our tree!! Of course, your story came immediately to mind. Enjoy the weekend, last minute prepping, shopping and the beginning of partying!! xoxox

  6. I love, love, love this! I've found myself cutting back too and the classics are just beautiful. Your room will stand the test of time.

    1. Thank you so much, Mari. I am enjoying less so much more this year. Merry Christmas!

  7. Love your decor!Darling ! Please EMAIL ME as to where you got those bags by the tree! Love the buffalo check and the candy cane one !tHANKS ! Cindy

  8. Very pretty, Kim. Proof that we don't have to have tons of junk to make the spaces of our home beautiful.

  9. lovely home with beautiful decorations.
    have a great day

    1. Thank you so much...enjoy the day, as well.

  10. Hi Kim, oh I love your the way your house looks decorated for Christmas. You did a great job with it and I hope you enjoy the holidays.
    Julie xo

    1. Thank you, Julie. I am trying to enjoy some quiet time in that room each day...and I wanted to thank you for your suggestion to wrap each gift as it arrives. So far, I've been doing that and I'm almost all done. Fabulous! Merry Christmas!

  11. I like real . . .
    Your home, tree, decorating, tells a story . . .
    of you, your life.
    Very, very nice. . .
    Liking the red cardina on the tree top.
    Merry Christmas Kim . . .

    1. Thanks so much, Lynne...that cardinal holds a special place in my heart so it deserved a special place on the tree. Merry Christmas with your wonderful family. xo

  12. this went to my 'promotional' file. at least it didn't go to spam!
    so I am late. but I've been late before and it wasn't google mail's fault!
    I LOVE THIS POST!!! every single thing about it. but then I always love your cottage.
    bless you darling bean. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy...and thank you for digging me out of the email abyss! I wish you a lovely holiday my friend. xo

  13. Merry Christmas to you too Kim and your lovely home does look like it transported itself from a time long ago when things were real and honest. Nothing is over the top or screams "Look how much money I spent this festive season". You have created an Audrey Hepburn version of Christmas decor rather than something that the Kardashians would brag about. It's so refreshing

    1. Oh Michelle, what a compliment. I have read and re-read your comment so many times because I just adore the words. Thank you do much, my friend. Merry Christmas to you...

  14. I love it. I have to agree, my decorating as also changed with the years. I am with you, I have stared to decorate with nature more and not cluttering every thing up with all the decorations I have received thru out the years.

    1. Nature is wonderful decor during any season, Carla, but at Christmastime I believe I love it even more. I think because it’s a little unexpected during the cold, dark December days. Merry Christmas my friend!!

  15. It's definitely beautiful Kim! It evokes a warm and welcoming feeling throughout! Merry Christmas.

  16. Kim, everything is so beautiful! I love the simple beauty of it all...the twinkling lights, the red apples, the beautiful pillow, the gold-rimmed glasses...all elegant and very well done! I hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed Christmas! Love and hugs!

    1. Thanks so much, Benita. For me, lately anyway, simple is best...Merry Christmas to you and your family, as well.

  17. It looks beautiful, Kim. Your decor is classic & warm and as a result, is perfection!

    1. So many pretty words, Gina! Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!!

  18. Very beautiful pictures. Merry Christmas Kim. Greetings.

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra, and Merry Christmas!!

  19. Absolutely lovely!!! You got two things that holds special place in my heart, the Santa Claus, it comes from my childhood and the white roses! Super favorites! Love the long Santa you got in the window. Merry Christmas!!

    1. Angela, we have the same Christmas favorites, I love that!! And that Santa is one of my very special finds. He was just looking at me years ago at a little shop…and he was less than $10. I had to have him. Merry Christmas!!

  20. Kim, I feel at home in your home and we couldn't be more different (but yet the same). I agree, with less, everything that is special, stands out so much more. Your enchanted cottage is my idea of heaven and it looks just beautiful and still so cheery. I love what you have done with the place (haha) maybe I can join you one of these days (hahahaha), well, at least in spirit! Merry Christmas my dear friend..xxoJudy

    1. Judy, I could say the exact same thing about your home...and I would love nothing more than to sit and chat with you in person. I can imagine the conversations now and yes, while we have different styles we share a love of home, decorating, beautiful things and an appreciation for other's tastes. Kindred spirits for sure. Merry Christmas to you , too my friend and all the best to you and yours in 2019! xoxo

  21. Your living room is such a favorite of mine and I love how it looks now for Christmas! The pictures make me wish I could just sit in it quietly and enjoy the lights. Right now I feel like I couldn't bear to take our Christmas trees down in January but I know that time will come so I must enjoy it while I can.

    1. What a lovely thing to say, Dewena. Thank you so much! You have just made my day...and yes, I feel exactly the same way. I try to sit in that room each day to soak in the view. It's not nearly as pretty once the tree is gone...

  22. Like you, Kim, the older I get, the less fuss and clutter I want and I trend toward the less-is-more look. Your home looks positively wonderful and inviting and festive. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie. I find that as I get older I want to DO more stuff, not HAVE more stuff…so the few decorations I put out now suit me just fine. They are lovely to come home to after a fun day out. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas too and all the best in 2019.

  23. "Decoration Diet" I love it!!! My whole house is on that same diet! :) I do love your white roses and they're perfect any time of the year. Your home is always so beautifully decorated and if I haven't told you already...that stone fireplace is magnificent!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa...and yes, I've noticed your home's decor diet, as well! It's easier to clean and easier to see the bones of the house this way. Much better!

  24. Beautiful words and pictures Kim. I’m glad I stopped by.