Real Rooms: Mom and Dad's Holiday Decor



Hi!! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. We did, it was so nice to have 5 days off from work and get a chance to recharge, spend some qt with the family. I'm going to have to go on a diet for the next month to counteract everything I ate over the last few days though!!! I guess its back to the real world/daily grind now, but with Christmas less than a month away, there's that spirit in the air that makes everyday feel a bit more special:)

While we were home at my parent's house for Thanksgiving, we helped Mom and Dad put up their Christmas decor. Thought I'd share a few pics with you guys.

Garland on the stair banisters is a must in our house. To this one we added white starfish and red satin bows.

Mom hangs these faux cranberry small wreaths on every other step. Once it gets closer to Christmas, she'll hang our stockings off the alternating steps since the fireplace doesn't have a traditional mantel.

Larger berry wreaths hang on these wreath stand things, the closer one in the main entryway at the bottom of the stairs, the farther one in the corner of the dining room.

Here's a shot looking back at the entryway once you are inside the house and on your way to the main living area. One of the things I love about my parent's house is that they had all the interior doors in the downstairs painted high-gloss black. I love how dramatic the doors are me they make the house feel like its in the middle of a European estate or something.

I've posted about my mom and dad's living room before...check it out here if you want to see it sans holiday decor. Their tree is gigantic...there are full 2 story ceilings in here, so they make the most of the vertical space. When we were growing up, we would go and dig up a real tree (root ball and all) and after Christmas my dad would plant it in our yard (amazing to watch them all grow there year after year) but now they have this very tall fake guy. Here he is while we were fluffing out all his smooshed branches and adjusting the lights.

And here he is all finished...we only ended up putting up about half of the ornaments we have this year.

Added a couple of holiday candle rings to Mom's collection of candlesticks and its beginning to look a lot like Christmas:)

So, have you started your holiday decor yet?

A Few Days Off



Just a quick post to say that I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! P and I are heading out of town tomorrow morning for the holiday and the rest of the weekend. I can't wait! I'm looking forward to spending some relaxing time with these guys...

This is the wrong holiday (Easter) and was taken oh around 1985 or '86...but that's me in the plaid get-up, my sister Laura with the bowl cut, and my little brother Tom in the suspenders and bow-tie. When I get home tomorrow I'll yet at my mom for making us dress like this:)

Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone!!! Have a great holiday and see you next week!

My New Pillow



Remember these grey plaid pillows I spied and wanted while shopping at Target a few months ago? (If not, read this!) I thought they would look great as fall and winter pillows in my family room. They were $19.99 back at the beginning of September.

Guess what? I'm the proud owner of one now...and I scored if for half price, only $9.99:)

I ran into Target one night after work a few weeks ago for some toiletries, and took a quick stroll down the seasonal accessory aisle. To my surprise and good fortune, they were clearing out all the "fall" stuff to get ready for the holiday stuff. They had 4 of these pillows left and they were reduced down to $9.99. I figured it was fate. But to be good, I bought only 1 instead of 2.

This weekend we started putting up the Christmas decor (I wouldn't normally do it this early but we aren't going to have much time once we get back from Thanksgiving and our party is the following weekend). I took down the brown and orange fall pillows, and now the new plaid pillow is sitting on the sofa in the family room...right where I envisioned it.

I love it next to the black pin-striped wool lumbar pillow I snagged a few years back at Crate and Barrel. These two don't scream holidays, but their texture, color, pattern and fabric say cozy winter to me.


Speaking of the holidays and throw pillows...just a reminder that the next Mood Board Monday is 2 weeks from today on Monday, December 7th.

Design a room decorated for the holidays with 1 (or more) of these 4 inspirational throw pillows as your starting point.

{PEACE Holiday Hemp Pillow from NestaHome's etsy shop}

{Tidings Pillow from Crate and Barrel}

{Present Pillow by Olive's etsy shop}

For my original post with all the rules, click here. Hope to see you December 7th for the Mood Board Monday McLinky party!!


If you want to make a mood board and maybe win something (the above is just for fun and to see what we all come up with), check out this mood board contest that Susan of Love Where You Live is hosting. She's pairing up with The Green Plum, a home furnishings boutique, to reward the top 3 designs with fabulous prizes. Head on over to see the 4 beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces that you get to choose from to kick-off your room. Deadline is December 5th. Good luck!!!

Rustic Elegance



Thanks everyone for your super nice comments on our living room yesterday. It is the room in our house I'm the least happy with, so thanks for the encouragement:)

Phew, TGIF!!! Uh oh though, this means our annual holiday party is going down exactly 2 weeks and 1 day from now! (Usually we have it the weekend before Christmas, but this year we had to change the date and are doing it way early.) That is not much time to get everything done. So, I'm starting today with a holiday decor post..which means I can also link up to Melissa of The Inspired Room's Holiday Linky Party. Head over there to check out lots of holiday projects, pics and posts:)

Here are some inspiration pics that speak to my holiday decorating style. I love using natural greenery and I don't like to do much to it, just let it be. Wreaths, garland, berries, boxwood, branches. I also love using metallic at Christmas time...silver, gold, copper, bronze and especially mercury glass. Mixed with white. And some rustic, organic brown elements. Plus paper, I love paper. With its unlimited possibilities of color, pattern, sheen, texture, its perfect to use at the holidays. Doesn't take much to make me happy:)

Thanks for hosting, Melissa! And have a great weekend everyone!

The Living Room



Hey! How's your day going? So I realized yesterday that I haven't shown most of you much of my living room yet. Oooh, goodie, instant new post:)

Our "living room" is the room directly to the right and at the front of the house off the foyer when you come in the front door. Here's what it looked like on move in day. That opening on the left takes you down a step into our "family room", which was part of an addition to the house before we bought it.

You've seen my fireplace. Right now it looks like this for fall. It will change soon for the holidays. (Every year we host an annual holiday open house...its like our thing. Usually its the weekend right before Christmas, this year we have to have it on Sat. Dec. 5th, which is in like 2 weeks!! Yikes. I'm thinking I have no choice but to start the decorating this weekend. Sorry, Thanksgiving.)

The living room has a bit of an awkward layout but we tried our best to work with it. There's 3 doorways and 3 windows and 1 fireplace...lots of things to arrange around. We ended up with 2 club chairs in chocolate brown leather (from Boston Interiors) on either side of the fireplace, facing away from it towards the wall with the sofa on it.

I took most of these pics sometime over the summer (oops), so a few things are different now. Above was summer, below is fall.

If you back up and take in more of the room, it looks something like this. (Not the greatest pic, sorry.)

Turning around, the only place we could see fit to put the sofa was on this wall, opposite the fireplace. (That doorway on the left leads out to the foyer and the front door. There's another doorway on the right that you can't see that leads into the kitchen.)

{the sofa is from Bernie and Phyl''s 2 of my favorite things in the room, this hand-made wool throw my mother-in-law brought us back from Ireland and my Pottery Barn little knubby stitched floral pillow covers}

The coffee table and end table are from Target. We bought them 3 years ago when we moved in and before I really got more into home decor/design, started figuring out my style and what I like. So I'm not thrilled that they both match completely and I think they are a bit too much dark brown/espresso in this room with the dark brown leather chairs. But they're not terrible either.

Another issue with this room is the flooring. Right now its this nasty cream carpet. See the foyer in the back left down there? It and the kitchen have hardwood floors in a cherry finish. We are currently debating about what to do with the floor in here and the rest of the downstairs...this will have to be a separate post).

I've painted this room twice now. First I did Benjamin Moore's Danville Tan which turned out to be darker and greener than I wanted. Now its BM Smokey Taupe which I like alot better. The family room on one side a soft yellowy-gray-green (Sweet Spring) and the kitchen on the other side is a warm beige (Barharbor Beige), so I wanted something to bridge the gap in this room.

Does anyone remember the Crate and Barrel Dubois Mirrors? They're square, with a beveled edge and an antiqued look to some of the glass? These were my cheap knock-off finds at Michaels one day, mine were $14.99 each, the C&B ones were $150 for 2!! I flanked them with these botanical prints from HomeGoods.

I suck at window treatments. They totally scare me. They are expensive and permanent. When Layla from the Lettered Cottage made her drop cloth drapes, I loved the color and texture of them. Of course, I don't sew, am impatient and don't have alot of extra time on my instead of buying the drop cloth panels for $9.99 each and turning them into curtains, I just purchased these lineny drapery panels from Target for $19.99 each. Hee, hee.

I didn't want a lot of contrast between the drapes and the wall, I just didn't realize these were going to be the exact same color as the walls when I hung them. Hmmm. The windows in here are a longer story than just this, so I also think this requires another post.

So for now, this is our living room. There's some things I need to work on, some things I want to do, a whole wall I didn't show you because its frankly just too embarrassing:) But at least now you've met.

Thanksgiving Inspiration



I know its that weird time where we all start thinking about the holidays and want to get a head start, but we still have Thanksgiving to get through..yum! So here's a few inspiration pics in case you haven't figured out what you're going to do for your table yet:)

{Country Living}




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