Let’s rewind things to last December shall we? I had just purged most of my old holiday decor and wanted to expand my decorating skills by coming up with a really great design for my living room – but I was also incredibly sick and running on fumes so things didn’t turn out as good as I was hoping. Luckily the nice thing about Christmas is that it comes around every year, which means a new opportunity to keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t!
Flash forward to 2019 and feeling 100% better! In fact I was feeling so good that my holiday cheer spilled into many more rooms than I had originally planned, so instead of writing one VERY long post, I’m going to be sharing a few posts over the next week with some of my favorite ideas – starting with how I kept my house a lot simpler this year.
It’s hard to scroll through Instagram these days without seeing a collective effort to pair down and keep things simple. All of this has got me thinking about what simplicity means to me. I would never say I was a minimalist – I like shelves full of artwork and cozy rooms layered with color and pattern – but I do think there is a simplicity to our house that keeps it from crossing the line into cluttered.
I’ve always wanted to continue that feeling into my holiday decor and I realized that the things I liked best about my living room last year were the DIYs that I made (like the ornament boxes in front of the fireplace and the wooden village above the TV) but they were getting lost in a sea of too many colors and honestly just too much stuff. So this year I toned down the shelves, added some more natural elements (like wood, metal and greenery), and kept the color to a few pillows on the couch. The final result felt like a breath of fresh air and made me want to keep going.
If you love decorating for Christmas like I do, it’s really hard to not want to do EVERY idea and buy EVERY pretty thing, but the truth is not everything is going to work in every house so I narrowed my focus and started each room with simple pieces that would not only take up a lot of visual space and but also look wonderful year after year – like this huge paper star from IKEA that I’ve always loved and fits perfectly on my dining room shelves among the decor that I already have.
In the past I would go shopping on December 26th and buy all kinds of things on sale, which were super cute but also usually very small and pretty disconnected. This year I put some time (and invested some money) into buying larger pieces that created a big impact….and at Christmastime nothing packs a bigger impact like a twinkling tree. I picked up this skinny guy from Michael’s on Black Friday to fill a small corner in my dining room and then decorated it simply with branches, bells, ribbon, gold balls, and some cute salt dough ornaments that me and the boys made this year and already have a special place in my heart.
I’ve never been shy about swapping things out or moving things around come Christmastime, and while this may not simplify the decorating process, the end result really does reduce the visual clutter in the house. This extra window frame from my Christmas Shop was the perfect thing to swap out for the artwork over this cabinet when I added a cute stocking, and just re-locating my photo carousel and filling it with a collection of Christmas Cards added the perfect touch to my entryway.
My favorite swap out is definitely my morning room where I took down my bold blue curtains for the season and replaced them inexpensive plain white panels from IKEA, which is also where I got these great origami window decorations. By starting with something really big and really simple, I was then able to add small touches (like the boxwood sprig and the tiny ornaments) to make it extra special.
After spending last season feeling less than thrilled with the house, I cannot tell you gratifying it is to walk from room to room and smile at what I see. In the next few posts I’ll be showing you the small changes I made in the boys room, my steps for decorating all 3 of our fireplaces, and the small touches that differentiate our casual living room from the formal front room. Until then – have fun decorating your halls!