Monday, December 22, 2014

We Wish You A Merry House Tour

With only 2 more days till Christmas, I suppose it's about time for a festive tour of the decorated abode.

Let's start with the living room!

This tree was actually given to us by a friend who didn't want to bother with moving it from apartment to apartment anymore. It's 6 foot and artificial, so it has a couple of bald patches. I like to cover those up with one of the burlap table runners from our wedding as a sash and small bits of greenery from Michaels that I bought on sale a couple of years ago.

To fill in the branches a bit, I also added the little white birds. They just clip on, and a package of 8 cost $2, so they were an easy solution. The ornaments are all mostly from my childhood, though some are from friends. We have one that our friend Fred gave us before moving away that we love, along with the one photographed last that says "The Sturdivant Family" that was handmade by our friend Sarah. It just helps really make it feel like our tree.

On the bar, we have a wine cork tree that I made myself a couple of years ago. It's the easiest tree to put up every year! It was made by taking a foam core cone that you can purchase from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, then just hot gluing the corks to it in whatever pattern you wish. Some people like it to be a bit more fluid and not look as uniform, but I kind of liked the symmetry of it. After three years, it has weathered the move and storage great, so it's an easy decoration I would recommend making for any wine enthusiasts as either a gift or a DIY.

The greenery reindeer are actually from my parents house. We've had them for as long as I can remember and Mom passed them down to me. They are all super adorable, but of course, the smallest one is my favorite.

I usually like to create large displays under our television because we don't have a mantel, but this year, I went with simplicity. I just arranged a pre-lit garland and some reindeer that I purchased from Target last year. They are actually ornaments, but they were a little large and I liked how they looked standing up, so I just set them around places instead.

(Something cool we found is that if we plug our garland into our backlight system for the television, it will dim the Christmas lights, too, so they are never too bright while we are watching movies or TV. How awesome is that?!). The wax burner is currently filled with evergreen wax, which makes the house smell festive and wonderful. I'm a big fan of wax burners, especially with pets around. Soooo much safer!

The deer head is now officially the reindeer head till Christmas is over. I made the scarf last year out of scrap fabric and just placed the hat so it seemed secure. When the scarf goes on the deer, that's when you know it's winter in our house!

I have discovered in the last year that having the french doors is a fantastic decorating opportunity. I happened to find that I had three wreath hangers in the garage (I kept losing them, then buying another, then finding know how it is with wreath hangers...). I used two and hung these lit wreaths and I really like the look. The only issue is that they are both plug in. This year, I decided that they would be fine, so I used clear release hooks on the door frames to hold the wire out of the way. It's pretty okay, but I think that next year, they'll end up outside on the windows with their brethren (Bed, Bath and Beyond was selling them. Set of 3, pre-lit for $15. I used a $5 off $15 and spent $10 for three wreaths. WIN).

The little table top tree is our beer tree. It's actually my college tree that I didn't know what to do with, so last year, we designated it The Beer Tree. It is adorned with a bottle cap garland that we made for it and a bunch of coasters from some craft beer breweries. We didn't pay for any of its ornamentation, so it's been just a nice side decoration on the cheap. The top is adorned with a black'n'tan turtle, which has become something that our friends apparently love and look forward to.

Since we were given our main tree in the living room by a friend (and frankly, liked it more), we ended up moving our original main tree (also 6ft) into the dining room. It's nice to have something in there because it greets people to our home and can be seen through our front picture window. It has been designated The Geek Tree.

The ornaments, as you can see, are all things that we love. Star Wars has a major role, since it's the theme of most of the ornamentation as well as the skirt itself (made by my wonderful Mom), but there are other things, too. My glass ballet slippers, a UK quilt ball, and some other cool ornaments are up there, keeping it classy, yet just goofy enough to really reflect our household.

The JOY canvases are from the old apartment and I haven't quite found a place for them in the house yet. They didn't go up anywhere last year, but this year, I just leaned them against the entry. I'm not sold. They fall over a lot and I think they might break if they aren't moved. Oh well, only two more days, right?

The dining table has a table runner that my mother gave me and a wreath that I found half price at Jo Ann Fabrics. I used one of my dollar store vases and filled it with cranberries, then a floating candle. It really brings a traditional feel to our dining room.

I have FINALLY put lights on the house and nothing this time of year could make me happier! We always had lights and decorations outside when we were kids, so last year's bland exterior kind of brought us down. This year, I found a great deal on some exterior lights, so I grabbed them and in less than an hour, had created a festive facade.

The wreath on the front door is the third wreath from the set from BB&Beyond. Inside, it is a little ghetto because it is plugged in with an extension cord. I know that there are things we are going to have to change next year to make our lives a little easier, but for right now, it seems to be working well.

I had a flash of an idea the other day about a small decoration for the front stoop. We already had a galvanized bucket, an evergreen tree with trimmable branches, and a bunch of chopped branches in the back. We even had an extra string of lights. I merely arranged them all together in a semi pleasing way and I really liked the look. Maybe if it was a little taller, it might be nice, but I'm otherwise pleased.

The last picture was to show our little streetlight pole. We've never really decorated it. Ever. So when I saw that Jo Ann's had their evergreen swags for 60% off, I grabbed one. I just wrapped it around the pole and secured it with some zip ties. I ended up also wrapping some lights around that, but it wasn't photographing well (thus the black and white).

And that's about it. I am pretty satisfied with how everything turned out, but I know things will change from year to year. That's part of the fun! It's just nice to return home to a warm, inviting home (With a really cool sky!)

This is probably my last post till 2015, so I hope everyone has a safe holiday! I also just want to thank anyone who still reads this, as I know I don't update as often anymore and the lulls can make some people lose interest. Thank you for being loyal readers! See you next year!

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