Monday, December 22, 2014

48 IHeart Holidays - Decking our Halls in 2014!

Hello friends!  I apologize for my light posting schedule this past few weeks.  Sometimes life hands you a few clues that it is time to slow down, savor the moment and focus on the bigger picture.  So that is what we have been doing.  This year we skipped our holiday countdown tradition and made our own memories with no agenda... and it was freeing.


And if I am being completely open and honest, after becoming a little overwhelmed with all of the endlessly beautiful and inspirational blog-land holiday home tours, I decided to take my time with our decor and piece together small updates and projects each day vs. binge decorating and causing myself to fall apart at the seams.

{Let it Snow project shared here}

So it may have taken me a little lot longer, but we LOVE how cozy and warm our holiday decor is and made sure to inject a lot of family touches that have meaning and intention.


Things were a bit different for us this year as we have been rearranging everything on the upper level to prepare for kitchen/living room demolition day.  With that, we have completely taken over the entire lower level as our primary living space while also adding a few touches of the holiday season.  It was a bit chaotic for awhile there, but so very worth it!  And I am not the type to pack things up two days after Christmas, our decor will most likely stay out until the first or second week in January.


Any of the decorating that has taken place, was done with a lot of hands.  Little hands in fact!  The boys owned majority of their playroom decorating, they insisted on having a special tree for all of our family favorite ornaments.  How could I say no to that?  I always feel a tear form when we pull out our "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments, especially ones that date back to over thirty years ago. #sappy


I made the skirt for their new tree out of some inexpensive fabric and hot glued pom trim around the edge.  Ten minutes and no sewing required is a win in my holiday decorating book!


Across the way I hung the print I ordered last year from the Caravan shop and paired it with a paper chain the boy's made.

Above the entertainment center, I updated the previous "o" with our faux berry wreath.  It was the wreath we used on the front door last year, however, a dear friend gifted us a fresh boxwood wreath  for our door this year, while the berry wreath looks right at home in the playroom.


Let's chat cocoa stations.  We made one last year and loved it so much, that we added one to the play room this year.



It is the first place the kids head to after school each day and this has been by far the biggest hit of the entire holiday season.  They are old enough to make everything on their own, but my middle guy declared himself the cocoa barista.  He even told me he wants to open a cocoa shop when he grows older.  Ambitious fella!  The kids are not the only fans of this little setup, I love that I have quick access to a cup of hot cider mid-day.  I don't see this hot spot going away any time soon.  {free cocoa printable source here}


Just like everything else, the setup was easy peasy and consists of a Keurig, mugs, packets and pods, jars of toppings and straws cut to size.


Adorable mugs found at Caribou Coffee here and here.


Rounding the corner is our family room.  Our over-sized brown leather sectional was moved up to the garage and swapped out for our smaller version from upstairs.  The rug and table were moved down as well.  The switch gave us enough room for our fresh cut Christmas tree!



We also brought down a handful of the frames that were previously hung in our living area upstairs.  I am going to blame my camera lens on their crooked appearance... I am sure it has nothing to do with our measuring or the two younger boys that love to jump on the sofa.


The frames were filled with the two gold foil pieces I made last week, along with holiday photo prints taken over the past few years.


For the pillows, I selected the softest, coziest covers I had on hand.  We do a lot of snuggling during winter months, and comfort is far more important than pretty.  The pretty came in via the florals.  Y'all know my winter sanity saver is to keep a small bundle of fresh flowers in the home, once again I went with super long lasting carnations and paired them with a bundle of holiday greens.  The remainder of the greens landed on top of one of the photo frames and in a vase with some artificial holiday stems.


Of course, the tree is the star of the show!  Each year we head to the same nursery to select a fresh cut tree, and I can never get enough of the aroma that fills our entire home!

Again, simple was the theme throughout, and the tree was no exception.  Just a variety of gold and colored bulbs to compliment the colors used throughout the rest of the lower level.  I did break down and purchase a few new frosted bulbs as they added a really pretty softness while also balancing out the bolder glitter and glossy options.



The mantle is covered in more freshly cut garland, lights and white poinsettias.



I stayed up and wrapped ALL of the gifts for friends and family last night!  Whew!  Feels SO much better to have it all done!

The tree may be the star of the show, but my wrapping counter is my absolute favorite spot in the entire house right now!


Right inside the closet is where majority of the magic is stored year round....


This year I dug out my favorite tags, a roll of tape and extra rolls of ribbon to keep on the counter throughout the month of December.  This keeps the kidlets out of my wrapping closet, as this year they were in charge of wrapping the items they picked out for others.


I already have pens, markers and scissors stored on the hanging rods full time, so the addition of a tiered basket (which I already owned), gave me the handiest (and most festive) wrapping space around!


The moment I spotted Lindsay Letter's new Christmas line, I knew that her Peppermint Moss canvas would feel right at home in my studio.


Every time that I round the corner to my space, my heart does a little dance.  You can bet your booty that this Christmas art will stay up year round!  I couldn't love it more, it completely compliments my style.


Both cabinet doors received a little wreath treatment, and a cloche was filled to the brim with mini-ornaments.


Feeling inspired by the pretty glass box on Grace's desk, I borrowed ours (which was previously holding sunglasses in our now non-existent entryway) and simplified the items being stored on my desk.


Also, my desk faces the Christmas tree and mantle, making it the best seat in the house!

The gorgeous gold garland I made last year for our dining room storage hutch, was strung over our built-in bench this year.


Wrapping things up with another garland project; this one was hung over the stairs to our lower level.  With the help of mini clothespins, it holds pictures of my most favorite people!  Another stack of cards came in today that I can't wait to clip up!


Another project that might stay around for a few extra weeks...

Whew!  I guess we know what happens when I don't post for a few days!  Post overload! 

And don't be fooled by any of the pretty you spot in these photos... I have piles of laundry that are starting to smell, stacks of papers to be filed and I just can't seem to stay caught up on dishes and dust.... but we are making the most of the holiday magic and I hope you all are able to find time to do the same.  With the chaos that is taking place on our main floor, creating a holiday ready haven in our lower level has been well worth the efforts. 

My kid's will be home from school for the next two weeks and we have some holiday traveling planned (minimal hosting for us this year), but I still plan on popping in with a few quick posts.

Merry Christmas everyone!



If you would like to see many of the same decor items used in different ways, check out my 2013 holiday home tour here.

48 comments:

  1. Wow! I loved every bit of this holiday post. Your style is beautiful and so YOU. I can't imagine going through a major reno at this time or year, but you are taking it all in stride. Just lovely.

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  2. Everything's so lovely! And as always you give me so much inspiration. Tonight I'm going to see in person a wardrobe I found used online. Cross the fingers that is sturdy and old enough (don't want particleboard and the budget is lean) so that I can finally start work on my bedroom! I want to clean, paint and organize my dresses in it!! Best wishes to your family

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    1. Good luck Antonella! Your idea sounds so lovely! Wardrobes are such a great, versatile type of furniture. Hoping you found what you were after!

      xo!

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  3. Awww, these photos are so amazing! I LOVE the furniture and the decorations, I would like something in this style when I'll have a home for my own! :)

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  4. How in the world do you keep everything looking so nice??? I have 3 (grown) boys, and when they were little, there was NO.WAY that I would have ever been able to have the house looking like that!!! I'm VERY impressed! :) It looks so lovely and inviting!

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    1. Thank you Mary, that is very kind! Our home definitely does not look photo ready every day... more often than not there are trails of evidence that my boys have taken over. As I type this I have dried frosting spread on my studio counter leftover from ginger bread houses, I just rescued a lamp from a Nerf arrow and almost tripped over the Lego trap the kids left outside of my bedroom door. Funny thing is I will be sad when they are grown and housekeeping becomes easier... I will take their muddy feet and sticky fingers any day! :)

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  5. Everything looks beautiful! And very inspiring!
    Merry Christmas!
    xoxo
    Rachel

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  6. It all looks delightful, a happy home for Christmas, have a wonderful time with your family!

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  7. Looks beautiful! Merry Christmas!

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  8. aww I really enjoyed looking at your pictures...you make organizing look soo cute:) merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  9. Everything is so beautiful and simplified - I love it! How did you make the gold garland? It's gorgeous!!!

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    1. Thank you Ashley! For the garland, I just strung the bulbs onto a strand of ribbon (no hooks). It was extremely simple and turned out so very pretty!

      xo!

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  10. I love this!! Your home is lovely, inspirational, & totally doable! Thanks for the non-anxiety inducing holiday home tour! Merry Christmas!!

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  11. Merry Christmas from the southeast side of WI! I love your simplified decorations this year.I decided to take that approach a couple years ago during an overwhelming period in life. It made such a difference in how I enjoyed the holidays that I've streamlined my decorating to those items we love and make us smile. My son would love your cocoa station so I'm planning to add that for us to enjoy during break. I hope your family enjoys your downtime since I know there's some kitchen madness just around the corner.

    Peggy ;-)

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    1. Thank you Peggy! I agree this is the way to go for me as well, it still feels magical without becoming overwhelming! Hopefully it will make things easier to disassemble in a few weeks also! :) Waves from the other side of the state!

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  12. You did a beautiful job decorating, never mind how long it might have taken! I wish I could motivate my family to have more festive decor (not just for Christmas, but for all the seasons!) but sadly I'm the only one truly vested in it :/ I can't wait to own my own apartment/house/dorm room (I'm in high school, ugh) that I can decorate to my hearts content :) I'm excited to see updates for the kitchen! Merry Christmas to you and yours <3
    http://www.youtube.com/sparklesandsuch26

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    1. Merry Christmas Ella! Although my family was great about celebrating holidays, I still remember having those same feelings at your age! It is great once you have your own personal space, and the best part is that with the evolution of blogging and Pinterest, there are so many great budget friendly ideas right at your finger tips! xoxo!

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  13. Jen - I just wanted to say I loved this post. So many beautiful holiday ideas that I can use as we renovate and finish our basement by next Christmas!! You have such practical and fun decor. I really love it all - I pinned almost every photo! Have a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family! I bet they love hanging out in that great space you have created.

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  14. I love every single detail but the cocoa bar is my favorite!

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  15. Your home looks so happy and festive! Please don't apologize for taking some time for yourself and family! I, too, am a work from home mom and though it is wonderful, it can also be very stressful. People think if you are at home you can work, take care of your kids, and clean the house all while having dinner ready on the table promptly at 5. Not true! That and it's hard to unplug and walk away from the computer. Invest in yourself, your hubby, and kids. They are what's important. The blog will always be there, but your kids are only young once. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you Momma! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  16. Hello friend! It's been a while :) Your house looks great! I can't wait to hear/see what you have planned for your kitchen/living area. I just spent a ton of time painting cabinets and installing new floors...take care and Merry Christmas. fyi, I am now blogging under Lilac Drive Designs.

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  17. Your home is so beautiful, Jen. I love your decorating and organizing - and can I just say, I love your honesty just as much? It's so refreshing. I too have felt that siren call to drop everything lately and spend time with family. It's meant I haven't been able to post about some Christmas projects that I guess will now have to wait till next year, but that's better than being divorced for my blog - hahaha! Life happens, and what you manage to achieve is always an inspiration. I just love all the Christmassy touches around your home, especially that gorgeous canvas in your office, and I'm loving the shot of the Christmas lights through that glass box. Wishing you a beautiful Christmas with your family, and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the inspiration you've given us readers this year, the blogging tips and advice that have meant a lot to me personally, and for always putting so much heart and humanness into everything you write. You're the best and I truly appreciate you. xoxo

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  18. I love the "baby it's cold outside" sign and have wanted to make one for our home but it has been crazy warm here in Minnesota this winter so far and seems like it would be out of place!
    I sure enjoy your posts and wish you a blessed! and merry! Christmas. :-)

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    1. I'm totally with you Lisa. This winter has been CRAZY! Not sure where you're from, but I know in Northern MN, I'm not supposed to be wondering if I should send my oldest off to preschool in rain boots vs. snow gear in December! Ha! I'm still waiting for all the snow drifts... From one MN'er to another-- stay warm! :)

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  19. I absolutely adore your Christmas décor! Your craft space is amazing! Merry Christmas!

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  20. Wishing you, Bryan, and the three P's a very Merry Christmas, Jen!! :) The boys are getting so big! Your home looks lovely. I love the new print in your studio space. I too would keep it up year round.

    I am glad you are finding time to slow down a bit and spend some quality time with the boys and your family. Time goes by so fast. It is so important to do that. Enjoy the next week and a half the boys are home.

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  21. Wow! Your home is absolutely stunning. I love all the little details in your decorating. I really like the no-sew tree skirt in the play room. My son likes the cocoa station, and when he saw it and the play room, he said he wants to live there because it looks like so much fun! I also like the cards you hung on the garland. I look forward to reading more of your blog and learning how you make your house so organized.

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  22. Love your decorations! Love that hot chocolate bars are becoming such a popular thing!

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  23. The holidays are such a fun time and it's always special when you spend it with your family. I love how you decorated in the space that worked for you. The snowflake hallway is amazing and your son's face is priceless!! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Love everything about it! The cocoa station is especially cool for the kids :) Hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

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  25. Jen, you are so creative! I never would think of these things. I love getting ideas from your blog over the past several years. It seems that everything you touch turns to beauty! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

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  26. Love all of your ideas. Are u guys planning any trips to someplace warm or are you focusing on your remodel

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  27. Hello Jen!

    This is such a beautiful post!
    The pics really made my day!

    By the way, I have been a silent reader and admirer of your blog! Today, could not help posting a comment. You and your blog are such an inspiration! I sometimes wonder how can every corner of the house can be so organized and beautiful… keep going on and inspiring!

    Wishing you, your family and all the readers of IHO

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    Cheerz,
    Paddy

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  28. Merry Christmas Jen,
    The house looks amazing! I was wondering about a few product sources. I was wondering where the honeycombe looking vase that sits on the white table next to the sofa was purchased and the hexagon looking bowl sitting on the glass tiered table along with your gorgeous wrapping paper. Thanks. 😊

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    1. Hello!

      The white honeycomb vase is from West Elm and the gold hexagon terrarium is from Hobby Lobby.

      xoxo!

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  29. What a beautiful tour and home! I love your posts... we did a hot cocoa bar this year too and I think it will be in use through January and maybe even February!

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  30. This is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful photos and really clever ideas. I think Mr Science and I might have to set up a cocoa bar next year for the holidays... :)

    You have such a lovely home.

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  31. Where did you get the gold spoons? I love those!

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    1. Hi Desiree!

      I found them awhile back on Amazon. :)

      xo!

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  32. Hi Jen, what sort of machine do you have for your hot cocoa station? And what functions does it have? Just hot water? Looks divine:)

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    1. Hello Nichill,

      The machine is an older single cup Keurig machine, so it can do individual pods or hot water.

      xoxo!

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  33. Your home is beautiful!! Where did u get that gold 3 tiered table?? Thx ;-)

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  34. Can you tell us about your wreaths, what kind they are/where you got them? They look more flush, fuller. All I find are thinner or cheaper-looking ones from Walmart. :/ ;-) And your garlands... They also seem to be a different kind than either anything I've seen at our local Target or Walmart. They don't look to be the "fancier" Mongolia type, but they do seem to have that "real pine branches" direction to them (on your mantle), I'm guessing the poinsettias are clip-on's? :) -- the stairs garland, the broader picture looks more flush and full. The closer view, it doesn't look AS full, still looks great and functional though! Is that garland from your regular department store? And you just clipped ribbon in there?? (Ps- I have a habit of saying "just". Sorry! I've already removed a few of them, doing my best to proof-read. I completely don't mean that in a non-positive way. :) )

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    1. Hi Lura,

      The wreaths hanging on my cabinets were from JoAnn last year, the garland on the fireplace is real and from a local greenhouse in town and the garland above the stairs is from Hobby Lobby. For the cards, I used mini clothespin clips for most but ran out and ended up just wrapping the wire garland pieces around the cards and they stayed put, the ribbon was tied around a piece of the garland in the center and just loosely strung through. I pulled the white poinsettias off of stems from an artificial plant and stuck them into the fireplace garland and they also stayed just fine.

      Hope that helps a bit! Merry Christmas!

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  35. Love it! Where did you get the Lego shelve/tubs? We are in need of Lego organization! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jessica!

      The Lego organization was done with supplies from IKEA. You can read the post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/10/organizing-legos-part-3-creating.html

      Thank you!!

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