December 20, 2014

Christmas at Our House

Christmas at Our House

This post was featured at...

As I recall, Christmas began with pulling tubs and greenery out of the basement! 

Basically, I had a mess in the great room floor for a few days as I began the creative process of sorting and placing my treasured items here and there. We opted to go with a smaller tree this year...and less overall decorating, just to keep things simple and easy for us. We are empty nesters these days, so simple is good. I do not have little helpers like when the children were in school and home. I would get them to help me clean the silver, place decorations around the house, and other Christmas related tasks. They did get older and figured out that cleaning the silver was not fun like I had told them when I brought them into the silver cleaning workforce sometime in junior high school. 

This is one of the first pictures I took after I decorated the tree. I was sitting in my chair, and just got lucky with this shot. We liked the photo so much that it became our Christmas card photo. 

Our friends know that Mikey is a member of the family. He is a sweetheart...and has made many new friends since we moved. Everyone wants to give him a hug and scratch his head. His groomers always brag about what a good boy he is. We think that he thinks he is a person. If you have a special furbaby, you know what I mean. 

The Silver and Shine right here is the coffee table in the great room. I tied ribbons around the glass hurricanes, put glass balls in a Lenox pearl edged alternative metal bowl, and laid some holly sprigs to the side.

Mercury glass balls are so festive.

The cherry butler's tray table is the stage for my candlestands. They are from Williams-Sonoma a few years back. I use them year round, but at Christmas I put ivory candles in them and tie red satin ribbon around them.

As you can see...I have a traditional style in my house. I am comfortable with that time honored style. There are other styles that I "kind of" like, and admire in others' homes. But, my true style is federal. I love the solid wood, the sterling silver designs, and the architecture of the period. Sigh.

This arrangement shows you that simple items can make very pretty vignettes. Here, I have holly stems stuck into a double handled basket that is tied with a wired red ribbon. Simple, but pretty I think.

I draped greenery around mirrors and prints just for a special Je ne sais quoi. You can do simple things like this and your visitors will think that you hired a florist to "do" your decorations.


Here is a closeup of the top of the tree. 
I stayed with red and green this year for the tree.

Here is part of my parlor coffee table vignette. 
I used blue and white for the first time in my Christmas décor.

More of the blue and white, with red, in the parlor.

My mother gave this ornament to me this year. 
I am an instructor of French, and I lived in the south of France for an extended time, so la Tour Eiffel is a great gift choice for me.

My new bowl...
I loved using it in my decorating this year. This is my one "décor" purchase for the season, though I will use it all of the time. 

I think that items you can use for Christmas, as well as year round, are the best investments. Since all of it is expensive, your best investment is something you can use 12 months of the year instead of one month. 

Keep in mind that I have been married and "keeping house" for many, many I have a collection of items that we purchased over the years. Now, I am very selective about what I purchase, because I already have so much. 

In this photo I used a six foot garland down the center of my dining room table. Then I placed my new pedestal bowl in the middle of the garland. I added pine cones, pine sprigs, and some fruit. To complete the look I added wired ribbon to tuck into the nooks and crannies.

The tree again. 
This is my favorite view from my easy chair.

Here is an inexpensive piece of pottery with a gold wash. 
I just placed a decorative ball into the urn, and voila.

Our old family angels reappear.

 Hall table decorations...kept neutral.


I will tie a ribbon on about anything at Christmas.

I love to decorate with pine cones...
from August till spring.

I used Dollar General word ornaments around the house this year. A real buy at $1.00 each.

I put this floral arrangement in a white bowl to freshen its look. It was in a brass container, and needed to be changed. 

It looks fine in the kitchen this way.

I have had several versions of centerpieces on the kitchen table the last few weeks. 

After Thanksgiving, I go into creative mode...and change this table when the mood strikes me. Can you see the gold paint on some of the pine cones? Just a touch of shine. 

The kitchen and great room are on the back of the house, and where we spend most of our time. We have lovely views out the back. Well actually, we have lovely views from every side of the house. We live in such a pretty neighborhood.

I just love the flicker of candle light. What about you?

And I love taking pictures in candlelight.

Here, I removed some of the pine cones and added in more hurricanes and candles. The hurricanes are Dollar General purchases...and work just fine. I have broken so many glass items during the move and storage. I need to stay with inexpensive glass!

Back to the front of the house again, and we are in the parlor. I like to set up vignettes on my antique tilt top table. It is sort of like a stage for les objets.

Sparkle and Shine with my mercury glass votives.

I love an old English look...and I think that by some miracle I have pulled it off fairly well in my petite parlor. (The camelback sofa might have been better in the parlor, but it is in the master bedroom. I had to make a choice.) 

I love traditional woods and period pieces. I have had everything in this room for years. I only buy expensive pieces when I am madly, deeply in love with them. That commitment means that I live with the piece for years. 

My solid mahogany and cherry furniture are pieces that I would never put in a garage sale. I will live with them "forever." I hope that my children will value and love my pieces as much as I do. But maybe they will go another direction. 

The brands are exquisite examples of craftsmanship, and expensive! My décor may change around...and even be replaced or sold, but my good wood furniture was an invesntment, and I will love it forever. 

We put the small Christmas tree in the front hall this year so that it could be seen through the glass front door by neighbors and passersby.

The tree is positioned so that it can be seen from each room in the living areas. The bedrooms are down a long hall away from the rest of the house. 

Mikey has been very photogenic this Christmas. 
I have several snaps of Mikey and his Christmas tree.

This view is in the great room looking toward the front entry. I really love the layout of our downsize. 
My Dear Readers,
I  want to wish you a very 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I am already thinking about my ideas for January stay tuned. 
Thanks for stopping by to visit.

This post was featured at...
Christmas in the Parlor
It's Looking Like Christmas
Making Your House Festive With Greenery/Christmas
A Kentucky Christmas Luncheon With Friends
A Christmas Bowl
My Sweet Potato Casserole
A Holiday Home Tour, Lexington
Welcome Guests With A Festive Door and Windows
A Few Simple Ornaments
Buffet Table Fun
Another Christmas Centerpiece...sort of.
An Easy Christmas Centerpiece
Using Blue & White Spode for Christmas
Between Naps on the Porch
Dwellings, The Heart of Your Home
A Stroll Thru Life
Stone Gable Blog

S H Elliott
S H Elliott

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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