Christmas Decor Inspiration: Front Entry

It's the first week of December, time to start thinking about holiday decorating. Although, I've seen and know plenty who are not only fully decorated, but have all their presents purchased as well. Not around here, I'm afraid. We're still savoring the calm before the storm. Although, we do have plans to cut down a tree (or two) this weekend and start decorating the front of our home. Here are some ideas that are jumpstarting my creative process, and might help you along, too.

Calling it Home

Calling it Home put together a compilation of holiday containers - especially love this one - but they are all good. Loving the birch paired with greenery, red berried and pinecones - a beautiful traditional combination that could work with any style home.

Better Homes and Gardens has a great round up of front porches with the holiday spirit - covering every style of home and decor. I especially love the idea of using poinsettias outside. Of course, this wouldn't work for every climate, but you get the idea - mix it up and use something unexpected. 

source unknown

Garland, wreaths and urns - oh my! Talk about pulling out all the stops. I love it. Although the idea is similar to the image from BHG (above) the garland is fuller and more dramatically draped, causing a larger overall effect. Yes, this is my favorite image thus far.

Remember my design crush, Brian Patrick Flynn? Well, ever since I fell in love with his mountain home makeover and more specifically his use of potted greenery, I wanted to incorporate a similar style into our Christmas decor. All those little potted arborvitae make me think of little Christmas trees! So cute and festive.

I'm finally feeling in the spirit of things and can't wait to tackle some serious decorating this weekend!
See you Monday.

until next time, 

December Sunburns

The last couple of years, I've been fortunate to have the most seasonally appropriate backdrop to our outdoor photos - a beautiful pure white dusting of snow. 
Not this year, people. Not in these photos. 
Outside the temperatures are hovering near 60. 
I played tennis today. Outside. In a t-shirt. 
It's the first week of December!?!

Adjusting to the weather isn't the only transition going on around here, we are also learning to adjust to our new house. 
On Sunday, while basking in the sun, I studied the front of the house trying to decide how we wanted to decorate it this year. Meanwhile, John was exploring the depths of the attic trying to locate all those pesky unpacked Christmas decoration boxes we quickly stashed during the move. 

Later while we were both outside throwing around yet more ideas, our neighbor pulled in her driveway, packed up her outside Thanksgiving decorations and transitioned to her Christmas decor in all of about 15 minutes.
Yes, I suppose that's the benefit of living in the same house for 20 some odd years - everything has been decided. Her wreaths are perfectly proportioned for her windows, her bows big and beautiful, no nails were pounded into the exterior windows, no loud profanities were heard as the wreaths dropped out the window for the 3rd time in a row. 
Yes, her home is beautiful. And it only took 15 minutes. 
Part of me is very jealous.

And part of me isn't. 
Because everything for us right now is new... and frustrating... and exciting. It will soon be our first Christmas in our new home down South. 

3 hours later, we were still hanging wreaths, tying bows and trying to get the reindeer to stand up. The wreaths fell out and through and down the windows time and time again. And yes, I may have screamed out in frustration more than once. {Especially when Tessa continued to laugh!} And no, not all our decorations transitioned from the old Chicago house to the new Charlotte house. But that's ok. 

Because this house is a different house. Life in the South is different. Christmas on our own will be different. But, we are adjusting and learning to love it. December sunburns and all. 

until next time, 

Christmas Dining Room Inspiration

Christmas is only 5 days away? Are you ready? 
We're doing fairly well, despite some pretty major hiccups. The cards are out, the decorations are up, the presents purchased and mostly wrapped, and the menus planned.

But, what I haven't started to focus on quite yet is the Christmas dining room. Since we just finished the reno on our own dining room and we're hosting this year, I'd love for it to really shine!
Of course, I added quite a few images to my Pinterest board in preparation. 

I remember pinning this picture last year, so inspired by the whimsical, non traditional tree in the dining room, of all places. I'd love to do something like this. Sadly, Mr. DD says 2 trees are enough and since I'm planning (notice the word planning - nope haven't sorted that one out quite yet) one in the playroom for the kiddos it looks like I am tapped out.

I'd love to really Christmas-up my new Craigslist hutch as well. Just like this inspirational image, I hope to have a holiday theme without completely relying on red. It's no secret that I love green, and this green and white looks so fresh and lovely and feels very holiday-ish. 

That being said, there's nothing wrong with a little red. I love the little trees with the red transferware. If I had these plates I'd be showing them off as well. 

Tablescapes have never really been more forte. But, this year I am taking my inspiration from these simple tables. Candles and greenery - just can't go wrong with the basics. Beautiful and festive.
Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend!

until next time, 

Creative Card Display

Every year I'm searching for fun and creative ways to display the incoming Christmas cards. After all, our friends are putting time and effort, not to mention the expense, into sending us cards so the least we can do is display them nicely.

As per usual, there's lots of great inspiration on Pinterest. Like this twiggy tree filled with card ornaments.

Or this ridiculously cute wreath made from Christmas cards.

Or even something as simple as arranging your cards in the shape of a tree.

I tried something new this year as well. 
I'm sure you've seen the trend of wallpapering or painting the back of your built-ins, right? Well, how about wallpapering them with your Holiday cards?

These are the built-ins in our breakfast room. 
I simply created a collage of sorts with Christmas cards and sticky-tac. 

A simple and fun way to display our incoming cards that allows us to enjoy them throughout the holiday season. 

I finally put our cards in the mail tonight - better late than never, right? 

How are you organizing your cards this year?

until next time,

Christmas Outside 2012

Another mild, but grey and rainy weekend here. Temperatures are scheduled to drop at the end of the week, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas. Fortunately, all this mild weather has been great for tweaking our outdoor displays. 

See, wouldn't this picture of our house look so much better with a little snow on the ground? Yeah, I think so too. Soon, hopefully.

At least getting out the big ladder wasn't such a task this year, so we went ahead and hung wreaths in the windows and on the chimney breast. The last time we hosted, 4 years ago, we had wreaths in our windows and I've missed it since. So happy to have them up again. 

Taking inspiration from the last image in my inspiration post, I decided to pull out all the stops this year and do a bit of everthing. 
Garland - check

Sled - check

Tree - check

And, lights - of course, we have lights! Seeing the house all lit up at night is truly one of my favorite things of the holiday season. 

Happy to have the outside decorations complete. With everything going on this time of year, we're happy to have that checked off the list. I also tackled the Christmas cards this weekend (no, not sending ours out yet - still waiting to get them delivered!). And got a head start on the baking. 

How did you spend your weekend? Whatever you did, I hope you enjoyed. 

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until next time,