Holiday home tour

Today I thought I’d share some of the Christmas decorations we’ve got going on around here. Believe it or not, this is the first year we’ve added a live tree to the decor, which makes a total of three trees in our house right now. Whew! However, one is in our daughter’s bedroom and that space is not fit for pictures, so you won’t see it featured in this holiday home tour. 😉

I’ll start with our dining room. I decided to go with primarily red, green and gold accents.


I really wanted to incorporate some plaid napkins this year. I got the ones you see in the pictures online from World Market (with a 10 percent off coupon). Plaid seems to be having a moment right now.


I went with a traditional look in the dining room, which means I also tried to incorporate some traditional treats for dinner guests, including this bowl of mixed nuts.


Every year, I have a vision of what I want the main rooms in our house to look like for the holidays, based on inspiration I see in magazines and online. Of course, the vision in my head is often not how things turn out. But at least the basic idea is achieved, hopefully. I’m calling this year’s dining room “Chevy Chase Traditional” because it reminds me of decorations you might see in his home in that movie. Would you agree?

Moving on to our living room, I went for more of a natural, rustic look.


This is the room with the live tree. Gosh, a real tree is a lot of work!


The mantel includes my DIY wooden tag ornaments as well as my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles and eBay snowshoes.

Flocked-mini-Christmas-tree Birch-candles-on-mantel Snowshoes-on-mantel Wooden-reindeer Santa-and-sign

If you’re interested in where I got any of the other mantel decorations, I have a detailed post here.

We displayed our Christmas village on the TV stand in the living room.


My favorite decoration by far is the tiny nativity set I got while on a mission trip to Guatemala.


In the kitchen, I try to keep the counters pretty clear so there’s plenty of room for holiday baking. 🙂 I focus mainly on decorating the area above the cabinets.




I try to dress the staircase because it’s the first thing people see when they walk into our home. I’m still in awe of what a difference my poor-man’s wainscoting makes in our entryway.


Speaking of thrifty transformations, it still makes me smile every time I look at our front door. It is amazing what some paint and hardware can do!


For details and jaw-dropping before and after photos of our front door redo, click here.

Before I go, I want to remind you that Duluth Trading Co. is giving away $200 worth of gift cards on the blog right now! To get your paws on one of them, hurry over and enter to win here.

Happy holiday decorating!

Thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, for once, I’m trying to get ahead of the decorating snowstorm that hits our home during the holiday season.

Today I thought I’d show you the thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape I whipped up using some yard stuff, some yard sale stuff, some new stuff and some craft stuff.

My vision began with a cream-colored, tab-top curtain. I got a set of four of these panels for $1 at a yard sale. I cut off the tabs, folded one of the panels in half and cut it down the middle.


Then I hemmed the raw edge of one of the halves by folding it over and sewing a quick straight stitch all the way down the length of the panel.


After hemming the panel half and ironing it flat, it magically transformed into a table runner ready for some stencils. 🙂


I used the Royal Design Studio Falling Feathers Fall Stencils along with some fall-colored craft paint to create my Thanksgiving table runner.


I’ve found that using a good stencil brush, offloading excess paint from the brush, and using an up-and-down pounding motion to apply the paint helps create crisp, defined edges.

I also stenciled a few wooden tags I picked up in the craft section at Walmart. They are meant for labeling canning jars, but I think they also make great name tags at place settings. 😉


After everything dried, I put together my Thanksgiving tablescape.




For the centerpiece, I used my DIY driftwood candle holder, made out of a stump from our backyard. Learn how to make your own here.




What will you be DIYing (besides the food) this Thanksgiving?

Special thanks to the folks at Royal Design Studio for allowing me to review the Falling Feathers Fall Stencils at no charge. As always, all opinions (and sweat equity) are 100% my own. 

Hickory floor reveal

Whew! I can finally say we are done with the epic hickory floor project. We actually finished the floor itself a few weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been working on installing all new baseboard molding, patching and painting walls that were damaged, and just basically finishing up all the little details.

Today I thought I’d share some photos of our new floors.








I am actually not that crazy about the rug I purchased for the living room. I think I may exchange it for something else. I liked the 5’x7′ version I saw on display at Home Depot, so I ordered it in an 8’x10′ size. However, when it showed up, I was a bit disappointed. I noticed that with inexpensive rugs (the only ones I buy :)), it seems that one basic pattern is used and then simply enlarged. So instead of getting more pattern on an 8’x10′ rug, you essentially get a blown-up version of the same exact pattern that was on the smaller rug. Does that make sense? So although I liked the size of the medallions on the 5’x7′ version, they are a bit large on the 8’x10′ version and look almost pixelated.


Here you can see how we flowed the flooring into the hallway, kitchen and dining room. I’m planning on installing the same picture frame molding in this hallway as what is in our dining room. I’m just waiting for my molding order to come in from 84 Lumber.



Hickory-floor-kitchenJust to re-cap, we purchased our pre-finished hickory flooring from Lumber Liquidators. It is the Builder’s Pride 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ natural hickory hardwood. With our military discount, I think it came to around $3.60 per square foot. For more information on the tools and methods we used for this DIY project, click here and here.

What do you think of our new hickory floors?

I’m linking this up to My Repurposed Life.