Hello friends and welcome to our new home for the holidays!
(STILL a work in progress!)
In August we moved into our historic 1920’s red brick home that we purchased and began renovating over a year ago. The renovations took much longer than expected (don’t they always?) so we didn’t end up getting all the rooms completely finished and decorated in time for this tour, but we are really loving how everything is looking for Christmas so far!
I am thrilled to once again be joining my friend Marty of A Stroll Thru Life and 29 other bloggers for the annual Christmas Home Tours! If you are coming over from Thrifty and Chic or if you are just visiting, I am so happy you are here! A special thank you goes out to Simply 2 Moms for organizing this tour while dear Marty recovers from a recent surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are with her.
An Elegant Vintage-Traditional Christmas Porch and Foyer (sort of!)
I am excited to welcome you in for a preview Christmas tour! If you were actually here, you’d have to step over boxes and totes on the porch which we frantically pushed out the way to at least get a quick phone photo of the front door area. We just closed the sale of the yellow brick home this week (two weeks earlier than expected!) and we had to rush to get the last of our items out of the garage, basement and landscape. It took all weekend, and in some rooms it looks like we just moved in again!
As a result, I didn’t have a chance to really finish all the details of my Christmas decorating in time for today’s tour. We plan to work all this weekend on unpacking and cleaning, so I will share a full tour including the porch next weekend.
Nevertheless, you can come on in and take a look around at how Christmas and the house in general is coming along!
Last week I shared a peek into our foyer with a look at the round table styled for Christmas with traditional elements. It’s the very first thing you see when you step into our home so I wanted to style it in a unique and beautiful way. Right after Thanksgiving I created a large arrangement for the centerpiece. I loved the fragrant gathered real fir cuttings along withfaux magnolias and red berries arrangment and the other old world touches on the table.
It wouldn’t be my signature Christmas decorating without vintage Christmas postcards! This beautiful card was an estate sale find from late summer.
I love using festive fruits in vintage glass dishes to create an authentic old world Christmas look and feel. There is such simple beauty and elegance in this crackled glass and brass footed dish filled with cloved tangerines and tiny lady apples.
The real branches started to dry out pretty quickly so it was time to switch out the center arrangement. I decided to go with faux this time and I also swapped out the vase for this new thrifted chinoiserie vase.
Behind the foyer table you will see that I have styled my piano simply for Christmas using a beautiful painting of a Scottish lady in tartan plaid as the focal point. You will notice a lot more Scottish and English equestrian touches around our new home year round.
After a couple of months of living here, I finally got started on the staircase mirror and frame gallery wall. You will see more of the entire Christmas staircase on next week’s full Christmas home tour.
Foyer Mantel Styling Preview with Norfolk Pine Garland
The first of two identical large mantels in in the foyer, facing the other one directly across from it in the living room. I haven’t styled them exactly the same, but they have similar elements including beautiiful greenery, red velvet ribbon, brass candlesticks and thrifted blue and white chinoiserie pieces.
I am so in love with the foyer mantel draped with a mix of two different kinds of norfolk pine garland a along with simple dark red velvet ribbon and fairy lights woven loosely throughout. I recently found some fabulous chinoiserie pieces in a lot at an amazing price, just in time to decorate my two massive Christmas mantels with classic, traditional Christmas vibes.
With the exception of the front door and sidelights, the foyer doesn’t have windows, so it gets dark a little earlier here. I keep the antique sconce fireplace lights and candles flickering all day in the foyer and it is sooo pretty and cozy!
The Christmas “chalkboard” is actually a Chalkboard Gift Bag Hack I shared a few years ago.
We recently installed our electric fireplaces in the foyer and living room, just in time for cozy Christmas! We are in the process of giving each hearth a makeover. I am deciding between a slate and a porcelain that looks like marble. You might also notice I switched out my rusty ivory urn vase for a chinoiseire vase when I had to toss out the large fir branch cuttings from my Thanksgiving-to-Christmas foyer table arrangement and replace them with some pretty faux evergreens, magnolia and red berries.
Vintage Traditional Christmas Living Room Mantel with Old World Elements and Thrifted Chinoiserie
I used mix of faux cedar and norfolk pine on the living room mantel, along with three of my new thrifted chinoiserie pieces. I already had a few blue and white pieces on the built in bookcases, but with the addition of my new pieces I guess now I have officially crossed over into “collecting” beautiful chinioisire and blue and white pottery.
Over the past few years I have been embracing a more natural and old world Christmas aesthetic, so a mixture of dried and fresh fruits are must-haves for this Christmas aesthetic. For several years I have used dried orange slices in my holiday decorating, but this year I added some pretty split whole dried oranges too.
They are a little more difficult to diy so I ended up ordering my whole dried oranges on Amazon.
I share all the details about my chinoiserie finds and the living room Christmas mantel in a post on Saturday.
Cozy English Cottage Inspired Christmas Living Room (where the antique family heirloom organ finally finds it’s new home!)
My family antique heirloom organ (a childhood gift to me from my late grandparents) was the last furniture item to leave the yellow brick home. Over the past couple of months of living here at our new home, I just had no clue where it was going to go! When we were forced to move the last of the our furniture this past weekend, I decided to try the organ along a boring blank wall in the living room and I ended up loving it!!!!
I had originally thought the organ would make the living room too crowded, but it actually didn’t take up much space and just made the living room seem more cozy and put together. And since I have had this piece of furniture in my life since I was four years old, it made it the whole room feel more like home.
My grandmother always decorated the organ with little Christmas knick-knacks, candles and nativities. I love decorating it too!
I just found this tiny vintage nativity and it fits perfectly on one of the little shelves.
The coffee table is styled with Christmas eye candy including a mix of vintage Christmas, everyday vintage pretties and natural elements.
Just one single embroidered Victorian Santa stocking is hung by the chimey with care. It is our family tradition to hang our keepsake stockings on Christmas Eve.
The beautiful poinsettia was a gift from my choir after Monday’s Christmas concert. They did a fabulous job this year!!!
Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without my vintage style Belsnickel (or Belsnickle) Santas here there and everywhere and lots of plaid pillows and blankets throughout the house!
But what about the CHRISTMAS TREE????
There will be an entirely separate post this weekend about “the great Christmas tree (s) fiasco of 2023,” but to summarize: Our Christmas tree was up and fully decorated the day after Thanksgiving, but one of the light sets blew a fuse that evening and we just couldn’t figure out how to get the other lights to come back on without completely de-decorating the tree. Ugh! It took several days to muster the energy to do it all over again! I have had just enough time to strip off all the old lights, restring the whole tree with 1200 lights and get about 3/4 of our ornaments on the tree in time for today’s tour. There are still a few details to finish, including finding a new tree topper. In the post I will also explain why we are still using our old tree and why I still use incandescent lights on my tree.
Each year our tree looks similar, with a mix of various colored bulbs, keepsake and handmade ornaments, candles and velvet ribbon. Even though it isn’t quite finished, the tree looks pretty and now it feels like Christmas in our new home!
A Peek in the Christmas Kitchen
I have had to use restraint with decorating the Christmas kitchen, because my husband plans to finish “phase one” of the kitchen renovation entirely by the end of next week. With that in mind, I simply created a pretty Christmas garden-lovers inspired styled basket and vignette in the corner of the kitchen with papewhites, greenery, festive fruits, nuts and another favorite Belsnickel. You can see a peek of my new thrifted facebook marketplace vintage chandy in the mirror.
With all the construction still going on and a new load of boxes and totes to unpack, I will certainly be embracing a “less is more” decorating philosophy in the kitchen this Christmas. Also, our son will be home from culinary school in New York and I want to keep the kitchen uncluttered so he can enjoy cooking throughout his break. He was here for Thanksgiving and we had so much fun! Spending time with family and making new memories in our new home is what I am most excited about this Christmas.
I hope you enjoyed this preview of how our new home is looking for the holidays and that you will plan to stop back by to see the “real” tour next week. If you are looking for TONS of Christmas inspiration, don’t forget to visit all the beautiful Christmas home tours via the links below.
Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas! Amber
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2023 Christmas Home Tours
This week I’m joining thirty talented and creative bloggers to share our holiday decorating for our 2023 Christmas Home Tours. I hope you enjoy all their beautiful ideas and inspiration! I especially want to thank Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for organizing this tour of homes. You can visit each Christmassy home tour by clicking the links below.