“It’s Simply Christmas!” Embracing The Beauty of Simple and Elegant Old World Christmas Style

Vintage Christmas Ideas French Country Christmas and Old World European Christmas decorating Ideas

Merry Christmas! It is has been such an exciting and festive week here on the blog! Yesterday I offered “A Warm Holiday Welcome” to my readers with a mini-tour of my music room and a first look at the vintage and French Country Christmas touches I have been adding to our home for the season. Today I am joining my dear friend Marty of A Stroll Thru Life  for the Christmas Home Tours 2018 featuring 30 bloggers sharing their gorgeous Christmas decor. If you are coming over from or if you are just visiting today I am thrilled to have you!

This year I was craving more simple holiday decor that I could decorate and put away without much mental or physical stress. I decided to do less is more, but also to focus on using decor or creating vignettes that are really elegant and beautiful. I also wanted to create a vintage French or old world European Christmas feeling and ambiance. As I started decorating  I focused on things that are “simply Christmas” to me.


Beautiful Christmas Staircase Garland Balsam Hill Wintry Woods Garland #balsamhill


As you enter our home the first thing you see is our DIY painted staircase and banister, so I always decorate that space first. This year I was so excited to receive a gorgeous new  Wintry Woods Garland from Balsam Hill for review! I couldn’t wait to try it out on our banister. This is our fifth Christmas in our home and I have never found the right banister garland until now. It is absolutely perfect and it looks so real! The garland is 10 feet long so it just fits up our staircase with enough length for to loosely drape and tie on four pretty bows.


 When I received the garland, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect even though I have read and heard nothing but good things about Balsam Hill. After opening the box and fluffing it out I was in love! I didn’t know if I was going to add any beads or ribbon until I actually saw the garland, but right away I knew I wanted to leave it looking simple and natural.


Balsam Hill Wintry Woods garland on banister Christmas home tour

I love the rustic elegance of this garland with a mix of evergreens, eucalyptus and pine cones. It is suitable for outdoor or indoor use, and I am considering ordering another garland for our porch.


Simply Christmas Home Tour Balsam Hill Garland on Banister Christmas Staircase

Instead of using colorful Christmas bows with multiple loops, I wanted to create a Victorian era or French Christmas look by tying big bows with long streamers on the staircase garland and mantel. I love stripes and I am using a lot of gold and ivory in the Christmas decor this year, so this pretty ribbon is perfect for the staircase garland. For extra holiday cheer I tied on some pretty gold bells.




Beautiful Christmas Staircase with Balsam Hill Garland




Simple and Elegant Old World Christmas Decor Vintage French Country Christmas Home Tour

There is  small landing at the top of the stairs that I have never really decorated. Using some extra things I had around the house and a pretty cedar garland, I quickly created a beautiful new space which perfectly ties in with the old world and French country feel I was going for this year. I just came up with the idea yesterday!



I collect vintage pictures frames and use them all over my home, so this landing decor works perfectly. I am thinking I will be keeping the little table and candle sticks here after Christmas too.



Beautiful French Candlestick Chritmas Entry way

The candlesticks and prisms will certainly transition as winter decor.

The cozy candles at the top of the stairs add a magical Christmas touch that we have never had upstairs before. When we bought the house I imagined a tall pencil tree in the space, but there are no outlets anywhere close by. Nevertheless these beautiful candlesticks and candles are “simply Christmas” to me.



Other than the greenery and bells, everything in this space is just part of my everyday decor that I am using in new ways. Simply Christmas! I have had so much fun taking pictures and playing around with my newly found decorating space that I have decided to share a post all about it next week.





This Santa is one of my favorite Christmas decorations and he seems to look great no matter where I put him. We will see where he ends up next week on my full Christmas Home Tour.


Vintage Christmas Decorations Belsnickels Balsam Hill Wintry Woods Garland


For now he is standing in the living room near some of my collection of vintage style Belsnickel Santas.



Every year until now I have had a skinny tree jam packed full of vintage ornaments in this space, but since I really wanted to scale back and concentrate on less is more, I decided not to put it up. Instead I have chosen to display some of my favorite vintage ornaments, mercury glass beads and vintage tinsel in new and creative ways.










Beautiful Neutral and Green Christmas Decor Cozy Christmas Living Room

This year I have been decking the halls with a calming, yet festive mix of various shades of green mixed with gold and neutrals. There are still pops of red, tartan and plaid to be found around the house too, especially in our Merry and Bright Farmhouse Christmas Kitchen.



The living room is comfy and cozy with plenty of blankets and pretty Christmas pillows for relaxing or curling up with a good Christmas book.



Instead of using a lighted garland, I have adorned the mantel with simple cedar garland tied up with velvet ribbon. A collection of various vintage brass candlesticks and gold candles will provide soft illumination on snowy winter nights, hearkening back to simpler Christmases before the invention of electric Christmas lights.



Simple greenery in urns with birch logs

I have also concentrated on using decorative items that can be used all winter long.  Fresh or faux branches of mixed evergreens and birch logs in pretty containers or urns are an easy way to add a bit of simple Christmas or winter beauty to any space.



There are a couple of old French grainsack farmhouse stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Pere Noel soon will be there…


I am also loving my vintage style green velvet bows on the mantel!  I should ask Santa to fill my stocking with more dark green velvet from the crafts and sewing section of his workshop. The ribbon and fabric can be very hard to find!



Back in the fall I lucked into the dark green velvet ribbon and also the velvet fabric to make my throw pillow covers.



Most of the pretty green velvet can be found in the music room along with our Christmas tree and a few more of my favorite things.



I am not finished decorating the tree just yet, but I thought I would share how it is looking so far. This is the first year that I haven’t used red on our tree, but I wanted to try the green and gold and ivory color scheme for a change.



I didn’t buy a bunch of new ornaments, and it is still our “family tree” with plenty of keepsakes and handmade ornaments. We have another fun tree in the family room where the red ornaments will hang this year.





Christmas tree with dark green and gold

This pretty little chair got a quick makeover by switching out the burlap seat cover for the extra green fabric that was left over from my pillow covers.



Green is my favorite color, and this Belsnickel with a gorgeous green velvet cloak is what started my obsession with green velvet and using more green in our Christmas decor a few years ago.





Vintage Christmas postcards also say “simply Christmas” to me. They are always on display at Christmas, as they add nostalgic charm and beauty to any vintage Christmas vignette





Most of my Christmas vignettes are styled with favorite junkin’ and thrifting finds like this beautiful French planter…



A metal wire basket filled with a vintage antique chandelier and an adorable antique picture of a little girl in a pink winter cloak are also thrifted treasures…



I just scored this fabulous set of two vintage Italian Florentine trays for only $10 a few weeks ago!



While it may look elaborate and time consuming, my DIY  “Pretty As A Picture” dress form with a “Christmas tree skirt” was a simple, easy and fast project. Her skirt was made from leftover faux Christmas greenery, and her lovely blouse is repurposed from a green velvet table runner.



A plaid bow, vintage pearls and a strand of mercury glass Christmas beads make perfect Christmas accessories. I had all the materials in my stash except for some extra pine garland I needed to fill in the gaps in the skirt. Total spent was only $1.99! Using what I have in new ways is another way I am making Christmas simpler and less stressful this year.


Vintage Christmas Ideas French Country Christmas and Old World European Christmas decorating Ideas

I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at some of the things that are “simply Christmas” to me! Next week I will be sharing my full  Christmas Home Tour 2018 with lots more photos including our dining room decked in simple vintage farmhouse Christmas style. I would love to have you back for another visit!


It has been a fun but tiring week of decorating and blogging, so now it’s time to relax a bit with a cup of tea and to get caught up on all of the beautiful tours. Next up is Our Fifth House. The full schedule is below.

Mon. Dec 3rd

    A Stroll Thru Life,  Cuckoo4Design,  Nesting With Grace, Southern Hospitality, Life On Virginia Street,   Pink Peppermint Design 

Tues. Dec 4th

 Setting For FourZDesign At Home, Inspiration For MomsHouse By Hoff 

Starfish Cottage  

Wed. Dec 5th


Hymns & Verses Our Southern Home
 Seeking Lavender Lane, Thrifty &Chic,
 Remodelando La Casa Simple Stylings 


  Decor To AdoreFar Above RubiesDecorating DeliriumDimples & Tangles,
  Our FifthHouse,  Follow The Yellow Brick HomeDuke Manor Farm

Thank you so much for visiting!


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  • Reply Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Amber you beautiful home fills me childlike joy, wonder, and delight! I adore your collection of Santa’s. A package is on its way to you. Happy weekend!

    December 7, 2018 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Julia@Cuckoo4Design

    What a wonderful tour of your cozy home. I’m obsessed with your staircase decor.

    December 7, 2018 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Marty

    Your home is so beautifully decorated. I am always amazed at how you manage to decorate every single corner, nook and cranny. You have a wonderful collection of antiques and it is always fun to see how you use them in new ways. Your dress form lady is stunning, what a fabulous and creative idea. Thanks so much for joining the tours again this year, so fun to visit your home.

    December 7, 2018 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Emily

    Amber, I could sit here for hours and hours and look at all of your beautifully decorated spaces, and all of your amazing treasures!! I am so loving your holiday decor!! It is so perfect!!!

    December 12, 2018 at 2:00 am
  • Reply jeanie

    It’s simply beautiful. Warm and inviting and filled with all those vintage touches I adore! I love this one — one would feel right at home there.

    December 13, 2018 at 8:57 am
  • Reply Jennifer Lifford

    I love all of your Christmas treasures! The garland on the stairs is amazing – I need to add some ribbon to mine like you did!

    December 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply Terrie

    I just love your Christmas home. So beautiful. I love your less is more concept. Everything in your home is beautifully placed.

    January 5, 2019 at 12:26 am
  • Reply Marilyn Lesniak

    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Happy Holiday!

    November 22, 2019 at 7:36 pm
  • Reply Julie Briones

    Everything looks lovely, Amber. But, I especially love the banister!

    November 27, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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