Welcome to Red Shutter Cottage at this most special time of the year.
A big part of decorating for Christmas is combining the memories of my childhood with my own personal idea of Christmas and how to decorate for it. Christmas for me is a time to honor memories, as well as bring the beauty of the season into my home. This is actually just a round-about way of me saying that I am not one to re-do my tree every year with a different look. Nor do I pick a different ‘theme’ every year to decorate my home.
And THAT is just another round-about me of saying: If you have seen my Christmas posts from the last couple of years, there is a bit here that is repeat. I always put out my mother’s wrought iron lamp post. I always decorate my tree with a combination of personal ornaments and vintage“Shiny Brite” ornaments. For me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without these souvenirs of my childhood!
That is not to say I don’t like to get a little creative and mix it up! Come on in, and let’s mix it up!!
In the entry way of our living room is my Grandmother’s mahogany display shelf. (I wish I knew I there was a name for this piece!) I didn’t fuss over this too much-it’s sort of an unstructured collection of Christmas decorations from my Grandmother, my mother, and pieces I have collected over the years. My mother loved the stained-glass candles, as well as these little brass reindeer from Pottery Barn; they are actually place card holders.
My grandmother always put out this holly and ivy painted Limoges egg.
The room over-all is filled with pine cones, plaid, burlap, berries and greenery. I like a soft, natural, feel to my Christmas. This is what brings warmth to my heart. Things that speak of family and memories; that create that special feeling of the Christmas holiday. I want my Christmas living room to be inviting and cheerful, with a cozy feeling.
On the mantle, my window-from-the-side-of-the-road is hung with this pine cone and greenery swag from a craft fair.
This is all flanked by various burlap trees I have collected over the years, including this one (on the far left) that I found in a little shop housed in an old church, in a small town in Northern Indiana. I was, and still am quite taken by those little wooden “lights”!
On the hearth, this galvanized pitcher that I stumbled upon at Walmart last fall, filled with branches of holly and pine cone branches and berries.
And my mother’s wrought iron lamp post. She put it on the hearth every Christmas, with its original decorations of faux greenery and some rather odd kind of green ornaments.
For a long time, it sat in the attic, because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then finally, a few years ago, I pulled it out and realized how it could be re-invented and made into a festive and unique Christmas decoration.
I have decorated it with a hanging snowman and Christmas bell, added some Christmas picks to the bottom, and of course, included the obligatory plaid bow!
On the coffee table I found this runner at a Hallmark store. In April. It’s amazing what you treasures you can discover at off times of the year! It’s a little outside of my usual decorating, but I wanted to see if I felt like it fit in.
At my day job, the deliveries of treats, candy, popcorn tins, and David & Harry boxes start around this time of the year. That is where this little sleigh came from a few years back. As soon as it was empty, I had to wrestle for it with our QA Manager who thought his wife MIGHT like it. But I piteously pestered him so much, he finally gave in and let me have it.
Originally it had a much darker finish, but after a few years of displaying it in that weird color, I had enough of it, and spray painted it antique white. Phew – what a difference! This is a pretty pared down coffee table display for me, but that runner is so bright and festive, I wanted to let it be the main focus.
On the couch is my collection of “Christmas pillows”…. but honestly, I am not exactly sure what started this collection.
I came across the first one a few years back at my favorite thrift shop. They are a bit of a 90’s throwback, which may be why I am drawn to them. And somehow every year, my thrift shop has a few of them available. It’s a little spooky, really, that every year I find new ones (for me, anyway).
This year’s treasures were the snowman, and the Merry Christmas ‘sampler’. The other ones are all from previous years. My one ‘new’ purchase this year was these plaid pillows from Michaels. I like that the background is white, and the plaid does not dominate the pattern. I think a heavier, darker plaid pattern would not work as well. They make a nice addition to the plaid theme, and a happy counterpoint to the thrift shop pillows.
My tree is very similar to last year’s tree. It’s the one part of my Christmas decorating that gets bling-y and sparkly!
Opening my ornament boxes is like greeting old friends. And I love the process of decorating the tree, adding each ornament in the perfect spot. This ornament is from my childhood. Santa is sitting on his sleigh, with a reindeer pulling him; all of this is inside the ornament.
I wish I could tell you a funny story about how hanging the Dale Earnhardt ornament was part of my wedding vows. It wasn’t, but it may as well have been!
My father brought this bar back with him from his time spent in the Merchant Marine during World War II. Everything unfolds into an actual bar with room for bottles, glasses, wine bottle openers and an ice bucket. We use it every time we entertain! It’s a little dressed-up fo Christmas with a poinsettia runner and candles sporting plaid bows!
And there you have it…. I mean, what’s Christmas a without a little mixture of high-end Limoges china and NASCAR ? (I told you I like to mix it up!)
As always, I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my Christmas living room. There are few rather simple yet festive ideas here. The sleigh is just filled with a battery candle, pinecones and a few branches of red berries. Plaid bows wrapped around candles certainly take on a Christmas-y look. Holly and pine branches arranged in a galvanized pitcher have an understated, rustic Christmas feel. These are little steps that can help create a warm and pretty Christmas feel to your home!
However you decorate for Christmas in your home, I hope it brings warmth and joy to you and your family. Merry Christmas!
From our home to yours~
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