I'd love to tell you that I have a plan before I get started with the Christmas decorating, but I really don't. I look at last year's photos to remember what I did, but I like to change it up a bit from year to year after getting inspiration from magazines, blogs, holiday catalogs, and file folders of favorite Christmas pictures. I like the nostalgia of using ornaments that I've had for years which precludes the notion of having a completely different color scheme or theme each year. If I had to name my Christmas interior design style, I'd say that it's morphed into "rustic elegance," at least in some of the rooms. Each room in the house gets decorated, and, because I work full-time outside the home (this is my excuse and I'm sticking to it), this process can take up to a week (okay, maybe two weeks) to accomplish.
I rotate accessories seasonally so I needed to pack up "Autumn" before gathering the stored topiaries and mercury glass items and lugging in the Xmas boxes from the garage (remember, we live in the desert and most of our houses don't have basements or attics). I clump similar items together in a staging area(s) so I can easily see what I have, and start creating from there.
Because it kind of freaks me out to have bare tabletops (sorry to all of you minimalists out there), I get started on them first. The 10' Christmas tree is the last item to be put up...it requires 2+ people and invariably causes a problem of some sort. The tree is beautiful but so old that it sheds needles like a dried-up real fir, requires painstakingly wrapped lights around each of its branches and is definitely developing a drunken list to one side. Now that I've written this, perhaps I'm deluding myself about its beauty -- you be the judge when you see it, maybe next Monday.
Front Dining Room
The small dining room in the front of the house is the Christmas tree room. With a bay window and ceiling open to the second floor, I knew when the house was being built that this room would be the perfect location for the tree. The marble-topped table from Tom's grandparents gets moved to make room for the tree, and the bust that's usually in my dressing room (great for necklace storage) makes its way downstairs and gets crowned with a garland of silver. Items are layered in different heights by using holiday books as a base. Is it a little too much that I change out the books for the holiday, too?
Front Dining Room
The drop-leaf table hosts mercury glass trees, vases, and candlesticks, and my mother's silver tea set is placed on a vintage wedding-present tray and embellished with holly and rosemary from the garden. Two sparkling deer stand guard under the silver boughs and preserved boxwood wreaths surrounding the candles. Did you know that something is considered vintage if it's between 40 and 99 years old?
So we're not old; we're vintage :)
This family room table has a rustic vibe, with cherub statuary and urn filled with crawling English ivy, a matched pair of vintage-looking angel wings, two spiral evergreens, olive tree topiaries tied with black and white striped ribbon from the French Bee, and small wooden lanterns from
Dining Area off the Kitchen/Family Room
I'm still at work on the fireplace mantel and other areas in the house and outside, and I'll continue to move things around until the partying is over -- sometime after New Year's -- at which time I'll stop, take it all down, and get ready for the Winter decorating -- which in the desert lasts for about a month. How is your holiday decorating coming along? Are you done yet, or are you more like me and still working at it??
Join me on Monday for additional Christmas decorating pictures along with holiday fashion!