One of my favorite KN days of the year, Christmas Home Tour day is here! While I usually start decorating before most, it seems like I’ve seen an unprecedented number of people getting their homes holiday-ready early. In my neighborhood, wreaths, lights and garland starting making appearances the day after Halloween — I think this time of year, with a little sparkle and feel-good, is what we’ve all been craving — I know I have! This year’s Christmas home tour is a little different than past years — with a young toddler, I simplified a lot of spaces and you won’t see any of my usual glass votives or ornaments sprinkled on easy-to-reach coffee tables. While I was mindful of certain decor, I have to say, we set our first trees up a while ago so we were able to “practice” with teaching her that we don’t touch the Christmas trees; she has done great! We’ve taken a similar approach to our home in general, as she’s gotten older and more mobile. While we have incorporated some safety measures, I don’t Eliza-proof the entire house. We try to teach her, as we go, when she’s doing something or touching something that she shouldn’t be. Sure, there’s an occasional “oops”, but I try not to leave anything too precious in her way and as long as she’s safe, we’d rather go ahead and start teaching her now. I am so excited to experience this Christmas season with her and each new stage she enters seems more fun than the last; come Christmas, she will be 18 months. So, now that I’ve prefaced today’s holiday walk-through, let’s get started and take a look!
*Posts on KelleyNan.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.
I did say “simple” was the name of the game this year, right? With our dining room — just to the right of the entry when you walk in — being a totally different vibe than the rest of the rooms, I opted for a neutral, single statement arrangement of magnolia leaves in one of my big, white ceramic vases. I had a pair of these on the built-ins in the living room for the past year and have no regrets investing in them since they’re so versatile and used year-round. Magnolia leaves are my go-to for hefty, classic greenery, which you may remember from former years (you can see my 2019 Christmas Home Tour HERE), and will definitely see more of today 😉 I recently saw someone sharing a step-by-step on how to preserve them, which I need to try before my next haul of branches!
We haven’t made the time to outfit our porch in garland just yet but we did already have our lights installed; hopefully, I’ll be able to share the finished result soon!
I actually shared our icy blue and frosty white dining room a few weeks ago (HERE) — after using twin trees in Eliza’s nursery last year, I decided then that I wanted to try dual trees, flanking the sideboard in the dining room this year.
Sources: Rug | Chairs | White & Gold Gift Boxes | Chandelier | Curtains | Table: Restoration Hardware | Sideboard: Restoration Hardware | Mirror: HomeGoods | Lamps: HomeGoods | Christmas Trees & Christmas Decor: At Home
With so much going on with the trees in the background, I kept the sideboard and table more simple so as not to detract from the efforts of the flocked trees.
Scattered glass hurricanes with candles of varied heights, with some rock salt as a snowy base was such an easy solution!
I actually have plans to modify the dining room a little bit, which I realized once we started on the Conversation Room a few months ago, on the other side of the entry. I waited for any paint projects, specifically so I could go for this Christmas look, this holiday season 😉
And, speaking of Conversation Room, it’s been a little while since I’ve given an update. I’ll be sharing progress and projects and the current status late next week! Since the room is empty(ish) right now, I didn’t fully decorate it but did use some of the pieces to host some of our holiday moments. On top of the thrifted secretary desk, I displayed our cards from Christmases past. I actually switched the frames this year — all different but coordinating — from the glittery silver they had been in prior to 2020.
Along with a few of my big, statement vases — filled with magnolia stems, of course — I added a few cement houses and a strand of my go-to wire lights. I wish I had seen THESE cute little nordic white houses for $5 before getting these from Hobby Lobby!
Our annual “nostalgia tree” is also positioned in the corner. Each year, we each add a new ornament. Gran Nan still gifts us ornaments each year, too, and the ornaments we have displayed date back to the year I was born. Actually, there’s even a small ornament Dave made when he was little, but I won’t disclose just how long ago that was, haha.
“Anything goes” on this tree! Each item is laced with memories and is representative. Gran Nan gifted us each THESE monogram felt ornaments from Anthro this year — they’re so cute and all different! We haven’t had our night of ornament/Christmas pjs/Christmas books yet this year, but I got this hot sauce for Dave, and this little mouse for Eliza. Little woodland animals were always my favorite ornaments when I was growing up and the mouse picture in Eliza’s room is her favorite, too.
Scroll & Tap to Shop Ornaments
More simplicity in the kitchen and the only bowl of balls you’ll see in the house this year! In lieu of sparkle and glass, like the rest of the year, I’m just really feeling wood, terracotta, and other rustic finishes when it comes to my decor and vessels. Similarly, my primary wrapping paper this year is THIS simple brown craft paper — it’s affordable, comes on a huge roll, and is easy to embellish with ribbon or coordinate with an accent paper — while more expensive, my blackwatch plaid wrapping paper can be found HERE.
I’ve been in a total candle obsession all year — I think maybe because it feels comforting in 2020? And, while I haven’t passed up a single opportunity to load up and try all the scents I can, this B&BW “Leaves” scent has been my fav for fall — “Fresh Balsam” continues to be my fav for Christmas and winter.
We had to get a little creative with a spot for this little gold nativity this year 😉 This heavy set was from PB a few years ago, but I did find a few — still new — on ebay HERE.
Aside from a few new accent ornaments, ribbon and wrapping paper, I recycle and repurpose my Christmas decor from year to year. I try to move things around, embellish greenery and garland differently, and put a new spin on long-loved pieces. I may get a few new things for Christmas but the majority — far and away — is the result of years of collecting and continued use. I actually ordered a pair of trees for on top of this breakfast nook sideboard but once they arrived, the size (even trying them with a pedestal) wasn’t large enough. Instead of trees, I took inventory of my basement and brought these brass candelabras back up for the season — I haven’t had them out in a few years now! I sprinkled in a few brass candlesticks and beefed up the simple garland with blueberries, magnolia leaves and ornaments.
Sources: Round Mirror (black in 48″) | Chairs | Hand Carved Black & Wood Bowl Tray | Chandelier | Rug (8′) | Curtains | Brass Candle Holders (NEWEST VERSION) | Brass Tapered Candle Holders (NEWEST VERSION) | Table- no longer available (SIMILAR) | Wood Bead Garland (SIMILAR) | Candelabras- HomeGoods (old) | Garland (Base)- Costco
Similar to the dining room, I kept the table centerpiece low and simple, so as not to visually clutter the sightline to the fully decked sideboard. I waited on THIS hand carved black and natural toned shallow bowl/tray on backorder for a few months before it finally recently arrived — I have the “medium” size and it looks like it’s now available for immediate delivery. This will probably be making an appearance on the coffee table(s) soon!
One of the most asked questions I get — next to “how do you do your ribbon?” is “where do you store all your stuff?” Truly, it is no easy feat, but we are blessed with a big basement (that needs more than a little TLC right now!) The biggest tip I can give when it comes to storing holiday decor, is instead of storing it by whatever room it’s in for one season, store it by type and color. Your decor may move around and may be used in different ways but grouping it as “small trees”, “reindeer”, “sentimental”, etc. is a safe and easy bet to know where everything is. Same for ornaments — if you change your theme/color scheme/don’t use all your ornaments every year/have multiple trees, label your totes by color. The next tip I would offer — invest in actual storage containers. If they can be cohesive, stack together neatly, and be easily identifiable (and protective), you’ll thank yourself the next time the holidays roll around. And, instead of waiting for the holidays to end and then just putting all your decor back in whatever it came out of this year, now is a great time to take inventory and make sure you’re covered once the season has ended. Wayfair currently has their Black Friday Exclusive Access event, with holiday items and holiday storage items included — up to 80% off and orders $35+ ship free. From ornament and wreath storage to wrapping paper and tree bags (THIS tree bag fits a 7′ tree and is only $16.99; THIS tree bag fits a 10′ tree and is $22.99!), here are a few ideas to make sure you’re set, come this January.
Scroll & Tap to Shop
I have several strands of this long wood bead garland I snagged from At Home a couple years ago but I also found some similar 9′ garland HERE, on Amazon. I have it woven and draped in bowls, through garland, etc. throughout the house.
And now, let’s take a look at the room that typically requires the lion’s share of my efforts — this year being no exception… the center of our home… the living room.
Sources: Bar Pendant Lights (antique nickel finish; paper shade) | Rope Bar Stools (sand; bar height) | Wingback Chairs | Teddy Bear Pillows | Tufted Leather Ottoman | Black frames w/ White Mats (SIMILAR) | Brass Beverage Tub | Green Glass Bottles & Decanters- At Home | Tree & Garland (Base); Costco | Rug | Fireplace Screen
After using bold plaid last year, I loved it so much, I wanted to do something similar (but different) this year. I settled on a navy blue and green blackwatch plaid with deep gold accents, and here’s the result!
Oh, and looks like I fibbed — I actually have a few vessels loaded with ornaments on the bookshelves, too 😉 I had every intention of switching our pillows to incorporate plaid and deep green but before I switched out my fall pillows, I actually decided I loved how the softer sage green linen and cognac teddy bear looked with the richness of the tree. I added a pair of navy velvet pillows on the sofa and a faux fur on the loveseat and didn’t bring a single new pillow into the house this holiday! (I used an exclamation mark like I deserve an award for that, because I kinda feel like I do, haha)
Sources: Sofa & Loveseat (performance ivory linen) | Coffee Table | Large Wood Art | White Vase (on fireplace) | Sage Green Linen Pillows (24″) | Rug | Teddy Bear Throw Blanket | Coffee Table Wood Bead Garland | Stockings | Wingback Chairs | Teddy Bear Pillows | Tufted Leather Ottoman | Brass Beverage Tub | Green Glass Bottles & Decanters- At Home | Tree & Garland (Base); Costco | Fireplace Screen
My collection of green glass bottles and decanters that used to be on top of the black cabinet in the former conversation room had made their way to the basement once the makeover project started. They made the perfect green “punch” my built-ins needed.
I already had these colored balls but just snagged a few more in quantity to add to the tree (all of the basic balls are from Hobby Lobby). I also ordered THESE green pears and used THIS Rub n Buff on them and transformed them to gilded fruit within minutes. They’re more discreet, but they’re there 😉 I used frosted gold berry branches and blueberry stems I already had in my arsenal but wanted to keep the glitter to a minimum.
For this year’s ribbon, I actually didn’t go too nuts 😉 I invested in THIS blackwatch plaid ribbon — the derivative of my inspiration — and then layered THIS navy and green plaid ribbon on top of THIS gold sheer ribbon, in curly q’s. The last “ribbon” I used was thick gold mesh, from Hobby Lobby, tucked in in single tufts throughout the tree. If you’re frustrated with ribbon, the mesh has a really organic, stiff, movement to it and is really easy to work with. It also gives great coverage while still letting the tree lights shine through! You can find something similar (may be the same??) on Amazon HERE.
Again, while I’ve caught her a couple of times getting a little too interested in the ornaments, by the time we set this tree up, Eliza already knew she wasn’t supposed to grab. Christmas toddler win!
And, I love the matte packages against the shiny glass ornaments and twinkle lights!
Scroll & Tap to Shop
I’ll be sharing a full mantel garland tutorial next week, so be on the lookout for that! I start with a basic strand and go from there — you can essentially create any look you want from a simple piece of greenery.
Scroll & Tap to Get the Mantel Look
I mentioned no balls or votives on the coffee table — my alternative solution… a shallow bowl of kids Christmas books for the season, with a little jingle bell shaker 😉
No matter what our theme is for the year, using creamy faux fur stockings has never steered us wrong!
Over on the console table, I created a little forest of bottlebrush trees. There’s no rhyme or reason, just diversity in height and layering, front to back. And, while I didn’t feel comfortable leaving ornaments within arms reach on the tables, I had no problem with a big ‘ol bowl of pinecones 😉
Scroll & Tap to Shop Coffee Table Books
Scroll & Tap to Shop Bottlebrush Trees
A look at our full 2020 #ChristmasVibes.
Sources: Sofa & Loveseat (performance ivory linen) | Coffee Table | Large Wood Art | White Vase (on fireplace) | Navy Velvet Pillows | Sage Green Linen Pillows (24″) | Wood Round Side Table | Seagrass Lidded Round Basket | Rug | Teddy Bear Throw Blanket | Coffee Table Wood Bead Garland | Stockings | Wingback Chairs | Teddy Bear Pillows | Tufted Leather Ottoman | Brass Beverage Tub | Green Glass Bottles & Decanters- At Home | Tree & Garland (Base); Costco | Fireplace Screen
By the time I got to the bedroom, I’m not gonna lie, I had (semi) run out of steam. Not putting a tree up in here wasn’t an option because I look forward to laying in bed and watching tv with the glow of the lights each year. While there’s no garland or tabletop decor this year, I did repurpose and reimagine the color scheme.
Sources: Bed | Bench | Rug | Chandelier | Belgian Flax Linen Quilt (white) | Belgian Flax Linen Duvet Cover & Euro Shams (white) | Barefoot Dreams Throw Blanket | Ivory Mohair Throw Blanket | Green Velvet Pillows (SIMILAR) | Nightstands | Table Lamps | Sheets (700 TC) |
Again, all pillows from my arsenal, collected over the past few years. If I use an ivory or beige on my white bed, I try to make it repeat — whether in a throw, blanket, or another layer — to make it look intentional.
This color scheme was born out of the bedroom Christmas tree theme, which was the result of pulling together “leftovers” that weren’t used on other trees. I do this every year and just pair new outcasts together. This tree actually holds some of our nicest ornaments, though.
I used some of the more olive green balls from Eliza’s room last year, and, to make it a little more special, incorporated some of the stars I used in her room, and have also collected over the years. While I hung star ornaments, I literally just wedged the larger stars — like the mirrored stars — into the branches, before decorating around them.
While this tree is totally different than anything I’ve done, I also didn’t purchase a single new thing for it — everything you see is from previous years, even the ribbon.
Last year, I went crazy in Eliza’s nursery. Between the trees and the projects, I think I spent a week decorating her bedroom, alone. *No judgement* 😉 Because she’s more mobile and curious, these days — as I knew last year would be a one-off with an immobile baby — I didn’t go overboard in her room. I was actually pretty minimal… except when it came to her tree. 😉
Eliza has monarch butterflies in her room year-round and while far from traditional, I thought “how could would it be to have a bunch of butterflies, swarming up a tree? So, the butterfly garden Christmas tree was born.
Sources: Cane Sided Crib | Floor Lamp | Macrame Crib Skirt | Brass Frames (16″x20″) | Rocking Chair | Sherpa Bear Rocker | Striped Crib Sheet | Antelope Print Pillow | Boho Rocking Chair Pillow | Pouf | Sheepskin (SIMILAR) | Tassel Throw Blanket (Vanilla) | Song Lyrics (SIMILAR)
Not an ornament or typical tree trimming in sight, this tree was created 100% from florals, branches, and monarch butterflies.
Scroll & Tap to Shop Wings & Butterflies
If you saw my annual gift ideas — toddler edition… see? She loves her wings 😉
More concentrated at the top, I started the florals at the peek and stuck them in, in a wrapping motion, moving around the tree, getting more spaced out as I made my way down the tree. I followed suit with the butterflies.
The wispy dandelions at the top are probably my favorite… because… how fun?!
I truly believe that while I love a good, traditional Christmas tree, I also appreciate the opportunity to get creative (if you’ve been here more than one Christmas, you know this!) and even if a theme isn’t shouting “holidays!” in the typical way, that a theme based on happiness is a good thing. I hope as Eliza gets older that she can brainstorm (and enjoy brainstorming) different ideas and that we can make it into a fun project to help her bring her vision to life. That is what I hope becomes a special tradition for the two of us.
And even though we didn’t do an overhaul like last year, there were still opportunities to bring a little bit of festiveness into the rest of the space.
Sources: Rug | Bookshelf | White Rope Baskets | Large Forest Art | Pom Pom Garland (SIMILAR) | Hedgehog Art | Rabbit Art | Jute Toy Basket | Sherpa Bear Rocker | Sheepskin (SIMILAR) | Blue Striped Pom Pom Pillow | Bears
Some pom pom garland with a little bottlebrush tree forest of her own — color coordinated, of course 😉
And instead of a traditional Christmas wreath, I used my spring forsythia wreath and attached a few stray butterflies.
Last year, her framed animals got a few Santa hats; this year, they did also — but with little butterfly friends.
To do these, I Google “Santa Hat Outline Clipart” and “Butterfly Clipart”; I print them on cardstock and then break out the Crayola crayons and cut. That’s it. scissors, tape, crayons, and free clipart.
We use THESE smart plugs for all our lights throughout the house and keep them all in a group called “Christmas Lights” so we can ask Alexa to turn on the “Christmas Lights” the whole house lights ups. Well, except for Eliza’s tree. Because she has a slightly different schedule, we have her tree set up outside of the “Christmas Lights” group — we just ask Alexa to “turn on Eliza’s tree” separately. You can order them on their own, all the way up to four-packs HERE; we ordered a few four-packs and it makes a cord-free lighting effort each day a breeze.
Sources: Cane Sided Crib | Floor Lamp | Macrame Crib Skirt | Brass Frames (16″x20″) | Rocking Chair | Sherpa Bear Rocker | Striped Crib Sheet | Antelope Print Pillow | Boho Rocking Chair Pillow | Pouf | Sheepskin (SIMILAR) | Tassel Throw Blanket (Vanilla) | Song Lyrics (SIMILAR) | Rug | Rope Light Pendant | Dresser | Seagrass Storage Ottoman | Table Lamp | Curtain Rod | Curtain Rings | Curtains (Linen Weave Vanilla Bean – Privacy Lining) | Shades (Bali White, Cordless, Blackout Liner)
For those of you decorating early, I hope you enjoy your extra time with all the twinkle lights! For those of you who are still waiting, I hope you enjoy the rest of your fall and have a blast setting your decorations out this year. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today and I hope you’ll stay tuned, because we aren’t done yet! 😉 At any time this season, you can check out the “HOLIDAY” tab at the top of the page in the menu to see all the latest and long-time favs. If you’re craving more Christmas, you can visit my full Christmas project gallery HERE or take a look at some of these past favorites:
2020 Christmas Gift Ideas
Favorite Past Christmas Posts