Do you get overwhelmed with decorating, shopping and entertaining for the Holidays? I DO! This Christmas I decided to take “Easy Street” and make decorating a bit easier, but don’t think that its short on style, comfort or color! Today, I have 6 easy tips to help you create an inviting, colorful, and festive Christmas living room ready the Holidays way before the Man in Red hits the roof.
1. Make Your LIST
You’ve all heard of the saying that the Shoemaker’s daughter not having any shoes, right? Well that’s me. Yes you all see wonderful styled pictures but in reality I work so hard most of the time in other people’s houses that by the time I get home I am too exhausted to tackle most of my home decor dilemmas. So this past year I started to focus on making my home a welcoming comfortable and stress free place by focusing on one room at a time.
Let’s start by saying that we use this room for everything. Our home’s layout is perfect for entertaining so we host Christmas Eve each year. This big room holds my entire family of 45+ for gift exchanging, dining overflow from the kitchen and our annual family portrait and photo booth. I NEED THIS ROOM TO DO A LOT! We turned to my friends at Raymour & Flanigan for comfortable, stylish, worry-free furnishings that could handle the whole festive crew. I chose two slipcovered sofas, a stylish tailored gray nailhead trimmed upholstered bench and 2 sleek Alana Coffee Tables that anchor the whole space and adds a rustic charm without being country. Our Christmas living room was starting to shape up!
2. Bring Out the Sentimental Decor
Christmas is all about traditions. I have ornaments that have been handed down from generation to generation and certain purchases that have sentimental value. This is one of the first Christmas decorations that I bought when I moved out on my own, I was at a Christmas craft show, money was tight but I loved black labs, skiing and it fit in my slim budget so he came home with me. This little guy may not be a trendy anymore but he reminds me of how I started with very little in a tiny space and still created a festive decorated apartment for the holidays. It keeps me humble.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
This year I told myself that it was okay not to take out ALL of my glass ornaments. Instead, I sorted through the multiple bins and picked my favorites. The others will dress up the bedroom and the kitchen tree. I absolutely love collecting glass ornaments and in particular hand painted Christopher Radko collectibles. And yes, I put trees in all our rooms. I got that tradition from my mother! Here’s our home last year all decked out with our multiple Christmas trees.
The penguin family have made their appearance for several years now and I just thought that they would be perfect for under the tree. They were gifts from my sister several years back when my daughter was young. They represent our tight family of three. Just like the 3 bears we have the Three penguins: Papa, Mama and Baby penguin. I will pass them onto my daughter when she gets out on her own.
3. Group Your Collections
For the past few years I have been collecting bottle brush trees. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes and this year’s mantel was dedicated to trees. Gold bottle brush trees set in concrete bases complement the gold and white wicker tall trees. These trees make the best mantel decor because of their flattened shapes. It allowed me to group multiple trees all on the narrow mantel. I weaved pine boughs through the whimsical forrest and added glass and glittered bulbs.
Mad For Christmas Plaid
It’s no secret I love plaid- Not any one in particular but all of them and mixing them is even better. I found inspiration in this silk black and white buffalo plaid stocking. Look closely and you can see the black and white ornaments on the tree. I kept out my black and white pillows from Fall and purchased all black and white wrapping paper. In addition to the black and white plaid I added more yuletide inspired plaid throw blankets for pattern play and color in our Christmas living room.
Making it’s umpteenth appearance is my antique apple picking ladder that I purchased at an antique store years ago for $60. When I brought it home my husband said “You’re not going to use that for painting are you?” LOL! I leaned it up against the wall and it becomes a canvas for my fringed plaid blanket collection. Winters in Upstate NY are cold and there’s nothing better than cozily up on the sofa in our Christmas living room with a warm blanket!
4. Pick a COLOR OR THEME
My main focus this year it was about neutralizing my living room furniture so that it was more adaptable to my ever-changing style and color palette. Winter’s are long and most often gray. So dark and heavy is not my style. I needed to lighten it up this year. I purchased clean crisp off white duct slipcovered Jenny sofas from Raymour & Flanigan, a pair of streamline metal and reclaimed wood top Alana coffee table, the neutral gray linen Diedra upholstered bench, and the Lyric end table made their way in this month. All these gorgeous neutral pieces delivered to my door just in time for holiday entertaining. No worry about being careful on the rustic table with kids and pets. It just adds to the charm and the slipcovers are a breeze to clean. Bring on the family!
The Winter Blues
This year it was all about turquoise. Turquoise has been a favorite of mine for a long time but ever since Sherwin Williams announced Oceanside as it’s 2017 Color of the Year I ran with it! I added graphic black and white pillows and velvet accent pillows in turquoise navy blue and green this Christmas. To be honest, It was pretty tough finding Christmas decorations in turquoise but I did it! I paired the blues, greens, black and white with silver and shimmery mercury glass. Hunting for turquoise and lime green ornaments became a welcoming challenge for me since I have a black belt in shopping.
The top of the piano was the ideal venue for my light-up snow covered glitter Christmas village. At night these Christmas mansions illuminate and and cast a warm glow to my bottlebrush tree collection and cotton blanket of snow. I tucked in a bundled up snow bird and scattered white jingle bells amongst the winter village. Adding more of these charming houses are on my wish list for future years. Hear that Santa?
5. Be a Mover and a Swapper
Don’t be afraid to swap furniture and accessories form other rooms to accommodate for extra entertaining or to change the look. Adding season wall decor and swapping out curtains and accent pillows are cost effective ways to change a look while transition into the winter months. A new piece of art hangs above the piano area quoting Pablo Picasso reading “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away“. I fell in love with this being an artist and felt that it was incredibly appropriate for the holiday season but I plan to keep it up year round.
I’m sure you’ve been seeing a lot of velvets lately. Keep an eye out for embossed velvets, and warm colored velvets with metallics this coming year.
Bringing your eye up to the ceiling are new dark blue velvet curtain panels. Packed away until Spring went the white linen drapes and in came these luxurious warm bold panels. They tie my blue color theme in perfectly.
My new coffee tables are the centerpiece of our room. For Christmas I brought out a winter arrangement that can stay out all the way through the snowy months. The arrangement gets moved for when we use the coffee table for our annual Secret Santa gift exchange. We pile the presents up high! There’s one white elephant gift that has been circulating for almost 20 years!
For my side of the Sofa I purchased the Lyric end table from Raymour & Flanigan. The black iron base matches the base of the coffee table and the octaginal hammered metal top added interest and a modern touch. It’s my “go-to” table for end of the night winding down. I brought out a small pine and glass ornament arrangement in a turquoise glass container. Not too tall and just the right amount of color!
Several years ago while thrifting I found a green pipe at a sale. It was only a few dollars but I had big plans. Christmas morning it appeared on the mantel as Santa might have forgotten it. The kids couldn’t believe it and wanted to send it back to the North Pole. We kept Santa’s pipe and always bring it out in our Christmas living room once a year. Its the best conversation piece!
6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We all beat ourselves up if things aren’t perfect. Trust me, as a blogger and interior designer I am so hard on myself trying to be ahead of the curve but no one is perfect. The Holiday season flies by fast. If we dwell on the little things we loose sight of what Christmas is all about. So if you don’t get out all your holiday cards, that’s ok. If you don’t make it to every party, that’s ok. If you can’t make the the christmas cookies from scratch that’s ok too. It’s a time to be thankful, tell the people in our lives that we love them and believe in the the magic of Christmas!
Count Your Blessings
Decorating this room took just a few hours with the help of my family. Time is precious and don’t be fooled I can’t do it alone! This has been a very blessed year for our family. I want to thank my family and especially my friends at Raymour & Flanigan who have given me the opportunity to spread the holiday cheer and design inspiration not only with my immediate family but to my entire social media friends.
It’s hard to believe 2017 is coming to a close. I hope your holiday season is merry, bright and filled with unconditonal love. I look forward to spreading more design inspo in 2018 and encourage you all to go and make your home a statement that reflects your own personality. A home that tells your story. Now time to get wrapping!
Blessings to all,
*I have received products from Raymour & Flanigan in exchange for our Christmas living room post. All expressed opinions are 100% mine.