Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Home Tour 2014

Welcome to my 2014 Christmas home tour. 

I didn't get everything done that I had planned this year. Between the fall down the stairs and then the cold and bronchitis, I just decided to make due with what I have gotten up and chill with it. I planned for more fresh cut greenery... but I have quite a bit of faux greens from living in the desert. So I'm just sticking with no fuss. My dept. 56 village is still boxed up, it can join us next year.

So come on in out of the cold and take a tour of our beach cottage in the woods.

Come on into the entryway...
I'm pretty fond of this garland from Costco. It's huge, full of lights, and looks great after three years of use.

Our first room is the den. We chose to put the tree up in here, it shines through the front windows and has great atmosphere for family Christmas movies.
We love to snuggle up in here with the stove running and the Christmas lights on inside and out.

A cozy room for book reading or movies.

Next room in the tour is the living room. The big fireplace and the view of the winter woods give this room a cabin feel. I played that up with some decor in deer themes. I also added some vintage wool throws. The brown one on the chest is a vintage blanket from an airline and the plaid is a vintage Pendleton, both thrift store finds. 

 Our mantel features a couple of DIY projects that I actually got done. One is the stocking sign: our mantle is quite narrow, I knew that my stocking holders wouldn't fit with the garland. I found this cedar board in the garden and painted the signs and added hooks for the stockings. I think this is actually more secure than stocking holders. No more kiddo's with bloody heads after pulling their stockings down. (Yes, that happened)
The other project was adding custom burlap cuffs to our Pottery Barn stockings. I wanted a new look, but didn't want to buy new stockings.

Next up is the kitchen and dining area. 

I used some left over burlap from the stockings to make a simple no-sew runner. 

Take a break for a cup of tea and some chocolate chip banana bread.

Our last stop is the master bedroom. A simple addition of my Pottery Bard winter cardinal duvet and a thrif store wreath make the bedroom a snug winter retreat.

The winter light comes through the windows with a view of the treetops. 

That ends our tour this year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Linking up to these parties:

House Spy Friday: Seattle Arboretum Craftsman

I have a soft spot for Craftsman cottages.. they were so very common in the northwest, but over time are slowly disappearing. Often they are smaller footprints than most modern families want, so if they are in good neighborhoods they get remolded or removed to make way for a bigger investment, if they are in a poor neighborhood they are often run-down from years of neglect and rental. So it's always fun to find a craftsman with classic appeal. Seattle is actually a good place to find these examples.

So my sneaky house tour this week is this gem near Seattle's Arboretum. It has been modernized but still has so much of it's original features, it's really quite lovely.

I love the dreamy dusty blue and white paint. It has the curb appeal of a tiny cottage, but the looks is deceiving, the house is actually over 3,000 square feet. It has a basement apartment, which could really be a boon for a homeowner who is looking to rent space in this neighborhood, so close to the university.

Living room is done in soft textures and warm colors, and the orginal windows are so large and pretty with the mullions above.

Classic craftsman fireplace with built-ins and more leaded glass. I'm loving these blue velvet chairs.

The dining space has more leaded glass windows.

The kitchen looks vintage...but I'm thinking these cabinets are more from the 50's.

It's actually looks to be quite a large eat-in kitchen. It has a vintage "farmhouse" feel. Including the cool vintage step stool. My great grandma had the exact same stool in her craftsman kitchen.

The bathroom looks quite original, the hexagon tiles on the floor, the sink, tub and built-ins, all look period. So nice to see a house with it's original character

The bedrooms are done soft and sweet. The blue in here is perfect and the chair rail with white is perfect.

Perfect cottage style room.

This attic room looks very large, I would love to have skylights like that.

I was so happy to find a craftsman that still has so much of it's original goodness and obviously well cared for I had to add it to my blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Christmas Front Porch

I have always loved large front porches and our new home has a nice large wrap around porch. I was quite excited to get my decor out and see what looks I could create. My main purchase this year was to replace our failing incandescent strings with more LED. A couple years ago we bought two spools of lights for the roof line, but we wanted to replace more of them and took advantage of Home Depot's trade in deal.

We picked up a few sets of these icicle lights, they can switch between multicolor and warm white with the push of a button. A really cool idea, for us it's a great compromise as my little boys want everything "rainbow" and I prefer classic white.  I added the string to some faux garland I have had for years, and I mean like from when we were first married and many houses ago. Someday they will need to retire, but they seem to be still going strong and I found a place to use them on the porch.

In a previous post I wrote about adding greenery fillers to my patio pots. I aso added it to the small urn by the door.

 The dragon finds it nice to nap under

I also used some to perk up this terracotta quail.

I found two snowflake stakes at Hobby Lobby and added them to the pots. 

 The pots and arborvitie are wrapped in warm white twinkling LEDs.

 My thrift store grapevine deer is standing at attention.


I used my Kirkland brand swags outside this year. One on the door and two on either side of the porch entry. and added bright red bows to every post. The icicle garland run the whole length of the porch.

 The big shrub in font of the porch are sporting another set of color changing lights, here they are set to warm white. 

 Well that is our porch for 2014, Happy Holidays.

Linking up to:

Savvy Southern Style

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Adding cheap holiday cheer to my patio pots.

My house projects have had to take an unexpected break. I took a bad fall in November and actually broke my bum... or rather broke a blood vessel in my bum. It's quite painful, I would not recommend it. Pretty much only comfortable position was laying on my side for a few weeks, and still I'm not able to wear pants due to the swelling..and then I got a cold.. ha. Anyhow. I had a few good days to work on things, and this week I decided to fluff up my wilting patio pots. We actually had freezing weather and snow a couple weeks ago and it finished off my annuals. I had already put up my Christmas decor, these sad plants are certainly not a cheery addition to them.

I thought about just stashing them back in woods until time to plant them again. Then I decided that maybe they just needed a bit of holiday trimming. Luckily now that I have a house in the woods we have no shortage of green trimmings. With our winter wind storms here the ground oven is covered in them.

 A bit of wandering back into our woods and I noticed that we had a little tree go over in the previous storm.

 I took a few of these branches too. 

I got a good pile of fir collected and set off for some holly. 

We have a large variegated holly in our yard, one badly in need of grooming.. unfortunately it didn't have many berries.. but still add texture and I didn't feel bad removing branches from it's shaggy self.

I simply snipped bits of branch and I pushed them into the pots, and added some of the LED lights from my potted arborvitaes. 

 Much better, it looks so much happier...even the rain gave it a bit of sparkle. 

Even a plant that has lost it's leaves looks better with a ring of greenery, and the makeover cost me nothing.