Hi all, I hope you’re all having a great week.  Mine’s been busy, but good.  The first part of the week was all about Christmas!  I’ve been turning a client’s home into a cozy, traditional Christmas space where she and her family can enjoy the season.  I thought I’d share some pics today, as well as a few decorating tips.

before

As you can see, I had a beautiful space to work with.  Don’t you just love those coffered ceilings?  Those are definitely on my next house wish list!

 

after

Ta da!  The goal was to keep things very simple.  The spend a lot of time in this room and I didn’t want it to feel over the top, just cozy and comfortable, like the home itself.  We chose boxwood for the greenery and a traditional red and green color palette.  I know that the tree is not decorated.  My client wanted to do that herself, but we added the bow and streamers to match the stockings.

Now, it’s time for tip #1.  Can you pick out any differences other than the obvious Christmas additions to this space?  Take a closer look at the built in bookcases.  Once the space was decorated, it felt very full and the built ins were the main culprit.  Christmas is a great time to take a fresh look at the decor in your home that you don’t touch very often.  I removed quite a few items from these shelves and reworked them a bit.  It took about 30 minutes and it really made a difference.  The space feels lighter and the focus can be on the tree and the decorations, not just the built ins.

 

hearth

Closeup of these little guys.  Aren’t they adorable?

Tip #2  Add a bit of ribbon to a few things.  It is an inexpensive way to make your Christmas design feel cohesive and not so haphazard.By the way, I added the ribbon after I took the after picture of the room.  (Bad blogger, I know.)Tip #3  When you think you’re done, walk away for a few minutes and then come back and and take a fresh look at the space.  You’ll be able to see where you might add something or maybe, even more importantly, take something away.

 

simplified built ins

 

Another example of tip #3.  Add inexpensive Christmas balls as filler to bowls and trays around your home.  See that adorable family in the photo?  Gotta love three little girls dressed in ruffles and bows!

 

hydrangeas and poinsettias

Tip #4  Use live plants.  Add them to countertops, floorspace, trays and bowls.

kitchen windows

Aren’t these wonderful?  The view is a wooded area and an outdoor fireplace.  Love it!

 

barstools

Tip #5  Keep things simple in the kitchen.  You don’t have to decorate every chair.  This is a space that you really use, so keep it simple.  In this space, we decided to add wreaths to the barstools and head chairs only.  I also added the striped ribbon to change things up a bit.

 

centerpiece

Tip #6 Use what you have.  There’s no reason to go out and buy all new Christmas things.  For this simple centerpiece, I used my client’s dough bowl and added peppermint candies, greenery and votive candles.  The only question here is, will all those candies make it to Christmas day without being eaten?

 

foyer

I decided to keep things simple here as well, since this staircase is used by the kids daily.

 

rosemary

I used rosemary on the staircase.  They smell so wonderful!

Tip #7  Use wrapping paper for more than just gifts.  Wrapping the rosemary plants in this beautiful paper dressed them up and unified the look on the stairs.

 

Finally, I’ll end where most would start, with the front door.  I really love the way this turned out.   I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour!

Here’s a brief review of my Christmas decorating tips.

1) Take a fresh look at your year round decor and simplify.

2) Add a bit of ribbon.

3) Use Christmas ball ornaments as bowl filler.

4) Use live plants.

5) Keep things simple in the kitchen.

6) Use what you have.

7) Use wrapping paper for more than just gifts.

8) Relax and have fun!

Before, I head out to do some decorating in my own home, I have to give a shout out to Heidi for helping me out with this project.  Heidi is in the process of starting her own blog and you are going to love it!  Thanks Heidi!

I hope you all have a great day!  We are off to Angela’s cottage tomorrow for a trip to the Biltmore.  I’ve never been and I can’t wait to see it all decorated for Christmas.  I’ll be sharing pics from the trip next week!