Our Dining Room at Christmas

We are having some family over for dinner this weekend which is the motivation I needed to  finish putting a few holiday touches in the dining room.  My decorating had stalled  after the initial burst of getting it done early.   Is there such a thing as decorating fatigue?  Yes, I think it’s a thing.

But there is nothing like having company to get me going again.

The greenery on the mirror is new this year.  Having that swag on the top of the mirror does draw your eye to this side of the room.

 

And the centerpiece on the table varies from year to year.  This one is more simple than in the past.  I used faux greenery with some pillars and ornaments.  I  dried the artichokes back in the fall which is pretty simple to do.  You basically just leave fresh artichokes out on a counter and they dry, retaining their shape perfectly.  When the Christmas season rolled around it seemed that they needed to be spray painted gold.  What a budget friendly item they have turned out to be!

My sister gave me this Spode Christmas china.  I look forward to using it every year.  Traditions give us the continuity and unity of the past.  But I do like to update and tweak too.

Honestly I did not have much going on over here on the sideboard.  But I decided it would be a good place to stage my dessert plates.  I usually use this area for wine and side dishes when we have guests over.

The chandelier is always the same.  I found that hanging ornament at TJ Maxx a few years ago and this has always been the perfect spot for it.  I keep those gold spray painted hydrangeas from year to year.

 

And here is another new variation: some greenery and lights on the armoire.  This end of the room is always dark and it finally occurred to me that a few lights up here would remedy the situation.  I might just leave those up year round.  I don’t think it would be weird.

What’s on the menu, you ask?  I am making Jamie Oliver’s recipe for lamb shanks.  It’s really good!

Ten days until Christmas!  Are you ready?

Linking with Remodelaholic.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decorating So Far

I thought I would share a little of my decorating so far.  I noticed as I was decorating this year that doing less might require more effort than doing more.  It certainly requires more thought and discernment.

I mentioned earlier that my mantel looked unfinished.  To fix that I brought out some mercury glass containers and filled them with greenery from my yard.  That seemed to do it.  What do you think?

I experimented with various options but many seemed just too much.

And now, on to the tree, which is kind of the centerpiece of the whole shebang.  This is the view from our front entry hall.

It took me a few years to decide that I didn’t have to put up all of the homemade Christmas decorations from back in the day.

And here is the view from the kitchen.

I like to set up little vignettes to display some of my quirky finds, like this caroling Santa.  I’m sure he must have been part of a set, but he was all by himself when I found him.

He’s just singing his heart out.  Kosher salt makes good snow, in case you are wondering.

On this table which is the second part of our front hallway that leads into the family room I added a few more reindeer. Those spikey looking items are my dried artichokes which I spray painted gold.  Have you ever noticed you can spray paint just about anything gold and it becomes a Christmas decoration.  Cheap decor you can throw away!

I am still working on my dining room.  I hope I will see you back here for the rest of the tour  next week!

 

Christmas Decorating

It’s early December  and I already feel like I am  behind on everything Christmas.  Partly, well mostly, it’s because I am comparing myself to other more organized types whose house is decorated and shopping is finished.  Well, my house is partly decorated, but the shopping has not started.

However, I was excited to start decorating in the living room because I purchased this new reindeer.  Something new  is often a motivator for me.   He adds a slight modern vibe to my traditional decor and I wanted to see how he would fit in.  Just fine I think.

I’ve never been one of those people who go overboard on Christmas.  With a small house, it would be overpowering.  But I do like a festive atmosphere so each year I try to find that balance.  It seems to always come down to balance doesn’t it?  Not only in decorating but other areas of life also.

The plant is called a “frosty fern” and I found it at the grocery store.  I like to tuck moss around the top of houseplants so that you aren’t looking at dirt.

Then across the room on my console table I added a few more natural elements.  This area needed a little more something so I added some dried berries in a julep cup.

I also collected some magnolia leaves.  They are so plentiful here in Virginia, neighbors and friends willingly share their bounty.

I place them in water to prolong that rich glossiness.  As you probably know magnolia leaves dry well and are still beautiful in arrangements.

My mother-in-law needlepointed this Santa picture for us.  Sometimes I put it by my front door, but this year I thought this corner needed some extra color.

 

I am still working on my mantel.  I was going for simplicity, but this seems a tad sparse.

 It’s good to get started.  I hope to have a full house tour later in the week.

Christmas House Tour

I noticed a lot of simplicity on the Christmas House Tours I visited this year.
That is certainly what I went for in my decorating.  But, why does simplicity mean I had to buy more decorations?  I’m not sure of the answer, but that’s what happened.
I made my stockings from white damask fabric I had on hand.

After years of trying to use real greens I gave up.  They die and turn brown and make a mess.  There are such good fakes now too. Here,  I used a garland that I “arranged” in an ironstone bowl.

This space on the wall was crying out for something seasonal (not the beach scene that was there).  I found this printable and within 2 minutes I had a fun
pop of color for the spot.

This vintage postcard always gets me in the spirit somehow.  I love the old pinks and blue-green colors.
The mantel needed a little something so I added some more (fake) greens on the sides.  There’s a fine line between bare and simple.

That’s it for now.  I am still decorating and will be right up to Christmas Day.