Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas House Tour

We've truly and finally decorated for Christmas.  I'm pretty late getting the decorating done and this post up - there have been Christmas house tours all over blogland for weeks - but nonetheless here is a tour of our Christmas decorations.

 Welcome to our home.  You will notice that there is a winter wreath up now on the front door instead of the fall one.  Always a good start to have a winter wreath up when it is wintery weather outside.

Let me take your coat - come on in and I'll show you around.  First stop is the living room, where we have our little Christmas scene on the cabinet.

I love the little play being performed in the window of the puppet shop.

 On one side you can see a little girl making a snowman,

and on the other side St. Nicholas is coming for a visit through the holly-covered archway.

This year I limited the decorations in the living room to blues/turquoises and silver/gold/metallic shades as those are the colours in the carpet and furniture.

I bought these glass pine cones at Loblaws, the local grocery store.  I love that they look woodsy and elegant at the same time.

I found these glass balls at a thrift shop recently and bought all the turquoise, silver, red, and gold they had.  I'm not sure if they are really vintage or just look vintage, but either way I think they look pretty.

I love how this aqua glass vase, that we bought in Bath, England several years ago, looks with all the turquoise in this room.   I put some salt at the bottom to be faux snow and then put a little votive candle inside with some shiny turquoise and silver snowflakes standing up around the edge.

These silver and blue balls also came from Loblaws.  I bought them last year in the 75% off sale to make one of those glass ball ornament wreaths - you can see how well that went!  I rather like them in the tall vase though. 

I made the little bead star that is lying on the table (there is another one on the coffee table) several years ago with Kate and her friends, following directions from a Martha Stewart Christmas magazine.

Maybe you would like to come into the dining room for a bite to eat.   

We put our Christmas tree (you can read more about it here) in the biggest space we have available, which is in between the dining room and the family room.   There will be nine of us here on Christmas morning so it will get a bit crowded and we will need lots of room for presents and people.

The table decor is very simple largely because this is our only table to eat at, do crafts at, decorate cookies at - you get the picture - so the centrepiece is always being moved around.  I usually put a group of candles in the middle of the table as we like to eat dinner by candlelight every evening.  IKEA has the most wonderful grouping of pillar candles which you can see in the photo below - there are five in the package all in different heights and widths so they make an interesting grouping.  I always put the candles on this silver tray that my Father gave us - it was given to him when he retired from teaching, but he and my Mother are not really the silver sort so they passed it on to us.  I especially like that my Father worked for the same school board that I now work for and the name is engraved on the centre of the tray.

The sideboard seemed like a good place for our homemade nativity scene.  Every year our church had a Christmas craft event and about ten years ago this was the project that we worked on.  It was such a big project that we actually did it over three years - first Mary, Joseph, and Jesus; the next year the three kings; and the last year the angel, shepherds and animals.

Here's a close-up of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus,

and the three kings,

and the shepherd with the animals.

The runner is one I bought a few years ago at Pottery Barn after Christmas at a huge reduction.  I like that I can use it all winter as it is trees and snowflakes, rather than anything too Christmassy.

Did you notice the piece of white painted antique trim that I bought recently along the back of the sideboard.  We didn't have time to attach it above the sliding door so I thought it would look nice on the sideboard.   I like it there, but you can't really see it too well.

I also put two wooden candlesticks on the sideboard to give the vignette some height.  These candlesticks were made by my Father's Grandfather and I love having them out.  For the rest of the year they are on our mantel, but the mantel is crowded with spindle Santas right now so I moved the candlesticks to the sideboard.

Let's make a cup of tea in the kitchen, shall we?  I did decorate a bit in the kitchen, but only the new open shelves - that was enough let me tell you.  I spent quite a bit of time messing around with the top shelf and got many opinions from family members as to how I was doing.  This is what I finally settled on.

I put these pretty glass candles on the top shelf.  We bought them eight years ago when we spent Christmas in England and I love the delicate gold and white pattern against the pinky-red wax.

The top shelf also has the Anthropologie bowls I bought last summer when I finished painting the kitchen cabinets - but only the more Christmassy colours.  Because I needed to fill the shelf up so I could stop messing around with it, I put out the red jug and two Christmas balls - and called it a day!

On the middle shelf I put a gray-blue oval platter against the back wall.  I thought it would look like the moon or at least a nice colour contrast with the sweet Santa and sleigh that my friend gave me a couple of years ago for my birthday.


It's made in Germany and has the most wonderful details.  Here's a close-up of Santa and his lantern,

and here's the sleigh loaded with toys and being followed by some deer.  Isn't it just too cute for words.

On the bottom shelf I put a wooden Christmas tree that we made nine years ago.  The wood came from a long piece that was part of some door trim from the house my Mother grew up in.  We chopped the piece into segments, which meant they were Christmas tree shaped.  The kids painted them for teachers and Grandparents and we kept one for ourselves as well.

Are you still with me?   For a relatively small house there sure are a lot of decorations.  Right, we are almost done.  Down at the other end of the room is the family room and the only Christmas decorating I did there was the mantel.  You can read my previous posts about the spindle Santas and letters made from twine.

The only thing I haven't finished yet is making a stocking for the newest soon-to-be family member, our eldest son's fiance Christie.  She is joining us for Christmas this year so I'm going to sew her a stocking.  When I show you her stocking I'll also tell you about the other ones that I made years ago in what may possibly be the world's longest lasting craft project - stay tuned!

Oh, and thanks for joining me in the tour.  Come back soon!

Linked to Christmas 2010 Tour of Homes at Kelly's Korner
Saturday Soiree at *a little lovely 
Share the Decor at No Minimalist Here


  1. Grace, you have some of the most unusual, interesting, and beautiful Christmas decorations. I enjoyed seeing them, and I am going back to look at them a few more times. :D

  2. Mighty festive, Grace. Love that wooden Santa and sleigh from Germany. I love pieces like that.

  3. You've gone to a lot of trouble to make everything look so lovely Grace. My favourite...those three kings! From orient they are I believe!! :)

  4. Everything looks lovely in your home Grace. Thanks for the tour!

  5. Very lovely Grace!! I like it all!!!

  6. Grace I loved this tour of your home all decked out for Christmas! You have so many wonderful unique items, like your nativity and those candlesticks, what great keepsakes! I can't wait to see and hear all about the stockings!

    Kat :)

  7. What a great tour Grace! I enjoyed the unique nativity and the fact that you created it makes it even more special! I really like all of the small details throughout your home. Beautiful! Can't wait to see the stockings!

  8. How wonderful to be invited into your lovely home. I feel so privileged! SO many unique and beautiful treasures. I bet you had so much fun putting it all together! Can't wait to see the stockings. I also have a new member in our family this year (my daughter's adorable Irish boyfriend) and I'm busy creating a stocking for him. I have included a couple of applique shamrocks (just to make him feel at home!) Enjoy your week! ;)Sharyne

  9. You have a knack for simple grace :-)

    Beautiful living room turquoise/silver/gold combo. I've been wanting to do something like this, but all my traditional stuff makes me feel guilty if I didn't use it. I might try to swap out just one room next year.

  10. Everything is so pretty Grace...OK now I feel bad, I haven't had a tour...maybe by Christmas :)

  11. It all looks so nice! You have similar colors to Cindy at Cottage Instincts and they look lovely together. I did notice that piece of trim on the back of the sideboard. It caught my eye!

  12. I love the hands on felt/wood nativity set. Kids should be able to touch at least one nativity. Thanks for the tour, Grace.


  13. I made a felt/wood block nativity set when I was a girl - my mom still puts it out today! I also love turquoise as a holiday color - gorgeous!

  14. I am so envious, since all I have for Christmas decorations is a string of bulbs on my front step railing and some vintage-looking electric candles in my basement beside my only chair. I look forward to next year, and my 'new' house.

  15. Grace, Everything looks so pretty. Thank you for sharing your lovely decorations at my party. Merry Christmas,

  16. I really enjoyed your house tour Grace! You have a beautiful home and I love how you decorated your tree.

    Merry Christmas to you!
    Rambles with Reese