The Old House We Love to Live In – Ready for the Holidays

Our home tour from Design Mom that was published 5 weeks ago, shows our house ready for the holidays.  Here I have included even more shots of our “holiday house” for you to enjoy.

image picture family in an MG carimage family in front of christmas tree

Our holiday card photoshoot produced some good shots at Lake Charleston.



image 150 year old dark blue house

Here is our 150-year-old house in the only snowstorm we had this season.  I love using classic holiday decorations on the exterior of our 1864 house.  Wreaths on every window, and a garland swag at the entrance are simple and pretty, especially in the snow.

image 150 year old house in snow

More garland lines the steps up to the house.

image 150 year old house with garland

I use a colorful tartan plaid ribbon to hang the wreaths.

I fill our planters fill with miniature evergreen trees, that we will replant and use again next year, that are surrounded by greenery from our yard.

We use natural wreaths throughout the inside of the house too.

Our front door is painted in Sherwin-Williams “Nervy Hue” and works really well with the antique brass doorbell, backplate and knob.



Inside I like to use a bright, striped ribbon to hang wreaths and attach swags – the more greenery the better.


Dining Room

Brightly colored paper snowflakes are always fun and festive.  We make new ones every year.

Swags of greenery can, and do, go anywhere!

The swag above the dining room door was made by stringing together some funky 3-D needlepoint shapes. I found them at a thrift store years ago.  Too cute to pass up, I remember Steve looking at me and saying, “What are you going to do with those?!”  I didn’t know and it took me a long time to find a use for them.

These deer need a little something something.  Perhaps next year they will have ribbons around their necks or some friends in the greenery with them.

I made the wreath in the dinging room out of cashmere strips left over from my business’ Cashmere Collection.  Each piece is pinned into a straw wreath form.

Our little forest was so much fun.  I gathered trees that came from my grandparents’ holiday decorations and added some more new trees, woodland animals and coconut flakes for snow.

Harper is reading one of his favorite silly holiday books Santa Through the Window, by Taro Gomi.

A great shot of our antique hardware.  The backplates are from England.  The knobs were made in the USA c. 1880 and the deadbolt is by Baldwin (I love their big keys!).

This year we made a village out of food packaging.  Each box is painted by mixing old house paint samples (lightly sanding the wax covered paper boxes helps the paint stick) and shapes are cut out with an Olfa box cutter (I think they are the best for heavy cutting).  I lined them with tracing paper (you could use vellum, parchment or waxed paper) and added battery-operated tealight candles in each one.  They are very cute and festive.

My kids love this countdown calendar.  It’s an “oldie” by Todd Oldham from his Kid Made Modern collection at Target.  Each day you add a decorated felt ornament or forest critter to the tree.

Our vintage Noah’s Arc was a childhood toy of Steve’s.  Harper loves to play with it each year.



Decorations in the kitchen include wreaths on the windows and nutcrackers on the counter.


Living Room

This is one of Trixie’s favorite places to read.

Beethoven was painted green and is super festive with his holiday hat.  Trixie serenades us throughout the season from our vintage Christmas piano music from Steve’s family.

Holiday cards go right into this vintage paper mache’ bowl for everyone to enjoy.

A blooming Christmas Cactus is always a nice pop of color.  The little Rudolph has been a plant decoration from my grandparents as long as I can remember.

I decorate our whole tree with vintage glass ornaments.  My collection started from my grandparents and I continue to add to it with ornaments I find at thrift stores and garage sales.

Every once and a while Spiderman shows up to help out.

The buddha incense burner that belonged to my great-grandparents never leaves the mantle.  He chills out in the greenery with santa.

Our silk stockings from Crate & Barrel are colorful, fun and very roomy!

Each year I love to give my products to new babes in our lives and they look great under the tree.

Harper and grandma made gluten-free ginger bread for Santa this year.

Color and Christmas go together in our house.  The kitty-cat and abstract design pillows are creations of my mom from long ago.  The wool afghan was a thrift store score.

I started collecting nutcrackers in college.  Next year these guys are getting a paint job.  I think they need some more funky colors.


Family Room

I like to keep the decorations going throughout the whole house.  This year I added strings of vintage colored bulb lights around the bookcases and wreaths on the french doors.

The kids are entranced by the Peanuts holiday classics.  Another favorite is a Christmas classic DVD that includes Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.



More swag and warm-white lights for the entire staircase.


Upstairs Hall

The kids have their own tree on the upstairs landing.  A very fancy 🙂 white pre-lit tree shows off all of their handmade ornaments brought home from school and other more juvenile ornaments from my collection.  The tree sits in a vintage wash tub that I inherited from one of my mom’s friends.

The garland is a paper chain we made from old holiday cards and thick colorful paper from magazine and catalog covers.


Harper’s Room

Harper’s holiday-time bedding is an IKEA duvet cover, Ralph Lauren gingham pillow cases and a vintage wool afghan.

Harper loves his jalapeno pepper lights.  I bought them in Santa Fe when I was in college.  His polar bear art from school is super cute addition to his door for the season.

Harper picked his favorite cold weather stuffed animals to sit with Santa on his bed and wait for the big day.

Santa flies across the world in his sleigh headed straight for our house.

Harper has a little silver tree on his dresser filled with mini ornaments my mom bought in the 1980s.  The garland is made of Mardi Gras beads.  Harper and grandma made the star out of cardboard and the skirt is felt with decorations glued on.

I love to wrap little gifts in bright colored paper!


Rear Stairs

I added a small swag on the stairs leading to Trixie’s room


Trixie’s Room

Trixie’s windows each got a swag of greens on top and a small wreath we made from leftover greenery.

Fuzzy letters spelling out JOY was an easy project for Trixie’s room.  We cut out cardboard (with my trusty Olfa knife) into letters, traced the shapes onto the back of faux-fur fabric, cut out the fabric and taped them on to the cardboard with carpet tape.

Trixie’s tree is decorated with small balls and like Harper’s is trimmed with Mardi Gras beads.

The collection of angels on Trixie’s shelf are from my grandparents’ decorations.


Back Hall Reading Nook

The kids love to sit and read in this little landing.

Lots of holiday and seasonal books sit in a vintage crate for them to get into the holiday spirit.

The little elf-sized garland was a gift to Trixie long ago.

We have fun making phrases on the vintage Cressco spelling board that belonged to my mom as a girl.  The mini tree with ornaments and candles is very special to me, it was my grandparents.



The playroom is all decked out for a holiday tea party.  We have so many vintage doll clothes that we were able to dress these babies in perfect holiday wear.

Each babydoll has a stocking and lots of presents under their paper tree.

Vintage bulb light strings are fun to add to the lighting in the room.




Backyard Playhouse

We got this hand-me-down playhouse from a friend whose kids are grown.  Of course it needed to be decorated for the holidays!

We didn’t need the snowshoes this year, but the kids love using them. They were a thrift store score.

We made birdseed ornaments after the holiday. We took our Christmas tree outside and hung the bird seed ornaments on it, giving the tree a second use before taking it to be turned to mulch.  We took my mom’s tree, and a neighbor’s tree as well so we had a little bird forest.

Can’t wait for next year to try new things and decorate again.



PS – Check out the other posts for more house tours and projects!

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