life is always about the journey...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Holiday House Tour--Part 1!


Hello & welcome to our holiday home this year!  Warning: I decorate a lot for Christmas...I mean A LOT!  Which is why I'm doing two separate holiday posts for you so as not to put you to sleep with my photo intensive posts.  But I love Christmas so much and even though its just one month of the year, I always like to make it magical. There is nothing like a house lit up with the glow of many Christmas trees, the smell of greenery & cider and just the excitement of the holiday season.  When I pack the decorations up in January the house always seems so bare so I'm enjoying every minute now.  Plus if I didn't decorate members of my family would pout..majorly ;)  And yes it takes me a full week to get everything done including the outside.  And there are MANY things in my house that I use to decorate that have lots of memories and are special to me...decorating with items like this make it super special.




This is what we woke up to Sunday morning...a nice wintry covering of snow and ice...in fact its icing again today. I hate winter...no surprise to many of you that know me..but I do find this light coat of snow during the holidays very pretty.  Course I didn't have to go out in it nor shovel it ;)  Our front porch gets a tree too decked out in red lights, red burlap ribbon and pinecones.
*Before you ask why the cars are out welllll....my car is inside the garage and the truck is always outside BUT hubby's car got stuck outside because the other side of the garage is filled with items/furniture for GoodWill that he hasn't taken yet..oh well lol.*



Let's start in my dining room...my favorite room at the moment due to its major makeover (see more about that here).  The tree in the dining room used to be red & gold but I changed it over to a more rustic, vintage feel this year.




This tree got some burlap weaved through its branches, rolled up vintage Christmas music sheets and gold/cream ornaments mixed in with some sprays of fruit and pinecones.  Everything on this tree I owned already in my holiday stash so I didn't have to purchase anything for this re-do.




My new pictures in rustic frames surround my buffet now...more on that in another post.
On the table is one of my many Santa's along with his gold reindeer that I've owned for years.  Some burlap, greenery, my lanterns and a sled filled with pinecones & sheet music.  Again nothing new on this table this year, just going into my stash to pull out things I hadn't used in awhile.





Greenery is one of the most inexpensive ways to bring holiday magic into your home...its beautiful and it smells good.  I have many trees around my house that get a good haircut trim this time of year! :)  Another one of my vintage Santas in woodland gear, some gold trees and votives added to the mix.



This is the view from my front hall to the dining room...entry door is on the right.





This is my 9 ft foyer tree dressed all in reds, burgundys and golds--this is one of my trees that ONLY has amber/gold lights on it...I love the warm glow they provide.  This tree holds many of our White House ornaments (the old car is one) from over the past 20 years.  Also a Maryland Blue Crab ornament because I was born & raised a Maryland girl...and lord knows I love my blue crabs!




In front of the foyer tree is my large Santa holding his naughty good list :)  And a trunk full of toys I've collected...including vintage holiday books, an antique car and some of our 40+ Nutcrackers.  Alexa did ballet for 13 years and the Nutcracker every year...so we have MANY of them scattered around the house during the holidays.  I like to mix in fun animal prints when I can...just because I can...so that's why my zebra trunk makes the cut LOL!

This is the topper of my tree...lots of hydrangeas (my fave flower) and some swirly-twirly gold sticks from the floral dept of Michaels years ago.  My garland this year is of simple Magnolia leaves...I used to have a heavier lighted garland but I didn't use it this year...I wanted something simpler instead.



This is looking from the dining room across the foyer into the living room.




My living room tree is all gold & white...it is home to most of my Precious Moment ornaments that I've collected since I was young.  It also holds most of our ornaments from any trips we've made or I've made...so there are a LOT of ornaments on this tree that mean a lot to me.  This is always the first tree I put up (I put them all up but the family room tree by myself) and it takes me awhile because I like to thing about the memories associated with each of the ornaments when I pull them out.




Sitting next to the tree is my childhood rocking chair that each of my kids used as well.  It holds a Fisher Price "My Best Friends" doll...I've collected them all over the years from Ebay because I love them, always wanted them when I was young but never got one.  Funny how as an adult I collect MORE toys than I once had as a child...hmmmmm LOL!  And an angel that I've had for 18 years tops this tree.


Working our way into my kitchen & eating area...which is part of our great room and where we spend our most time.  Yup there are cats in some of these because it was dinnertime and well...I have 6 cats so they're always into something :)


That's Winston waiting patiently for his dinner hehehe...the door at the right goes into our mudroom/laundry.  I really want to paint my island black this winter with Annie Sloan chalk paint..hubby isn't on board..but that never stops me ;)

 Looking from my kitchen into our family room...you can see both the family room and kitchen trees here.  And yes that's football on the TV..its football weekend...college ball on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays...always!!

Both Riley and I adore penguins..these came from Costco last year and proudly sit on my kitchen island.


At the end of my island are some of my collected antiques that I love..tins, lunchboxes, scales and more.  I tuck in some greenery and lights to add a bit of sparkle.



And one of my fave kitchen vignettes:  Baker Santa with an vintage toy stove (that I adore, from Ebay) that I added some holiday cupcakes & candy (from Etsy) to.  I tuck in greenery in my kitchen too..its easy to move around to clean and when it dries I just add new.


This is our kitchen tree...its all creams, sage green and woodland inspired.  I wrapped it in toile ribbon and grapevine ribbon (like the wreaths & yes incredibly stubborn to handle at times).  If you don't have a tree skirt, buy inexpensive material on sale (2 yds) and bunch around the tree and hide the seams...I do this for most all my trees.  They can easily be washed if something happens too!


My kitchen table with my vintage Coca-Cola crate filled with greens, an old pitcher filled with more greens and a folk-art Humpty Dumpty made by an artist years ago in Vermont.  I can't have real poinsettias in my house because of my flower-eating cats...arghhhh. But they don't bother the greenery..go figure!

Our family room...do not be alarmed the paint color is actually a creamy yellow but in these photos it looks brighter than it actually is LOL!



And here's our beauty...our almost 12 ft live fir that we hunted (in this post) at our tree farm.  Its a beauty and smells so good!  If you don't have a real tree get some of those Scenticles..they smell so yummy.  And my mantel, mirror and banner from other posts on the blog...see sidebar for those.
More pics of some of my fave ornaments on this tree to come in Part 2 including my vintage Coca-Cola ornaments I collect.  My tree skirt was made by mom mom for me and my husband as a wedding gift..it gets used every year !


This is my antique crate filled with greenery & twinkling lights...just adds a bit of "magic" to the other end of the fireplace.  Easiest & most inexpensive decoration to add to your decor...cut some greens, add some lights in a favorite container and tada..beautiful!


Here's a pic of me & Riley decorating the family room tree.  This is the tree the whole family participates in and is filled with ornaments that the kids or I've made.  I also buy them each 2-3 ornaments a year and they have quite a collection going..this way when they have their own homes they will have something to decorate their tree with.  And the ornaments are fun to look at because they chronicle their ages so well...Alexa's Barbie and RugRats mania...Riley's obsession with Star Wars and penguins and animals. I also have their baptismal shoes on the tree and some wedding favors from my wedding.  
As far as I'm concerned you can add anything to a tree but what really makes it special are the memories :)


And now that we've finished half of the tour let's have some White Chocolate Peppermint Tea from Teavana using my new tea kettle that I adore and sit a spell yes?

Any questions or comments on anything...leave a comment & I'll message you back :)
Stay tuned for Part 2....are you tired yet???

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66 comments

  1. Oh my word Suzanne... what a feast for the eyes your trees and gorgeous decorations are. That's a LOT of work... you deserve that Peppermint Tea. I'm feeling exhausted for you...lol Can't wait for the second instalment. Merry Christmas and thanks for allowing us a glimpse of your home and for a fabulously interesting blog. I've so enjoyed visiting you this year. hugs from a hot South Africa, Sharon x

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    1. Thank you so much Sharon, glad you could hop over & take the tour! I try to get it all up in 5-6 days so I can enjoy the rest of the month and it comes down in 2 days in January...so we are enjoying it! Merry Christmas to you!

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  2. Wow wow wow. That must have taken days. You have a wonderful home. Happy Christmas to you and your family. Amazing xx

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    1. Thanks so much! It takes me 5-6 days of solid work but I really enjoy it! Merry Christmas!

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  3. So so pretty. I am up for part 2 for sure :-)
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
    Hugs,
    Archana

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    1. Thank you...LOL I gotta edit part 2 pictures still ahahha...that takes the longest!

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  4. Suzanne...pleeeeeaaase adopt me so I can come live with you! Your home is amazing and it looks incredible all decorated for Christmas! hugs, Jane xxx

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    1. Welllll not sure about adopting LOL but you are more than welcome to visit any time you want & have some tea or cocoa :) Merry Christmas!

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  5. I have only one word for this: BREATHTAKING!!!

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  6. Wow Suzanne, your house looks amazing with all those lovely trees. I'd love to be able to have a tree in each room........not possible but you've done a fabulous job decorating your house for the season.
    hugs
    Donna xx

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    1. Thanks bunches Donna...I'm a bit of a tree addict. I used to do 12 but now only 10...hubby would like it if I did only TWO LOL! Merry Christmas!

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  7. Wow... I have no more words <3 |Jen xx

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  8. I cannot believe I have only seen part 1 of this amazing Christmas home
    You are a true 'mom' decorator

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    1. Thanks Joanne...nothing I love better than Christmastime in my home!

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  9. Wow, how beautiful! Love decorating for Christmas. But I really enjoyed looking through all your photos. Happy Holidays Suzanne!

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  10. Such beautiful festive decorations Suzanne, I love all the wee extra's like your box and chest etc. A stunning home my dear. You can tell it's decorated with lots of love. Hugs Suzi x

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    1. Thank you Suzi for saying so...I hope my kids feel that as well & carry on the traditions with their families one day!

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  11. You gave a gorgeous home Suzanne. Xxxx

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  12. I love taking this tour every year! I never know what I'm going to see! Your style and talent continue to amaze me! Have a fabulous holiday!! Excellent work my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much Susan...made a few changes this year...it was time LOL! Merry Christmas to you & yours!

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  13. Simply gorgeous Suzanne, both the decorations and your home. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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    1. Thanks so much Jen, I appreciate it! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!

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  14. All beautiful and interesting. But I think of all the work that goes into just 1 tree and a Christmas village and wonder how you ever do it all. Do it as long as you're able. My old body won't let me do that much any more. Enjoy, Merry Christmas. Edna

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    1. Thanks so much Edna...there will probably be a day where I don't go all out LOL and it takes about 5-6 days to get everything done. But I love it...for now ; Merry Christmas!

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  15. Just amazing, so beautiful, something your kids will remember forever, so wonderful that the season brings such joy to you and the family! Merry Christmas Suzanne, enjoy every moment!

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    1. Thanks so much Michelle :) I hope my kids carry on the Christmas traditions one day. Alexa is already asking for a tree for her dorm room next year...but she wants ME to come decorate it bwahahaha! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  16. I found your post on Hometalk. Beautiful home. I am a Virginia blogger. Too. :)
    Holly

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    1. Thanks so much Holly for stopping by! Hello to a fellow Virginian :) Happy Holidays!

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  17. Suzanne you do such a beautiful job decorating..Your home is gorgeous and warm and so Christmas!!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.
    Hugs and Aloha.
    bobbi

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    1. Thank you Bobbi, you are so sweet to say! I hope you have a wonderful WARM Christmas you lucky duck :)

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  18. Stunning!! What a fabulous house to decorate too! Oh the fun I would have decorating!
    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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    1. Thank you Peggy, glad you could stop by! Merry Christmas to you & yours too!

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  19. I found you on Hometalk and wanted to see this post especially. I decorate for Christmas ALOT too. But, I only have one big tree, 10 feet and it only fits in our morning room now. I wish I could do more trees, but I do decorate every room in the house, including bathrooms:):) LOVE all your decorations, you have a beautiful home. Hope I can find Part 2!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, I appreciate you stopping by! I hope to have Part 2 up by Sunday if all goes well LOL..this time of year is nutsy! Merry Christmas to you!

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  20. Enjoyed the tour of your lovely home. You do such a beautiful job decorating. Looking
    forwards to seeing part 2.
    Merry Christmas to you and the family.
    Gladys

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    1. Thank you very much Gladys..glad you stopped by!

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  21. Stunning! Awesome decorating. Happy Holidays... Liz S.

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  22. Stunning! Awesome decorating! Happy Holidays...Liz S.

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  23. Wowwwwww! I am simply BLOWN TO BITZ! hehehe! :) Your home is INCREDIBLE! I am so happy that I hopped on by and got that warm, comfy and cozy feeling .. sigh .. I looooove your home! Thank you for sharing these photo's with us and opening up your home for us to see! It's beyond GORGEOUS!

    Big Hugs,
    Elise

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  24. Wowwwwww! I am simply BLOWN TO BITZ! hehehe! :) Your home is INCREDIBLE! I am so happy that I hopped on by and got that warm, comfy and cozy feeling .. sigh .. I looooove your home! Thank you for sharing these photo's with us and opening up your home for us to see! It's beyond GORGEOUS!

    Big Hugs,
    Elise

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    1. LOL I'm exhausted to BITZ hahaha! No really thanks for your sweet comment Elise..I really do enjoy decorating this time of year. Just something special about Christmas trees..I always told my mom when I was young that I would have a BILLION trees in my house one day. Well 10 is as close as I got ;) Merry Christmas!

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  25. Wow, you put a lot of work into decorating for the holidays and I love it! All those trees are just stunning....and the lantern on your kitchen island....I've never seen one like that. Can I ask where you bought it? Love it!

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    1. Thanks so much Christine! That lantern came from a Southern Living Home party about 9 years ago...I don't think they do those parties anymore. It used to have glass inside but the movers broke it when we moved to VA. Merry Christmas!

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  26. Good gawd woman!! This is incredible!! I wish I had that much time and energy to go through a house like that. Looks very special and I'm sure your family very much appreciates it. I know I would. WOW!!

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  27. Wow, your house is stunning! LOVE all the trees. I don't think I could choose a favorite, they are all gorgeous. Your mantel is beatuiful. I think the island would be perfect painted black to, not that my vote counts :) Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous home! XO

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  28. One of my favorite things at Christmas is getting to look at your gorgeous trees and stunning decorations! I am in awe of all of it Suzanne! You truly are Superwoman in my book and I can't wait for Part 2!!! Thank you for sharing such a special part of your family traditions!

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  29. So so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous Christmas Decorated Home with us! I loved every little detail! Hugs xox

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  30. Oh wow, your decorations are all fabulous. I love, love, love everything. Such a gorgeous home. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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    1. Thank you so much Marty! Merry Christmas!

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  31. Suzanne, you are the ultimate decorator!!! I think this is the 3rd Christmas decorating of yours I have seen and each time I am just mesmerized!!! Love all the pictures and can't wait to see more!!!
    Hugs
    Darcy

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    1. Thank you Darcy :) I try to make our home welcoming for my family & anyone that comes over..that's always my main goal (and to keep up with the cat hair lol)! Happy you have seen the house tours over the years..little changes here & there. Merry Christmas to you!

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  32. Oh my gosh Suzanne, I am totally in awe of all that you have done. This is so fantastic. All of the trees are just beautiful! I really love your home, It is a decorators dream home. Everything is just stunning. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Candy

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    1. Thank you so much Candy, you are too sweet! I do enjoy December a lot :) Merry Christmas to you!

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  33. I'm so jealous. You have a beautiful home which you decorate so beautifully. I love Christmas too but couldn't decorate my home a fraction like you as I don't have enough storage space for when it's not Christmas....lol. However I'm sure I could manage at least 1 extra tree (even just smallish one) for our upstairs lounge area. Enjoy your Christmas and I can't wait for installment no. 2.

    Nikki

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    1. Well my deal with my husband is that it all has to fit in our storage area...so I'm very good at packing it all up LOL! Thanks so much & glad you stopped by! Merry Christmas to you!

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  34. You have beautiful house. It's feel like I'm visiting your house right now.

    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
    Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

    Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
    By the way, I'm Clotee. It's my first time visiting your blog. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-shop. Nice to know you.

    Regards,
    Clotee

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  35. Suzanne, LOVE, love, love this post so much. Your house is gorgeous and you have such a great eye for decorating. Can't wait for Part 2! Quick non-Christmas related question... where did you find that adorable red tea kettle? Looks like it belongs in my red kitchen! Have a very merry Christmas!
    Debbie

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    1. Thank you so much Debbie, glad you stopped by & enjoyed it! I sure appreciate it! My tea kettle came from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/BonJour-2-Qt-Porcelain-Classic-Kettle/dp/B001DJ2OII/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1387225993&sr=8-6&keywords=red+tea+kettle Hope that helps! Hugs & Happy Holidays!

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  36. You house looks just magical for Christmas, I always think I'm doing well putting up 1 tree, it is quite large and is covered in hand painted and crafted ornaments that I've made over the years, I must admit this year I made a few extra 3 D creations and they really added to the festive feel, Thanks so much for sharing Suzanne, you've really helped me with the Christmas sprit
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Hugs Julie P

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  37. One word......WOW!!!!! {I personally think the island painted black would be just put your kitchen over the top. I have lighter color cabinets in my kitchen that I took a deep brown glaze to, to highlight, and have my island stained and glazed to match the glaze in the rest. Is this a good enough endorsement to sway hubby to see things your way? LOL

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Thanks so much for visiting me, I hope I made you smile or inspired you in some way! I appreciate you stopping by!

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