Home Studio Refresh

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This post should be more appropriately named “while the cat’s away, the mice will play”.  Do you know that most of my big design changes in the house go down in late January?  That is mostly because Matt is out on his yearly ski trip with the guys and some of my more radical ideas can take place without judgement.  Matt doesn’t really care to much about what we do from a design perspective, but his logical side sometimes derails my desire to make a quick change.  This weekend, I’ve got a BIG change in the plans to create a more efficient home studio space. [Read more…]

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Winter vs Christmas

living room

I’m always a little sad the day that I take down my Christmas decorations and this year was no different. The tree, garlands, and wreaths had been deconstructed and our tree had been planted (we buy a bulb tree with the roots in tact so that we can add it into our one day wooded land). When I was finished putting it all away, it felt stark and without personality.

I remember thinking about when we lived in Vail, Colorado and the cozy feeling of Christmas would stay with us throughout the winter.  Snow stuck around until May and with it stayed the twinkling lights and lush greenery.  I got to thinking about winter decorations vs Christmas decorations.  What is it that keeps us feeling cozy and wintry and keeps spirits bright and warm throughout the coldest months of January and February?

chunky knits

front door

A quick scan of Pinterest showcased some of my favorite winter looks.  Lots of white, twinkling candlelight, natural branches, antlers, and sheepskins.  In my house I began pulling out the sheepskins and draping them on furniture. I put lights under a cloche instead of on a tree.  I removed the tartan ribbon from by boxwood wreath only to replace it with an oat colored one. A feeling began to come together that was decisively non-hoiday, but was still warm and sung. I honestly don’t even think that having a couple of small evergreens flanking the door would be off base.

There was something about living it the mountains that made all that woodsy decor totally ok during the non-holiday months.  I miss that mountain feeling and throughout this week will still make some changes to implement it in my house.

I told you in a previous post about my love for boozy hot chocolate that one day I would tell the story of Matt and My adventure moving to the great west. Today seems like a perfect opportunity because each year the post-holiday time period has me totally missing the mountain life.  [Read more…]

Our Christmas Home Tour

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With Christmas in just two days, it’s the calm before the storm in my house.  Gifts are wrapped, the decorations are all up, fresh flowers are in vases, and the bar and table are set. I’m probably at the grocery store as we speak preparing for the games and dinner we will have at our house tonight with our closest friends.

You guys have seen some of these photos before, but most are new.  I wanted to give you a peek at the big picture and how my personal take on the Colonial Christmas theme this year has played out throughout the house.

Before we get on with it however, I’ll let you know a few things about my decor strategy.  When I litter my house with holiday cheer, I’m usually not so cheerful when it comes to clearing it out.  For this reason, I’ve picked just a few places where I really focus when decorating.  And, don’t get me wrong, I do not skimp on these areas, but it’s much easier to clear out when its all concentrated in groupings.

This year, I went all out on the living room (obviously), the entryway (because I love decorating the stairway), the dining room for the clear tie-in with entertaining, and a little sprinkle in my bedroom.  That’s all! Aside from a holiday floral arrangement and tubs of cookies, there is no evidence of Christmas in my kitchen.  I didn’t decorate my guest room, office, or bathroom.  Now, I’ll probably break down and put some floral arrangements and maybe a cute guest towel in my bathroom tomorrow, but I won’t photo it because it’s the worst room in the house and the lovely shell-shaped sink just doesn’t scream ‘holiday spirit’.  Still without those rooms, it’s a fairly long post with lots of photos, so buckle up!  [Read more…]

How to: Turn an Unscented Candle into a Holiday Scented One

holiday candle hack

I love a good holiday scent – specifically anything Christmas Tree related – spruce, fir, whathaveyou. I find, however, that with the bajillion of candles that I have in this house, there is just no need to add more.  So I’ve developed a little trick to turn the plain votives that I use so much into scented candles.

diy scented candle without melting wax

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Years ago, I bought a Balsam & Cedar home fragrance oil for about $5, but realized that burning it straight was a little overwhelming, so that is when I developed this little trick.  I simply add the oil to drugstore epsom salt and surround a plain glass votive with the salt. Then, when the plain candle burns, it warms the salt, giving off a much more subtle scent than just the straight oil in an oil burner.

Not only do you use less oil, but then you don’t have to buy a burner!  I’ve told you guys how many of my DIYs stem from being super cheap! See the step by step photo directions below.  [Read more…]

Christmas Mantle Styling Video

holiday mantle

Guys!  I haven’t done a video in so long!  I have been wanting to do so many, and each time I’m shooting a DIY, think about how great it would be as a video, but to be quite honest, they’re so much work and take days of shooting and editing.  Since my team consists of just me and one four legged furry friend, the amount of time they take just aren’t worth the effort, even though I really love doing them.  So, I shot this mantle styling video and I thought that even if it were a bit more raw, maybe you guys would still like it.  Since I spent less time on editing, there is actually much more random commenting and more of my thought process involved, which might me nice as well.

I’ve used our Magnolia Garland in the video and have been adhering to our very own House of Earnest take on a Colonial holiday theme!

Enjoy the video and definitely give me your thoughts on if you’d like to see more videos (even if they aren’t super cutesy and edited) or if you prefer the photo step-by-steps!

Happy Friday, all!  Have a great holiday weekend!