A Study on Color, Evergreens & Inspiration

 edie's housevia Life in Grace

Did you see Edie’s house decorated for Christmas? There are a million photos of pure gloriousness, click over and then come back here so we can talk about it…

Y’all, I wait for Edie’s tour every year with anticipation. Seeing her house decorated for Christmas is like my grown-up version of Christmas morning.

This year did not disappoint and I cannot stop thinking about her house. I love it so much and really in many ways it the opposite of mine because it is fully of color and every surface is a glorious statement in meaningful beauty. It’s been a busy year of writing and moving into a little house with three boys, a man and a dog so surfaces are at a premium around here and white space is hard to find resulting in my need for white walls and empty surfaces. But, Edie’s house is brimming with colorful beauty. It’s overflowing with creativity. It’s honest, good old fashioned decorating from the heart and I cannot get enough of her house.

openhouse25Life in Grace

My favorite part about Edie’s decor is that there was nothing that Edie did for Christmas that was overly time consuming or crazy expensive. All she did was embellish her everyday house (which is FANTASTIC) with greens and ornaments and ribbons. Although her mannequin skirt is crazy creative and took some time. But I have a feeling she won’t be packing that mannequin up after Christmas. Now a mannequin with a seasonal skirt is going to be Edie’s signature piece and in three years Target will be selling mannequins with 4 interchangeable skirts, one for each season. Basically Barbies for grownups.

Here’s what she says about creating the skirt:

“We had  the determination of Rocky Balboa and the spirit of Sanford and Son. We wired the tops of the branches together and then wound some ribbon through them and tied them on. That makes it sound easy, which it wasn’t, but it wasn’t hard either.”


She has me obsessed with thinking what I can create out of evergreen boughs in my own house. I love how inspiration works.

openhouse26Life in Grace

And now that I see this photos I’m like a wild woman searching all the boxes in our barn for my fur pillow, WHERE IS IT?!

openhouse12Life in Grace

My favorite kind of Christmas decor is the stuff that doesn’t need to be packed up in a bunch of plastic bins. What makes Edie’s house Christmasy isn’t a bunch of store bought decor. It’s her everyday stuff layered along with embellishments. That’s the trick to getting that handmade, unfussy Christmasy look.

living-room-fireplace-fullJones Designs Company

Another inspiration of mine is Emily from Jones Designs. Her house is so Christmasy, but there isn’t a lot of stuff to have to pack away when the season is over.

mustard seedMiss Mustard Seed

Marian does this well too. Simple embellishments.

Christmas color

After looking at Edie’s house online for hours I made sure to grab some $4 flowers at the grocery store. And instead of sitting them by themselves in the middle of the coffee table like I normally would do, I pulled an Edie and grouped them with my little stand of bright colored fruit. Edie’s house also reminded me about my other planter head so I brought him in and consolidated some herbs and paperwhites in his head, I’m sure it’s the worlds worst combination and my family will die of paperwhite poisoning. But it is SO pretty!



Emily’s house reminded me to layer greens and everyday stuff. So I incorporated a little $3 grocery store poinsettia.

I’d love to hear what’s inspired you this season.

Is there something in your house you did differently after seeing a great idea? Leave a link in the comments (one link per comment please or else my blog will think you are spam) of something online that prompted you to do something different in your home this year that you are excited about.

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  1. Those really are some great and inspiring homes! I’m totally inspired by your home, too, though. I can’t tell you home much I loved it when you mentioned that you have power lines running through your property, to go along with you green swimming pool. Your photos make your property look perfect, which is something I’ll never be able to afford. We’ve been married almost 8 years and have been renting the whole time. Your rental encouraged me to make the most of MINE, and your little dream house in the country with it’s making the most of imperfection is giving me hope that someday WE’LL be able to afford a not-totally-perfect perfect house, too. :) Thank you, sweet friend (even if we’ve never met).

    • I have an ENTIRE LONG post planned about all of the imperfections where we live. I think it’s a needed post, yet in a way it’s hard for me. I need to take some more photos and work on that one! You’ll buy a house one day, and it will be so appreciated and loved.

  2. You know me, I am on stuff overload, but this Christmas, since I couldn’t get any boxes down with redoing the floors, I shopped the house, cut greenery and came up with a mantel I loved without causing one bit of decorating stress. It was so freeing and it honestly has me rethinking the gazillions of Christmas boxes in my attic.

    It could be the year…it just could be my year to finally get rid of it. ;)

  3. My mantel isn’t posted, but here’s my example of how I redid my dated 80’s brown hutch, shopped the house and dressed it for Christmas on just a few dollars. I styled it similarly this year with a few greens and just love how a few thrifted things can make all the difference.


  4. Gregg Lynam says:

    The thing I really love about the holiday season is seeing all the different ways in which people decorate their homes. Many times there is inspiration and sometimes I’m just happy that’s not my home. Thank you for sharing your inspiration.

  5. I know! I loved Edie’s decorations! My house isn’t anything like Edie’s, it’s very neutral and white but I was instantly inspired by hers! So much so that I pulled out colored lights like hers and tried them on my mantel but because they were fresh out of the plastic they were stiff so I plan to put them in greenery. I did find some red beads and swagged them across and I plan to make the little stocking embellishments that Emily made on her stockings! I also found a red and white metal cart at an estate sale Saturday and had fun accessorizing it with colorful things. I used cookie cutters, an old scale with candy canes, old thermoses, and of course more greenery. :) I’ll spray paint the rusted cart after Christmas. ;) I think with all your new property, you should plant a “Christmas” garden for cuttings through the years. I live in a rural area so I can forage for all kinds of pine, holly, berries, etc. and it is my favorite to decorate with.

    • I’ve been meaning to walk our property with a big basket in search of more interesting evergreens, I think I’ll do that today! I love how we all are inspiring each other

  6. I love that mannequin idea and totally agree, that could easily become seasonal and the next hot trend!

  7. I’m always inspired by the way other people use things! Pinterest inspired me to tie strips of scrap fabric around a string of Christmas lights for some easy garland, and another image inspired me to hang my flea market ice skates on my door. I tried to be resourceful (and cost-effective) by using curling ribbon and fabric scraps to fill in the holes of my Christmas tree, too. I’m always most inspired by people who make their home look super festive without buying expensive things! (Like you!)


  8. You have inspired me to paint my huge ugly beasty fireplace a creamy white!!!

  9. Oh gosh, I follow all three of you (You, Edie and Emily) daily. And you, Nester, are the one that inspires me the most. Edie’s blog makes me so happy. All that color and quirkiness, but truly my mind does not work that way. Oh how I wish it did! But the one thing I took away from all of you is to decorate with natural elements. It felt so good not to unpack all of my fall totes and equally satisfying not unpacking all of my Christmas decorations. The house feels so much more calm.

    • I think we all are looking for a reason to get rid of all those totes!! I”m on a mission to use even less this year and get rid of another one!

  10. I die.

    You are my all-time home decorator/creative/blogger hero of the world. The first blogger I ever found—the one that kept me up until 3 in the morning in Spring 2008, feeling like something shifted in me that would never be the same. The one who finally validated all my years of celebrating imperfection. The only other person I ever met in the world who mistreated windows and celebrated it.

    You have done something so wonderful for all us women in making it okay to be who we are, to celebrate the homes we have that aren’t finished, aren’t decorated, maybe aren’t even ours. You are such a gift to me and to so many. I don’t think you realize what a breath of fresh air you are in this crazy, perfection driven world. You are my online center point and I am SO BLESSED to know you.
    I don’t take it for granted, Myquillin, because I know how hard it is—what you do here everyday. Thank you, a million times thank you.

    You have touched every part of my life and made it better.

    Love you forever and ever.

  11. Beautiful! I love how natural and easy it comes to some…I’m a bit envious of that vision.

  12. Your post about the Better Homes and Gardens shoot inspired me to use pom-pom yarn as a garland! I actually had some sitting in my closet from some other project that never happened, and I love garlands, so it was perfect! I used it around windows and on my china cabinet instead of on my tree, but I don’t know if I would have thought of it without a little inspiration. I’ve also been inspired from here and other places to use cut greenery in my decorating. I’ve got a bunch of it peeking over the top of my china cabinet now, and I love it.

  13. So much amazing inspiration. I love you guys. I’m now excited to go find myself some mini potted trees…

  14. Love this philosophy of Christmas decor. I hate the idea of bins and bins of decor stored away to pull out for one month. Using your regular decor with a little extra pizazz is so much less wasteful. But it is also so much more beautiful and interesting!

  15. I was inspired by the beautiful printable verses that you linked up on your weekend links post. I printed one and hung it in our living room. You can see our little Christmas house tour here: http://www.harbourbreezehome.com/2013/12/christmas-home-tour/

  16. I don’t have a specific link, but after seeing all the book page hoopla, I decided to make a simple paper chain out of an old book that was falling apart. We used it as garland around our tree. I was expecting it to just be whimsical, a nod to all the small children we have, but it’s actually really pretty and my husband even said it was nice! Yay for free and sentimental!

  17. LOVE Edie’s style…and yours…and Miss Mustard Seeds. I tried so hard to be “like” you all, and it was just a mess. I’ve finally discovered what I love for our family, and find I have little bits of things that I picked up from you all in my house…and I LOVE that. Those horse bookends of Edie’s, just couldn’t forget those. My girls and I love horses. I found a gold covered plaster pair at the charity store but they were all chipped up, so I painted them with plaster-of-Paris mixed with red paint to a fire-engine red and LOVE them…I love Marian’s use of ironstone, but my “ironstone” of choice is old blue pottery…so I group them and add greens and simple touches for the season. I LOVE your use of animal furry blankets, rugs, pillows…and found a fuzzy animal print blanket on a GREAT sale and have it on our loveseat…the only “larger” piece of furniture that fits in our 1850’s awkward stone farm house living room. I LOVE all that you bloggers have done to help me find what I love, what works for our family, and incorporate it so nicely…or at least I LOVE my home now whereas I hated it 4 years ago before I found the world of blogging. Thank you so much for helping people like me discover the love of simple things and simple ways to improve our spaces. I just did a Christmas home tour of our house at http://www.pailsofpaint.com/2013/12/christmas-home-tour-home-made-christmas.html. I’d love for you to see it, if you’d like, since I feel like you helped me create it. :)

    • OH. your STONE house!!!!! Reminds me of Darlene’s from Fieldstone Hill. It’s SPENDID! And I adore your gun over the fireplace. We have a very old family gun we’ve been wanting to hang, the fireplace is the perfect spot, thank you for the inspiration for that!

      What you are describing, how you get bits of inspiration and then sprinkle it with your own style is exactly how it’s supposed to be done! That’s what I do too–reminds me of the book “Steal like an artist” sounds mean but it’s not, it’s simply talking about how creative people get inspired and then make something their own. Well done! I’m in love with your house!!

      • Thanks so much…the gun was inherited from my husband’s grandfather as well…really old one. I wasn’t too sure I liked it there at first, but it deserved a place of honor, so I lived with it, and it grew on me. :)
        Thanks for stopping by and visiting…what an honor. :) I love how bloggers like you are real people living real lives…love your story of how hard you have worked to create what you love and make a living by doing it. You are an inspiration…with a work ethic and a faith that shines! :)

  18. You picked some good ones! I’m in the same mood, it’s the year of use what you have and spruce it with some fresh greenery. I love digging around and finding new purposes for things fun stuff!

  19. Edie does color so well. It fits her adventurous and cheerful spirit. Her home feels well loved, used, and that each and every element is intentional and thought out. My inspiration? I already mentioned it before, but your BHG feature I was all about this year. Here is how my Nester inspired dining room turned out:

    • Ashely! I LOVE IT. the size of your snowflakes on your tree are wonderful and now I want to make some super big extra large snowflakes for our tree. The room is so beautiful, simple and flooded with light–lucky. And that pillow!

  20. I realized 2 years ago that I’ve spent my whole married life building a collection of Christmas stuff that I don’t really LIKE. Yikes! So, this year I didn’t even unpack it. :) A lady I admire very much decorated our church for Christmas this year with cedar garland and burlap and it’s purely, simply beautiful. I mixed cedar garland in with my living room decorations, and it makes me so happy! Not having a million tubs to pack up and put away in a few weeks makes me happy, too!

  21. oh, love edie’s blog – not just for her killer stylin sense but her sweet sweet spirit that just seems to permeate in all she does.

    i kinda found myself get teary reading the exchange above between you and her. yes, this blogging thing is FUN – and given some of the bestest, truest real life friends of all!!!

    my inspiration this yr was the same – greenery! we live in canada so there’s no shortage there. ; ) also, using what i have. i’ve not posted alot of christmas pics yet but did put some up of my mantle the other day. in the past i’ve way over decorated that thing where it looked like a flippin hedge nearly growing on there.. this year, though hard, i tried to refrain and go simple simple.

    you might find my t.v. cover up interesting!! haha. i know my husband does. ; )

    thanks for creating a spot here for all us girls to hang and feel welcome and talk about one of our favorite things- decorating our homes!

    happy thursday. xo


  22. That Edie. She’s so dang good!
    I was drooling on the laptop yesterday, too.
    You look at one of her pics and you can’t look away! So much to take in – in a good way.
    Also? You.
    You keep telling us the truth and drawing us in and we keep. coming. back. Forevah.

  23. Hi Nester,
    That painting up there is one I did! I think you’re wonderful, and want to do a painting for you one day!


  24. It is also so much more beautiful and exciting!. I think it’s a needed post, yet in a way, it’s hard for me. I need to take some more photos. I also love to decorate my house with different decorative things if you more decorate your home use Boscovs shopping deals. We can save maximum money by using coupons and promo codes

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