how to decorate for Christmas

Today I’m joining a Christmas Home Tour hosted by Rachel at Shades of Blue Interiors, links to all the homes are at the end of this post, you’re gonna love them!

Welcome to our home

We’ve lived in this fixer-upper for six and a half years, slowly fixing it up, paying cash as we go. It feels like it’s taking three forevers and simultaneously has gone by in an instant.

It’s not finished or perfect but that’s not our goal, and it’s never stopped us from inviting people over in real life or here online.

I’m glad you’re here.

Our house was built in 1987 on a sawmill property. The man who built the house milled the pine trees for these gorgeous twelve inch pine floors that over the past thirty years have aged to the perfect cognac shade and feel like leather. He also made the raw pine mantel. We LOVE featuring wood in our home, currently my favorite wood is–you guessed it–pine!

simple Christmas decor

When it comes to Christmas decorating I always start with winterizing my home first.

That means before I pull out binfuls of decor (I have three) I first stock my home with winter supplies–some decorative, some consumable, all make a difference and ultimately allow me to use the bare minimum of store bought Christmas decor but still get a festive, cozy yet minimal home.

There’s nothing wrong with store bought Christmas decor–I have some too and I love, LOVE pretty things, but my goal as a Cozy Minimalist is to get the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff–and the least amount of storage. Amen.

I want my decor to feel natural and local and I want it to fit with my home style. But wait, I’m demanding and I and also want it to feel unexpected, quirky and creative in a subtle way.

Lastly, I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time babysitting, putting out, packing away and storing decorations that I only use a small percentage of the year.

I even have a motto that helps me make all kinds of decisions from what to focus on next in my work, to how to approach projects in our fixer-upper to how to think about Christmas decor.

Do what you know.

Use what you have.

Finish what you started.

-Myquillyn Smith (that’s me!)

Following that mantra is how I ended up incorporating these pointy tropical-ish greens that grow down by our pond, into the mantel garland. I set some Lovely Limitations and made myself use what we had.

The base is a fresh garland from Lowe’s and I tucked in some spikey greens from our yard, and done. Nope, I don’t keep my garland from drying out. It’s completely dry already, but I think it still looks pretty.

I’m a big believer in using local greenery in with your traditional Christmas evergreen garland and I love the structure and element of surprise these perfectly green pointy leaves add to my garland. I’m so glad I spent time foraging in our yard and tried something I didn’t think would work. What a fun surprise!

More locally cut greens–some magnolia from the overgrowing trees at the local school and some evergreen from our yard.

I brought some of my garden orbs inside to serve as big ornaments–after the new year I’ll take them back out to the yard.

A little winter vignette on the side porch. Fun fact, that pinecone is HUGE–it’s the one souvenir I brought home from our trip to California this past summer because we don’t have pinecones near that big and I’m obsessed with stuff like that. I had to ship it home and it was so worth it.

Not every part of our house feels wintery or Christmasy. This enclosed back porch is where my plants and our shoes are all hanging out together.

I did add some evergreen boughs to the chandelier in my office. It took 90 seconds and makes a huge impact. #winning

And the rainbow books look festive every day.

Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree

Oh and PS, our tree is a live Nordmann Fir from Pike’s Nursery in Charlotte. We’ve had a Nordmann for a few years, some years they have been pruned more on the tree farm–this year, the trees weren’t layered and pruned in the height we needed, so we cut out a few of the branches when we got home to create some horizontal layers.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Now, you are going to LOVE the rest of the homes on this tour:

Shades of Blue Interiors    –    Wild Flower Home Blog    –    The Nester    –    Oscar Bravo Home
Rosemary and ThymeJenna Sue Design AlmafiedOur Vintage Nest

PS, our winter class closes this Thursday!