This Christmas I had an opportunity to play interior designer for my in-laws, (Grammy and Poppy) in their new home! The charming 1940's cottage is quite a downsize from their previous home, but its just perfect for the two of them now that all the children are grown.
Around Thanksgiving I began to notice that Grammy didn't seem to have much holiday spirit and wasn't as excited about decorating as I figured she would be. After talking with her I realized she was feeling a bit overwhelmed about how to incorporate her old decorations in the new place.When she and Poppy moved into the cottage they updated their decorating style, so most of their country/primitive Christmas decor just wasn't going to work anymore. Unfortunately, they had even sold their Christmas trees in their moving sale because they did not think they would have room for more than a small tabletop tree.
Nevertheless I wanted to do something extra special to help them celebrate their first Christmas in their very own home and to provide them with a warm and beautiful place for family and friends to gather during the holidays. My husband and I had installed a faux fireplace for them back in the summer which is the focal point of the room, so it gave me an easy place to start creating Christmas magic.
I decided that a very traditional Christmas look was the best choice and would really make them feel like they were finally home for the holidays. I also wanted to give them some ideas of ways to start new decorating traditions to use year after year. Using lots of reds, greens, golds, and plaids, the whole living room took on a much larger and grander feel and really created a beautiful Christmas setting.
|Boughs of holly, poinsettias, tartan ribbon, shimmering pinecones, golden beads and ornaments, a large Santa and sleigh with lots of tiny, glittering reindeer-----its definitely Christmas at Grammy and Poppy's!|
I love that my mother-in-law trusts me enough to play around with her things and will just leave the room and let me get to work. This was one of the most enjoyable decorating challenges I have ever had because it was a 100% "use what you have," or should I say, "use what we had" FREE project. I had no idea what decorations she had kept or what things she had already started decorating with. I only knew that she wanted a more elegant look than what she was coming up with. She had some good ideas and cute decorations for me to work with however, and luckily I am enough of a Christmas
hoarder collector that I had several boxes of leftover decorations in storage to put together a whole room for them and to add to what they had. When she gave me the go ahead to come on over and decorate, I loaded up a large tote full of Christmas odds and ends and went straight over and got to work. I think I finished in about two hours and I feel they were pleased with the end result.
I found this awesome Santa in the corner behind the front door and decided that he needed to be the focal point of the mantel and started building from there.
The mantel turned out looking as if it cost a fortune by using just whatever was lying around!
|Love the bronze reindeer ornaments. They tie in perfectly with the bronze tile|
embellishments Poppy added to the fireplace.
|Being that I am of Scottish heritage by birth and marriage and a collector of Celtic things myself, I just love Poppy's tree!|
These Belsnickel-style Santa ornaments were some of my favorite finds as I went scavenging through their house looking for decorations. I also found some vintage books to use, and I especially loved, "The Friendly Hour." It just seemed like a fitting title for such a friendly little trio!
Although duck is still sometimes served in a traditional Christmas dinner, this amazing guy is just for admiring. Grammy began collecting primitive style ducks upon moving into the new house so I wanted to incorporate the ducks in some way. I created a dining room table centerpiece using this large wooden duck and dressed him with pine cones, pine branches and lots of white bittersweet garland. He is nestled in a large burlap coffee sack. A primitive-style woodsy tree provides a perfect backdrop.
|Smaller wooden duck with a red apple wreath and burlap...so Christmasy!|
After working on this post I am getting excited to visit on Christmas Eve. The house feels cozy and welcoming and the grandkids absolutely love visiting too!
Merry Christmas Grammy and Poppy!!!! May your first Christmas in your new house be the merriest ever and may you have many more happy Christmases there for years to come!!!