Saturday, December 28, 2013

On the Homefront: First Floor Christmas Décor

This owl sits by our front door year round, but only wears
his buffalo plaid scarf for Christmas!

In the ten years that we have lived in our current home, I have gradually figured out just how I like to decorate this place for Christmas.  A few things change every year, but basic elements have remained the same for several years now.  Like many people I know, we have accumulated quite a collection of Christmas decorations over the years, but lately we all seem to be trying to simplify, limiting our decorating mostly to just the pieces we absolutely love.  Here are some photos of what my first floor looks like this year:

As you enter our front door you see the stairway to the second floor.  Every year I decorate the banister with a red berry garland and sweet little buffalo plaid stockings with a moose design.  I got the stockings when we lived in Colorado, and even though our new home state of Georgia is not known for moose, I still love to put these up.  I like the simplicity of this look.  I have used evergreen garland in the past, but got tired of cleaning up all the dropped needles!

The front entry hall table got a favorite striped red table runner and some glass bear votive holders, while the tall candleholders had their rims covered in bejewelled Christmas dog collars (the dogs refused to wear them!).  Again the look is simple, but festive.

The great room fireplace always gets a shiny Christmas ornament wreath and a string of pine cone lights.  The tall candleholders are topped with extra-large shiny round Christmas ornaments (the candles  are not lit, of course!).  Though difficult to see, in the middle of the mantel are two tiny wooden kissing reindeer, one red and one green, that we have had for years.  This year I also added the red pottery tree votive holders which do get their candles lit.

Here is a better look at the mantel.

And here is a close-up of the little kissing reindeer!

My favorite Christmas dogs pillows sit on the chairs in front of the fireplace, with a magnificent amaryllis on the table between them.

A small ornament tree sits atop the Spirit Board Serving Tray I won recently from an HGTV giveaway, which is covered in a red table runner for Christmas.

This is the Bronze Swirl Ornament Tree I purchased recently which allows me to set up a Christmas tree of sorts in the living room that does not interest our dogs (the Santa Dalmatian, which I received as a gift when we lived in Colorado, sits high on top of a lamp well out of their reach).

Every year my collection of Christmas Dalmatians graces the top of our living room entertainment center, while Christmas cards line the shelves.  My husband finds the Dals a bit overwhelming, but they are only up for a couple of weeks, so he does not have to look at them for too long!

A red bromeliad sits inside a red Christmas cachepot with tiny reindeer cutouts around the top.  I love this pot, and while the plant inside may change from year to year, the pot is always on display for the holidays.

Our TV room has a fireplace which gets a string of pine cone lights as well.  I also hang my Dalmatian stockings here, but only for looks (they do not get filled).  Since our dogs spend most of their time in this room, it is only appropriate that these stockings adorn the space!

Our side entry foyer décor is rather subtle -- just a red vase filled with faux red grasses and berry branches, a cute little square reindeer plate I found at HomeGoods this year, and a candy jar filled with seasonal chocolates.  The December Dalmatian on the calendar adds a festive touch as well (it must be obvious by now that Dalmatians are an obsession of mine!).

This last image is a pine cone wreath that hangs on the door to our basement every year.  I made this wreath myself when we lived in Oklahoma, using locally collected pine cones, pecans, and giant burr oak acorn caps.  A simple red velvet bow and a decorative cluster from a long-ago box of chocolates add the finishing touches.  I went through a brief crafty period in my mid-twenties when I made this wreath -- I even taught myself to crochet!  The two blankets I did are long gone, and I still have two huge crocheted Christmas stockings which I never use, but this wreath is my proudest achievement.  It has held up well over the decades despite two long-distance moves.  I have never had the urge to craft again, so my wreath will always remain my most successful foray into such activities, making it very special indeed!

Decorating for Christmas is always so very personal, and unique to each individual.  I truly enjoy all of the items I put out each year for the holidays.  I may complain about the hassle of setting up the Christmas tree (my photo for this year's tree will as usual be posted next Christmas!) and especially taking everything back down again (and that dreaded day is coming soon), but I would never even consider not decorating at all, which is I think how most of us feel.  So enjoy your holiday décor for the short time it still remains out, and then breathe a sigh of relief when all is back to normal again!

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