Happy Holidays House Tour 2016 – Outside

Happy Holidays all! As promised, here is the outside of the house this year, scaled back from previous years but still festive and fun. (See he inside here: https://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2016/12/23/happy-holidays-house-tour-inside-2016-with-helpful-hints-tips/ It’s all multi-color lights out front (the secret to a mish-mosh of decor items, a cohesive color scheme). Nothing new this year, just a few things moved around. Everything is either alley finds or thrift store scores collected over the years.

At night, all sparkly bright 😉 My favorite is still the bubble lights, I’d cover the house in them if I could…

By day…Those lovely ornament-packed garlands were an alley find! (the wreath on the door, too!) I am still amazed someone threw them away, they are marvelous, and packed with led lights. I’ve been hanging them over the porch for 3 years now, they still look great, and inspired the multi-color light theme outside. All the garland, the rope light, the bubble lights and icicle lights came from Goodwill over the years. The only things retail are the lights on the garlands (Target). Oh, and I do buy a bag of those cinnamon-scented pine cones each year. After they loose their aroma they go outside to help fill in the pots.

Happy Holidays! However you celebrate the season, wishing you joy 🙂

Holiday Decorating 2014, Part 4 of 4…Outside…It’s a Multi-Colored Good-Time Christmas, on a Serious Budget.

Here it is Part 4 of the 4-part Holiday 2014 Decorating Series…Outside! Firstly, allow me to apologize for the picture quality. I use my iPhone and it just takes crappy low-light pics. Below are pictures taken both a dusk and after dark.

I changed things up a bit outside this year, as I managed to accumulate a decent amount of multicolor light strings over the last couple of years and decided to change the front to all multicolored. Every one of these light strings came from the thrift store, many of them new in the box, and most of them only a couple bucks. That amazing lit garland over the porch? The one with all the ornaments and multicolor LED’s? Believe it or not, someone threw it away! That, along with the lit wreath on the door, were found in a near-by alley. (This garland was inside on the stairs last year.) The tree in the yard was our old Christmas tree before we upgraded to the big one we have now. The tree next to the front door was yet another fabulous alley find. All the pine cones are leftover from previous years. The only new things are some assorted pine boughs I bought, which are in the pots and along the porch’s half-wall where the bubble lights are (yes, even those were found at the thrift store.)

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Next up, the 2014 Holiday Video!

Unique Christmas Holiday Decorating, Part 3, Other Spaces…

Happy Holidays people! It’s time for the third installment of the 2014 Holiday Decor, Other Spaces! In Part 1 & Part 2  you saw the entry and main room, now for those little touches of the holiday season in other rooms of the house.

The Kitchen.

I’ve been looking for the right place to display these sweet handmade ornaments my friend Gina made, and finally figured out the perfect spot in the kitchen. I found a fun way to cover up the nails with these colorful kids plastic magnet letters spelling out “XMAS”. They are simply hung on the nails, but a dot of glue from the hot glue gun would hold the letters more securely in place. (My friend Gina also made the ceramic chicken plate on the wall, and the rest of the art above the molding is some my old painted polymer clay art work. The colorful dimensional painting below the molding is a $10 thrift store find.)

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The Living Room.

This room is a tad more modern and funky than the rest of the house, and this hot pink tree fits it perfectly. This is one of those things that is the same every year (so far.) See the DIY on those chairs here. (The painting on the right is by Sandi Calistro.)

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The Master Bedroom.

I like to have just a little Holiday touch in the bedroom for us to enjoy. This is new (well, recycled) this year. All the bits were on a little fake white tree I’d had for years that just wasn’t looking so hot anymore, so I took all of the bits off and tossed the tree. I strung up the sparkly garland over the mirror and hung some of the ornaments from that, and put all the round ornaments in a silver dish. It’s subtle and elegant and suits the bedroom well.

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That’s it for the inside of the house! Next time, Part 4: the Outside. (And I promise a Holiday Decor Video soon as well!)

Elegant, Unique, and Sorta Victorian Holiday Decorating, Part 2, Christmas in the Main Room.

Welcome to Part 2 of my yearly Holiday Decorating series, the Main Room! This is the room we go all-out in. It’s in the front of the house and can be seen from the sidewalk, and is where we wind up doing the majority of the entertaining, so it’s where most of the madness happens for every holiday.

I really didn’t add anything new, just a couple odds and ends I picked up at the thrift store since last season and some new glittered ribbons. If anything I actually toned it down a bit from last year. I do like to change it up a bit every year, using things in different spaces and in different ways, leaving some things in storage, and finding new goodies from my “stash” of supplies to add to the mix. Moving things around is the key to keeping it fresh and fun.

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Coming into the main room from the entry.

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To the right as you walk in the room.

I kept it simple here, using the ornamental cabbage I already had in the white pots for Thanksgiving and adding in my old pine cones and purple balls. Nothing fancy, everything is just sitting in the pot.

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Going counter-clockwise around the room, next comes the bookcase. I simply added some pine boughs to the purple glass vase collection that live there most of the year as well as a couple candles. I hung our stocking (it’s just the two of us big kids so we share one) on the book shelve this year, and put a pine branch behind it. I still love this wacky stocking. I found it years ago at the thrift store.

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Next comes the mantle. It is very similar to last year, just toned down a bit. I used fresh mixed pine boughs instead of the faux garland and added in a new gold glitter ribbon. It has an Old World feel that I really like.

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Daytime mantle.

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Mantle at night.

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Display case to the left of the mantle.

I had some fun creating a little vignette in the display case to the left of the mantle. I put monochromatic ornaments in the glass jars (the same ones that had candy in them for Halloween) and added a little purple light-up tree from the thrift store, some purple glittered ribbon, and a few pine cones. I also added some fresh pine greens and cones around the candle on the little stool in front of the case.

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Next comes the tree. Again, it is very similar to last year, just toned down a bit. The one new addition is the teal ostrich feathers (the same ones I used on the stairs.) I still love our Bohemian India-Asia themed tree with all it’s feathers and unusual ornaments. I do want to get more of the glittered ribbon to add to it.

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Here are a few more shots of the room. I’m very happy with it this year!

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One of my favorite things, the giant gold ornaments hung from the chandelier (purchased at the thrift store a couple years ago).

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Looking into the main room from the living room.

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Next time in part 3, the funky stuff in the Other Spaces!

Elegant, Unique & Sorta Victorian Holiday Decorating (On the Cheap of Course), Part 1 of 4: the Entry

The Holiday decorating is finally done! It only took me 3 days this year 😉 I really didn’t add anything new, just a couple odds and ends I picked up at the thrift store since last season and some new glittered ribbons. I do like to change it up a bit every year, using things in different spaces and in different ways, leaving some things in storage, and finding new goodies from my “stash” of supplies to add to the mix. Moving things around is the key to keeping it fresh and fun.

Today for Part 1 I’ll share the Entry Way. (The Main Room, the Outside, and Other Spaces are coming to the blog soon!)

I actually toned it down considerably from last year, when I had the stairs done in ornament-packed multicolor garland (which is now outside, you’ll see it soon!) This year, I stuck with my jewel-toned decor and just made a few subtle changes. I still used my favorite decorating trick, peacock feathers (sooo cheap and what a great visual impact! Find them in bulk on Ebay), but added some dyed teal ostrich feathers left over from a big party decorating job I did a couple years ago, as well as a new wired purple glitter ribbon I fell in love with.

Instead of adding tons of feathers all up and down the garland like I usually do, I just used them in groupings at the newel posts and center point. They are simply tucked into the garland (this is the same garland I’ve been using for about 7 years now, purchased half-off at Target the day after Christmas.) At the bottom of the stairs I also added a couple of strings of big purple Mardi Gras beads from my supply stash that I acquired from a party years ago. The new purple glitter ribbon is simply added on top and held in place by the wired garland.

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The view upon entering the front door.

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A closer look at the stairs. That’s one of our Dogvacay guest dogs, Cleo the Weimeraner, towards the top of the steps.

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Here’s a close-up of the newel post. Yes, that is a taxidermy peacock “Herman” to the right, one of my most prized possessions. He “lives” there year-round.

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This is at the bottom of the stairs, just to the left of the front door. The big lamp is simply adorned with a bit of gold glittered ribbon (I used more of it in the main room) and a sprig of fresh pine. In the mirror is a “sneak-preview” of the Main Room, coming to the blog next!

The Big Switcharoo…Halloween into Thanksgiving, Decorating Quick & Cheap.

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Halloween is over. Sigh. All the skulls and spiders and crows are packed away, (and the leftover candy has been packed away…mostly into my thighs ;-). It’s time to settle into the Fall, tone it down a bit, and gear up for the fabulous feast that is Thanksgiving. Here’s a look at what I’m doing for decor this year.

My favorite decorating “trick” for Fall are pumpkins and gourds. They serve double-duty, working great for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. By the way, another great decorating tip is to “shop” your own home! Moving things around and re-purposing stuff you already have is free decor at it’s best! You’ll see me do that a lot here…After I removed all the “spooky” stuff, I set aside the squashes along with the faux-Fall leaves and plan my Thanksgiving decor. This year, I added to the mix two ornamental cabbage plants and 3 tiny Kalanchoes for a total of $14. That’s it.

Because I go over-the-top for Halloween & Christmas, I like to tone it down in between. You can see all the Halloween madness HERE.

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The Table: The purple tablecloth is the one that is almost always on the table. I added an old purple runner that I sometimes break out for the holidays as a way to ground the gourd display. I put down a fake Fall leaves garland first, placed the giant gourd in the center, then arranged the smaller pumpkins, gourds, little Kalanchoe plants and my old stand-by Thanksgiving ceramics I’ve been using for years. (the trick to this is using the old stuff in new ways every year so it all looks fresh.) Lastly I threw in a couple votive candles and tea lights. (I use these for every holiday, they go with everything!)

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The mantle is similar to the table, nice and simple. I started with a pair of Mackenzie-Child’s plates in Fall colors that I’ve had for years, then I scoured basement storage for Fall-colored pillar candles. Putting the candles on the little wood pedestals gives them a look of importance. Then it was pumpkin and gourd time. Finally I added in my beloved old pair of purple glass turkeys and a few fake Fall leaves.

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I love my white pots by the window, and tend to just switch the contents out for the holidays. Here is where I placed those 2 ornamental cabbage plants, then I added in a few gourds and a few of those faux-Fall leaves. I love how these turned out.

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In the entry, I just simplified what was there for Halloween by removing the crows, black fabric and the tri-colored and pumpkin lights, leaving just the amber lights and Fall leaves.

That’s it! We’re all ready for the month of November. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Want to see what I did last year for Thanksgiving? Just click here.