Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Christmas Home Tour!

Hello All!  I wanted to get this posted before now, but as usual, I'm behind.  It's crazy because I started decorating before Thanksgiving and figured I'd post long before Christmas. LOL-nope!  I did spend the first two weeks of December commuting to DC for training.  The commuting business is for the birds!  Nearly two hours to get there and the same if not longer to get home.  I took the train downtown and then hit the subway.    It gave me valuable perspective on my normal 20 minute commute, in my own vehicle, and the free parking lot!

The front door was replaced this year.  Lowes made it a positive experience but it didn't start out that way.  Originally, the guy who installed the basement doors was also contracted to do the front door.  It was a nightmare.  He kept "forgetting" to include things in the contract we discussed-- like a transom, glass pattern, door color -- and then use the opportunity to try and jack up the price.  God had our backs though and by the time he claimed the contract was going to have be redone AGAIN because the glass pattern he verified was available for our choice of style of door actually wasn't (and tried to soak us for yet another $1,000) the basement door he installed was leaking.  We canceled the front door contract.  Even better, we were able to cut ties with him completely and deal directly with the manufacturer to rectify the basement door problems.  It was such a headache to deal with a private contractor that we opted to try Lowes for the front door.  It was hands down the right way to go!  Not only did we get a much nicer door (and storm door!) we saved a lot of money and, the most important thing, the install was conducted by complete professionals so it went smooth and quick!  I am so grateful too because with the front door having to be installed into a stone facade, I can't imagine what disaster we'd have had if the door was installed by someone who didn't know what they were doing.  I like before and afters so, for posterity, here is the old door:

and here's the after:
The door is by Therma Tru --same as the old door.  We had to buy from the same manufacturer because of the unusual size (it's narrower than standard).  The glass pattern is called Maple Park and the color is dried cranberry.  We kept the exterior color the same so we didn't have to go through the change process with the HOA.  Plus, if the color changed, the shutters would have to be painted also. Too much work - LOL!
Here's the interior:
It's so pretty!  
Outside, these pots/greenery flank the porch.  I also have the white wood nativity in the yard.

The pine cone balls light up and look gorgeous at night!  Blech, I don't like all that orangey light but I don't have camera skills ;)
Once inside, it looks like it snowed :)
The walls look mustard-colored in this pic but they're not.  Again, I'm blaming my lack of camera skills.  I didn't get the staircase painted/stained this year - womp womp.  I'm moving the task to my 2017 things to do ;)

Ah, this is better - doesn't it look like it just snowed!?

The flocked garland (Vickerman) came from Overstock.  
It's just as pretty during the day:

It matches the flocked tree in the living room:
I played around with the decorations on the antique mantel and ended up opting for a wintry flower arrangement in a vintage iridescent vase with twinkling lights:
 I kept the same decorations as last year for the console.

I ordered dining room chairs back in October but only the armchairs have come in so far.  Much to my dismay, the side chairs were back-ordered until January.  The week before Christmas, a notification was sent out that the chairs were shipping from the warehouse so I was hopeful they would arrive before Christmas.  I decorated the room and set the table just in case but sadly, they didn't make it :(  What really stinks is that I missed the phone call on Christmas Eve (by an hour) to schedule delivery for January 5th and because of that, it may well be mid-January before I get them.  Ugh.  Yes, there are bigger problems in the world so I'm trying not to feel to sorry about it ;)
This little potted tree is a real sparkler and the lights twinkle too.  It came from Pier 1.

I like to sit in here in the morning with just the tree lights on.  It's got that just snowed look too.  I added glass drops so it looks like icicles.
I bought a new tree for the sun room.  I love flocked Christmas trees.  I also love white Christmas trees.  Two days after Thanksgiving my Mom, sister, and me were out shopping and ended up at Hobby Lobby.  I see this white Christmas tree and to my delight, it's flocked!  Super cool.  It also had multi-colored lights and this poses a dilemma for me.  I like the look of the colored lights but I'm fickle with decorations and not all my ideas work with multi colored lights.  Still, the tree was full and beautiful so I was checking it out when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a small red switch that says "multi" AND "clear".   That's right folks - this tree is equipped with magic that allows me to switch from multi lights to just clear lights --or if I am really feeling cheeky, I can make the tree flash clear then multi!  AND, yes there's more, it was 50% off -- That, my friends, is like finding a Christmas unicorn. :)  Away to the counter I flew like a flash threw open my wallet and laid out the cash.  I stuffed it in my SUV with care and rushed home to put it up in the sun room and it's still there.  
It's so beautiful at night!  It could just be that the multi lights are on more often then the clear ones nowadays ;)
I replaced the family room tree this year with one that is supposed to be "frosted":
It doesn't look frosted at all but I'm not disappointed with it.  With all the flock in the foyer, front room, and sun room, the green is pleasant in here.  I like my "themes" so this one is "rustic reindeer".  
I thrifted some vintage flocked and plastic reindeer and worked them into the tree:
This tree was fun to decorate and incorporate some family treasures:

That sweet little Santa ornament was hand painted by my Gran and Shelly gave me the darling snowman.
I kept the mantel simple using just preserved boxwood topiaries and the reindeer art.  The glass ornament garland came from Pottery Barn.
I made the nativity (more on that below!)
Here is a closer look at the nativity.  There were two decor crafts I made this season.  The first is the glass glitter nativity.  The Hymns and Verses blog posted a beautiful handmade nativity a few years ago and luckily the blog owner generously made the pattern available!  Next year I'm going to add the shepherds.  The backdrop was made using foam board, LED lights, a drill and black felt :)  I love the simplicity of it.  Although my photograph doesn't capture it, the glass glitter glistens in the light from the garland above and the Christmas tree.  It also matches some of the ornaments on the tree that have the same kind of glitter.

While looking for a replacement tree for the family room, I stumbled upon this beauty.  It's cream-colored!  I didn't even know that color existed in the world of Christmas trees.  Once I did - *obsessed* with it!  The decorating possibilities are endless.

Since I already met my decorating expense quota for this year, I'll have to wait until next year to get the ornaments.
This little cutie was a gift from Dan.  It's rose gold!!!  It looks adorable in the craft room all done up in blush and beige.

I used a kissing ball with pink crystal for the topper!  I just flipped it over and wired it up.  I love how the Christmas lights (and sunlight) shines through it.

Since this one is in my craft room, I could go as girly as I wanted.  
And finally, here is the second decor craft.  My sister and I made these after she saw them at a craft fair.  

This is Shell's:

Aren't they adorable! We bought cheap lamp shades from Ross ($5), flipped them upside down and covered them in black felt.  We cut circles out of cardboard to close off the top of the lampshade and to create the brim and covered them in felt also.  Using a glue gun, we glued everything together and then decorated them with ribbon and greenery.  

So there you have it --Christmas 2016!  It's hard to believe we will be ushering in another new year in just a few days!  Happy New Year all :)

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