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Décor Farmhouse Life

Our first Sugar Maple Farmhouse Christmas

While so much of my energy has been focused on the barn this year and then the outside area in the spring, it’s sometimes easy to forget I have a whole house to decorate too.

This Christmas – before I worried about the barn – I decided I needed to think more about the farmhouse Christmas decor. After all, we actually live in the farmhouse while the barn has been my studio thus far.

This year, I feel like I’ve been getting to know our home. Understanding the space and the way light moves in the house is something I didn’t really take the time to consider when we bought it. When we moved in, we placed furniture because we had to in order to live.

A trial run

However, throughout the year I’ve been adjusting. As I’ve learned more about the spaces and sat with them, I was able to really consider the design of some of the spaces. But this whole first year felt like a trial run for me when I came to the farmhouse décor.

This Christmas was a trial run for me too. Because I got pneumonia, I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted. But also, what I thought I wanted changed even in the short window between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.

While I didn’t decorate the whole house this year, I’m really proud of the bits and pieces that have been decorated.

I’ve already written about the front porch and it makes me so happy so see it dressed up for the holidays. I’ve written a small piece about the kitchen, which I have never decorated before, and of course, I wrote about the barn décor. The farmhouse Christmas décor is the one space(s) that I had left to share, and I wanted to squeeze it in before the New Year.

I hope you enjoy it!

A farmhouse Christmas

 

The entry way

I haven’t shown the entry way much throughout the year, but you’ve had a glimpse of it in the piece I wrote about How to Make Dried Orange Slices. It’s not a huge space but I do have a little wall and our very short staircase and staircase banisters are there.

I really like this space to make a statement. Oddly enough, not a lot of people use the front door. They often go to the side door and the mudroom, which tends to be a bit of a disaster with all our coats, boots, shoes, backpacks, etc.

But for the people who do come to the front this holiday season, they’ve been greeted by this handsome fellow.

I found this reindeer print at IKEA and it’s still there if you want to get it too. I’m planning to keep him up throughout January, even though the rest of the little touches will come down.

As for everything else, I wanted it to feel inviting but also continue the statement that the reindeer print started. With the print being so over-sized and in a black frame (it’s either black or white and the white looked weird), it seemed a little harsh on its own.

I used the same cedar garland used in the kitchen space and in the barn to soften it. I decided to hang it from the ceiling to create an almost secondary frame. But it didn’t feel like enough.

I’ve mentioned on a previous post that I love bells at Christmas time. When I found these antique-looking bells at Kirlands, I knew I was going to need them for something but wasn’t sure what.

Unintended decor

Looking at my entry I thought those bells sitting in the living room would be right at home hanging from the ceiling to greet people. I adore how they look with the greens and Dasher.

At the very top of the garland you will notice some golden berry branches. I hadn’t intended these to go in this space. These were for the Christmas tree in the living room. But, this whole system is hanging by Command Hooks and we could see them. Even though the hooks were far above my eye level, hiding them was important.

At this point I had not decorated the living room yet, so I had a bunch of items just waiting to be used at my fingertips. These worked. I do like how they bring up the gold from the bells and some of the other neutral colors from the entry table. So even though they were part of my original plan, they became a bit of a happy band-aide.

I’ve had my entryway table for years and found it at an antique shop in Illinois. It’s always been this lovely cream color and I love that it fit this space so perfectly when we moved. I decorated the tabletop with a variety of chunky candlesticks that I had in the living room this fall and various Christmas trees of different textured material. Also, I added back my little metal bird house (which I wish I would have added a tiny bird wreath to) and a wooden star to represent the North Star.

I love that everything feels very rustic and Earthy. I love even more how the garland really pulls this whole space together and makes it feel like a bit of art.

The living room

I’ve shared the living room over on the Sugar Maple Farmhouse Instagram already but I was excited to share it here too!

The tree, like the barn tree, is from Balsam Hill and is 7.5 feet tall. The tree collar is from Grandin Road. I specifically ordered that one because it felt so warm with the copper color. I also knew it would work well with the other elements in the room like the rug and the couch.

As for the tree décor, I kept it simple. I used white, gold and silver to create a warm, neutral tree that would feel sophisticated enough to be in the formal living room.

This room makes me happy and so does this tree. It’s a welcome addition to the cozy space. The night I put it up I just sat in there with Bailey enjoying a cup of coffee and marveling at how all the lights danced in the three windows. When it’s on, the tree and the reflection really lights up the whole room.

 

 

Sweet and simple

As for the rest of the room, I kept it simple here too. For our buffet, I really didn’t want it to feel overly fussy. It had been loaded with all the beautiful colors of fall for a few months and for Christmas I really wanted to pare it down.

I decorated it with some sweet rustic houses in wood and metal and then added a string of twinkle lights behind each. The metal houses at Rebel GR and then wooden ones were from World Market.

(I looked for the houses on the World Market site to give you a link, but it appears they aren’t listed anymore. If you go to your local store you might find them on sale though!)

On the top shelves I added some of the brush trees that were so popular this Christmas in complimenting neutral colors, a cute wooden Santa and literally just a basket of extra ornaments to make it sparkle a bit. I kept the garden baskets from the fall décor (mainly because I didn’t have anywhere for them to go) and a few lanterns too.

When it came to the couch, I again just wanted to keep it simple. I reused four pillows from previous seasons and then added the two, cozy snowflake pillows from Target. Since it will continue to be winter after December passes, the pillows will likely stay here through January.

 

 

The family room

You very seldomly see this room on here or on Instagram. It’s because we really live in our family room. We live in it hard. It generally a hodge podge of toys and other clutter. It gives me pause when thinking about sharing the space.

But we got our acts together and tidied up a bit to share pieces of the family room with you.

As I mentioned, we really live in this space. As such, I didn’t want it to feel really formal like the living room space.

I wanted it to feel like it is a space where my children could be and enjoy. I wanted it to feel a bit whimsical and homey, like a space that you could kick back in but still feel pulled together.

Our memory tree

Our family tree is in this room. By that I mean a tree that doesn’t look like perfection to the passerby on Instagram or Pinterest. This tree we’ve had for over 10 years and this tree shows it in so many beautiful ways.

When Kevin and I first started dating, we decided to give one another ornaments as gifts. We had been friends for a while and knew that once we started dating we would build a life together. The ornaments would be a reminder of the happy memories we shared that year. We agreed we would get each other an ornament each year of a memory so that one day, our tree would be full of beautiful memories.

One day is now. Now our tree is filled with over a decade of memories. We started doing it for our children too so memories with them have been added each year. And, I add ornaments for Alexander too, our son that was stillborn in 2011. It’s a small way for me to keep us altogether and keep all the memories alive.

Here’s a few of them:

The phone was the first ornament Kevin ever game me and it symbolized all the time we spend becoming friends talking on the phone. The bicycle s from a vacation we took together where we rode tandem! The little snowmen are of course from my son’s sweet hand.
This was the first one I ever gave Kevin. Our first official date was at Navy Pier.
The ultrasound photo is from our first pregnancy. We lost that baby and others are we journeyed to become parents. The woman holding the baby is the ornament Kevin gave to me after we had our daughter.
These were from this year. Kevin actually gave me 12 eggs for each of the 12 chickens and we wrote their names on them. I gave him the rooster because he now battles our rooster each day.
A few of Alexander’s. <3
We gave this one to my daughter the year she realized her love for art.
This one is a reminder of home and a vacation we took in 2013 to the East Coast. I ate my weight in lobster rolls on that trip.
Kevin gave this to me last year as we spent our last Christmas in our Illinois home and prepared to move THE NEXT DAY to Michigan.

 

Our fireplace

Our fireplace is also in the family room and I have to admit, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me. For much of the year it had a giant cable box just to the left of the center above the mantle.

It was an eyesore and I felt like there was no way for me to design around it. In the fall we had our contractor close it up. I was thrilled that it would be a blank space this first Christmas.

That said, I still found some challenges with it.

  1. The mantle isn’t deep. In our previous home, I layered different things on the mantle or different heights and textures. Our old mantle had garland, a wooden carved statue of Mary, Jesus and Joseph; a window painted with the word “MERRY”, the wooden star that’s in the foyer, etc. it all worked together to make a beautiful site. This mantle had almost no room left for that after I added garland.
  2. The fireplace is basically all one color. I find that the mantle and the brick tends to blend in together when looking at it.

So, with those two things in mind, I had to mix it up this year.

Red and green stockings

Our stockings are traditional Christmas colors and those hold some sentimental value to me. Based on that, I knew I wasn’t going for a woods and whites-kind-of-mantle.

I bought the stockings for our family after we had our daughter and we included one for Alexander too. A few years later we added our other son, and of course, our dogs have always had their own too.

Instead of going the traditional farmhouse route, I decided to draw from the stockings. They’re somewhat whimsical with various lengths, knitted and all different patterns. I wanted the rest of the fireplace to feel that way too.

I had ordered the Rudolph print from Etsy in Nov. He was supposed to be in the foyer. However, when he arrived, I realized he was much too small for that space. I put the sign above the fireplace almost as a place holder, but that’s where he stayed. He worked with the whole idea of whimsy and Christmas magic.

I added a bit more texture with the white, beaded and tassel garland from Rebel GR. It looked perfect with the stockings. My daughter also exclaimed, “That looks so beautiful!” when she saw it. That made my heart happy.

Finally, we added the paper stars to hang on either side of the side. It seemed a bit sparse up there, but I knew I didn’t have any additional room on the mantle. I could only add from the ceiling…so I did.

I’ve always loved these paper stars and hope to decorate with them more next year. I also found these at World Market.

 

So, what do you think? I’d love to hear below in the comments! Thank you for visiting today, friends. I hope you will come back again and see what we’re up to in the New Year.

For more farmhouse décor, click here.

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