holiday interiors & styling

2017 Holiday Housewalk

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I’m pretty excited to participate in my first ever Holiday Housewalk tour. Basically, a handful of selected bloggers shoot their home decorated for the holidays and you can jump from home to home. As you already know, we’re smack dab in the middle of kitchen demo and a tree wasn’t something I wanted to mess with this year (I swear I’m not a grinch). Instead, I opted for festive and seasonal accents in the living room that have a smaller footprint and won’t get in the way of the kitchen reno. Click through and come on in to see how I’m doing minimal holiday decor this year!

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Since we’re opting out of a tree, I thought it would be helpful to share some “holiday hacks” if you’re also decorating sans tree this year! Just because you don’t have a tree doesn’t mean you can’t have lights, ribbons, ornaments, and the rest of the frills.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Someone brought up a good point, and I thought it deserved a fair answer… “if the tree doesn’t belong in the kitchen, then why can’t you have one in another room?”. We live in a super small house. I honestly just didn’t want to deal with rearranging things to make room for one amidst a giant reno project. We’ve boxed up all of our kitchen items and that overflow is bound to end up in the living room eventually. When you live in a home while simultaneously renovating, you quickly learn that things are constantly shifting from room to room. Adding a tree would be like adding another piece of large furniture- and we just don’t have room for that right now. Alright, let’s dive in!


Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I personally think that holiday cheer begins before you even walk in the door. I love hanging a wreath each holiday season. We were gifted this personalized wreath hook for our wedding over five years ago, and I still love getting it out each winter.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -


Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - We’ll start with the obvious… nothing says holiday quite like greenery. I’m a pretty classic gal when it comes to garland, wreaths, and swag. I opted for super realistic looking faux Vermont White Spruce this year. I knew I wanted all of my greenery to be lit since we don’t have a tree to show off twinkle lights. Everything came pre-lit and ready to hang!

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I added a classic dark red ribbon to the wreaths on the shelves, and completely restyled them for Christmas. I also bought a live rosemary tree for the back console- which I hate to admit, isn’t the happiest. I’m not sure if it needs more water or sunlight… it’s looking kind of sad these days. Any advice?

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -


Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Even though I don’t have a tree, I wanted to use my ornaments in a fun and expected way. I scattered them throughout the shelves and displayed a handful in a beautiful cloche. You could easily add tiny lights to this sort of arrangement too.


Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - You’ll also notice a bunch of other seasonal objects styled on the built-ins. I like to keep my holiday decor pretty minimal and modern. I typically don’t style the shelves with red, but I decided to bring out some of my red bound books to tie in the ribbon details for a traditional Christmas look.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

H O L I D A Y    A R T

Another thing you might notice is some traded artwork. I swapped out a few pieces for seasonally appropriate options.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I’m not into super cheesy santa artwork or literal Christmas images, but rather things that nod toward the season / winter.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - We live in Utah and this particular image is from Snow Basin, a nearby ski resort. You guys already know I’m obsessed with vintage ski photos after seeing my bedroom gallery wall.


Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Outside of the built-ins and fireplace, I think another way to add warmth and Christmas comfort is by trading out textiles. I added a modern faux fur throw and swapped my linen cushions for some luxe velvet pillows, and I have to say- the result is pretty cozy!

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - The dogs definitely aren’t sad about the added blankets on the sofa. They know they’re allowed up if they stay on the blanket, and I guess they’ve been taking it as an open invitation lately. If you’re wondering how I’ll survive Christmas with filthy animals (see what a did there?) and a white sofa, read this post. Please tell me you got that reference.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -


As cliche has it sounds- I also like to think about the warm glow and ambiance while decorating… you know, the one that gives you the warm and fuzzy holiday feeling.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I keep plenty of holiday scented candles around and turn on the twinkle lights as soon as it gets dark outside (sometimes sooner because I’m impatient)!

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - I thought it’d also be fun to give you a peek of the decor in the living room after dark. Sort of like this ‘A Night In’ post I shared earlier in the year. I tend to think holiday decor is better after dark anyway… that’s when the magic happens! The space really takes on a different vibe.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Pretty, right? I snuggle up on the couch with the dogs, a glass of wine, Netflix, and take in the view. It honestly puts me in a great mood after a long day!

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk - Well, that pretty much wraps up the holiday tour this year! I plan to enjoy this beautiful space all month long. I’ll link most of the products in a collage below, but let me know if I missed anything.

Holiday Decorating & 2017 Holiday Housewalk -

01: wreath // 02: hinge arm sconce // 03: coffee table // 04: sectional sofa // 05: rug (vintage, but linked similar) // 06: garland // 07: black gallery light // 08: stockings // 09: windmill art // 10: wood knot // 11: wood credenza // 12: umbrella holder // 13: plaid pillow // 14: velvet cushions // 15: grid pillow // 15 (again, ha): ornaments // 16: white flameless candles // 17: oversized candle holders // 18: faux fur throw // 19: double wall hook // 20: large hand // 21: ceramic reindeer // 22: red flameless candle // 23: red ribbon // 24: wood bowls // 25: brass picture light // 26: glass cloche // 28: wreath holder // 29: wood nesting houses // 30: brass knot

For even more holiday content, check out these posts:

How I Decorated for Christmas Last Year // Easiest Stocking DIY Ever // Mailbox DIY (perfectly compliments any wreath) // 2017 Holiday Gift Guide // Etsy Gift Guide // Double Chocolate Holiday Brownies // My Favorite Hot Cocoa Recipe // How to Charcuterie This Holiday // See What I Gifted Emmett Last Year

Also, be sure to check out the other bloggers in the Holiday Housewalk! I’m #3 in the mix, following Courtney and Danielle – they both did an amazing job! See the entire lineup in the bottom graphic.

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Balsam Hill. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we truly use and enjoy! 

Holiday House Tours

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  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Such a gorgeous space! Looking forward to watching your kitchen reno! 😍

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Vickie! xox

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Who needs a tree with these lovely decorations…and all the bliss of a kitchen renovation? I raise a glass of a Gibson cocktail to a fabulous reno and Happy Holidays. Cheers, Ardith

    • Reply
      December 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you, Ardith!! I do miss having a tree… this is the second year we haven’t put one up, but decorating with other lit greenery helps. I could use a Gibson cocktail right now ;) Hope your weekend was amazing! xox

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I love love love your decorating style. What size wreaths did you buy?? I definitely want to invest in one of these for my front door!!

    • Reply
      December 3, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much Annie!I bought the 18″ wreaths for the bookshelves and front door. My garland on the mantle is 10′. Hope this helps! xo

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Your home is beautiful Sarah! I just love your simple Christmas touches and the color of your mantel is stunning!

    • Reply
      December 3, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much, Deb!! You made my night :)

  • Reply
    December 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Sarah, your home is so warm and inviting. Had so much fun doing this tour with you.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I’m so busy being smitten with your gorgeous shelf styling that I honestly probably wouldn’t have even noticed the lack of tree, had you not mentioned it. Merry Christmas! :)

  • Reply
    December 5, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Beautiful! I’m totally with you on the glass of wine/Netflix/enjoying the Xmas lights. I love your cute dog too! Now I’m on a mission to find my wheaten a sweater. :)

    • Reply
      December 5, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Yes!! Thank you. That sweater was super cheap at TJ Maxx- check there! xox

  • Reply
    Carmen Pickering
    May 8, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Hello, I’m on the hunt for a round coffee table. I think yours is beautiful. The link doesn’t seem to work for me. Where is it from? Thank you!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2020 at 8:13 am

      Hi Carmen, thank you! That table is vintage, so I had linked a similar vintage option (one-of-a-kind) and it sold out quickly. I’m sorry! xo

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