This just might be the earliest I’ve ever pulled out my Christmas decor, but I decided to embrace slow seasonal decorating this year. It’s a concept I’ve actually really enjoyed thus far, as opposed to tackling it all at once. I needed to setup my living room a bit early for photos this year (thanks to our shop), and I thought it would be ideal to decorate & share our main spaces and the exterior in my own time, sharing them as they’re completed. The first room I crossed off my holiday decorating list was of course, our formal living room. If you’re feeling festive early this year or could use some holiday inspiration, click through for the tour! I had a lot of fun styling this space for the holiday season ahead.
*Serena & Lily generously gifted me some of their new holiday textiles. It was fun to use updated pillows & throws in the space- I was happy they fit into my seasonal palette!
Let’s start with the fireplace… as soon as I spotted that textural pinecone wreath, I knew I had to have it! The size perfectly layers over my round mirror, and it feels like it was made to hang in that exact spot. For holiday decorating especially, I really enjoy layering.
In keeping with tradition, I carefully hung the stockings I made a few years ago. If you’re interested, you can find the DIY here… they’re really easy! It’s basically a slipcover that can be used with any standard stocking, which easily allows you to mix up the aesthetic.
For the color palette this year, I was pretty set on blue. You know how much I love our blue mohair sofa, and I really wanted to play up those middle blue hues. Plus, my favorite tartan throw was a traditional must. Between the wreath, the throw, and our existing sofa– it felt like a safe and beautiful bet this year. I went with a warmer palette last year, so going cool was a nice way to mix things up.
I already shared my trick for using ribbon to emphasize and enhance a holiday color palette, so as you can probably guess- I went crazy with ribbon & bows this year. Check out my favorites in this blog post, if you missed them!
I also repeated a similar styling treatment on our beloved built-ins this year, by flipping the books for a more neutral installation for the holiday season. It’s makes the room feel warmer and reads as a textural neutral, allowing other elements to shine- like greenery, ribbon, the fireplace, and our tree.
Of course I’ve already received plenty of confused and angry messages about the flipped books. Ha! It happens every year. This topic actually prompted a Design Discussion post last year, if you’d like to read more about that. Apparently, people have strong feelings about shelf styling. “But how will you find a book?! This makes no sense, Sarah!” To answer that question honestly- I won’t be pulling any books from this shelf for the next month and a half. We have plenty of other book storage in our house, and if I’m being transparent- the books I’m actually reading tend to accumulate on my bedside table upstairs. I enjoy styling our living room built-in for the sake of mixing it up during the holidays- it has become a fun tradition I look forward to!
I kept our fireplace and mantle pretty simplistic this year… I only used one piece of garland and a few accessories, allowing the pinecone wreath to center the vignette. We’ve already had our fireplace going this season, and I’m reminded how thankful I am for this cozy spot! I love having a gas fire- with the click of a remote, I’m able to easily enjoy the most comfortable seat in the house. Over the weekend, I took a beat to relax and curl up with a good book for an hour or two, post decorating.
I also pulled out my vintage brass deer! This is another favorite holiday tradition and decor moment of mine… I thrifted this charming pair four years ago and they’ve kind of become a household symbol. Since moving to our current home, we see lots of deer every single day- it’s something Emmett & I love that remind us of home. These special brass holiday deer are actually really large- two to three feet tall! Photos don’t do them justice.
I stuffed our tree with my favorite ornaments, tied lots of ribbon, hung tassels, garland, and even found some vintage items to incorporate this year…
I found a lot of vintage French horns that felt really seasonal and festive for the shop, and ended up keeping some more myself. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d style them, but ended up tucking them into the tree. They sold out quickly, but I’ll be adding a few more I found to the shop this week- so keep your eyes peeled!
In regards to tree decor, I tend to gravitate toward the classics: glass icicles, wood beaded garland, and velvet ribbon… but this year’s favorite is a pair of Staffordshire dog ornaments. I actually found these at market last month for our shop. The sweetest father / daughter duo hand paint the dogs & ginger jar ornaments. They look absolutely lovely and special adorning our tree. I know these will be classics I’ll cherish for years to come!
Our tree is nestled into the corner of our living room, and thanks to all the glass ornaments- it beautifully refracts the light… it really dances around the room during the daytime. In the evening hours, you can’t beat the glow of twinkly lights during the holidays. It’s a happy, cozy moment!
Emmett and I both have pretty bad allergies, so we’ve never been able to have a real tree (sadly), but I did buy a new faux tree last year, and I’m still really happy with it! It’s a budget-friendly tree, if you’re on the hunt for a new one… and it’s pre-lit.
In regards to winter textiles, I opted for luxe winter whites, cozy wool & alpaca materials, and heavier throw blankets paired with plush pillows. I added new lumbars to our swivel chairs, and the tassel details work beautifully with my holiday decor this year.
One of my favorite throws, the Ashland alpaca throw (pictured above), lives on the arm of our chair year round, but I use it most often during the winter months. You’ll also notice my tartan throw draped across the arm of the opposing chair (below). That just feels like classic winter and Christmas to me!
As for the greenery, my favorite wispy pine needle garland sold out quickly. I thought I had stocked plenty for the shop, but now I know to really gear up next year! I’m sorry if you wanted some and missed out this time around. It will be back next holiday season! I always use it to line our built-in countertop. It creates such a nice texture!
Hues of blue, toile patterns (isn’t this wrapping paper amazing?), and deep saturated terra cotta colored ribbon was my inspiration this year, if you hadn’t already noticed. It feels very bright and cheerful in our living room, and I’ve been enjoying my seasonal decor these past few days. I’m ready to continue decorating and move onto the next room.
I’ll also be decorating our entryway (how much depends on how my office renovation progresses), I would like to hang some garland in the kitchen, and I always enjoy putting a wreath on each exterior window. I’ll try to share those spaces as they’re finished. As for the outdoor vignettes and exterior- I’ve got to wait until the snow sticks before I photograph… it’s tradition! I feel like our house was made to be covered under a blanket of snow. It looks its best during the winter and holiday season! I also wanted to ask if you’d be interested in an evening holiday tour again this year? If so, I’ll add that to my to-do list as well.
I hope you enjoyed the holiday living room tour! It was fun to stick with blue hues in that room this year. If you’re curious to see what it looked like last Christmas, click here. Here’s to a festive week ahead as we gear up for Thanksgiving next week. I’m looking forward to all the seasonal traditions! Have you pulled out your holiday decor yet? When do you typically begin decorating?