***Hey friends, it’s Brady here today and I’m taking over the blog to bring to you a little bit of my living room for the holidays.
In the true spirit of EHD, we decided to go all in this year and not only deck out Emily’s entire place (living room, Charlie’s room, Elliot’s room, and the patio) – but to bring a little bit (read: a lot) of the holiday cheer over to my place. And while in full disclosure I haven’t gone this (jingle) balls to the walls in my own place until this year, having the holiday cheer oozing from every surface has been pretty darn jolly. So let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the front door. For me, there is nothing more “Grinch-like” than not showing a little holiday cheer to your neighbors and those that pass by your door. So even if you don’t give them all fruitcake and eggnog for the holidays show them a little holiday spirit with a wreath on the door. I love this one from Target which not only works well with the green color of my door but also encourages doorstep kissing what with its mistletoe berries. I embellished it a little bit with some ribbon which I will get into later in the post, but if that door doesn’t read Happy Holidays to you then you better get ready for what is inside.
Let’s start with my living room.
When Emily proposed some holiday decorating in my own place to shoot and showcase on the blog, I had one condition and that was a real tree – and thankfully she said yes. As much as I love some of the artificial trees out there on the market, and there truly are some good ones (did you see hers?) I have always been a real tree kinda guy, and as long as I can make it happen I will. I grew up in Utah and I will always remember the weekend after Thanksgiving getting together with all the siblings and cousins and trekking up into the mountains with my parents in their old Jeep Wagoneer to cut down our own fresh tree. Skip to 20 years later and living in sunny Los Angeles my experience wasn’t quite the same. You see I had grand visions of listening to Christmas tunes in the car while my boyfriend (Jason) and I drove to the local Christmas tree lot wearing matching mittens and scarves to pick out “our perfect tree”. Then putting it up on top of the car, grabbing a polaroid pic in front of it all cuddled together – our eyes surely filled with the magic of Christmas (do you wanna vomit yet?). Then setting it up in the living room and decorating it for the rest of the evening as we enjoy our spiked eggnog and all of the holiday traditions we are making together. Sadly I didn’t quite get the experience I was hoping for, as this year consisted of my BF being out of town last minute for work, me picking up a tree at the Christmas tree lot in the rooftop parking lot of the local hardware store and then dragging it home ALONE to decorate.
But, you see my propensity for positivity and optimism (one that I think I inherited from my parents and being raised Mormon) got me through that very cold (read: 68 degrees) and lonely night and brings us back to these styled out pictures. That my friends is truly a Christmas Miracle. I digress – but you get my point.
Although there is nothing more holiday than red and green – for my decor I decided to keep things more tonal and neutral which I love. For the tree I mixed silver, gold, white, black, and clear ornaments from Target’s Wondershop collection and then echoed that color palette into the presents under the tree (which you should obviously by now know are fake). Similarly to Emily I had planned on shopping early for the holidays and then wrapping said presents all together to enjoy and have under the tree through December, but unfortunately the time flew by what with it being the busiest time of the year both in life and on the blog and I ended up wrapping “prop presents” to style with the night before the shoot. BUT, you will be pleased to hear that every single one of my friends/family is getting one of those “prop presents” but with their actual present in them. I am just gently unwrapping one side of the paper, slicing open the box, stuffing their gift inside and then taping back down the paper. It’s really a win-win and means I can still enjoy the presents and have the majority of the wrapping already done.
Looking back at these photos I wish I would have thrown some ribbon on that huge box, but I somehow forgot so instead let’s look at the prettier little ones that are scattered around it.
To keep the color palette cohesive I used three different types of wrapping paper from Target as well as three different selections of ribbon and then just mix and matched as I wrapped – adding some fresh greenery onto a few – which I love to do and makes each present feel a little more special in my opinion. All three of the papers are available at Target although unfortunately the “birch bark” looking one is only available in-store and I wasn’t able to track it down online. The rest of the ribbons and papers are linked up below and in case you still need some more wrapping inspiration be sure to check out our gift wrapping roundup from last week.
Over on the fireplace I added in some garland and stockings for Jason and me. (Don’t worry guys I forgave him for abandoning me the night of the Christmas tree purchasing/decorating and gave him a stocking in the room). I understand work duties and travel come first, so this year he is excused from the festivities, but you better believe that I have already blocked out his google calendar for next year.
I added these little brass ornaments to each of our stockings. I wasn’t able to find them online for you but they did have a huge selection of all the letters in the few different stores that I went into to grab stuff for the shoot, so they should still have them. They are so fun for stockings or they could be used as gift tags on the presents that you give out which would make them feel a little more personal.
And while I don’t have a “proper mantle” I did still want to deck it out with some garland so I ended up improvising and visually creating a mantle with the garland, stockings, and some command strips. I love how it turned out and how much the garland helps to make that area feel alive, but if you are hanging any garland or stockings my advice is to use at least the 3lbs command strips and use a few of them. I had quite a few issues with the first ones holding up the garland and it falling off like 17 times (literally) before we got these shots, so go up in strength if you aren’t sure which ones to use and your garland will stay put all season, just like your holiday cheer. 😉
In the opposite corner from the Christmas tree I created a cozy little vignette with all the holiday essentials: a mug for your cocoa, a knit throw and a few presents to open. Which will all surely never happen there but I love to dream when I style out these shoots and I hope they give you a bit of inspiration for your own place. I used this little faux tree from Target which comes in a basket and I have to say it looks pretty darn realistic. It comes in a few different sizes and helped to bring the greenery over to that corner of the room. Speaking of greenery you may have noticed the wreaths on each of the windows.
These were a last minute DIY which I know sounds hard and annoying but actually wasn’t at all. I used 10″ metal wreath forms which I picked up at the craft store and then used premade garland from my local grocer to wrap around the form to create the wreath, attaching it with floral wire. There are premade wreaths that are real that you can buy out there (some that look very similar to what I created), but I wasn’t able to find any that I liked that didn’t feel totally cheesy or “try-hard” and I wanted to balance out all the faux garland with some real/fresh elements so creating five of these little wreaths to hang on all the windows worked for my space. To embellish them a bit I used varying strips of cut ribbon (the same ribbon from the presents) and then gathered it together with an ornament hook which held the ribbons together and also provided me a way to hook it to the back of the wreath allowing them to hang freely. The wreaths then hang from some ribbon that I tied onto the drapery rods so that the drapes can still close if needed and the wreath can just float on top of it.
I cleared off the credenza and styled it out with some leftover boughs from the bottom of my Christmas tree and then used a collection of green and white bottle brush and metal trees together on the top. The twinkle lights help to light it up at night and the hanging icicle ornaments give it a little bit of whimsy. This sort of setup could be done on any surface – no matter the size with a collection of the trees and some twinkle lights and branches. Just make sure that you vary the heights, sizes, and colors to keep the collection feeling organic.
For the archway that feeds into the living room from the entry area I used the same garland that I used across the fireplace (you can see some of the command hooks I used to hold it up – to give you an idea of what they look like). Seeing these pics now I wish I would have bent some of the branches a little bit better to hide the command hooks but I love that garland so much and it looks very real once it is up. It comes in 6-foot lengths and you can twist the ends of two together to make them as long as you need. I twisted three garlands together for my archway and another three for the fireplace mantle.
Because no holiday party/gathering/weeknight is complete without a little holiday cheer (in a cup) I styled out my bar cart using some of Target’s holiday bar accessories. The wine rack on the bottom is from Threshold and is something you could definitely keep out year round. Along with those marble and rose gold coasters on the bottom shelf. Up top, I used a whiskey decanter and wine decanter from their Project 62 line on top of one of their marble trays and EVERYONE has asked me where they are from. And at only 10 bucks they are such a good buy. The ice bucket and stag shaker were too good to pass up even if they can only stay out during the holiday season (unless you live deep in the mountains – then, by all means, make every drink in that little guy).
Moving into the dining room I didn’t do much decorating in here other than using a few of their accessories on the dining table. Which although is totally styled just for the shoot I’ll have you know I came in here the very next morning, sat down in that chair, grabbed one of those croissants, slathered a bunch of jam onto it and then realized mid-bite that they had gone totally stale while being out all night. I am obviously not much of a morning person. The copper tray and vase are my own, but they have a very similar looking tray which we have linked up below. The tea kettle is from the Hearth & Hand with Magnolia collection and is too good not to get you guys. The bottom wood part acts as a coaster and the kettle itself is stovetop safe so you can brew your tea, cocoa or whatever else in it on the stove and then bring it to the table and set it on the wood coaster for serving.
There you have it, my place for the holidays. Let me know if you have any questions at all, and if you are into the look, all of the items I used are linked up below in a full get the look. Happy Holiday’s from my place to yours…
1. Wreath | 2. Metallic Pillow | 3. Faux Fur Pillow | 4. White Tassel Throw | 5. Small Gold Tree | 6. Small White Bottle Brush Tree | 7. Small Green Tree | 8. Large Gold Tree | 9. Large White Bottle Brush Tree | 10. Green Bottle Brush Tree | 11. White ‘X’ Ornament | 12. Black ‘X’ Ornament | 13. Gold Bells | 14. Black Detail Ribbon | 15. Herringbone Gift Wrap | 16. Black Plaid Ribbon | 17. Mistletoe | 18. Twig Tree | 19. Small Ceramic House | 20. Large Ceramic House | 21. Garland with Pinecones | 22. Tree Lights | 23. LED Battery Lights | 24. Icicle Ornament | 25. Marble Coasters | 26. Green Mug | 27. Whiskey Decanter | 28. Wine Decanter | 29. Stag Shaker | 30. Black Plaid Pillow | 31. ‘X’ Lumbar Pillow | 32. Taupe Throw (similar) | 33. Marble Tray | 34. Brass Wine Rack | 35. Antler Wine Chiller | 36. White Plate (similar) | 37. Stripe Towel (similar) | 38. Tree in Basket | 39. White Ornament Set | 40. Silver Ornament Set | 41. Blush Ornament Set | 42. Stocking | 43. White Kettle | 44. Copper Tray (similar) | 45. Black Ribbon (similar) | 46. Tan Ribbon (similar) | 47. Kraft Paper