Decorating For The Holidays – Family Friendly Style
It’s like my inner party girl called a meeting with my inner toddler and they styled out my house together. I never thought in my life I’d veer towards ‘Dr. Seuss’, nor did I think that green and red would be my color palette. But, I love it so much. Every year I do something different (that’s my job/excuse, right?) and this year I went ‘Whimsical Traditional’. Life really does become about seeing things through your kids eyes and with two small kids I was less interested in sophistication, and more into creating an environment that felt really playful and fun for them this holiday season.
Our kids are going to think that Christmas lasts for 6 weeks and that’s just fine by me. They helped me decorate and as you can imagine were extremely excited about the art direction of the living room. Everyday they are excited about the art direction – I have trained them so well.
So here are some tips to having a family-oriented holiday, that still looks like you know what you are doing and doesn’t feel too juvenile.
We used traditional reds and greens BUT added blue in the mix, too. Any colors will work, just make sure to combine them with some solids so it’s not chaotic. Since we have a ton of white in our house it was super easy for us to mix in a lot of really bright, primary colors. I’m having a pretty intense love affair with red right now so I knew that it was going to dominate to color palette.
I was attracted to the decor that looks like toys – the nostalgic camper, the animals – anything that they read as a toy instead of a grown-up more sophisticated decor piece was what I shoved in my cart while I was shopping.
So yes, tap into your inner kid and have fun with it.
Santa, Frosty and Rudolph become familiar friends to your kids this month. The more the merrier and style them together, everywhere.
Those snowmen are so cute, so kid-friendly and the kids see them as toys that they can play with – and we let them. Did I ever think in my life I would get excited to buy a pillow with Santa’s jolly face on it? NOPE. But I am, and I love it and so do the kids.
By going this more playful route it made it easy to not have to worry about the decor breaking or getting ruined. If you don’t want your kids to break it then don’t put anything within reach that they can break OR that can break them. Hang glass ornaments on the top half of the tree and put fabric, wood or plastic ornaments within reach on the lower half. Go for the softer decor on coffee tables and now is your chance to use a cute toy as a styling accessory.
I only bought one box of glass ornaments that were super pretty, but I didn’t even mean to. Honestly with kids just buy plastic balls – they aren’t quite as pretty but once you step 2 feet back from it, you can’t even tell.
The kids play with all of the ornaments so they end up on the ground which is obviously something I don’t care about. Also that toy train is so cute and even blows steam when it is on. I love how it’s manageable in size and the buttons are so easy for the kids to push. I bought a rickety one at the flea market a couple of years ago that didn’t work, was dangerous, huge and just ended up taking up so much space. If you are in the market for a train I highly recommend this one (although buy backup batteries to prevent a meltdown as our kids played with it so much that we already had to change it out).
Next – when it comes to being low maintenance and kid-friendly, don’t be ashamed to skip real greenery. If we make it into the new house before Christmas (WHICH WE WILL I SWEAR) we are going to buy a real tree. But I’m not ashamed to go for a fake tree as well. And while a real wreath smells so great, that wreath is GREAT and man it was easy to just hang and light. Big impact for low shame.
Readymade wreaths, small trees, and garland will make your life easier, create less mess and your kids will love them just as much. Plus you can pack them away and use them year after year.
Layer holiday inspired textiles anywhere possible. If you are a holiday pillow person, now is your red carpet moment. But I know that many of you are more ‘winter textile’ people or hell, maybe you don’t feel the need to trade out pillows year round like some of us. I think it’s seriously a nice way to make your space feel festive and inviting. I’m here to tell you that its not cheesy or weird.
They are soft and kid friendly, create instant coziness and really bring a sense of the season to any room.
To make it magical for them even at night, fill the house with kid-friendly twinkle. Nix the real candles for battery operated twinkle lights that you can put anywhere and everywhere. My kids are obsessed with them and it gives it an entirely different feel once the sun goes down.
I switched out some of my more serious pieces of pottery to help give the shelving the holiday decor they deserved. Once it started it wasn’t easy to stop, but you don’t have to do as much as I did. Even just adding a couple pops of color over there would have worked, although I do like the level of holiday I forced that piece of furniture to wear.
We did it. And if I have it my way we’ll do it again in two weeks at our new house ( but the real question – should I style it a different way then???).
If you want to see this all in action go ahead and watch this video that Brian made about me making a kid-at-heart holiday:
I’m pretty into it. Every day it makes me happy and we spend most mornings and nights down there, with the fire on, playing with the kids, destroying that living room and not caring.
Also we did a quick shot up in Elliot’s room because that wallpaper and daybed deserved some holiday as well. I love the quiet vibe up there, certainly (I know that might be more of some of your style).
In my humble opinion, it’s really the most wonderful time of the year and it truly doesn’t matter WHAT it looks like. You could do something super traditional, untraditional or do the exact same thing every year (which sounds super comforting to kids). But it is possible to create a holiday home that makes both you and your kids equally very, very happy and no matter what as long as you are happy that’s all that matters, right?
And in case one video wasn’t enough, we pulled this one together to show you how to add a little a little kid friendly holiday whimsy to your fireplace.
Last but not least we have pulled together this roundup to “get the look” in case any of you are ready for a little more family friendly christmas decor in your life. If we missed anything, or if there is anything specific that you want a source for just leave your comment below. Is anyone else still decorating for the holiday?
1. Santa Pillow | 2. Large Wreath | 3. Red Plaid Pillow | 4. Bottle Brush Medium Tree | 5. Bottle Brush Large Tree | 6. Red Stripe Pillow | 7. Blind Mouse Ornament | 8. Top Hat Snowman | 9. Red Star Tree Topper | 10. Pom Garland | 11. Plaid Reindeer Ornament | 12. Falala Pillow | 13. Skating Bear Pillow | 14. Green Knit Stocking | 15. Red Knit Stocking | 16. Plaid Nutcracker | 17. Polar Bear | 18. Camping Birds Set | 19. Winter Mountain Snowman | 20. Mug Ornament | 21. Origami Snowflake Pillow | 22. Blue Plaid Pillow | 23. Fable Nutcracker Ornament | 24. Textured White Pillow | 25. Santa Head Pillow | 26. Noel Pillow | 27. Reindeer Pillow | 28. Snowman Skier Ornament | 29. Train Set | 30. Merry Pillow | 31. Red Truck | 32. Ball Head Ornament | 33. Decorative Ball Ornament | 34. Santa Gnome Ornament | 35. Plaid Picture Frame Ornament | 36. Monogram Red & White Ornament | 37. Green Hat Snowman | 38. 40ct Red Ornament Set | 39. Red Truck Ornament Set | 40. Camper | 41. Nativity Set | 42.Wreath | 43. Singing Santa