Finally. It’s like I’ve been keeping a puppy in my closet from my kids for a month – just WAITING to show you/them mostly so I can also cuddle that puppy publicly … meaning so I can enjoy Christmas in my fully decorated house without feeling like that a total weirdo. Today is the reveal of our living room, all decked out for the holidays and it has been giving us all those holiday feels early on.
The house has been decorated since November 7th and I didn’t know how it was going to feel but turns out it feels VERY, VERY FUN, plus the time went so fast. Am I worried that I’m getting dangerously close to being a year-round Christmas tree person? No! I’m embracing it!
So without further ado, here is our living room all decked for the holidays … but with restraint…. Now that I’m seeing so many houses out there DRIPPING with holiday I’m feeling rather normal. Yay 🙂
My goal this year was to keep it fairly neutral and calm in the living room and yet GO NUTS AND SMOTHER IT WITH HOLIDAY HAPPINESS TIL IT’S DRIPPING WITH JOY. To accomplish such a task I kept the color palette to blues, greens, grays, blacks, silvers, some blushes and hits of wood, gold and a lot of whites. The kids bring the chaos, and this room was going to be decorated for 7 weeks so I just couldn’t have a ton of contrasting colors in here. I thought I was going to bring in a lot of red this year but I just couldn’t, in the living room anyway. Having that new rug CERTAINLY helped calm everything down and for now the books are remaining spine-in because I love the neutrality they bring.
First off, you should know that I partnered with Target on all the holiday decor – from the Threshold and Wondershop lines – so if you see something holiday, you know where to get it (and there is a big ‘get the look’ at the bottom with links, but if you are in a hurry head HERE).
No full reveal is done with a video to show you how we did it. One of the best things about this video is the fact that Brian produced it – shot, directed and edited. It’s a real family affair over here and because it’s just us (no client) the kids love that they are hanging with both their parents for a few days. See for yourself:
In the video you got a sneak peek into Charlie and Elliot’s room, but today we are focusing just on the living room. Let’s head on in.
Let’s start with the tree. We both love real trees in theory and while we have had faux white trees before, this was our first foray into the artificial green tree thing and admittedly we love it although I didn’t expect to. I went faux because there were no real trees for sale in LA when I needed to style out the room, but it’s actually the perfect shape and size for our bay window (7.5′ Unlit Virginia Pine from Target), it looks real, it’s no mess, it won’t die, and in the long run it will save us so much money. The only bummer is that shopping for and picking out a real tree is such a fun thing to do so we may possibly do it for another small tree on the patio or the front stoop. You know, because we don’t have enough trees (stay tuned for the kids bedrooms tomorrow). But then I realize there are a lot of family related holidays – the light tours, the trains, the helping of others, the seeing Santa … I don’t feel a bit sad that we didn’t do the picking out of the tree thing as a family. We still decorated it 🙂
But it looks good/real, right?
In case you didn’t notice we flipped the layout of the room so that the tree could be in the window and flanked it with the chairs. As of now I have two friends who think it should stay this way, but I fear that without the tree the room wouldn’t be balanced since that sofa is huge.
It was obviously a super easy switch and looks pretty darn good like this. I’m tempted.
The tree is loaded up with shatterproof balls, plush animals and big wood snowflakes. It’s fairly traditional in style with a heavy dose of whimsy. We kept some pretty glass ornaments on the top half, but honestly those kids have somehow found those as well. A few more years and they’ll know better, but it’s hard to tell a 2 year old to not throw the glass ornaments when they see that the shatterproof ones just bounce.
During the day it didn’t need the hits of light pink but at night I missed not having a warmer tone to contrast all the cooler tones and I have added even more since this shoot.
As you can see I kept moving the pillows around and in retrospect I wish that I had styled those chairs exactly the same. But I only had one of each pillow and I was running so behind, so we photoshopped two on them 🙂
As you know my favorite tip for anyone wondering how to pull a room together is to set a consistent color palette (with warm and cool tones) then shop/style only in that color palette. But my SECOND favorite tip is to repeat the same elements, over and over for simple high-impact cohesion. While I like an eclectic look, obviously, you don’t need every single piece to be different especially when layering on something like holiday decor. It makes shopping and styling so much easier. So in this house we have snowmen, trees, and animals peppered around everywhere.
The trees and snowmen are vertical and the animals are more horizontal – thus breaking up all the vertical lines.
The fireplace has a little whimsical animal/forest vignette happening, with those adorable snowmen from the Wondershop and the faux tree in a basket from Threshold. I love these trees and repeated them around the room.
The kids love the animals because they are basically playful stuffed animals and I love that they are still quiet and in our color palette. Win, win, win. and a HO, HO, HO.
And yes, if we light a fire we’ll move them I promise (as of now it’s not functioning but Mr. Henderson is getting very handy these days and has already ordered our faux logs and fixed the gas – YAY). We put a faux garland along the bottom with my favorite LED cordless twinkle lights that we used basically everywhere. Why isn’t everything in life battery-operated?
I struggled with where to put the stockings until it hit me – on those shelves that I want to drywall over (Brian doesn’t. It’s a thing). Thank goodness because I really needed an excuse to buy those adorable house stocking hangers.
I love how the cable knit stockings have a homespun feeling and are warm, yet totally classic.
The black bear head was CRUCIAL and I couldn’t find any in stores at the time so I overnighted it (not the smartest way to shop) but I’m so glad. I LOVE it up there, but for some reason it didn’t pop enough or fill out the wall until we put that wreath around it and added yet some more string lights. He’s such a happy guy now.
Now that I look at the whole room it doesn’t really look all that ‘dripping with holiday’. Maybe I’m not as nuts as I think I am. Remember three years ago? Now THAT was nuts. And then last year was such a different direction.
In fact we are having a party soon and I’m going to add a big 3′ wreath on that window and MAYBE a garland along the curtain rods – tell no one. Especially Brian.
We addressed the pillows and the coffee table with enough holiday but making them still really usable as this is the room that we spend the most time in. The pillows are from Threshold (with a few from the hearth and hand collection) and the throws are super cozy and warm but again not too busy and still in our color palette.
I felt like I had too many vertical/sculptural pieces so we added a few wrapped presents as pretty props. Of course my main regret in life is not being done with gift shopping before shooting so that I could have killed two birds with one stone, although maybe the toddler temptation wouldn’t have held out (UPDATE: It didn’t. they’ve now unwrapped every single fake present knowing that it was empty. I didn’t stop them. It took them an hour. I was in heaven in the other room… )
After opening the first two empty boxes/prop presents they believed me, yet questioned the reason. So we went online and I showed them the blog (again) and we talked about photo shoots and creating inspiration early for people and I think they are starting to get it. “Prop presents” might be the hardest thing to explain to small kids… next we are tackling prop bowls of candy on the coffee table.
The whole room really came together and feels really layered and happy but livable for the month. (After looking at this shot I’m going to amp up that cabinet a bit for the party… maybe some garland?)
Speaking of… we are throwing a little holiday party where I’ll probably add flowers, a couple wreaths and some candles and deck out the dining room (stay tuned).
I read an article (or heard it on the news/Facebook/garbage TV, but I prefer to say ‘read an article’ at all times) that people who decorate for the holidays early are happier than those who don’t. It makes a lot of sense to me and I personally agree 100%. I’m one to find an excuse to celebrate everything (although strangely don’t love birthdays, ha). When I say everything this is how my usual week goes: ‘YAY it’s Monday! Time to watch the Bachelorette with my friends. Then Taco Tuesday!! Then Ah, man, it’s hump-day lets go out to dinner. Then Kids! It’s Family pizza night on Thursday. And when the weekend comes… oh boy it’s like a REALLY big weekly celebration. (I’m exaggerating, but you get my drift .. I’m that mom that is like ‘YAY! Kids We’re Here!!!!’ Every time we arrive anywhere, as if we’ve been on a voyage across the sea for months. It’s pretty exhausting and fairly annoying being me, but also kinda fun to just celebrate all the time.
So given the excuse to decorate and celebrate my favorite, nay OUR favorite holiday for 7 weeks turned out to be a wonderful thing for everyone. The magic of Christmas exists whether you are religious or not. It’s nostalgic, it’s about having extra reasons to hang out and celebrate with those you are close with and others who you might want to get closer to.
And if I’m happy…imagine how happy these kids are.
Getting a shot of all four of us looking good these days is HARD, but such is life.
We have a month of celebrating to come, with more entertaining stories, party prep posts and of course the kids rooms post tomorrow. But for now, happy holidays from us Hendersons. xx
If you are interested in what I used to decorate, here’s our get the look (or if its easier, here is everything on Target.com on one page).
1. Tree Topper | 2. Artificial Tree | 3. Ceramic Deer | 4. Santa Nutcracker | 5. Gold Frame Ornament | 6. Wreath with Bells | 7. Bear Head | 8. String Lights | 9. Tree Skirt | 10. Noel Sign | 11. Knit Wool Throw Pillow | 12. Solid Textured Throw Pillow | 13. Embroidered X Pattern Throw Pillow | 14. Felt Deer Throw Pillow | 15. Faux Fur Oversized Lumbar Pillow | 16. Plaid Throw Pillow | 17. Wood Light Up House Stocking Holder | 18. White Light Up House Stocking Holder | 19. Stocking | 20. Gold Tree | 21. Red Tree | 22. Ivory Tree | 23. Small Snowman | 24. Large Snowman | 25. Silver Tray | 26. Wood Deer Figurine | 27. Santa Gnome Ornament (in store only) | 28. White and Green Furry Trees (in store only) | 29. Cream X Patterned Ornament | 30. Black X Patterned Ornament | 31. Ceramic Frame | 32. Winter Dressed Character Animal Ornament | 33. White Berry Garland | 34. Blue and White Blanket | 35. Knit Blanket | 36. 23″ Artificial Flocked Tree | 37. 18″ Artificial Flocked Tree | 38. Doily Ornament (in store only) | 39. Fable Ornament Set | 40. Small Wool Reindeer | 41. Large Wool Reindeer | 42. Linework Pillow | 43. Sweater Knit Pillow | 44. Felt Bear Pillow | 45. Winter Bird Ornament | 46. Silver and Blue Ornaments | 47. Solstice Christmas Ornament Set | 48. Polar Bear Figural | 49. Flocked Snowman on Skis (in store only) | 50. Wooden Toy Cocoa Set | 51. Wool Sheep Ornament (in store only) | 52. Layered White Wood Ornament | 53. Aspen Glitter Deer Ornament | 54. Felt Character Ornament | 55. Ceramic Deer Ornament | 56. Ceramic Penguin Ornament | 57. 24″ Artificial Tree with Basket | 58. Gold Foil Stripe Gift Wrap | 59. Mini Silver and Blue Ornaments | 60. Fable House Ornament | 61. Large Ceramic House Candle Holder | 62. Small Ceramic House Candle Holder | 63. Silver Ornament Set | 64. Blush Tones Ornament Set
*A big thanks to Target for partnering on this post (and my life :)) All designs, words, thoughts, opinions and children are my own.
**Photos by Sara Tramp for EHD. Styling by me (and Charlie and Elliot … and even Brian). xx
***Video by Propeller Media (Brian’s company).