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Emily Henderson

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by Arlyn Hernandez
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design and image via @michelle_janeen

We’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here: this year’s Christmas crunch feels INSANE. I’m in the process of decorating (shooting tomorrow for the blog, eek!) and I feel like basically, Christmas might as well be over already…it’s happening THAT fast. Thanks for nothing super late Thanksgiving. Okay, grinchy moment over. But for real, that’s mostly just to say, we’ve thrown a lot of holiday content your way this week because it felt like, if we didn’t, by next week, we’d maybe be a little late. It’s probably safe to say MOST people have bedecked their halls already (though please tell me if I’m off base here, it would be good to know!), but in case you haven’t fully and are still looking for inspiration, I present to you one of my favorite posts of the season: our #ShowEmYourHoliday roundup, with photos from YOUR very own homes.

We did this last year, and it was SO much fun for us all to see how everyone was decorating. You can follow that hashtag to see everything that was posted (SO MUCH great stuff, guys), and also, in general, follow #ShowEmYourStyled to see what the EHD social community is doing at home. Anyhow, we loved it in 2018, and it seemed like you all did, as well. Any moment we can shout out our super talented followers and readers, we’ll take. That said, even if you’re all decorated up (or not decorating, or don’t celebrate), it’s more a voyeur moment of WHAT DO PEOPLE’S HOMES LOOK LIKE and we’re here for that (spoken from someone who spent much of her childhood visiting open houses with her parents not because we were moving, but because we wanted to, um…be creepy people who looked at how other people were living).

There were HUNDREDS of photos, and sadly we couldn’t run them all, but we hope you enjoy what’s here (and again, go check out #ShowEmYourHoliday for it all). Let’s do this.

Trees

2x2 Trees 2 Copy
clockwise from top left: @jyoungdesignhouse | @kensington_adobe | @unapologetic_home | @missesmacke_hometheology

So many beautiful trees, so few days between Thanksgiving and Christmas (okay, for real, I’m done with that now). I mean will you take a look at that tree from @jyoungdesignhouse? I love a tree that’s so heavily decorated, you can almost hear the branches screaming for mercy. The wood beads happening on the trees from @kensington_adobe and @missesmacke_hometheology have that sweet, Scandi vibe I’m very into this year, and clearly, woven tree collars are all the rage right now.

2x2 Trees 1
clockwise from top left: @goldalamode | @emilysuenetz | @allisonsextoninteriors | @carolineloganphoto

This is what I’m calling the “flocked glam” board and man are they all pretty, hm? I’m particularly enamored of the honeycomb paper ornaments on @emilysuenetz’s tree at the top right. Swoon.

Garland & Wreaths

 2500 Garland Copy
via @carolineloganphoto

While I love a good tree moment, I gotta tell ya…the “garland and wreath” category is ALWAYS my favorite. Drape that greenery everywhere, people. You can either keep it super simple like @carolineloganphoto did above, or get a little friskier with lights, mix-and-match greenery, orange slices and more.

 3x3 Grid Garland Copy
clockwise from top left: @prettydomesticated | @carpendaughter | @creekwoodhill | @carpendaughter | @caniwearvanswiththat | @homewithrue

Loving the swoop over window thing going on in @prettydomesticated’s dining nook, and the use of garland + dried oranges in that clerestory window bank is SO good from @creekwoodhill (who I met at our reader event and I’m basically obsessed with…hi Lea!!).

 2x1 Garland Copy
left to right: @cassie_bustamante | @1954_house

I needed some inspo for what to do on the mirror above my fireplace, and I think I’m going to tap this photo from @1954_house as my muse because it’s subtle but seasonal.

 2x2 Garland Copy
clockwise from top left: @kdiondesign | @elmhurstdesign | @jogalbraightathome | @hartley_home

I actually bought that same wreath over @hartley_home‘s mirror in that foyer (it’s from Target!) and it’s SO pretty both in photos and IRL. I’d also like to take a moment and call out that wreath-meets-gallery-wall moment from @elmhurstdesign. If I had a place to store art from my gallery wall, I’d probably be doing this also. Wait…maybe I will. Stay tuned.

 2500 Wreath 1
via @kismet_house

And lastly in this category, from @kismet_house is this sweet wreath-hanging-from-stick thing that I’m VERY into. I love how the wreathes don’t necessarily “match” which makes it easier to do with what you’ve collected over the years (or will collect). Note the different hanging heights for that casual organic vibe.

Fireplaces

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via @jillhinsoninteriors

HELLO CANDY COLORED BOTTLEBRUSH FOREST. Thank you @jillhinsoninteriors for this super fun vignette. So much of Christmas decor recently falls into the “natural/neutral” territory that feels very Pinterest, but this gives me life and reminds me that you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. It would have been easy for this thing to have gone off the rails, but being that it’s all just one type of thing (bottlebrush trees), it works as a cool collection even with all those different colors.

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left to right: @carpendaughter | @my_best_laid_plans

But of course if the neutral thing is your thing (and I get it, because it works best with most people’s everyday decor), this shot from @carpendaughter is so quiet and earthy (love the black tapers). Or take it up a notch with ribbon on each side, pinecones and lots of candles like @my_best_laid_plans did here.

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clockwise from top left: @classicallydunn | @theheartandhaven | @sarahsmithdesignwa | @the.lovelee.life

More neutral inspiration here but man is it pretty. I’m particularly into @the.lovelee.life making the absolute most of that notch above the fireplace. No mantel, no problem.

2x2 Fireplace Copy
clockwise from top left: @thegraycottage | @tonicliving | @suzannahstanley | @carolineloganphoto

Show me a dried orange garland, and I’ll show you a smile. It makes me think of the perfect Love Actually fueled English Christmas I’ve always dreamed of (says the Puerto Rican girl…). I applaud the soft swag of what @carolineloganphoto did above.

Shelfies & Tabletops

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via @grace_start

This category is so great for everyone, but particularly for anyone who maybe doesn’t have a fireplace (me until I moved to LA…and even that is nonfunctioning) or a staircase. Take those other surfaces in your house (dining table tops, bookshelves, coffee tables) and sprinkle them with that seasonal sparkle people.

3x3 Grid Tables Copy
clockwise from top left: @1111lightlane | @michelle_janeen | @bykristinalynne | @unapologetic_home | @bowhousedesign | @rebeccaandgenevieve

Note the asymmetrical garland from @1111lightlane‘s shelfie, the ridiculously sweet pom pom garland/tree/art/wall textile from @unapologetic_home, and the wisp of eucalyptus in the bar setup from @bowhousedesign.

Exterior & Front Door

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via @mewack

This photo from @mewack elicits the most serious The Holiday vibes for me (no, this isn’t England or LA, but I can’t explain how my brain works quickly, so I won’t). What a dream. I love the idea of just doing garland and wreathes with ribbon in the windows instead of a big explosion of lights (and lights IN the hanging greenery would also be a nice touch).

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left to right: @missesmacke_hometheology | @sarahsmithdesignwa

Bedrooms & Bathrooms

 2500 Bed Bath Copy
via @kdiondesign

Now, bedrooms and bathrooms are probably not the first place you run to decorate for Christmas, but when you’re a holiday enthusiast, you’re a holiday enthusiast and you can’t be stopped. Just a subtle wreath (like in the bathroom above from @kdiondesign) is all you need to get that spirit going in a non-traditional “holiday” room.

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clockwise from top left: @theharriethouse_joshuatree | @ernsthale | @prettydomesticated | @cassie_bustamante

Emily tries to put decorations or at least a fun tree in her kids’ rooms every year, and I am here for that. I was that kid who would steal leftover lights from the garage to Scotch tape around the edges of my bedroom’s ceiling line and beg and beg for my own tree (never happened). That sweet little ballerina in the shot from @prettydomesticated…I mean that was very much #kidgoals for me.

 2500 Bedroom 1
via @oho_house

And finally…a very cute little moment in a nursery from @oho_house. Get that baby in the spirit before they even know what’s happening (just make sure the garland is SECURELY attached to anything above a place where your bebe will be laying, duh.

OKAY. THANK YOU to everyone who tagged their home for this year’s #ShowEmYourHoliday post. Again, so much fun to see into your homes (and lives?), and now I can’t wait to go finish decorating because my brain is exploding with ideas.

 

    1. This post is gorgeous. Filled with inspirational images and creative use of natural decor. I honestly don’t understand the complaints, many of which don’t feel constructive. They feel critical and…jealous? Rock on, EHD. I love it.
      AND as a busy mom of a toddler and a newborn, I’ve managed to put up a tree and a wreath. I have a box of greens on my porch waiting to be styled this weekend. This is just the creative jolt I needed. It’s timely and definitely not too late.

  1. Sorry but this all looks very bland and very same-y. White lights? Check. Greens? Check. White wool stockings hung by the chimney with care? Check. I guess it shows that people with money and fancy houses read the same Pinterest/Instagram accounts.

    The only spot of fun in this entire thing is the mantle with the colorful trees.

    1. I agree with you. I’d take a good, long look at @jyoungdesignhouse holiday highlights on his insta feed. His work really stands out for its beautiful use of color and texture – he’s an artist and it shows. Also, you can see his work used in @1954_house’s image above. Which really just proves your point even more.
      I work really hard to use natural greenery found around where I live to decorate because I don’t want to buy any more “stuff”. My goal in life is to never buy another plastic tote! So this year my house looks a lot like these (white lights and greenery). This year I’m very trendy – next year not so much.

    2. Hi lily, I was actually featured twice and will happily let you know money is a struggle. I won’t go into details as that is personal, but I decorated on a limited budget, allowing myself $100 total to spend which I used on greenery because that gets the most bang for your buck, is natural and supports local farmers, and makes the house smell great. Well I am sure that some of these featured people probably have more money than I do, that’s not it all what this post is about. It’s just about spreading holiday cheer and inspiration And Emily using her platform to share other creative people. I personally am grateful for the opportunity that a large blog and Instagram account can offer a smaller accounts like mine.
      By the way, thank you so much for featuring me here! It’s an honor to be included with all of these creative and beautiful homes.

      1. I agree with Lily. What’s “creative” about copying what everyone else is doing on Pinterest? White walls, white lights, dead branches. It’s all perfect — and perfectly boring.

        When did Christmas get so homogenous?

    3. You know, I think it’s fair to say that everyone has a different take on what makes them happy, decor-wise, and sure, there are some “trends” happening here, but I think if that makes everyone happy, then great! I know someone in the comments mentioned family heirlooms and hand-me-downs and THAT being exciting Christmas decor, but you know, not everyone has that same luxury (plus, ha, not sure I want my mom’s now-broken down singing and dancing snowman). It’s nice to go to THEIR house to see that stuff while I start my own traditions and start collecting my own stuff now. Let’s just all remember that these are our readers’ homes…YOUR homes, and applaud the efforts they put in, in whatever way they could (all of which are GREAT and probably so beautiful and cozy IRL). ::applause emoji:: to everyone included and who shared their homes with us.

      1. here here
        hip hip hooray

    4. Lily, great if you would be generous spirited enough to share what you created?

      Ironically I think the scenes show, (without that much funds), such creative flair, organization, and have created special moments in their homes.

      Yes there is greenery, however have you taken the time to check out all the different types, from magnolia to gum leaves to camomile flowers, etc?

      Things in this world can look “same-y” when we don’t take the time to really look. Happy Holidays.

  2. I’d love to see a poll to see if the statement “It’s probably safe to say MOST people have bedecked their halls already” is true. I usually decorate around the 15th and I’m starting to feel like a real scrooge when I read statements like that. Am I alone? It’s December 5th! Sheesh!

    Still appreciate the holiday content though. Just not the implication that I am behind schedule.

    1. No I totally get it. Didn’t mean my intro to feel like everyone was behind. ME, I feel behind seeing everyone decorate BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I remember if we had a tree before December 15, we were “early.” Tree lots used to be full on Christmas Eve with people going to get a tree. Does anyone remember this?!? By Christmas Eve NOW, tree lots are full of fireworks for NYE. I’d love to hear from more of you on the timing of putting up your holiday decor (if you decorate and celebrate). When does everyone try to start (or finish)? I’m doing it now and feel so late but…late to who really?

      1. I tend to let my spirit move me on timing for decorating for Christmas (the only norm I have is nothing starts before Thanksgiving has been celebrated). Some years it can be a chance encounter at a nursery with the buckets of paper whites that tempt me into potting for my home and giving for gifts, or coming across an irresistible wreath. This year, my first holiday season after retiring from a long corporate life, I’ve yet to start though had expected to be holiday ready by now. That magic moment hasn’t yet struck!

      2. Since this is Advent we only have these decorations out: our beautiful nativity and a natural advent wreath. Christmas decorations will come out for…. Christmas!!!! I want Christmas to be exciting for my family. Not a let down.

    2. Yeah reading that statement made me feel like I coming from a different planet.

  3. If your looking to buy vintage christmas trees and santa claus i recommend you to visit http://www.feruwa.com where you will find information about 100s of antique stores and malls. Just take a look.

  4. May I suggest Advent or a personal variation of it? Progressing slowly toward Christmas (even if it’s 3 1/2 weeks this year instead of 4 1/2) allows one to save the energy needed to have a fulfilling joyful holiday experience. For some — many — it doesn’t end on the 25th but merely just begins.

    1. Exactly! I’m confused by many people taking Christmas down on the 26th… haven’t they heard of Epiphany on January 6th? Technically that is the ‘official’ end of the celebration but I usually leave my tree up a bit longer as long as I remember to water it and winter decorations stay up until the snow starts to melt in March 🙂

      1. Yes! January 6th! I’m not much of a religious adult, but I still stand by the “stretch” of the season from my childhood faith. More and more people talk about wanting to enjoy their decor longer… leave that stuff up (lean into your lazy ya’ll)! I CANNOT relate to T Swift’s song… was stumped to think people DON’T “leave their Christmas lights up ’til January.”

        1. Agree. It seems most young people don’t know what the 12 days of Christmas are.

  5. I have to agree with the comment Lilly made, it all looks the same. Beautiful & minimalist but no variety in color schemes and decor.

  6. I have been loving all the holiday posts so far, especially this one! All of the designs are varied and inspirational! Thanks for this wonderful round-up.

  7. Damn doesn’t anybody paint their walls anymore.

    1. I thought the same thing! You really notice it when the images are all gathered together.

    2. I know! I couldn’t WAIT until I moved out of an apartment where I wasn’t allowed to paint. White walls seem like prison to me.

    3. HA! too funny. All of our walls are different colors and it makes me so happy. I feel like i’m the only one that doesn’t have white walls when i look at Insta or any design blogs.
      Glad to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

  8. I am blown away, how talented, organized, creative the other online readers are!
    Love when you look into these special moments, the creative decisions/thoughts they have made. Thanks for sharing and great idea for the EG blog to share with the whole community- very feel good.
    “SLEIGHIN IT” BIG TIME!!

  9. Beautiful spaces with some ideas I’m going to steal for my home. But I have wonder, how is there no Elf on the Shelf in any of these photos? He’s vintage and would fit right in lounging under a tree or frolicking in the bottlebrush forest. 😉

  10. I love seeing other these homes decorated. My favorite was Joy to The World, reason for the season, is something I want to do over my fireplace and the colorful trees and the colorful trees are perfect.

  11. When I was a kid the wreath on the front door and the Christmas tree both went up on Christmas Eve.
    THE EXCITEMENT WAS PALPABLE. (big family, lots of kids)
    So….this all feels so early to me. Plus, don’t all the greens dry out by the end of the month?

  12. I wish there was more variety here. This could almost be the same house, photographed from a couple dozen different angles. Many of the decorations are lovely — I love the greenery especially — but the houses themselves are mostly carbon copies. Is this what “style” has become? White walls, rustic wood, neutral carpeting, and sparse everything? Emily talked a lot this year about getting back to her “weird” roots, but with the exception of a few of these photos, there’s nothing quirky or individualistic here, just a lot of Pinterest trends on repeat.

    1. There’s not a whole lot of weird or former Emily vibe on any of these posts anymore. Emily posts so seldom and when she does the posts seem sometimes contrived and shallow probably because they’re “sponsored”. That is, unfortunately for the readers, what happens to bloggers when they accumulate a following – they lose themselves and the essence of who they were originally and why we all started reading them in the first place.
      It is most definitely a catch 22 – the blogger loves the income and free stuff from sponsors but the losers are the readers –

  13. I agree with the prevailing sentiment here. These are all lovely, and when seen together- boring. Copycat. People can decorate how they like and make their home inviting for the holidays. That’s fine. But man, have we got a herd mentality going?

  14. Hey girl heeeyyyy! LOVED seeing all the beautiful homes and Holiday cheer spread throughout this post from so many familiar and (will now get to know) faces/homes. (Sometimes I feel like I can spot someone’s home before their face) Ha! I can NOT wait to see your home for the Holidays and I’ve totally been keeping an eye on the BTS. What I love most about this post is that everyone’s idea of dressing their home for the Holidays is what speaks to them, whether that’s out of tradition, inspiration or on a whim, they’re all so lovely and have personal meaning. I am DYING over @grace_start and immediately following STAT!

  15. Love these! All look great! I am really liking the current Christmas styles of minimalism mixed with warm Scandinavian.

  16. These are all beautiful images, very inspirational and magazine-worthy. For me, though, Christmas decorating is all about the ornaments we’ve collected over time (including the not-as-Pinterest-worthy ones made by our kids), the stockings and carolers and ceramic trees and Santas that have been passed down through the family – all the traditions that I loved as a kid, and my kids love now. It would have been nice to see a few of those images, too.

  17. Beautiful but boring as hell. And I say this as someone who has all-white walls. It’s Christmas! Live a little, people!

  18. I LOVE all these features and don’t mind the lack of variety that some have referenced. I see plenty of variety in the ideas and execution, and I love the inspiration! Especially love tonicliving and unapologetic_home

  19. This is amazing! There are definitely some talented people out there!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  20. Individually beautiful (good job featured people) Collectively comatose.

  21. So conflicted! These images ARE lovely, but so many of their creators do this for a living (if their insta handles are any indication). Inspirational- totally, they do beautiful work- but I’d love to see images from that tag that are lovely and different and from a normal person.

    1. I noticed the same thing! I’d live to see images from your readers who are regular non-designer contributors.

      Also, totally agree that individually these are stunning and together I got bored. Weird!!!

    2. I thought the same thing. I would like to see “normal” people’s decorations! Not that designers aren’t normal, 🙂

  22. I was taken aback by the negative reactions to this post. How can we be surprised that people who read this one design blog have similar taste? This is why they come to this blog, because they share its taste! If you’re influenced by the same things, your output becomes similar. This could not have been more than variations on modern minimalist rustic, this is what this blog has been about in the last couple of years. Obviously this has been a much wider trend, but how much longer can it last? Emily is already harking for pinks and greens, but it will be a while until these colors make it to Holiday decor.

    1. Well I get the reaction. I was looking forward to this post when I saw Emily talk about it on Instagram. I just didn’t expect that every single home they chose to feature here would be a replica of the exact same “modern minimalist rustic” style that we see here every day.

      This was an opportunity to feature something DIFFERENT — not just more of the same.

    2. Yeah, agreed! I must say I was a little bored with it but not surprised that a design blog is featuring designs of a very particular aesthetic. All of these houses are kind of similar to the Mountain House, which is kind of just the EHD vibe right now so it’s not a shocker that they are featuring similar looks here.

  23. Just gorgeous.

  24. They are all very lovely, but I have to agree with the majority of the commenters that a little variety would have added some spice to the mix. Would someone PLEASE tell me why there were no trees with colored lights featured? I’m beginning to suspect a prejudice against them. That would be unfortunate. There are plenty of brave designers out there who embrace them, btw.

    1. I know right? A little diversity — in people and in Christmas lights — is a good thing!

  25. The people of the United States should petition the government to change to Thanksgiving to the civilized month of October, like Canada. You can keep Black Friday where it is but just move Thanksgiving. You’re welcome.

  26. I think this post showed a lot of great neutral holiday decor, but maybe y’all could do another one featuring more colorful decor inspiration. Personally, my house has a lot of neutral and subdued tones, so I see Christmas as a fun time to just let the color explode.

  27. Wowwww…. Some of these comments… I stopped reading them, so disturbed was I by what I was reading. “Boring as hell?” A fireplace with a big “Joy to the World” score sheet above it and colored miniature trees on the mantel? I’ve never seen that before! So…it’s a disco ball and holographic, jet-propelled sleigh in the living room for you, then, I take it? You know, we are at liberty, within reason, to post our opinions here. That liberty, however, does not translate to a requirement. The ladies featured here are proud, I’m sure, of their decorations, and justly so. I love all of this and got so many ideas. I’m utterly lost as to how this post supposedly features design wastelands. Whatever. EHD, kudos for sharing the talent, ladies, kudos on your designs; you have really inspired me! How odd that this joyful season has brought out real nastiness in some people. Good grief.

  28. Everything seemed really blah until I got to the bright bottle brush trees. Ah, finally some color! Something that looks like a celebration!

  29. These are really lovely. However I would love to see another holiday in addition to Christmas featured…

  30. Some truly stunning homes and designs here! The first photo by @michelle_janeen is incredible. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way everyone is decorating, even if it is in the zeitgeist. I do think there is some frustration that the EHD team seemed to choose photos within a very similar design aesthetic. I’m not sure I share that frustration, but I think it would be fun to see a teensy bit more variety. For example, in the garlands and dining room section ALL 3 photos had rattan dining chairs (I’m sensing the trend), and the garlands on the banisters in @homewithrue and @carpenterdaughter were basically the same. Maybe…you guys could do another post featuring more weird and wacky or just different aesthetic? Like Victorian Christmas? Prairie settler Christmas?

    On the other hand, the instragram tag is for readers to show Emily how we (her readers) have been inspired by her design and aesthetic and put her suggestions into our homes. So it makes sense that there would be a lot of similarity in designs. So beautiful and well done everyone!!

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