Welcome! I am so excited to be included in Jennifer Rizzo's Holiday House Walk this year!! Since even before I started my own blog, Jen's House Walk has been my absolute favorite week of the year as a blog reader. Yours, too? I am thrilled to have found others who are as
This year, the House Walk is sponsored by Joss & Main and partnered with Good Housekeeping for loads of holiday inspiration. A huge thanks to Jen for including me. My home was chosen from the House Walk link-up party last year.
If this is your first time here, my name is Courtney and I live with my husband, 3 boys & Golden Retriever in a fixer upper split level in NJ.
I dream of living in a farmhouse in the country, but since that dream probably won't be coming true anytime soon, I'm always scheming up ways to add charm to our home affordably. With an emphasis on affordably. One DIY project at a time, we have rescued our house from the 1980's time warp it was stuck in when we bought it 8 years ago and created a home that works well for our family. On with the tour!
Just past the mudroom, we will enter our family room. I criss-crossed some vintage rental skis from an old ski resort over the mantel and added a popular sentiment in our house at this time of year, "Let It Snow". We enjoy lots of winter activities at our family's little cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY so we really are hoping for some snow soon. The wooden letters that I used to spell out the words are from Hobby Lobby. I covered them with birch-bark looking scrapbook paper. The snowflake is from Michaels and the snowflake garland is from HomeGoods.
Our family room is the most traditional space in our home and I try not to make too many changes in here from year to year, because this is where most of my kids' Christmas memories are in the making. I wrote a post about how I made the plaid ornaments & shared more about our family room tree here.
I like to think this room is a true reflection of our family's personality and interests. Especially the gallery wall that we recently updated for winter.
This leather chair by the fireplace is the coziest spot in the house. I am loving the new stools from Joss & Main that look like tree stumps. They are the perfect spot to rest a mug of hot chocolate while warming up by the fire. My boys appreciate that I will be able to use them year round, which means one less trip up to the attic to store the holiday stuff for them. The pine cone pillow is also from Joss & Main.
I painted the tree farm sign a couple of years ago and it has found a new place in our family room this year. This little spot is where I store my gift wrap items so they are at the ready when I bring home gifts throughout the busy holiday season.
Next, let's head upstairs via our front entryway.
Another one of this year's finds from Joss and Main is sitting on the red bookcase in the foyer. I just love this unique basket, called the Evergreen Basket, made out of a log. I stuffed it full of clippings from the trees in our yard and a few plaid wrapped presents.
Let's head upstairs into the living room/kitchen/dining level of our house. We created an open floor plan on this level by removing the walls that divided all the rooms.
I challenged myself not to use quite as much red on this level this year and it was HARD for me! I love my pops of red year round, especially at Christmas. It was good for me to step outside my comfort zone and try some new things.
We recently added some wall planking to this room and it added so much character. I tried to keep things a bit simpler this year and probably repeated the phrase, "less is more" about 50 times to myself. With 3 school-aged kids, this area of our house tends to get cluttered with stuff very quickly and usually starts to drive me crazy by mid-December. I am hoping to avoid that this year by keeping things simpler with less Christmas clutter. The Baking Co. sign we DIY-ed recently fits right in with our holiday decor.
I used Preserved Boxwood wreaths from Target to top off the french doors in our dining area and added a chalkboard paper banner to dress up the largest one a bit. I made the small wreaths on our chandelier from the smallest grapevine wreaths they sell at Michaels and added some boxwood clippings from our yard.
I kept our dining table simple too. I always swoon over the gorgeous table settings I see in other bloggers' homes, but we just aren't a formal dining table setting sort of family. When it comes to entertaining during the holidays, we are more the, "grab yourself a glass of wine, make a plate from the buffet and hang out wherever is most comfortable" type. Usually that means we spend hours around the kitchen island. The table linens are from H&M and the rosemary trees are from Lowes.
Three fresh wreaths from Trader Joe's hang on our kitchen windows from black and white gingham ribbons. The pine tree dish towel is from the Target Dollar Spot.
My DIY Target Dollar Spot Kraft paper dispenser hangs on the side of our fridge with a simple Christmas picture.
The candle chandelier over our island is from the Lowe's outdoor department, bought on clearance a few years back. I added some greenery and hung some mercury glass ornaments with black and white kitchen twine to dress it up for the holidays.
In the living room, we added a new flocked tree this year. It looked so pretty and natural without any lights or ornaments and I was tempted to leave it that way!
If the family room tree is the kids' tree, then I am calling this tree a tree of my own! I love everything related to books and reading and I based this tree on that. I decorated it with small books as ornaments, words written on chalk ribbon, pretty silver and mercury glass ornaments and lots of letters. I will dedicate a post just to this tree next week.
I uploaded an image of the word "joy" onto our smart tv to give it the appearance of a chalkboard over the fireplace. I am forever trying to disguise the "big black box" over the (faux) fireplace.
I added this beautiful neutral wreath pillow from Joss and Main to our sofa.
My youngest guy & I enjoyed making these paper Christmas houses from a kit last year and we put them into glass canisters with salt as snow. Isn't it amazing how anything placed behind glass becomes enchanting?
On the mantel, I made a garland out of 5 small glass bottles, filled them with water and added some evergreen clippings.
I love the simplicity of these. And because the clippings are in water, they should last the entire holiday season.
We even added a full size tree up here this year. Keeper is really enjoying it :)
It's kind of magical to come upstairs after a long day and see the tree lights illuminating the room. I don't know why we haven't always put a tree in our bedroom.
The window seat in our bedroom was made from the 2 side pieces of an old pine wall unit and a couple of kitchen cabinets from Lowes for the bench. You can read more about that here. Our DIY Master Bathroom is just to the right of the window seat. This is still the project were are most proud of to date.
My favorite part of the busy December days full of the hustle and bustle of the holidays is soaking in the tub.
Wow, this holiday home tour has really wiped Keeper out! I guess that means it is time to wrap up our part of the tour. From our family to you and yours, we wish you & yours a happy and healthy holiday season!
You can start the tour at the beginning here. For even more holiday inspiration, check out the Good Housekeeping Holiday House Walk board on Pinterest. And I hope you'll be back. I still have lots of holiday decor & ideas to share! There are still a couple of more homes on the tour for you to see. Next stop is Susie Harris for some more gorgeous holiday decor. You are really in for a treat. She is joined on her tour by her adorable grandson! Enjoy!!