We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Christmas Home Tour 2016 Part 1: Dining Room, Kitchen & Bedroom

Despite being over the age of 30, Christmas is still a magical time of year for me. While it may not hold as much wonder as it did when I was five years old - the years I swore on my Alf slippers I heard the reindeer land on our roof - there's still something about Christmas Day that is sacred for me. And therefore, decorating for the season is all about celebrating that feeling.

The standard state of our house is what I like to call Construction Zone Cozy. There's always construction dust in most areas, tools everywhere and not nearly as much organization as I'd like. But, there's no getting around that until all major reno projects are done. So while our house isn't perfect for the holidays, we're slowly getting there. Some rooms were strategically photographed to crop out said tools, dust and general disorganization.

Let's start with the dining room.

This is my favorite room in our house (I'm pretty sure this is the 100th time I'm casually mentioning this). It has huge windows that overlook our backyard, and I can sit here for hours just staring at nature. Josh has to peel me out of here on weekend mornings when breakfast is over. So this year, since we finished demo-ing out a wall in here and finishing our window trim just in time for Christmas, I really wanted to decorate this space for Christmas. For months, I kept reminding Josh, I want a little tree for our dining room in the new corner we built. Just a small one. Famous last words. When I finally picked out our dining room tree from the farm, we got it inside, and it was about as tall as the ceiling. The ceilings in here are pretty low, but it wasn't quite the 4-foot tree I was originally thinking.

I kind of went with a woodland wonderland theme in our dining room this year, keeping it a bit homespun, a little whimsical and really homey. For our tree, I had been lusting after felt garlands online for months. But, they were so much pricier than I thought they would be, and since I wasn't sure if I would love that look for years to come, I didn't want to spent a ton of money on it. So, I made my own. With cotton balls. And I kind of love it. And it cost like $5 total to make.

You can totally see our unfinished drywall underneath the window. Hopefully next year, they'll be complete.

I added some red berry stems, a mix of white snowflake ornaments, the cutest bottlebrush deer ornaments with wreaths around their heads and white-tipped pinecones, and I really love how it ended up looking. I realized last minute that we didn't have a tree skirt for a third tree in our house, so I just used some white burlap fabric and draped it around the tree stand. It works for now.

For our dining room table, I just used some burlap trees and fresh eucalyptus as a centerpiece, and layered red and white dinnerware with some creamy ticking stripe napkins. It's not the most amazing table ever, and I hope next year to be able to go all out. But, for not knowing this room would be done for Christmas, I think it turned out okay. We also hung some fresh wreaths from Trader Joe's ($6.99 whaaaaaaat?!). They're kind of small for the proportion of the windows, but I was also sleepy when I was at the store, so we're just going to cut our losses on that decision and call it a day. They sure do smell pretty!

For our kitchen, I mostly focused on our open shelving because it's such a focal point of the space. I have mint green dinnerware that I use in the spring and summer months, but this year, I mixed it with our red dinnerware, and I thought it looked so cheery and festive. I added some cedar garland on the middle shelf for a touch of texture and candy canes for a sweet touch. Just a few other things a round the room added some festive cheer, including some cedar greenery in our countertop tray and window sill vases, holiday dish towels and a tiny wreath I made for our cabinet door. I also brought back the hanging candy canes over our kitchen window. It's so hard to photograph because of the light coming in, but hopefully this gives you an idea.

This fall while we were in Vermont for a weekend getaway, we found this little book in a bookstore in Stowe, and we both knew it had to come home with us. It's a recipe/lifestyle/Christmas book written by a woman who lives in Vermont, so it's very New England, and very festive. It's so fun to flip through the pages.

We also expanded Christmas to our bedroom this year. I've always wanted to decorate our bedroom during the holiday season, and this year we just made it happen. I was motivated to do it after seeing this little 4-foot artificial, pre-lit tree online at Home Depot - it came with a wood crate stand, and it was perfect for the little corner of our bedroom. So, one "add to cart" click later, I was ordering ornaments and ribbon to decorate it with.

It's A Wonderful Life is pretty much the best Christmas movie of all time. If not the best movie of all time. The little bells are our nod our Clarence. I added some grainsack ribbon and white tipped pinecones, and called it a day.

The 4-foot height of the tree looked a little dwarfed once I got it in the corner, so I mixed a gray and walnut stain together to try and match the color of its stand and applied it to a cheap craft store crate to add some height to it. It ended up being exactly what was needed.

We also got some red-striped sheets at Target this year (mainly because they were super cheap), and placed some pinecone garland along our shelf above our bed.

And finally, the stupidest thing of all time - I put little wreaths around the tiny sheep that sit on my nightstand. Yes, I have tiny sheep on my nightstand. I've gotten them over the years at Shelburne Farms in Vermont, and during our walks on this 1,600 acre working farm, we always see sheep out to pasture, and it fills my heart with so much happiness that I almost die. And I found this wire garland at Michaels, and it was super sheep (I'm so lame). And an idea was born - one that I should probably just keep to myself, but whatever. This whole thing took like three minutes to do, so I'm not too ashamed by it.

Seeing our bedroom all lit up and festive at night gives us that all is calm, all is bright feeling, and it doesn't get much better than that during Christmas. Especially when you're snuggled in blankets watching Netflix.

Next up, tours of our two living rooms. Spoiler alert: two real trees were not enough in our house.


  1. I love it! You have great taste,I love the rustic look. Our tree looks similar but I was debating on whether or not to add a tree-topper bow. Yours looks perfect! Thanks for sharing your ideas and your home. Happy holidays 🎄❄️

    1. Hello! Oh, I'm so happy you love it :) I LOVE the look of a bow as a tree topper. I think it looks so adorable. I contemplated doing that, but ran out of the grainsack ribbon I've been using, so I may buy some more and do that next year in our dining room tree.

    2. I have to say that I'm also slightly obsessed with your quilt. I've been trying to hunt one down to no avail :( I need that exact pattern! The colors are perfect!

  2. Oh Sam, your Christmas home is just beautiful. I love all the natural decorations. It is perfect for your country home. And our little farm house is almost done as well. We are going there the week after Christmas to set it up. I have open shelves in the kitchen and I was looking over yours very carefully to see what ideas I could "steal". I hope you and Josh have a very blessed Christmas in your sweet home.

    1. Hi Arlene! Oh, I'm so happy to hear you like everything! That's so exciting that your home is almost done! What a great way to kick off the New Year :) I LOVE our open shelving. It adds such wonderful character - you won't be disappointed with yours :)

  3. Thank you! This is such a delightful post. I still can't believe that you have a Christmas tree farm!

    1. I can't believe it either! Thank you for reading :)

  4. It is all so perfect. Gorgeous and cozy and just....exactly right. Perfect, seriously!

    And I have a similar thing to your sheep in their pasture.... except mine is when they have finished cutting hay, and the bales are still scattered all around the field. It brings a feeling of peacefulness to me that I just can't explain.

    LOVE the wreaths on your sheep!

    1. Oh yay! Someone who liked my sheep! Haha :) It really is such a peaceful sight, isn't it? I would LOVE to have them on our property someday, but right now I can't even fathom it. Thank you so much for always commenting and being so sweet. I love it :)

  5. Late to the party here but I love all of this. Your house looks so cozy and inviting!

  6. Replacing old and unappealing door and window with new ones can Windows and doors toronto immediately transform your house into a better looking home.