(This was my article for Dec 18th—getting there, getting there!)
Well, I’m at about 70% completion with my decorating efforts at the house. By the time you read this, I have to be done, because I will have company coming to the house in the evening. (The great motivator—company is coming!)
I have been diligently working each evening after I get home from work; trying to slip in a few minutes each morning before I leave for the shop, too. Why is it, at times like these, when there is so much to be done, do I decide to make things more complicated and confused?
“Such as . . .?” you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Such as reconfiguring the furniture lay-out in the living room. Not necessary, but I had a bee in my bonnet, so now the sofa is facing the fireplace, not the TV. I also put away my computer table. I had purchased one of those old typewriter tables on casters, thinking it was a great idea to use it for my laptop—I could just roll it to the side when I wasn’t using it. The problem was, I never rolled it to the side, so there it sat in the middle of the living room. Not sure I love the new layout, but I think that’s the sofa, not the arrangement. I’ll wait to make my decision after all of the Christmas storage boxes are put away—hopefully when I get home from work tonight.
So while this created a little more work when I should have been adding ornaments to our tree, I may have come up with a solution to my room feeling a little off balance for so long. The sofa was too long for the space of the wall where we’ve had it since we moved here. A portion of the back was blocking a portion of the window on that wall. Now, the chair sits squarely in front of the window, which looks better—more balanced.
(The new layout—couldn’t find a “before,” for comparison, but I believe this works better. That’s my nephew in the chair and the cooler is a football day allowance.)
Now that I think about it, I usually try different arrangements in the house during the holidays. Usually it’s out of necessity—we have to put the tree somewhere, right? But often, it’s just to try a new look. Sometimes it returns to pre-Christmas arrangements, but there have been a few successes which we’ve permanently adopted.
Unlike me, you’ve probably already made all of your adjustments and tried the new arrangements, but if not, you might consider a different layout for the holidays. Make a cozy conversation corner with two chairs and a table. Change the “U” shape of your furniture arrangement to face the tree or the fireplace, rather than the TV. Try something new over your mantle—several vintage mirrors arranged so they’re leaning against the wall and each other. You can enlarge some family photos—perhaps taken in the snow—print them in black & white, then have them mounted to foam core for an inexpensive eye catching focal point. Either of those arrangements will carry you into the New Year, too!
If you’re looking to add a few final touches to your décor, try adding garland and bows. When in doubt, that inexpensive wired pine garland is my go-to decorative touch. It’s on top of our kitchen cabinets, intertwined in our chandeliers and draped around the tops of wardrobes. The bows add an “I thought of everything” touch to the house, as well. Tie bows—big ones, don’t skimp—around anything needing a little boost. Put them in your house plants; tie them around candles and the dog’s collar.
(This is the regular, everyday arrangement atop our German wardrobe—all I did was add some garland—tah dah . . . Christmas!)
(Same thing here in the kitchen—a little pine garland mixed with a white berry garland.)
I have one last inexpensive tip for the dining room. You can put a festive bow on your dining chairs by using 2 – 3 yards or tulle. Two yards will yield a nice square knot on the back of your chair; three yards will allow for a bow. If you don’t know how to tie a pretty, simple bow—google it. In either case, you can accent it with a sprig of holly, pine or rosemary from the garden.
I hope you’ve found enough time to do everything you wanted to do for your holiday decorating. Rest assured the day will come and all will be fine—even if you didn’t get the guest room painted.
Here are a few shots of the décor around our our house. These were take after the fact—January 1st to be exact, so they’re looking a little rough for wear. be kind!
One last picture, that dining room tablecloth I mentioned a while ago—the one that I was going “to make or pay someone to make it for me.” Well, I ended up paying and it was well worth it! Thanks to Vicki Aebischer for her skilled sewing and sense of adventure, I have my beautiful new tablecloth!
One more post before I can post the one that was published in the LC today. The light is at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks for your indulgence!