I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for reading my blog, making comments, and sharing it with others. I love the creative outlet it provides and appreciate the feedback you give to me. I am busy thinking up ideas for new content, so stay tuned for more decorating, projects, and recipes in the months ahead.
There was a point in mid-November when I wondered if it was worth making the effort to decorate for the holidays this year. But decorating for Christmas is normal for me, and if ever a year needed a good shot of normalcy, it’s 2020. So I approached our decorating with a slightly minimal approach, and have also leaned in towards the more traditional colors of reds and green. Last week I showed you the green dining room, which if you missed, you can see here Traditional Christmas Dining…, Today, our living room has me “seeing red” and I’m taking you on a quick tour to show you how easy it was to accomplish.
Last year, our living room was all done in creams, white, silver and gold. It was calm, light, clean, and serene. Given how busy I was last Christmas, I was probably craving some serenity in my life about then. But something about this year has made me want to retreat to the more vibrant, bold shades of reds and greens of Christmases past. I’m not going to overthink this, but could it be that what we crave in our decorating style and palette is directly related to what is going on in our lives? Possibly!
Luckily, changing color direction in the living room wasn’t difficult or expensive. I already had some items in varying shades of burgundy, cranberry and red, including silk poinsettias, a throw, and red candleholders, augmented by some simple additions to drive the palette home and keep costs down. On a recent trip to IKEA, I was able to find two cranberry velvet pillow covers that were the perfect pop of color I wanted for the two sofas. On one of the sofas, I also draped a Pottery Barn tasseled throw that I’ve owned for a few years. Couches, done!
For the mantel, I used the same swags from last year, and sprinkled the top with an assortment of shiny and matte red ornaments purchased at Hobby Lobby. The mantel was flanked on each end with two glittery trees, and a couple of white birds were added in the center. The entire length of the mantel was then draped in battery operated fairy lights that give it a little sparkle. Mantel, done!
For the side tables, I created simple arrangements using two tall cylindrical vases I already owned, filled with pinecones from the yard and more of the red ornaments. Next, I added a swag to each side that matches the mantel swag, and topped everything off with more fairy lights. The last step was to add some red metallic candleholders from a previous year, and a large white bark covered ball. Next to the credenza on the right, I propped up a pair of vintage Army skis that Jim found for me several years ago, and embellished them with a ribbon, some greenery, and an ornament. Credenzas, done!
For the tree, the only change I made was instead of using all burgundy or all white poinsettias, I decided to use both. It made the tree look fuller and more interesting, and I ended up liking the change. n Hawaii, circa 2006!) I also added the white ones purchased last year for my creamy white scheme. The mixture of the two colors is so much better than just one, I really like it. The rest of the tree is comprised of our travel ornaments, and others that we have collected over the years, with some more shiny red ornaments thrown in to reinforce the red theme. Tree, done!
For the coffee table, I created a grouping on a new brass tray from IKEA, including some greenery, two more of the white glittery birds, and a pair of vintage long stemmed tealight holders that I found at a thrift shop in Sandpoint last month for $5 for the pair. They are so lovely, and perfect for the look I was going for. We light them every night and enjoy the glow they emit. Coffee table, done!
I hope I have shown you that it doesn’t take much money, or many hits of a color, to have the entire room read as that color. For about $10 in ornaments, two $8 pillow covers, and using items I already had, the room feels about as different from my creamy metallics of last year as could be. Our group will be small this year, but with minimal effort, the room feels festive and cheery. Living room, done!
For a season that started out with me wondering whether I should even decorate, I have found joy in creating something different and more colorful that in recent years. Most evenings after dinner, my husband and I convene in the living room. We start the fire, light the candles, turn on the tree lights, and settle in for a cozy evening of Jeopardy and a favorite Christmas movie. 2020 has not been normal in any sense of the word, but for a few hours each evening in our living room, it feels like a normal Christmas in a normal year.
Good tidings and Merry Christmas,