My 2020 Christmas Home Tour
A year ago, we were just getting settled into our new house and while I enjoyed decorating for Christmas, I was mainly excited to get our house in working order after our big move. This year, I feel the same way. We just got our house back to “normal” after our messy kitchen renovation, and I only put the finishing touches on the kitchen decor a few weeks ago. So, to take everything down and put Christmas decorations up seemed like a big chore.
However, I did end up decorating for Christmas this year (and I’m happy I did!) I just didn’t go all out with it. Instead, I kept the decor to our living room and sprinkled a few festive pieces into our new kitchen. All this to say that you’ve gotta do what’s right for you! My mom transformed every inch of her condo at the beginning of November because that made her happy. I did a little bit here and there at the end of November. There’s no right or wrong way to decorate for the holidays. Do whatever brings you joy!
My 2020 Christmas Home Tour
So with that being said, let’s take a look at my 2020 Christmas home tour.
Festive Front Yard
You guys already saw our new holiday window box back in this post, but here it is with our tree right behind it! It’s still looking amazing and I even added these solar lights to the ground in front of it to light it up at night. We actually didn’t end up doing any other outdoor lights on the house because our tree in the front window already adds so much to the front of our house. (And let’s be honest, we weren’t up for it this year!)
The front window box has been up for about a month now and it still looks like new. A few people inquired about items blowing away, but because all of the ornaments and decorations are on sticks, they’re stuck into the dirt and aren’t going anywhere. We’ve had a bit of rain and snow here and there and it’s helped hydrate all of the greenery. I have a feeling this little window box will be looking good for months to come.
We actually had so many greens leftover from the window box that we stuffed a tall planter with them to create a little holiday basket! We bought the red and white branches thinking we would use them in the window box, but it was already full without them. So we put them to use in this flower planter and shoved some more greenery and decor in! I was surprised by how good it turned out considering we just used all of the leftovers.
On the front door, my mom picked up a fresh wreath for me at Costco. It smells amazing and I love having some real greenery, since our tree is faux. I added bells (from Michaels), so you can hear them jingle when someone comes in the door!
Last year, I had a pre-lit tree on the front porch but unfortunately, the lights burned out and it wasn’t in the best shape. I ended up adding a sled that my friend, Kate, found for me at a thrift store last year. I sanded off the name that was on there before (Novaks) and added “The Finns” instead! It’s a good way to welcome people to our home! This large lantern is a new addition and it even comes with a remote control so I can just turn it on and off from the window!
Our Christmas Tree in the Window
When we bought this house, I loved the front windows because they add so much natural light to our home. But this front window also makes for the best spot for our Christmas tree! When we were first touring the house, I’m pretty sure I exclaimed that to Finn about ten times.
Normally, we have two chairs, a lamp, and a side table in this area. To fit the tree, we moved one of the chairs to the basement and pushed everything else to the side. It actually works really well and we’re still able to keep some seating.
This faux tree really looks like it was made for this spot. It’s a great height (7.5 feet), 60 inches wide, and is meant to look like a real Balsam Fir tree. I wrote all about this faux tree back in this blog post and I’m happy to report that it still looks fantastic. I hope we have this tree for years and years!
When decorating, I always start with the tree topper, add the ribbon, and finish with the ornaments. The red plaid ribbon is from Michaels and I’ve used and saved it for years now. Just be sure to wrap it nicely at the end of the season, so it’s easy to add to your tree the next year. There have been years where I’ve just bunched it all up and I always curse myself the following year. Lesson learned.
As for the ornaments, I have a mix of “fancy” ornaments and sentimental ones. Last year, we put up a fancy tree in the living room and a fun tree in the kitchen. Since we no longer have room in the kitchen for a second tree, I decided to put all of the ornaments on this one. It’s a great mix and still looks fantastic, even with the variety.
Whenever Finn and I go on a trip, we always pick up a new ornament. This year, we only added one ornament from our babymoon to Palm Springs. But we also have some new Rory ornaments that we got from my parents. Plus, a 2020 COVID themed ornament that made me laugh. It is certainly a year we won’t forget.
Rory is straight-up obsessed with the Christmas tree. I sit her down in front of it and she’ll just stare up at it all day long. (We keep the lights on all day because it’s so beautiful!) Luckily, she isn’t crawling yet so we don’t have to worry about her getting her hands on something she shouldn’t. But I’ll hold her and we’ll go examine each ornament and touch them. She gets a kick out of it!
Displaying Holiday Cards
I have the same holiday card display that I always have…this chicken wire frame (found at a flea market) with a wreath on it. I then use clothespins to secure all of the holiday cards we receive. (The board is now all filled up since I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago.) I love this simple way to display cards and Rory “helps” me put new cards up when we receive them in the mail. I keep the extra clothespins on the living room table in this pretty box.
I’m happy that the art of sending holiday cards hasn’t gone away. There’s just something special about snail mail. Oh, and at the end of the season make sure to save your cards using this technique.
Happy Touches Here & There
The rest of the living room just has a few festive touches here and there. I added garland to the entryway table and TV console.
Then a few trees, some metal reindeer, and other little pieces of décor. And, of course, I had to get a personalized stocking with Rory’s name on it! I actually don’t have very much decor since all of our Christmas decorations were lost in a flood two years ago. Now, I am slowly adding a few pieces of décor every year. It’s kinda nice to be intentional with my holiday décor shopping.
I’m taking a page out of my mom’s playbook and adding a new picture frame to my Christmas home every year. I have last year’s holiday card framed and this year I added a holiday photo of Rory. I think it will be nice to look back on these and see our family changing.
Seasonal Sprinkles in the Kitchen
Even though I can’t wait to someday decorate the kitchen from top to bottom with Christmas décor (those shelves will be extra fun to style!), I didn’t have it in me this year. I finally got the shelves and countertops exactly the way I wanted them for the everyday and I didn’t have the heart to change everything immediately to Christmas. Next year, next year.
Instead, I just added a few things to the bar and dining area. On the bar, I have a gingerbread house teapot that used to be my mom’s. When she was downsizing, she told each of us to take one piece of Christmas décor from her house that we could use in our own house. I chose that teapot because I remember loving it as a kid! Now it sits on our bar and looks adorable.
On the table, I put fresh greenery leftover from the window box project, along with a little snowy tree next to it. That’s about it! These small tweaks really do make a big difference in the room.
2020 Christmas Home Tour – Sources
Holiday Window Box // Personalized Sled (thrifted) // Planter (HomeGoods) // Buffalo Check Doormat // Monogram Doormat // Fresh Wreath (Costco) // Sleigh Bells (Michaels) // LanternChristmas Tree // Tree Skirt // Tree Topper // Red Plaid Ribbon (Michaels) // Green Curtains // Gold Curtain RodPaint Color Benjamin Moore: “Ballet White” // Gray Side Chair // Leather Chair // Black Floor Lamp // Coffee Table // Couch // Rug// TV Console (Restoration Hardware) // Couch Blanket
Console Table // Mirror (old from CB2) // Stockings // Garland (Hobby Lobby) // Black Table Lamp // Art // White Vase // Metal Reindeer // Chicken Wire Frame (Flea Market) // Gold Magnolia Wreath // Clothespin Box
Walnut Dining Table // Chairs // Chandelier // Gold Pulls // KraftMaid cabinets in the Color “Cottage” // Wall Color // Vase (thrifted) // Turkish Pillow (this Etsy shop) // Tassel Pillow // Black Pillow // All Other Pillows (HomeGoods) // Bench Cushion from Patio Lane in Sunbrella Fabric “Capriccio Toast” // Dinner Bell // Small Tree (HomeGoods) // Candle Wine Fridge // Frame TV // Small Tree (Michaels) // Wood Board (made by @dinasdigs) // In-cabinet lighting
Even though I was a tad reluctant to decorate this year, our house feels pretty magical and I’m loving it. Rory looks up at that tree with such adoration and it’s fun to see the entire season through her eyes. I have a feeling she will be a Christmas lover just like her mama and dada.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.