Simple Holiday Home Tour

Technically, last year was our “first” Christmas in this house. We bought the house in September of last year and spent the next six months fixing it up, crossing our fingers and toes the entire time that the construction would be done before we brought home baby Ben.

Because last year the space looked more like a construction zone, we’re counting this Christmas as our first “official” Christmas spent in our new house. This means it’s the first year we are decking the halls for the holiday, and I can’t wait to show you our simple holiday home tour.

Our home is still somewhat of a construction zone right now (thanks to our current kitchen renovation), but that didn’t stop me from decorating a little. We added simple holiday decor in the family and our bedroom and look forward to adding to this basic start in the years to come. But for now, I’m loving the simplicity!   christmas holiday home tour with simple touches

Simple Holiday Home Toursimple holiday home tour

The first thing I did was add stockings and greenery to our fireplace. I was most excited for this part of the holiday home tour because this is the first time we’ve ever had a fireplace to decorate! You can read all about the details of the mantel decor (including the battery powered lights we snuck into the greenery) here.

There's no place like home for the holidays home tour

The second thing I did was update both of our letterboards with holiday-inspired quotes. This is why I love letterboards so much! You don’t need to buy new decor, but you can personalize the message to fit any season (or event) in your home.

Shelf Decor

And then it was time for my favorite part of any “room styling” — the shelfie decor! I’m happy to report that I did not buy anything new for my shelves this season, but instead, mixed and matched what I already had.

it's a wonderful life letterfolk sign

I took down a few of my year-round pieces of decor and added holiday decor to those spots instead. When I do this, I simply put the year-round piece right into the Christmas storage box so when I pull it out after Christmas, the swap is easy and organized.

planter filled with gold ornaments

But some of the year-round decor I kept up and just added some holiday flair to them to make them feel more Christmas-y! I used this trick on this planter, which I filled up with extra ornaments. A super simple way to transition your shelves by using what you already own. Casey chatted more about how to do that in this holiday decorating post.

living room decor with plaid stockings

I love the neutral touches on our holiday shelves! I feel like the shelves feel so different, yet all I had to do was swap out a few items.

New Pieces

Although I didn’t buy anything for my shelf decor, I did splurge on a few pieces around the room… especially since this is our first time decorating in this house. I love these bottle brush trees from West Elm (very kid-friendly) and the most amazing candle! I’m not one to light candles in our house all that often, but this pine smelling one is SO good. Matt and I light it every single night.

elf on the shelf baby photos

Oh, and the other  “new” addition this year? Our cute elf on the shelf! I mean, can you even with that mischievous smile?!

Our Buffalo Check Christmas Treeneutral christmas tree with buffalo check ribbon

And last, but certainly not least, here’s a shot of our tree this year! We got it from Michaels a few years ago and I love, love, love that it’s pre-lit. Matt took the tree down from the rafters and I kid you not, it was plugged in and lit up within 5 minutes.

I remember having to help my mom growing up when she would put up her tree. It would take forever to attach each branch and then string all the lights. Whoever invented the pre-lit tree… genius! I think we may actually splurge on a small one to put in our basement next year. We’re waiting until after Christmas when they go on super sale. My mom always had a “styled” tree in our living room and set up an additional tree with all the sentimental ornaments downstairs. I’m hoping to do the same in our home… starting next year, maybe?

As for the styled tree, I stuck with the neutral color scheme for the ornaments once again this year — golds, silvers, and wood tones. And opted for the same buffalo check ribbon we used on our dream tree last year. I just love the pattern so much because it matches with anything!

wrapped gifts using coordinating wrapping paper

Sticking with a color scheme when wrapping gifts help the gifts double as decor for the month of December. I always like to get some gifts wrapped right away so that we have a few under the tree to “display” until the big day.

And I always try and wrap all of my gifts for certain families in the same color wrapping paper. For example, all of the gifts that I will bring to my mom’s house for Christmas morning will be in one style paper. Then all of the gifts that will go to my in-laws on Christmas Eve will be in another style paper. This simple trick keeps me organized while making the tree look extra pretty! Here’s a post with even more tips to wrap the perfect gift.

And surprisingly enough, Ben hasn’t been too interested in interacting with the tree. Every once in a while, he’ll want to reach for an ornament or poke at the greenery. But overall, he’s left the tree alone… a pleasant surprise, for sure! I have a feeling that may not be the case next year but I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Decorating Our Master Bedroom

christmas bedroom tour with west elm

I chatted about the few simple touches we added to our bedroom this holiday season a few weeks ago. These minor changes make me smile and help us feel a little bit more festive without having to invest a ton of time or money. christmas trees on nightstand

using west elm decor to decorate for the holidays

I can’t wait to add these same “simple touches” next year in Ben’s nursery and in the kitchen (if it’s done by then.. haha!). I’m not all about going over the top when it comes to Christmas decorating but there’s something about adding some festive decor that makes our house feel so cozy.

holiday christmas tourUntil then though, the family room and bedroom updates are absolutely perfect… and has us so excited to spend our first “official” Christmas here. Because just like the letterboard says, there really is “no place like home for the holidays”.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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