Christmas House Tour {Part One}

Christmas Entry Staircase Decorating - The Inspired Room Blogger House Tour

Forest and Sea Christmas - The Inspired Room

Welcome, friends! I’m SO glad you stopped by today for the annual Christmas tour of my home in our little corner of the Pacific Northwest (I’m joining in with the Holiday Home Tours via Just a Girl!). This is part one of a two part house tour, you can find Part Two here. While these tours are fun to enjoy in their best form, I’m sure you’ll all enjoy seeing what happened in the days following, so after the tours be sure to check out the aftermath post here. On to the tour!

We literally are nestled in here between forest and sea, thus the inspiration for my Christmas house! I’m not much of a theme decorator but somehow, that’s just how it all came together!

As I mentioned in my last post, I intentionally keep things pretty simple around the holidays. I love the whole experience of creating a home all year round but as the holidays approach, I add just a touch more festivity and greenery to hopefully create a cozy magical space for my family to enjoy at Christmas (without causing my stress levels to elevate :). I’m so happy to invite you in to our little world here! Come on in!

We’ve lived here for nearly six years, so every year we feel a little bit more settled here!

I’ll be sharing more photos of the house throughout the week and the second half of the tour with additional pics and details on Friday, so be sure to come back for more! OK, on with the tour!

Jack the Goldendoodle and Lily the Labradoodle - The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour

As I was getting ready to take pics, Jack and Lily kept peeking their heads out the door wondering who was coming over. I told them friends were coming to visit! They were so excited and curious to meet you that I just had to snap an action shot so you could see them waiting to greet you. They LOVE company!

Now, for any of you who might wonder where our beautiful white and gray rug is that looked so pretty in pictures in the summer time, the truth is it isn’t likely to come back out until the weather cooperates a bit more because mama doesn’t like to have to deal with cleaning a white rug every two hours in the winter. Truth. I’m crazy but I’m not that crazy. Even though the white one is an easy-care indoor-outdoor rug which I love, this one is small enough that I can just toss it in the wash and swap out another one as needed. Easy peasy.

I’m not gonna fake you out that I have a perfectly clean 5 x 7 white rug this time of year so welcome to our real life entry complete with washable throw rugs and pine needles. Embracing those things is a pre-requisite for life in the NW. Are any of you from here? You know what I’m talking about.

(But once the weather turns around, my white rug is totally coming back out!).

Christmas outdoor decorating - hanging basket on the door with greenery -The Inspired Room House Tour

Oh, wait, one more thing before you get all the way inside and then I PROMISE I’ll let you in the house, I wanted to show you my “wreath.” I found this cute hanging basket at World Market and filled it with a mix of fresh and faux greenery. It will be perfect all winter long, which makes it my favorite! Bless those talented crafty people who find the time and creative energy to make new seasonal decor for their doors every few weeks.

Entry Christmas Decorating - Blogger Christmas House Tours - The Inspired Room

Ok, finally! COME IN!

I love using fresh greenery and it’s readily available outside our front door! But since our neighborhood trees were sopping wet I bought four boughs of cedar at a local nursery for $4 each. Many years I have bought garland from Costco but since we leave our fireplace on a lot, the garland dries out pretty quickly and makes a real mess. Then you have to pull the whole thing down, which creates even more of a mess. So this year, I got smart and just bought the boughs because if they dry out before I’m ready to be done with Christmas, it would be easy enough to replace them.

Christmas Stairway Decorating - The Inspired Room House Tour

I wanted to do something a little different this year on our stairway, so I just tied some rope around the newel posts and added the cedar and a simple ribbon bow. It was so easy and I think it turned out pretty cute. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to full garland!

The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour - Entry Hooks

OK, I’m gonna try to just be quiet now and let you look around. I’ll interject a random comment here or there so you’ll know I’m still with you, but mostly you can just wander and look because no one’s got time to hear me ramble on today. Plus I’ll be back with more so I’ll leave some things to talk about in a future post. Feel free to ask questions if you want though and I can try to answer!

Christmas Entry Console Decorating - The Inspired Room House Tour

Simple Christmas Entry Decorating - Antique Globe - The Inspired Room House Tour

Vintage Sled Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room House Tour

I love winter decor so the sled I found at the flea market this year seemed like a perfect touch for the entry. Once in awhile we get a little snow too, so maybe we’ll test it out if we get so lucky!

Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room

Christmas House Tour - Gold Deer - The Inspired Room

Linen Settee - Christmas Decorating The Inspired Room

Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room House Tour 2014

The Inspired Room Dining Room - Christmas Decorating and 2014 House Tour

Simple Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room Dining Room - Christmas House Tour
Gray Wingback Chairs - White Dining Room - The Inspired Room Simple Christmas House Tour

Simple Christmas Tablescape - The Inspired Room House Tour

I love having fresh greenery outside that I can use all year round. My boxwood bushes and the evergreens always come in handy when I need a little sprig of something for the table!

Christmas Dining Room - Tablescape - The Inspired Room Christmas Blogger House Tour

Christmas Dining Room - Blogger House Tour - The Inspired Room

Simple Christmas Decorating in the Dining Room - The Inspired Room

Christmas House Tour - The Inspired Room
Christmas House Tour - The Inspired Room - Kitchen and Dining Room

The Inspired Room Kitchen - Simple Christmas House Tour

That teapot in the background is a treasured gift from my hubby. We were on an anniversary weekend one year many years ago and went to a fun little tea house. He bought me the teapot as a gift. I love bringing it out this time of year especially, it just looks so festive to me. It has a little cream and sugar bowl too!

Holiday Coffee Station - The Inspired Room Kitchen - Christmas House Tour

Instead of my usual mug tree, I set up a little hot chocolate station with a nutcracker to watch over the marshmallows. We made the “peace” banner out of wood slices last year and loved it so much we just hung it up again in the same spot this year! I’m not too crafty so when I make something you will likely see it every year until I make something new. Ha!

The Inspired Room House Tour - Kitchen Open Shelves Christmas Decorating

Charlie Brown Christmas tunes always make everything a little more festive.

White Paneled Hallway and Barnlight - Framed Wood Chalkboard - The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour

I wish I could say I did the art on my chalkboard because that would be awesome, but alas, I have no talent with lettering so I snatched up this adorable Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas chalkboard download from Dear Lillie on a Thanksgiving sale. I had it printed locally and I just love it! Such a bright cheery message that always gets me singing as I make my way down the hall to my office.

Map Wallpapered Hallway - White Stockings on Hooks - The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour
Mason Jar Snow Globes - The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour

I made these Mason Jar snow globes because they are my kind of craft.

Christmas House Tour - The Inspired Room Family Room - Neutral Christmas Decorating

So here we are in the Family Room where you can see our freshly cut Christmas tree! You can read the story in my last post about about why we cut down a fresh tree every year. I absolutely love the smell of fresh Christmas trees, my whole house smells wonderful right now! My metal star garland and the deer pillow in my dining room came from the Winter Trunk at Season in a Trunk.

Copper Striped Candlesticks - The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour

Christmas Mantel - Sailboat - The Inspired Room House Tour

Nearly everything in our house has a memory attached to it or represents something special to us. Even though we don’t use a lot of traditional themed Christmas decor, every element we do use is special to us and reminds us of family times through the years, favorite holidays we spent together on the coast and special memories we treasure. We’ve lived in the NW for almost all of our lives and raised our children here (Portland and Seattle) so while we no longer have our beach house and moved away from our home in Portland six years ago, we feel blessed to still be near our family in a part of the country we love so much.

Forest and Sea Christmas - The Inspired Room House Tour 2014

Forest and Sea Christmas Tree - Woodland Ornaments - The Inspired Room Christmas House

We decorated our tree this year with a quirky collection of animal ornaments. Why? Because WE LOVE THEM! We have all sorts of creatures from the forest and the sea. We crack up over animals with personalities so of course, we find our forest and sea tree to be perfectly suited to our sense of humor. We’ve been collecting these animals for awhile, many of them came to us a couple of years back when I did the woodland tree! We have quirky animals all over our house even when it isn’t Christmas, have you noticed that? :).

Forest and Sea Tree - Christmas Tree Ornaments - The Inspired Room

Felt Sea Turtle Ornament - Forest and Sea Christmas Tree - The Inspired Room House Tour

The cutest sea turtle I ever did lay eyes on, found at my favorite shop on the Oregon Coast, Sesame and Lilies!

Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas - The Inspired Room House Tour

Christmas House Tour - The Inspired Room - Forest and Sea Christmas

So there you have it, the first half of our Christmas tour! Crazy that I have enough pics to take you on another tour, but when the house is clean and festive, you go a bit crazy with the camera.

>>>>>>>You can find Part Two of my Christmas House Tour here!<<<<<<<

Thanks so much for coming!

While I LOVE creating a home and inviting you all over, I do have a little confession. It’s often hard for me to do these Christmas tours knowing Christmas isn’t about my house at all. I’ve been listening to this song ALL WEEK LONG to keep my heart focused on what this holiday is really all about for me and it just gives me chills EVERY SINGLE TIME. Many of the videos have been taken down probably due to some copyright thing but seriously, if you haven’t heard it yet (or even if you have) take a moment to listen to it. I hope it will bless you as much as it does me (and I hope the video will still be up for you to hear it!).

Now is the time to head over and visit the other houses on the tour! The tours will be going on all week Monday through Friday. These ladies are amazingly talented, I’m honored to be a part of the tour with them. They are so gracious to invite us all over, so enjoy your visits! Putting on a tour like this (as fun as it is!) doesn’t happen without a lot of effort behind the scenes. Not only the decorating and cleaning part, but all the photo taking and post writing! It’s quite a feat to pull off and I’m grateful for each of these ladies and all their hard work to make this time of year so fun for all of us! Give them all a big hug because they deserve it.

Thanks to the lovely hostess for the Holiday Home Tours this year, Chris from Just a Girl! Be sure to visit her home, and then the next tour stop is Kevin & Amanda! ENJOY!

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born…and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Forest & Sea Christmas Tour - The Inspired Room

See my Christmas House Tour from last year here!

Click to shop the best Christmas decor and gift guides for everyone!

Click here to shop my favorite Christmas decor and gift guides for everyone!

A Christmas That Is Memorable

Simple Christmas Decorating - Gray Wingback Chair with Gold Reindeer Pillow

Hello! Hope you all are getting into the Christmas spirit! I am having fun finishing up my Christmas decorating! As always, keeping it pretty simple (remember last year’s simple decor?), because that’s apparently the only way I enjoy doing it. I had to laugh at myself earlier, I was remembering that I said I wanted to do more decorating than last year and for a moment I got all inspired and thought maybe I would try to be a little more fancy.

So in an out of body experience, I set up my entry table, gathering room console and mantel with more greenery than usual and stepped back to admire it. Then I immediately tore it all down. Nope. It wasn’t right. Even though it was just extra greenery, I couldn’t do it. I realized when I dreamed of doing more I meant a touch of Christmas in more rooms, not MORE of anything piled up on every surface. Nothing wrong with more if you love it, but in my house is just makes me feel all twitchy to have an excess of anything. And feeling twitchy is not good. So I grabbed all the extra greenery (leftover from our Christmas tree, nothing I bought extra) and tossed it outside.

Phew.

I was thinking this week that if I felt the pressure to style my house for the perfect photo shoot as a blogger, I’d be all kinds of stressed out right now. I’m GRATEFUL that simplicity in decor is what I’m naturally drawn to. It saves my sanity and is a big part of why I enjoy blogging, because I’m able to be authentic with you all here. I don’t want to (nor do I) bring in extra furniture style a photo, rearrange, or do a lot of extra “styling” in order to get a perfect photo. I avoid putting a crazy amount of pressure on myself to do more than I want to. I always strive to keep doing what I would normally be doing around my house as much as possible, even if I wasn’t a blogger.

Thanksgiving Holiday Table

I think we would all agree that if we try to be or do something that doesn’t feel right to us in this season of our life, we stress. When we do things for the wrong reasons, we feel pressure instead of joy. That uneasy feeling when you pull out all those Christmas bins might just mean it isn’t the right year (or the right style!) to go all out on the Christmas decor. And that’s OK. Or if you are in a season where you love every minute of all the Christmas glitz or enjoy bringing out all your treasured ornaments, that’s wonderful too! I think it’s more about being authentic and true to yourself and doing what is right for your family than it is about following anyone else’s way of doing things. Don’t you think?

Even though I am inviting you all over Monday to see my house for the Holiday Home Tours, I avoid the big stress of trying to do something “Pinterest or photo-worthy” by just keeping the focus on decorating for myself and our family, to keep our own traditions alive (within the limitations of my own time and energy, of course!). That’s what I want to share with you, our home. I do my best to keep it real for you, too, because honestly it’s more important to me to be authentic, realistic and true to my style, myself and my family than it is to create a bunch of images that aren’t really who I am at all. I have to love my home and live with all the projects I do in real life, too, not just do what might impress for a photo.

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I’m really enjoying preparing for Christmas because I remind myself I don’t have to live in a Christmas show house, I just want to create special memories for my family. For us, that means keeping simple traditions, like getting a real live tree that our family cut down together. Last year we cut down a huge tree that we just enjoyed without the pressure to decorate it. My son, Luke, especially loves the tradition of cutting down a real tree and I do my best to keep that tradition alive for him.

I love that we slowed down to make those memories together again this year at the tree farm. Yeah, we have several faux trees in tubs under our house that probably would have looked just as great in photos, but they aren’t the same to my son. It took an hour from start to finish to load up the dogs and go to the tree farm and cut down a tree, but it was time well spent. My son is fourteen and I know there will be only a few more years of creating these memories for him while he is still under our roof! It’s not a burden to keep those memories alive, those traditions matter. He doesn’t care about baking Christmas cookies. He doesn’t care what ornaments I use. For him, it’s about the family going out to cut down a tree and keeping a few other family-oriented traditions.

What really matters to your family?

Those experiences we treasure for a lifetime are what we all really want to create, whatever way we do that in our own family. If I get cranky trying to keep up with Christmas expectations like a crazy woman, it’s my own fault for over-doing or over-emphasizing the wrong things. We are far too hard on ourselves sometimes, we don’t have to do everything. We just need to do what really matters!

So no matter what kind of Christmas decorator you are, all-out decorator or the queen of simplicity, whether you are a blogger or not, remember the goal is creating memories for your family at home, not creating or maintaining a show house!

I think there is a reasonable balance to strive for. Don’t make Christmas so simple that it isn’t magical or memorable for those you love, or so complicated and exhausting that it loses its shine. As cliché as it may sound we need to remember the reason for the season. It’s easy to get caught up in all the decor, the baking, or the gifts and miss out on what our family really needs.

So this weekend let go of guilt for things you don’t have to do, but DO find simple ways to make and keep good memories that your family will remember for a lifetime. Even if it is just you living in your home now, give yourself the gift of a memorable Christmas.

See you Monday for the Christmas tour!

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