My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

Christmas House Tour

The post below is a tour of my Christmas house in 2011. A lot has changed since then!

You can find my 2013 Christmas House Tour here (sneak peek above)

and photos of the whole house here.

. . . . . . .

Welcome! I’m so glad you came by!

I don’t do a ton of Christmas themed decorating, but I do try to put a little touch of Christmas here and there to make things feel festive while maintaining the character and feel of my home!

My Christmas House {2011}

And, I shared this image last week, but here is the mantel in the family room! Complete with my adored book page wreath via my friend Kat’s etsy shop. On an unrelated note, did I mention the book pages in the wreath are from an old tattered Star Wars book? My husband was pleased to find that out.

The word JOY on the mantel means a lot to me.

My Christmas House {2011}

I love the mossy plant and silver ornament.

My Christmas House {2011}

Last year we didn’t get a big tree and my son was disappointed (oops!) so we went back to our tradition of cutting down our own tree. It made him SO HAPPY! No more messing with tradition. Plus, a fresh tree smells DIVINE and looks gorgeous!

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

I haven’t really talked about my entry much on the blog since there wasn’t much to say, but in the past few weeks we’ve been working on it and I owe you a progress post! We are actually at this very moment putting up that mantel you see leaning there on the left! I’ll show you that wall once we get it done. I’m super excited about how cozy our entry is turning out!

So for the season, we’ve hung fresh garland on the lower part of our stairs because I love the smell of real fresh greenery as I walk in the front door.

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

This is the antique Chinoiserie cabinet my grandparents brought back from Thailand many years ago (I adore the gold painted ships!!). My grandparents shipped it safely across the world to this country and I couldn’t move it from Oregon to Washington without misplacing a drawer. But, a book fills the hole nicely!

After having this cabinet in the living room for awhile, we’ve brought it back to the entry. Now that we have our striped wall painted (again, I have a before & after post on that wall in the near future!), I think the cabinet makes a great statement piece for our entryway.

My Christmas House {2011}

A sprig of fresh evergreen in a pitcher, and a lantern filled with seashells from our trips to the coast and colorful ornaments bring just the right balance of Christmas and the coast — which of course I love. Christmas and the sea always go together for me. The roar of the waves and the howl of the wind outside while we are inside cozy by the fire and the sparkling lights of the tree? That is what Christmas feels like to me.

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

We had a few dead branches around our yard that we re-purposed to hang ornaments and snowflakes from in our front window. They kind of reminded me of crazy antlers once I hung them up.

My Christmas House {2011}

A heavy old iron pot was used to hold a mini-Christmas tree, decorated with gold jewelry from my grandma and little jingle bells.

My Christmas House {2011}

I took my white slipcover off after Jack barfed on it (oh the joys of a dog!) and haven’t put it back on yet. I’m kind of enjoying the Christmas-y cozy feel of the original upholstery right now anyway.

My Christmas House {2011}

Under the stair wall on the living room side, I set up a cozy little reading nook. I love piles of books!

My Christmas House {2011}

Pulling back you can see our little dining room just beyond the living room.

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

When I was little, we had a sailboat and we’d go on fun trips through the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound. And for the past 16 years or so we’ve spent Christmases and winter vacations at our family beach house. That is why the sea is where I feel the most at home. I have so many memories there. I try to infuse authenticity and meaning into my home all year round, so seeing that sailboat mixed with Christmas greenery makes me so happy!

My Christmas House {2011}

My Christmas House {2011}

My new red and white polka dot napkins make any table setting fun and festive!

My Christmas House {2011}

These little antique Santa & Mrs. Claus salt & pepper shakers from my childhood bring together the past and present — they make me smile every time I see them!

My Christmas House {2011}

My son and his gingerbread house! Both….adorable. And both make me smile!

My Christmas House {2011}

Bowls of glass ornaments always look pretty. I have so many ornaments I don’t need on my tree so this is a good way to still use them.

My Christmas House {2011}

Oh, I forgot to offer you some cookies when you came in! They are very tasty! Served with love, bought at Trader Joe’s. You cannot really go wrong at Trader Joe’s.

My Christmas House {2011}

Winston, our nearly 17 year old Westie, is traipsing through the room to say hi to you. He is doing great! For being such an old man he still has a bit of a spring in his step. Every now and then.

My Christmas House {2011}

Now we are in the kitchen, peeking through to the family room.

My Christmas House {2011}

Here are those awesome jumbo handmade candy canes I found at Costco!

My Christmas House {2011}

Jack was not too thrilled with having to pose in front of the tree but he did want to say hello. Really, he wanted to turn around and eat more of the ornaments.

My Christmas House {2011}

We use starfish, letters, snowflakes, crosses, white balls and a few other random items on our main tree. We let our kids each have a little tree for their rooms where they can put all the ornaments collected over the years if they want to. Or they can be creative. I let them decide how to decorate it!

My Christmas House {2011}

Our stockings were hung on a jute string, with some clothes pins and cinnamon sticks just for fun. The string is hanging from Command hooks on either side of the fireplace. We use our fireplace all the time and we could easily remove the stockings when we have fires if we wanted to, but they don’t seem to be bothered or endangered by the fireplace being on.

My Christmas House {2011}

We tried to get Jack to wear his reindeer ears for the party today, but again, he prefers to eat them.

My Christmas House {2011}

And, here is another room that got a makeover this year and I have yet to show the after. I’ll do its’ reveal in January! Yeah, one year after the makeover began! But I love how it turned out! As with most every other room this time of year, it gets its own touch of Christmas.

I’d love to show you all the bedrooms but alas, not this tour. Maybe by next year I’ll be working on our bedrooms but for now, they are pretty boring. So, I’m keeping those bedroom doors closed for now.

Come see my 2013 Christmas House Tour and the 2012 Christmas Tour!

Want a holiday laugh?: The Unraveling. After the Christmas Tour.

Click on the banner below to visit my seasonal & holiday gallery!

My Christmas House {2011}


  1. Looks so pretty and festive is a simple elegant way!
    I can’t get Mickey to wear her hat either!

  2. Melissa, I love your home, it is always so beautifully done. You never over do, You always do just the right amount with just the right touches. I can tell I would enjoy a visit to your home!! Merry Christmas, Kathysue

  3. Your home is so beautiful. This is definitely the most I’ve seen of it, and I’m in love. Gorgeous, simple, elegant touches of the season.

  4. I love your home, Melissa!
    Your mantle and the tree are just beautiful….
    and I love the piece that your grandparents brought over from Thailand…..laughed a little that you mentioned that they made it across the world in one piece and you lost a drawer in your move. :}

    Thanks for welcoming us into your home…

  5. So beautiful Melissa!!! Your dog is just adorable :)

  6. Your house looks great! And I love the starfish you used. :) Of course, you know how much I love that Jack!! And Winston is awfully handsome also!

  7. I love seeing your home tour Melissa. Love it all! What I love most is how your home reflects you and is so personal. All that you have is meaningful to you and it shows. Love it all!


  8. Melissa you keep notching it up!!! Love all the photos that take in the room, too. This year’s mantle is the best yet!! And it’s good to see that Winston is still greeting guests. :D What a welcoming Merry Christmas home! I’ll be over for some hot chocolate…soon as I can hop on that plane. teehee!

    I guess I’m dense…I wanted to link up my porch photos to the party…but I can’t figure out where. :(

  9. Melissa, You just have the perfect touch in decorating. I loved everything , but I think the little tree decorated with your Grandmother’s jewelry really touched my heart :-)

  10. Simply wonderful, Melissa. The photos are magazine worthy. I loved seeing your branch hanging with the snowflakes and ornaments dangling from it. The calming colors, the charm, the cozy factor…they’re all evident. Your family is so going to enjoy Christmas this year. Merry Christmas!

  11. Your home looks lovely!! Just found your blog (looks like you’re a northwest gal too!! I’m in Olympia….

    I’ll be back tonight to link up.


  12. It all looks so fresh and bright! Love the greenery and the touches of blue with the white. The dining room windows are soooo pretty.

  13. Melissa, your home is beautiful! I love how you hung the branch with ornaments…so clever. I also like nostaglic touches like the adorable Mr. and Mrs. Claus s&p shakers. My favorite “part”, however, might be that cutie Jack! Glad I don’t have the only goldendoodle who loves to undecorate the tree and chew on ornaments!

  14. While my house has is no comparison, even her dog is cuter I would like to say thanks for the house tour invite. See below

  15. Your home is lovely and the Christmas touches reveal a how important your family, your memories, and your traditions mean to you — the perfect recipe for a charming holiday! Thanks!

  16. Firstly, love your blog :) Guess What?! It looks like you have a Westie! SO do we. Her name is Lucy and she is on my blog! Come see :)

  17. Also, decorations look wonderful. Really love the antique salt and pepper shakers. . .

  18. Hi Melissa,
    your home is so lovely. It’s such understated elegance…charming, cozy and very inviting. Happy Holidays!

  19. Centsational Girl says

    Just lovely! You have a way of making a house feel like a home, and it shows especially this time of year! I love all of your personal touches, Merry Christmas to you my friend!

  20. So gorgeous! Oh, and I am *madly* in love with Winston!

  21. So beautiful. Your home is just lovely! And Jack and Winston are both too cute for words.

    P.S. we housed those trader joe’s star cookies in about 2 days.

  22. Beautiful! I especially love your tree and fresh and crisp looking. Very excited to be joining in this year!

    Thanks for hosting!!

  23. Melissa, your home is so lovely. I’m curious about what type of tree you have in your living room. We always get a fraiser fur. Yours looks like a pine of some sort. Just wondering. It’s a beautiful tree.

  24. Oh my goodness, gorgeous as usual!!!

  25. Oh Melissa it all looks so beautiful!! I’ll be right over for some of those cookies! We’re suppose to be getting our 1st Trader Joe’s here in TX next year-so excited!!
    And Winston looks great! still so dapper at his age!

  26. So warm and inviting… your home feels airy and spacious, but you manage to keep the ‘cozy.’ Love it.

    Thank you for hosting this tour party! Very excited to play snoop and share!

  27. I love your subtle hints of the season. You home is peaceful and beautiful. Your mantel is my favorite! I look forward to this link up always! :) Thank you.

  28. Love the starfish, vintage salt & pepper shakers and that fab branch over the window! Just the right touch of Christmas in your home. Beautiful job. Can’t wait to link up tonight.

  29. So lovely! I can’t wait to link up :)

  30. I love your natural, non-kitschy approach to the season. It’s beautiful, all of it!

  31. Thank you Melissa for having us over! I wanted to join in but there are only lights on the tree and so many things to be done…maybe I will link up later. Thank you for your encouraging self – you are the first blog I check each day! Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family :)

  32. melissa!!! every square inch is STUNNING!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!

  33. My daughter (2 almost 3) is OBSESSED with starfish and I never thought of getting them to put on our tree. We have a star on top of the tree that she calls a starfish, but actual starfish would definitely strike her fancy. I’m also going to save this post for some ideas for decorating in the new year – she would love a lot of the beach-themed ideas and I love the beach house feel. So, thanks for the inspiration!

  34. Love your home – beautiful! Thanks for sharing and hosting.

  35. Wow Melissa, your home’s beautiful. I love how you just add a touch here and there. I hope I can learn to do that myself. :)

  36. Your home is so lovely, very inviting – and Jack is too cute! Is he a goldendoodle? Our Bailey is, and she is such a love.

    Thanks for hosting,

  37. Lovely! So pretty.

  38. Melissa,
    Your home looks lovely. Love the ornaments in the lantern with the sea shells. As well as the fresh greens in the foyer and the stockings!

  39. Absolutely gorgeous.I love the starfish.

  40. Melissa, I just love how every room in your house has the Christmas spirit, and Gwyneth thinks your puppy is adorable!

    Meredith & Gwyneth

  41. Oh it is so pretty Melissa! What I love most is that it is not so over the top, and you could live like this well into January and still enjoy it!

    Love the neutrals and whites. So pretty.

    Looks like the party is rocking already! Can’t wait to peek in on others!

  42. what a fantastic home!!
    i love your decorations
    i love jack too

  43. Melissa I waited patiently all day to see your lovely home! And it was worth the wait!!! I just love your home and how beautiful and personal it is. If I were to visit, you’d probably have to make me leave!! :)) Thanks for hosting this Holiday home tour party too!! Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  44. Love the ocean beaqchy theme. Great idea of putting ornaments in the lantern.

    Your dog is adorable!

  45. Your home is decorated beautifully Melissa. I love it! The tree is gorgeous too and I love the starfishes all over the house. Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for hosting a great party! As always!

  46. OMG lovely and love the dog!

  47. I love everything about your Christmas home….and I’m not just saying that =)
    Jack as always seems like a little person to me…oh that face.
    Thanks for all the fun you add to this world.
    Merry Christmas

  48. What a wonderful tour… that was awesome. I adore your grandma’s jewelry on the tree, I did that last year with my mom’s and loved the result!

    And yeah, those salt and pepper shakers and your son making a gingerbread house made me smile too. My son asked for a house last week.. I think we’ll pick one up after all!


  49. What a beautiful holiday home! Thank you for the tour!

  50. Beautiful! And I can’t get over that your Westie is 17! WOW. He looks terrific.

  51. WOW! stunning! i wish i could stop by for a few cookies. thank you for sharing these with us.

  52. Melissa, your home just has that “feeling” that I adore……it feels homey yet stylish and pulled together, and your Christmas decor is not overdone and has a personal, festive, happy feel to it!! You truly have a special knack for creating a warm home.
    Wishing you and your family a happy happy Christmas season!

  53. Your home is so beautiful! I love that striped wall. Awesome!

  54. maria & cameron says

    We so loved your tour and were anxiously anticipating getting an eyefull of Jack too! My son insists on a visit with him every morning!! And then, guess what?! The doorbell rang with a Fedex delivery of the prize we won from Jones Designs on your blog recently!! Wow! what a great start to our morning! Thank you so much – you bless us a lot!!

  55. It looks so lovely! I love the simple, elegant touches. Just beautiful

  56. Lisbeth LaBellarte says

    I just loved that you did this tour! So many wonderful ideas and it like getting to kow you a little bit, seeing your beautiful home. Thanks again for your wonderful blog adn givnig me a fun email to look forward to everyday!

  57. Hi Melissa, your home looks amazing!!! Beautiful but warm and homey – so hard to achieve that balance. Love it all but the mini tree with Grandma’s jewelry? Brilliant! Merry Christmas from HomeGoods.

  58. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. For someone who only added a few touches; you added quite a bit! Beautiful!

  59. Hey, Melissa, your home is looking SO great!! Love your mantel as always and the Christmas tree, so pretty. I love how much you are getting done around there and really making it your own. It now has the Melissa touch!! Enjoyed the tour, Merry Christmas to your family. xoxo

  60. Your home looks lovely! It is so warm and family friendly. Also have loved seeing pictures of your Westie since I started following your blog. Ours is only 5 years old. Have never heard of one that is 17 – I can only hope that our little ball of energy lasts that long. Your new puppy is very cute too! Have a very merry Christmas!

  61. Jessica Newell says

    Just lovely! Such a warm and inviting atmosphere you bring through your decor. A beautiful expression of holiday cheer!

  62. So simple,yet very elegant. I love the cookie platter, the cute dog, and your son making a ginger bread house. Can’t leave out the beauty of what makes a house a home…family!have a Merry Christ~mas!

  63. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed your Christmas house tour.

  64. Your home is adorable, and so inspiring!

  65. Merry Christmas, Melissa! Everything looks beautiful!

  66. I love your “just enough” approach that still says Christmas in a beautiful way. Favorites — the square plates/polka dot napkins and the red pillow that just pops a little color right where it’s needed. Love Jack!

  67. Your home is beautiful! I love the simplicity of it all. We live in coastal Florida so I can appreciate the “seaside theme”. I have really enjoyed your blog this year and all the lovely encouragement you give. You have been a special blessing to me. Merry Christmas from a Florida Follower!

  68. Your home is just so beautiful! Wow! I’ve seen your dining room, but that’s it (other than those snippets in your header) and I stop by just about every day … and even spent time when I first discovered you pouring through old posts.

    Again, beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I got my holiday home tour pulled together and linked up this evening. Thanks for hosting!

  69. You have a beautiful home, filled with delightfully unique decorations. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  70. I love your house, your dogs and the memories that you shared! Can I move in ;)….it’s so pretty!

  71. Can I move in? Ha!

    It looks wonderful. I love everything.

    Merry Christmas!

  72. Lily in Hong Kong says

    Beautiful home and decorations. Love what you did with the dead branches.

  73. Absolutely gorgeous. Your home is warm and inviting!

  74. Stopping by from the Nester’s tour. Your home is so beautiful! I especially love your mantle. It is stunning!

  75. Your home is what I wish my home could look like. I wandered over from Nester’s and I’m so glad I did. Wow. The Christmas stuff is beautiful but I’m book marking your site to come back and explore!!

  76. Your mantle and tree are gorgeous and the branch with the ornaments is right up my alley!!
    Happy Christmas!

  77. So pretty! I love the simple touches that remind us of the sea and the white theme around your mantle.

    Now I need to find an old Star Wars book to make a wreath like that out of! HA!

    Merry Christmas!

  78. Everything is, of course, truly beautiful…elegant, restrained, classic.

    But what I love MOST is that it all is so personal…the sailboat homage to your beach house, getting the REAL tree for your son, the dog “acting up.”

    Your home is a beautiful home so obviously full of love and THAT truly makes for a wonderful Christmas….I know yours will be blessed and joyful!

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Hugs,

  79. Everything looks so pretty and festive. What a wonderful job you’ve done.

  80. I love how you tuck the little bits of Christmas everywhere! Your home is so lovely!

  81. just stunning! i love every detail and the soft palette!

  82. Ronnell Karoski says

    Melissa, Everything looked beautiful! How old is your son, mine is 14. The tradition thing was a big deal at our house. I made Lasagna and Italian Beef and hot wings and all kind of other goodies for Christmas dinner… my son about had a come apart because I didn’t make ham and made mac and cheese with noodles other than shell noodles… gee! Only because we always have ham… gues we will have ham next year! Happy New Year!

  83. Oh, your home is so lovely – love it all. I am feeling very inspired…What a great dog,too, so cute!

    Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours,

    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  84. I love how you think outside the box with decorating!! It is so fab!! I think the mantel is an all time fav of mine!

  85. Your blog is lovely. I have a couple of questions I was wondering about:
    #1. I wondered about your greenery on this page (specifically, at the bottom of your staircase, where your sailboat is, and on top of your green cabinet in the tin-looking pot) — Is it Leyland Cypress? And, #2. How wide is the burlap ribbon woven in your Christmas tree? Is it wire-edged ribbon? How much would you say you used for your tree?
    Thanks so much. I’ll look forward to your response!

    • Hi Jill! I think that is cypress, but I bought it at Costco so if you have a Costco membership, they have lovely affordable garland every year (at least around here they do!)! The burlap ribbon is from Michaels Craft and it comes on a roll (I found it over by the wreath making supplies). I think it is about 5 inches wide maybe? It does not have a wire. I don’t remember how much I used, maybe two or even three packages. It was a big tree! :-)

  86. Megan Johnson says

    I just found your blog and am just enjoying looking over everything I can. Do you recall the colors of your front door and the room which it opens to? They are lovely!

  87. Hi,
    Where did you get the lantern over your dining room table? I love it.

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