Google+ House Revivals: Our Holiday Home

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Holiday Home

Well, I wasn't going to join in on any of the holiday home tours this year.  You see, we are a family "in transition".  We sold our home of nearly seventeen years last winter -- after nearly a year of commuting back and forth between Colorado's Front Range and the Pacific Northwest.  Until late last spring, we did not know if we would be staying in the PNW, or if we would be transferred to South Africa.  We found out we are staying.  Late this summer, we bought a house.

The  house we bought is a fixer upper that has been partly gutted.  For now, we still live in tiny temporary digs -- so small, we can either keep the dog or have a Christmas tree.   So, I won't be sharing a tour of our Holiday apartment.  Instead, I will share some holiday decor from our "new" home and surroundings -- and did I mention the "new" home is on the beach?

Our Christmas Mantel.

The brass deer reindeer head over the wall shelf to the right of the mantel might have made this vignette feel un-balanced, but the strip of baseboard accented with Romex and outlets grounds the arrangement.  Soot stained natural brick adds warmth to the scene.

Here is another view of the mantel vignette.  (Sometimes it's best to step way back when you view artistic creations like this.)

Here is a close-up of the deer reindeer  head.

If you look carefully, there is a bit of Christmas garland hanging in the far corner of the dining room.  The former owners thoughtfully left that for us. 

In the kitchen, we're going for that "spare" look, with pops of mold.  For a touch of whimsy, we've leaned doors against the wall, and strewn some lumber about.  Exposed plumbing adds shimmer.

My loft studio is decorated in mostly neutral colors.  The red plastic bucket was placed along the west wall as a nod to traditional Christmas decor.  We call it, "neutral traditional modern".  Like the kitchen, we've kept the decor intentionally spare.

We've continued the spare, but neutral theme on the entry deck.  Here, the buckets are white for some added drama.

Again, sometimes you need to step way back to appreciate a creation.  You can see that we have added some more unexpected touches with pop bottles and assorted wrappers.  We think it adds a festive feel to the scene.

No room goes untouched this Christmas at our house! Here we have begun to stack this flagstone in the shape of a sleigh and reindeer.  Hopefully, we will have the entire vignette finished in time for the jolly old elf's visit!

We believe it's important to be able to see into adjacent spaces, so we've kept the guest bath and laundry room as open as possible.  Here, the bucket is black, to remind us that Christmas is not just about red and white buckets, and brass reindeer heads, and flagstone sculptures, and shimmery plumbing. 

We've kept the porch that faces the ocean very simple.  We feel the "chippy" white paint and broken rail give this holiday scene a rustic "Pottery Barn" feel.  It's a very trendy look right now.

Not wanting to do a half-way job with our Christmas decor, we've even decorated under the house. 

Sometimes the beauty of our Christmas decor gets me so choked up that I have to take a walk.   Two hundred feet, down this path.

And then I see this reminder from Heaven.  Christmas is not about the decor at all.  The plastic Santas, the buckets, the garland -- that's just noise.

Christmas is about a beautiful Gift of Love -- not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons, but wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed, not under a perfectly decorated Christmas tree in a beautifully appointed house, but in a lowly stable manger one starry night in Bethlehem.

Have a blessed Christmas!


  1. love the beauty and humour of this post Amanda ... and the house looks like it is coming along ... and how cool is that santa under the house!!!

  2. Just dropping by from All Things Merry & Bright - your house is coming along nicely and you have a great place to de-stress.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  3. This is a timely reminder my friend. You are so right's not about decking the halls, Christmas is in our hearts.
    You know, you may be in a once in a lifetime place. Going through a holiday with pure meaning of the season.
    I'm excited to see your home as you pour love and hard work into it.
    Sending prayers for you and yours...
    (ps...Santa under the house cracked me up!)

  4. Your commentary cracked me up! Love the bucket drama.

  5. haha i love that this pot was funny and meaningful at the same time.

    All the house needs is a little tinsel.

  6. I meant post! Not pot. Different kind of funny... FROM WHAT I HEAR.

  7. Giggling. Sarcasm is my superpower ;-) LOVED this snarky, funny gem of a post. Love how you wrapped it up. Precious gift indeed. And keep those house pictures coming!

  8. This is the best post I've read so far this Christmas season. Love it.

  9. I love your humor, and can envision how this will look next Christmas! Lucky you living on the beach!

  10. It will be just beautiful and warm and cozy when you are finally done. Hang in there! I'm glad you kept the dog!Merry Christmas!~Ames

  11. Love your post! Too funny!
    You have quite the project on your hands but I can see all the potential! Can't wait to see what you do to it all.
    Thanks so much for linking up to my Catch a Glimpse party! Always nice to see a new face! :) Would you mind adding my party link to the others listed?! Thanks!

  12. Gotta love the "reindeer" head!

    This is going to turn out to be your dream house. I believe that!


  13. Your home is going to be fabulous when you are down. What a great space, and view!

  14. It has always been my dream to live on the beach, or at least on the marsh. So where do I live? In the desert!!! Maybe in my second life I will have a beach house. I am anxious to watch the progress on your house.

  15. How blessed are you to have a beautiful spot for your home!

  16. I think you have your head on so straight, which is amazing this time of year! You understand the season and what is important but i must way your humor is priceless and as I say here in the south,"you are a hoot"! Merry Chirstmas and next year your house will be finished and this photos will only be a memory.

  17. The buckets were my favorite part. You just kept the drama going from room to room with them. You are so blessed to have a house in that location. I'm sure it'll be beautiful before you even finish. How exciting to have it to look forward to for Christmases to come.

  18. I love your post. The house will wonderful when finished. I loved your guided tour of the house in progress.

  19. What a fantastic post! I laughed the entire time I was reading. I wish you all joy and love in the new year in your new digs. Of course, when the house is finished ;) Merry Christmas!


  20. Loved the are hilarious. But your 200 foot walk...that said it all! God is right there! Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy.

  21. One of the best blog posts I've read in a long time! I've remodeled a couple houses in my day and it is not very glamorous...but you have the sense of humor to make it bearable and beautiful.
    Welcome to the beautiful PNW!

  22. the sunset says it all... :)

    Have a great weekend....


  23. Love this post and I would so looooove to have a house on the beach! You are so so incredibly lucky! I love a good project- looking forward to seeing more! Stopping by from Vanessa's.

  24. First time visiting your blog. Had to laugh out loud at your comment "can either keep the dog or have a Christmas tree" You made a good choice.
    Love your sense of humor and your approach to your new project. I know you will have fun all the way.

    Your poetic reflection about the true meaning of Christmas brought tears. We need to all remember He is the reason and only reason for the season.
    Your latest follower, Annette

  25. went to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It is a pleasure to have you as
    my friend and follower , that the coming year be filled with plenty of inspiration, health
    and love, so we can all be helped with their beautiful creations.


  26. So funny!! Loved the tour...LOL! Especially stepping back to appreciate the creativity of the mantel, the reindeer sculpture and the classic santa under the house!! Bahahaha!

    But my fav was the ending!! :) SO true!!

  27. What a great post. It's going to be a fun before-and-after when you look back on this post next Christmas.

  28. You're so funny--this was a delightful read and I truly wish you the best on your re-do! It'll be interesting to follow it!

    thanks for stopping by,
    becky (at

  29. Loved the tour! You did a fabulous job with the place. I will have to follow along to see how it turns out.


  30. Hi there - Back again to say thank you for sharing this at Feathered Nest Friday- Happy Holidays!

  31. What a beautiful post, so glad I clicked on at Show & Tell! It's a beautiful home but the view just takes your breath away!

  32. Hi Amanda! Oh I am so thrilled to find another NW gal here in blogland! This post was absolutely hysterical and beautiful all at the same time! I love how you ended it with the reminder of WHY we celebrate Christmas and how we do that whether we have elaborate decorations or not. I'm so glad you linked up to Inspiration Friday and I hope to see much more of you in the future.
    Merry Christmas,

  33. I love the Christmas decor under the house! You are too funny. Thanks for sharing this at my party and giving us all a good laugh.
    Happy Holidays,

  34. You are hilarious. Love it. And your home is going to be fantastic! Don't get rid of that deer head, it's CHARMING, I LOVE it!

  35. Well, I loved that! Christmas is, indeed, about love and all that goes with it - and I haven't yet noticed that love needs to be wrapped up in glitter and glitz.
    More than ever before, this Christmas I am slowing down and focusing on the essentials.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas, wherever you celebrate.

  36. Your house will be fabulous when it is done, such a retreat at the beach. Ah, just to sit on the porch and look out at the sun setting over the horizon.
    Thank you for sharing at Holly bloggy.

  37. Great house and post!
    Have a Merry Christmas and all my best for the new year. May all your wishes come true!
    You got the spirit ! :0)

  38. What a project! I bet it'll be gorgeous when finished.
    a blessed Christmas to you!

  39. Oh what a beautiful post. We all have our own different stresses, so thank you for such a nice ending to your story and reminder.
    Ps- santa under the house made me LOL

  40. Hi Amanda. I just wanted to pop by and thank you for your blogging friendship this year and i ma so glad I popped in today to read this wonderful post-thank you!

    I hope that you and your beautiful family have a very Merry Christmas and a brilliant 2011! Enjoy all the happiness and joy that this blessed season brings.

    Best wishes always,

  41. I laughed out loud when I saw Santa in the crawl space!! Thanks for sharing this. I think we all needed a reality check. Your house looks like it has great bones.


  42. Oh Amanda. I've celebrated Christmas in a serious remodel...although I actually lived in it with my husband at the time. I remember sitting outside around a bonfire because it was warmer than the inside of the house, getting dressed for work on a sheet because of all the construction debris and using an old decrepit outhouse for a few months!


    Good times.

    You're a lot smarter living elsewhere...even if it's without a tree.

    Thanks for the fun stop on my little journey through Alphabe-Thursday today.

    Joyous holidays to you, sweet lady.

    I always enjoy visiting you.


  43. Amanda ~ I absolutely LOVED your holiday home tour and narration! I was laughing so much and when I got to the end... and what a wonderful ending it was... my laughter turned into a joyful, peaceful, warm feeling in my heart. Thank you. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  44. Oh my gracious! You are hysterical! My kids are looking at me like I'm nuts laughing hysterically in front of the computer. Love the narrative!

    Have a very merry Christmas!

  45. Looks like it's moving right along and turning out AWESOME! Congrats! Merry late Christmas and HAppy New Year!

  46. We just did a complete renovation, are going to be so happy. We are. Going to become a follower so I can "follow" your progress.
    Mary Ann

  47. Oh you have made me laugh out loud...poor Santa..he looks like he needs a burial at sea. Just keep telling yourself how beautiful it is all going to be! and Merry Christmas!

  48. May you never lose that sense of humour my dear. Hilarious post. I trust all is much better now. Blessings, Carla

  49. Enjoyed your sense of humor and the reminder about the real meaning of Christmas!


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