Google+ House Revivals: December 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Our Holiday Home (things change and things stay the same)




2017 has been a year of transition for us, so I thought I would share a popular old post, below, that I wrote when were going through another transition. Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the coming year!

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!