We did it. We busted out all of our Christmas stuff and officially decked the halls. We’re pretty organized about our holiday storage so it’s not too difficult to unleash the Christmas beast in our house. We keep specific ornaments designated for spots other than the tree (hurricanes, bowls, etc) in labeled ziplock bags:
And we store all the other tree-only ornaments in an under bed storage container, which is easy to pull out and set at the foot of the tree for decorating in an instant. And because it’s a hard container we don’t have to wrap our breakables in newspaper since they’re all gently placed in the bin for protection until next year.
We’re always up for a before and after, so here’s what the living room looked like before we started:
And here’s the finished product. Well, finished is a relative term… we’re already planning to add some lime green to liven up our silver and white scheme.
We’re big fans of introducing a few unexpected elements, like a starfish stuck an a random branch and a plethora of sheer silver bows filling in all the dark spots in the place of garland. And who can say no to a little disco ball or three?
It’s amazing how the rest of the room sparkles when you add a tree. As soon as we plugged in the lights we were already feeling downright festive. And when John put on some Christmas tunes and whipped up something warm and tasty, we really started to feel giddy with Christmas anticipation.
Here’s that “something warm and tasty” that John disappeared into the kitchen to make. Some mint hot chocolate (Trader Joe’s- yummy) with some whipped cream and even a dusting of chocolate shavings to take things to the next level. Oh and his tip for making chocolate shavings (he actually grated Hershey’s kisses himself) is to store your chocolate in the fridge so it’s hard enough to grate without getting all smushy and melty. Good to know, eh? He’s my little Martha Stewart.
Oh and one of our favorite substitutions is our two-sheepskin-rugs-from-Ikea in place of a traditional tree skirt. So floofy and inviting. And they look adorable with a whole mess of presents on ’em.
And yes, our tree is 100% artificial, faux, fake-ola. Even though they’re not always the “classiest” by reputation, we like that we can reuse it for decades instead of tossing it on the curb come January 1st. But we totally understand how the smell and the look of a real tree can be sheer magic around the holidays, so to each his (or her) own. Happy decorating! And stay tuned for more festive ways to get into the holiday spirit on the cheap and in a flash.
Update: You can check out all of our favorite holiday decor finds here – many of which are under $15!
Brandi H. says
Love the decorations! You two are so inspiring. I really get a kick out of looking at your site, and the things you two do together. I only hope that one day I have a fun marriage like the two of you ;) I am looking forward to the magazine in February. It will be nice to have pictures of your house in my hands for reference while out shopping!! May I ask where you got your sofa? I am looking for a white/cream slipcovered sofa that is not out-of-this world expensive (i.e. shabby chic), but more comfortable than the one at Ikea. I have a child and thought this would be nice so that I can wash the cover. Thanks for you time, and inspiration.
I’ve been wanting to pick up some of those furry throws from IKEA, but I can’t find them on their website. Am I missing something?
my favorite is the bow around the greyhounds neck!
I love your decorations! I was wondering, does Ikea still have those sheepskin things? If so, can you get them online or just in the store?
Very awesome tree.
Mine’s faux too, and it’s definitely nice not to have to save up for a tree during the financial crunch of the holiyays.
I especially love the disco balls. My mom has a giant one on a shelf in her kitchen and it really plays up the lighting she gets through the big windows. Always a great touch.
Everything looks lovely.
On another note – when my husband and I were making our wedding invitations, him with a glue gun in hand, I told him he was my Martha Stewart. So your “He’s my little Martha Stewart.” made me laugh.
Also, I can’t tell what they are… but they look like big white glass drops… where did you get them? They look like something from CB2 but I don’t know.
Awesome!!! Where’d you get your fireplace mantle? I’m having a heck of a time trying to find one.
Y’all are too cute – this is lovely! I’m going to check at Ikea for those sheepskin rugs – great idea.
I’ve been looking for stocking hooks just like yours – mind sharing where you found them?
The tree looks great! We are going to have our first tree this year, but we are trying to figure out where to put it. One of the drawbacks of a small house is where to put the tree…
Fantastic decorating! Kudos… And you’re making me feel very stylish b/c we have the same tree theme although I wasn’t able to find any disco ball oraments :(
On a completely seperate note, are those three Ikea Lack shelves I see on the wall in your dining room? We don’t ]have quite enough space for a full sideboard in our dining room so I was pondering an option like this.
Love your Christmas look! We can’t use sheepskin under the tree, tho, cause our Westie feels like they are friends who he needs to drag around! We get a real tree every year, and the expense isn’t too bad since we save our coins all year specifically for the tree purchase! Then after New Year’s we mulch the tree to do our part. Looking forward to more Xmas tips!
where are those chandelier ornaments from?
I need to convince Eric that we DO need a tree… sigh… I guess I’m the only one with a Christmas obsession around here…
Everything looks so beautiful. Love it!
where are the floating shelves from?
Is it Christmas yet? So glad you’re all getting into the spirit with us. And now to answer a plethora of questions: the chandelier ornaments are from Old Navy (purchased last year), the big white glass drop ornaments are from West Elm (last year), the stocking hooks are from Target (last year), the floating shelves are the Lack ones from Ikea (we love them for a clean and open look), our fireplace mantle came with the house (we painted it) but we’ve seen some great ones at architectural salvage shops, the disco ball ornaments are from Target, Ikea does still sell those sheepskin rugs (search Rens sheepskin on ikea.com), and the sofa is from a Rowe retailer in town (just google Rowe sofa and your city and you’ll find one near you).
Oh and Elizabeth, we totally feel your pain about finding a spot for the tree in a small house. We actually move that green bookcase that you see in the before pic to the third bedroom to gain some space and then move it back once the tree comes down. Happy nook hunting!
And Gracia, we’d love to help you convince Eric that you DO need a tree so here we go: Hey Eric, it’s Sherry and John. We really think Gracia deserves a tree this year. She’s been a good girl, right? And you love her, right? Go ahead, spoil her this year. She’s totally worth it.
Hope it helps!
Sherry (& John)
Eric Reichert says
Hi, Sherry and John!
I was thinking of decorating my two bonsais for Christmas, but you convinced me and we will get a proper Christmas tree.
And to answer your questions: she has been the best, I love her very much indeed and she is absolutely worth it and deserves the best Christmas tree in town.
Everything looks great! I will have to get some of the mint hot chocolate; yummy indeed.
p.s. I love your rug!
I love your decorations (and your home)! You’ve given me the motivation needed to pull out all of my Christmas decorations…guess what I’ll be doing this weekend! Thank you for sharing your beautiful decorations and providing some much needed inspiration.
I love it! But what are you guys going to do when you have kids? By the time I came around (youngest of four) we had so many school-made popsicle stick and lima bean ornaments that our tree looked more like a shared dumpster behind Whole Foods and Michael’s. Is it possible to class that kind of thing up?
Good question! I’m sure we’ll try to come up with some solution to keep things eye-pleasing and kid friendly. Like perhaps we’ll have a second tree in the den called the kids tree full of homemade kids ornaments and stuffed animals and other brightly colored masterpieces that they whipped up. We also could get their help making ornaments for the silver tree that still look great (and are super easy and kid friendly) like these made with feathers and glitter- so simple and cute: https://www.younghouselove.com/fill-er-up/
Hope it helps! I think it’s really going to be a learning curve but here’s hoping we have fun with it!
Amanda Wright says
Oh my gosh! I have been looking for a tree skirt I like for YEARS and have never found one. They are all so cheesy looking. Sheepskins are a great idea! I’m definitely doing that!
My hubby and I want to get a fake tree as well, but not sure where to get one and what price we should expect to pay – can you give us some tips?
We snagged our tree for something like $35 after Christmas at a big clearance sale at Target. So our tip would be to wait until either very close to Christmas or even until afterwards and hit up Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Target to see what you can find on sale. Hope it helps!
I LOVE the feather trees!! I hope I can find them this year! Also, where did you get the uber cute mugs? Thanks for putting me in the christmas spirit already! I can’t wait to decorate!
The mugs were a gift from John’s mom but we think they’re either from Target or Crate & Barrel. Hope it helps!
Amy E. says
on the plus side, having a real christmas tree and “tossing it on the curb” isn’t really all that bad. they’re biological & thus will decompose naturally in a decently short amount of time instead of thousands of years (depending on how much fake snow and green spray paint was used on them).
and i love your idea using the sheepskin rugs from ikea as a tree skirt! we already have one of the smaller sized rugs at home, but now we’ve got an excuse for another run to ikea! wahoo!
Do you happen to recall the brand/model of your faux tree? We’re in the market for one this year and it’s so HARD to decide. There is such a vast price range and I’ve been collecting recommendations. Like that yours is not super skinny, but also not too overbearingly wide either.
Don’t remember the brand or model but it was from Target on clearance after Christmas three years ago. Hope it helps!
Hi Sherry and John!
I was initially looking for some holiday inspirations, it’s almost that time of year after all. But looking at the photos in this post my eyes were drawn to your fireplace (I do love the decorations though!). The candles look great and seem to create a festive but elegant atmosphere. I have a fireplace but I do not use it. I was wondering did you guys actually light candles or did you guys use electric candles? I just didn’t know if it was safe to use actual candles but if it is I’m certainly trying it out.
Best of luck :)
Oh we light those all the time! And they’re real. Just keep an eye on them (like any burning candle in your house) and enjoy the glow!
The candles look great and seem to create a festive but elegant atmosphere. I have a fireplace but I do not use it. I really get a kick out of looking at your site, and the things you two do together. I only hope that one day I have a fun marriage like the two of you. Thank you for sharing your idea.
That was a fantastic decoration. I love your decorations and your home. You’ve given me the motivation needed to pull out all of my Christmas decorations guess what I’ll be doing this weekend! Thank you for sharing your beautiful decorations. Thank you.
Wonderful Christmas wish i had one. I love the setup fascinating simple and elegant. Its great time to spend holiday season this kind of Christmas tree.
Hi! Just saw your cool sheepskin rug idea for tree skirt! Great idea!
Ps Someone named FurAccent is using your photo on etsy. He claims to make and sell fake fur tree skirts, etc out of Anaheim, CA. He has posted your exact photo (last one on this page) just wanted to inform you :)
Thanks so much Sandy! Off to check it out.