Christmas House Tour

I would like to interrupt today’s regularly scheduled post with this brief announcement.

There are 2 days until my annual Christmas Eve party and I still haven’t planned out, bought the ingredients for, or decided on a menu.   As of now the menu looks like this:  store bought cookies and hairbrushes.

There may not be any food, but there’ll be plenty of Christmas decorations for everyone to look at.  Here’s hoping the 3 foot tall antler on the mantle distracts everyone from their hunger pains.

I’m happier with my Christmas decorating this year than I ever have been before.  I’m not sure why.  Every year when I step back and look at everything, I feel like something just isn’t right.  I like it.  But I’m not certain.

That feeling when you answer your front door and you’re not wearing a bra?  It’s that same feeling.  Everything might look fine to a stranger, but YOU know there’s something making you want to cross your arms over your chest and scowl.

This year though … I think I’ve done it.  It may not be the way you’d decorate for Christmas and in fact, it wasn’t the way I decorated last year … but that’s the great thing about Christmas decorating.  It’s a month long opportunity to reinvent  the style of your house.

For me, it all started with a pinecone …


Christmas Tour 1


Christmas Tour2


Christmas Tour3


Christmas Tour 4


Christmas Tour 6


Christmas Tour 7


Christmas Tour 10


Christmas Tour 8


Christmas Tour 9


Christmas Tour 12


Christmas Tour 13


Christmas Tour 14


Christmas Tour 15


Christmas Tour 16


Christmas Tour 18


And in closing, a special note for the holidays from the fella:

Drink just enough to get through it, but no so much that you end up hitting someone.   

I think it’s a quote from one of his Buddhist books.  But I’m not certain.



  1. Carole McGinnis says:

    Wow – you are amazing. I have said it before but I will say it again – I love everything you do! I want to do everything you do. 😉 I love the fact that you can take something so simple and make it into something amazing. You inspire me all the time. Keep it up – I so look forward to your posts every day. Have a wonderful Christmas and my wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2012!

  2. Gayla T says:

    This will long be remembered as the year of the pinecones. It’s all stunning! But there you go with those darn jars, again. I’d finally erased them from my Christmas list and now I have to call my kids and tell them to put them back on it. Not that they will be able to find blue jars in Kansas. We are getting together tomorrow and I haven’t been to the store yet but I’m going as soon as my pain meds kick in. My house is done and yes, I’ve got pine cones here and there. My faves are the long skinny ones that often have a bit of a curve to them. The create a great “line” in a floral design. I don’t think I told you about washing pine cones, did I? I have over the years found places to go get my supply when needed and have one of the larger zip lock bags full of the ones about the size of a nickel. They are hard to find and take a while to pick up and when I got them out to decorate for fall there were BUGS! in the bag. I quickly dumped them in the sink and ran hot water over them. That took care of the miniscule bugs but I had to pick them out one by one and shake off the residue. I tried to dry them off but they were closing up into tight little balls. I kept blotting them with towels and put them in the oven to dry them and that resulted in some burning….no flames, just like a burned cookie so I had to sort them again. Bottom line, it took over a week with me blotting and fluffing several times a day. I was able to save enough to fill a bowl to set on my coffee table but I’m going to have to go pick up more in the spring. So you can see that I do love my pine cones, too. TTYL Granny Gayla

  3. Regina says:

    First and foremost your post are the bright spots of my day! you make me laugh so hard and outloud. THANK YOU!! I have coop envy, my girls are stuck in a 70 yr old run down coop. Someday…..

    I love the faux fur you used as a tree skirt. Is it a throw or a bit of fabric? I’m obsessed with the stuff. I’ve been searching online for weeks for a striped thick gorgeous one. Just like what you used.

    Thanks for all the joy! Many blessings!!!

  4. Those bottle brush trees are everywhere this year but I cant seem to find them… where did you get yours?

    • Karen says:

      Erin – I got that tree as a present from my friend Anj who buys me a Christmas tree of some sort every year. She gave it to me yearsssss ago. I think it was one of the first I got from her. ~ karen

  5. Elle says:

    Your house is decorated so beautifully! serve some alcoholic drinks and with all this beauty around no one will notice there is nothing to eat apart from store-bought cookies. If it was me at the party, I would just spend the evening staring at all those magnificant little lights. cannot resist xmas lights.
    Maybe I wasn’t paying attention (sorry! mast have been distracted by pictures of little lights…) but how do you do those firefly-like lights in the jars?

    On my part, The house is barely decorated as the kids are away and will be back tomorrow and they want to decorate themselves. I do have the menu planned and I even went to the store and spent an outragous amount of money on the groceries (about 3 weeks worth or regular grocery shopping! there better be tons of leftovers! or we’ll eat only pasta for half of January) but of course I forgot a few important items and need to go to the store again tomorrow.
    At least all the presents are wrapped (except for one which is home-made and is still in the works).

    Happy holidays! Love your blog!

  6. Alyson says:

    I think the Guy is right – I’m sure it’s in a Buddhist text somewhere – words to live by…wish I’d heard that when I was 17 (sigh)…gorgeous house! Does the cat help you keep the silver table dust free by sitting on it?

    Merry Chrissy!

  7. Brenda j says:

    Your home looks just lovers!! But I did ask you not to put my portrait out for everyone to gawk at! For the love Karen….geeez.

    Cheers,and Merry, Happy Christmas and 2012; despite what the old Mayans say about it.

  8. Shauna says:

    I can’t take it anymore… everyone’s talking about you’re balls, but really…. no one mentioned your pussy!! Seriously!! That’s one pretty cat!! Merry Christmas Karen!! & my fella is on your fella’s same strategy!!

  9. Janet says:

    Thank you for the entertainment, for the decorating ideas,Have a wonderful Christmas Karen and Fella.


  10. Violet says:

    I love the white jug pitchers. If I ask where you got them, you’re going to say “The Dollar Store,” aren’t you?

    • Karen says:

      Violet – Hah! No. Those are from Ikea, but they haven’t had the X-Large size for some time. I love them too … I get all kinds of inspiration from them. ~ karen!

  11. susan w says:

    I discovered it helps to have the jars clean. Or artful drips and smudges to illuminate

    LED push lights from Dollar Store buried under epsom salts? – too large of a light source for the twinkly little things around the tall pine. Hmmmmm

  12. Dana says:

    this sounds so cheesy, but you’re what i want to be like when i “grow up”. between your hilarious wit, your realistic yet light-hearted outlook on life, and amazing personal style, i wish you were my super-cool aunt! i even chuck things.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks Dana. I love The Carpenters, made for TV movies and cards that play music when you open them, so clearly I’m a fan of cheesy. Merry Christmas. I’ll be sure to point this particular comment out to my actual nieces. ~ karen!

  13. Merry Christmas, Karen! Your hone looks *beautiful*!!!



    • Karen says:

      Thanks Erin! I had an absolutely fantastic, one of the best Christmases ever. Hope you did too. 🙂 And now I absolutely can’t WAIT for Boxing Day so I can shuffle around in my p’jamas doing NOTHING. ~ karen!

  14. Cheryl Warren says:

    Love the jars, I guess I will have to wait till next year for the tute! 😀

    You did a great job with all the decorating – it’s just lovely!

  15. cathe says:

    hi i am a new reader it is the new year can we find out now??? or must we wait till christmastime? love your home

  16. Michelle Bracken says:

    Wow! This is so lovely! May I ask where you purchased your silver table? I love your style and how it IS so personal and not cookie cutter! Just beautiful! And your blog is adorable!

  17. Sarah says:

    This is such a weird, random question but can you tell me what you use for window blinds? My home was built in 1860 and has the original woodwork everywhere. We’re trying to lighten things up(not the woodwork, but the walls) but most of my windows are still naked because I cant settle on something that will keep peeping neighbors at bay at night yet be pulled up in the daytime without looking crappy cheap. Oh yeah and we have 20 windows on the main floor alone. $$$$$ Help!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah. I had the same dilemma with my house when I did everything over. I ended up getting cell shades. They’re standard cell shades, cut to fit, so they aren’t custom made. They allow some light in, even when the blinds are closed which is something I wanted. Plus, they’re neat and tidy and barely noticeable. ~ karen

  18. Love the white pitchers in the kitchen!

  19. Laura Bee says:

    If I didn’t say it before – I love your home.
    Now I have a real itch to dig the box of decorations out of the basement. Waiting until next week…ahhhh!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you. I’m afraid there won’t be too many Christmas surprises this year because I was so happy with how it looked last year. I do have a *few* new tricks up my sleeve. ~ karen!

  20. Diane R. says:

    Hi Karen,

    When do we get the tutorial on how to make these
    beautiful lit mason jars? Did I miss it already?

  21. Joanna says:

    Love all you do!

  22. shirley in the NE Arkansas Delta says:

    When I told my 75 year old friend Dianne I was getting a divorce, she said, “Oh good! Maybe you’ll feel like putting up a Christmas tree this year!”

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