Christmas House Tour 2014



Welcome to my home.  Please don’t stay long.  You’ll mess the place up .  It hasn’t been this tidy since last Christmas’ photo shoot.





The foyer.  On the centre hall table is a glass cake pedestal topped with styrofoam balls sprayed with fake snow to give them some texture.  As always, the tree is all antique balls.  Every. Single. One. Of. Them.  I’m slowly building my collection of antique tree ornaments up again after the great tree falling of 2012.    I don’t worry about whether there’s a colour scheme or if they match.  If it’s a vintage ornament I put it on the tree. One of my favourites, the largest pale blue ornament near the bottom right was a gift from a reader.




The diorama presents.  They took forever but I’ve never had so much fun wrapping presents in all my life.  Every SINGLE thing on them came from Dollarama.  I’ll be putting up a special extra post in the next few days featuring all of the gifts and what I did to each of them.  So, a close look at those soon.





I found the silver pedestal in the centre of the table at a local antique store (Valley Antiques) for the low, low price of $18.  It may have been $16 actually.  I was on such a buying high that I can’t quite remember.  I do remember fist bumping an elderly looking woman who was looking at Royal Doultons.  Sadly she wasn’t familiar with the fist bump and thought I was assaulting her for a moment.




You know how sometimes you buy something and it isn’t until after you’ve owned it for years that you think WHAT WOULD I EVER HAVE DONE IF I HADN’T BOUGHT THIS?  Well that’s what I think every time I look at my skinny, white Christmas tree.  It is, and always has been decorated in pine cones.  White pine cones, gold pine cones, real pine cones.  The skinny greener wrapping around it is from Dollarama.




Here’s that tray again because anything that comes with a potential assault charge  deserves a second look.  This is how it looked until about the middle of December at which point I filled it with nuts and clementines for anyone who came to visit.




So far no one has eaten anything off of it other than myself. That’s the problem with things that look like a display.  People think they’re just for display.  Alert to anyone who visits me over the holidays: the nuts and clementines are not just for display.  There’s something ridiculously fun about cracking nuts right out of their shell.




Trees, trees and more trees courtesy of my friend Anj who brings one every year.  What do I always have for Anj?  Usually a warm smile and an apology.  This year she’ll get nuts and clementines though.




Did I mention that I pared things back this year? Because I did.  I don’t know if you noticed that.  I thought you might not notice it since every surface in the house is still covered in Christmas crap, so I figured I’d better mention it.




I mentioned in my interview for Canadian Living magazine that featured my house at Christmas, that every year I insist the house is perfect for Christmas and I’ll never change a thing. Then the next Christmas rolls around and I change everything completely.  This year was no different.  My newest addition to the Christmas decorating is this Stamp Drawer with antique balls displayed in it and my new favourite thing ….





… this antique, steel runner sled.  It was $48.  Which for this type of sled, is cheap.  Really cheap.  Embarrassingly cheap.  I’ve been looking at them for years now and I’ve never seen one for under $150.   I got the sled the same day I got the silver pedestal.  The sled find didn’t result in a possible assault charge though.  It resulted in an actual one.  I’m writing this post from the clink.  Jumped up into a elderly man’s arms cartool-style.  Totally worth it.  Besides, who knew a man with such a wide stance would be so unstable.  He toppled over like a bowling pin.  Kind of his fault really.









Ahhhh my kitchen.  I still love it.  Which is a good thing since it’s only been finished for 6 months or so.  Mind you I’ve been known to become sick of an outfit between the time I put it on upstairs to the time I walk downstairs, so really liking the whole kitchen thing could have been touch and go.





Notice the deer standing court in the corner by the crocks.  And the festive glowing red light of the television “on” button.  The dish towel, which I love, was a gift from a blogger you know by the name of Lynne Knowlton of Design the Life You Want to Live.  The thing is HUGE. it’s great.  It’s by Sprouted Designs which you can find on Etsy.  The curtain is Rough Linen, and hides open shelving with my pots and cook books.  It feels very warm and cozy in the kitchen with it up.   I’ll keep it up in the winter and take it down in the summer when I  like a more open, airy feeling.




Ah the pig’s head.  I’m so glad I bought it.  It’s one of those things, like the white Christmas tree.   For the holiday season I took down my collection of rolling pins from the wall and put up glass lanterns with remote controlled candles.  The lanterns are actually glass vases from … wait for it … Dollarama.  Then I just siliconed some twine around the top and hung them from the curtain tie back brackets.

And that is the holiday house tour for 2014.  Feel free to wander around a while.  Have some nuts.


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  1. Andrea says:

    Love it all. The pigs head makes me think of the boats head Christmas carol. I assume you serenade him with it!

  2. Melissa says:

    Have you figured out a good way to clean the Blue Star burners? The cast iron metal part? I have the 6 burner and as hard as I try, the most used ones are distinctively more grungy looking, and have a oily residue.

    And lovely holiday decorations. I love vintage ornaments, and your colorful collection is great! I’m also collecting them, and have about half the tree filled, but sadly the other ones are from Target.

  3. MaryAnn Jensen says:

    I just love your style of decorating !!!! It’s so elegant looking !!! Enjoy your beautiful creation !!!!

  4. Mindy says:

    I’m obsessed with your tree covered in vintage ornaments. Obsessed I tell you. There an antique mall within walking distance of my house. My sister and I went last weekend to browse. They decorate for the seasons and all the vendors bring in holiday items. The amount of vintage ornaments was enough to make a person’s head spin. There were so many I wanted to cry. And I didn’t buy a single one. Well, that’s a lie, there was a small box of glass ball ornaments the size of large peas. I bought them for my son to hang on his pet turtle’s tree, aka an upright noble branch in her habitat. The ones I have hanging on our tree came from family members, so they feel more special than something I’d pay too much money for in an antique store. My dream is to come across a giant box of them at a garage sale for fifty cents. :) Anyhow, your tree is amazingly beautiful. As well as the display of them in the drawer over the mantel. I LOVE that. And, of course, you also have a collection of my other obsession. Bottle brush trees. The same antique store had zillions of all sizes. They are insanely expensive. I blame Pinterest.
    Before I go, I must mention the wall of hooks with the candle swap. Love, love, love.
    Everything looks very, very beautiful. Merry Christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mindy! And I agree about the antique store ornaments. They don’t mean as much and they’re SO expensive. I bought all of mine at garage sales or got them from people who didn’t want them anymore and knew I collected them. And I did indeed find a whole huge box of them at an antique show for a few dollars. Might have been $10 actually for the big box. None of them were fancy but they’re great colours. Merry Christmas to you the son and the turtle. ~ karen!

  5. Janet says:

    Wow Karen, I want your job! I love that you can live the life of entertaining us all and be able to decorate, create and post it all for posterity. You are so talented. My favorite pieces are the beautiful hooks you used in the kitchen on your painted brick wall. I crave them. Keep up the merry and bless us all Tiny Tim!

  6. West Coast Nan says:

    Awesome job with the decorations Karen, everything looks so lovely! Did I miss the post about that skinny tree with the roots that is on the wall in the dining room? I’ve seen it in a few other pictures but was interested in how you did it.

  7. Laura Bee says:

    Without change – what would be the point of the tour?
    Did I miss mention of the white pillar? Because it’s nice-we have a few in our basement (painted logs really)…but I am pretty sure I should leave them alone lol.

  8. Langela says:

    Meh, your house looks ok, I guess, Karen. It probably didn’t need an entire post about it, though. All that stuff and those things and such. Really! Just kidding. Everyone else was raving over it so I had to be different (even though I secretly love your home and decorations). Have a great Christmas!

  9. jainegayer says:

    Remote controlled candles??????? OMG!! I must get those!
    BTW, the house looks beautiful, Karen!
    PS- Is that a giant sheepskin on the chair in the living room? How did you get one so big?

  10. Bobbi says:

    How do you keep your cat from destroying everything ? I can’t even leave a coffee cup on a table. They have chewed all my lampshades.
    I wonder if a trip to Canada to the Dollarama a few times a year would work for me. Our dollar stores in Ohio cannot compare.
    Lovely, as usual, Karen.

  11. Deana says:

    Today I decided I needed a white flocked bottle brush tree for a display in an antique 2 quart jar I have. No problem, I’ll just scoot on down to Dollarama and pick one up. Funny thing, not one to be had! Now I know where they all went. Your presents all look great though, my jar….not so much.
    Your home looks great, especially all those little white trees.

  12. Kelli says:

    GAH. Karen your house is wonderfully, beautifully, quirkily perfect. Old, new, modern, antique, everything is just annoyingly lovely. Like a snuggly warm blankie….that’s been thru the wash a few times: comfy, cozy, homey, and relaxing, everything Christmas should be.


    • Karen says:

      I hear ya. The downstairs kitchen on Downton Abbey brings out the same Dammit in me. It brings out a lot worse actually. ~ karen!

  13. Ruth Vallejos says:

    I will be throwing up the elf barf (see what I did there?) in the next few days. You have inspired me to barf carefully and beautifully!

  14. Vanessa says:

    I have one of the type setter’s drawers, I actually found it in my next door neighbor’s TRASH! I love it. I think I’ll put it up instead of a wreath…
    Everything looks great!!!

  15. Ella says:

    Beautiful! Love the sled!

  16. Lucie says:

    Thanks for the lovely tour! Going to adorn a few objects with Clémentines and amp up the festive.

  17. The stamp drawer with the vintage ornaments in it! I’ve been hanging on to this little wooden A-frame house for years that holds miniatures. Now, I know what I’ve been saving it for. Boom! Everything looks fun and gorgeous, Karen! The chicken. Heh.

  18. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Everything is so so pretty..your Scandinavian roots really show in your it all..

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