Christmas House Tour 2015

I guess a lot of you are wondering whether or not I’ve ever got a peanut stuck up my nose.

I haven’t.  And since I don’t have children I’ve never had to take one to the doctor with a peanut stuck up their nose.  I’m not sure what it is about kids and sticking things up their noses but I can say that once they grow up, boys still like to stick things where they don’t necessarily belong.  This was proven once again when I was cleaning up to start Christmas decorating and found 14 foil easter egg wrappers smashed between the arm of the couch and the couch cushion.

The fella.

More than 2 years on the lam and I’m still finding weird things he stuck in weird places.

I should have known something was off with him when he told me in no uncertain terms that pizza toppings should be underneath the cheese.  And he was serious.

The thing about decorating the house for Christmas is for some reason I feel like I need to clean the house up first.  Clean, tidy, reorganize a bit and THEN I can start dragging the Christmas crap out to make the mess of all messes.  The sparkle-twig mess.  Once the Christmas decorating is done, I do it all over again, cleaning, tidying and vacuuming up enough sparkle and twigs to choke the Abominable Snowmonster.

Today I’m just going to take you through a casual tour of my perfectly propped and presented house at Christmas.  My house does not look like it does in these photos anymore.  There’s currently a mess of gingerbread making stuff in the kitchen (for an upcoming post), the wine is gone and there’s a smashed tree ornament in the front hall under the tree.

But for the most part this is what my house looks like at Christmas. Just a little more lived in.  Because I’m living in it and all.

Welcome to my home.


The bedroom high boy.


Guess what  These are original pine floors from 1840.

Guess what again?  I’m probably going to spend my time off at Christmas sanding all of the floors in my house down to raw wood.



Ernie, is unlikely to help me with the floor sanding task.  Apparently.

BRAND new white Rough Linen duvet cover.  This is the article that pushed me over the edge in terms of wanting to sand down my floors to raw, unfinished wood.




The living room.  The DIY snowglobes on an antique silver tray light up the room at night.



The cozy spot. Excellent for reading, snacking or general nesting.



Those cute toast coasters.




Big, HUGE, puffy garland is back in style, but i still like my sparse stuff.  Plus it takes up way less room in small spaces.



Every single thing you see her was either used or discount.

This entire area cost a total of $150. Including dresser, stocking, lamp, and gold foo dogs.

Decorating doesn’t always require a lot of money.  Sometimes just some patience waiting for the right thing at the right price.



That white nutcracker however was $742.  Just kidding.  Like $10 or something.



The front hall is where the live tree goes every year. This year I went for a skinny, very, very sparse tree because I wanted it to look as natural as possible. It has holes in it and is kind of sickly looking.

I love it.



I’ve been collecting (and breaking) ornaments for years now.



The entire tree is decorated with them.


Some have even come from readers who weren’t as in love with antique ornaments as I am or whose house didn’t suit having them on their tree.



Antique timber wood bench.  Discount store fawn.

My old custom made field boots for horseback riding.  Sadly they were custom made for someone else so they were always a little bit big on me.



If there’s one thing I could leave up all year long it would be this tree.




Downton Abbey meets Duck Dynasty on the dining room table.




This gold tree is the second thing I’d leave out all year long.



Paperwhites.  You love the smell of them or you hate the smell of them.

I love the smell.

My niece things they smell like own vomit.



Christmas doesn’t necessarily have to completely sparkle and shine.  But a little bit is good even if it’s just wine glasses.




I still love my kitchen.



Which is a good thing since I spend most of my time in this room.

Those curtains you see under the counter are Rough Linen. In the winter I put them up and in the summer I take them down.



Yeah, I bought those two oranges with the leaves just for the photo.

You should too.  Even if you aren’t taking a photo of your kitchen, a couple of oranges with leaves have as much homey, Christmas impact as any doo dad accessory (provided you set them right beside two supercool Christmassy doo dads)



Several photos later and I still love my kitchen.



This truck was a Christmas present for myself a couple of years ago.

You know how sometimes you know you like something but have no idea how much you really love it until you get it home?  And for 2 years straight you say I’m so HAPPY I bought that!  This truck is one of those things.



Yup. It’s Christmas.

In Wednesday’s post I’m going to walk you through some of these photos and give you all the tips and tricks I have for decorating for Christmas or Hanukkah.  It’s the one season where everyone can be an expert decorator.  It’s very difficult to screw up Christmas decorating.  Because unlike with men, at Christmas you can almost stick anything anywhere and have it be O.K.


  1. Bronwyn says:

    Those floorboards….!

  2. Rosemary says:

    Love the gold tree (well I love it all but it’s the tree I’m writing about right now). Sans the glass balls it doesn’t look all that Christmassy and could stay up all year round.

    • Ann Brookens says:

      Exactly! Decorate it with snowflakes or hearts or Easter eggs or flowers or fall leaves or…or even nothing at all!

      • Ron Jones says:

        To say your taste ran to the eclectic would be an understatement of the most extreme kind. Think your whole effort is terrific. Candy wrappings shoved down between the cushions certainly seems a bit juvenile, but was it enough to forgo the comfort of a partner beside you when the winter storm is rattling your windows and the wind is screaming around the corners outdoors?
        No one as yet had mentioned the chair beside the highboy or your wonderfull hall mirror.
        Under your DIY for making snow globes you suggested putting boobies in them might not be considered Christmassy enough. I would suggest placing mistletoe above them in the globe. That would certainly add to my Christmas spirit, but then I’m male. Of course you are say you.

  3. Cynthia Jones says:

    You are hereby given Official Permission to leave that gold tree out all year. So want that discount fawn. I remember last year spending hours on the net after seeing another furry fawn of yours. I never did get one.

    I love your old truck. I have never seen a cream or white one.

    I cant decide whether to do my car up this year. Usually I squash a stuffed reindeer on the bonnet and shove a stuffed santa in the middle of the wiper blades and use red ribbon as reins. It makes everyone smile as I drive around.

    I also squash a white rabbit face-first against the grill at Easter time. I think it’s hilarious.

    I’m with the fella on topping belonging under the cheese. It’s a ‘holding in place” thing. Though anyone who has the audacity to shove their wrappers down the couch has no right to be spruking the rules about anything to anyone.

    PS See how I did not put capitals on his name. I’m still pissed with him. He ain’t getting no special treatment from me.

    Now I really want to share a picture of my table tableaux. I have a gold glass tree under my glass dome and a tiny celluloid antique fawn. You’d love it.

  4. Tiredoldwoman says:

    I love your house especially the soft green dresser and the old truck !
    You’ve mentioned ‘ the fella’ a lot recently – has the autumn and now the run up to Christmas made you think about the good times and wish things had been better ? It does it to me every year !

    • Karen says:

      Hell no, lol! No, I just don’t refrain from mentioning him. I couldn’t! He was a huge part of my life regardless of how things turned out. But I totally get that the holidays are really, really hard for most people to push past the melancholy. ~ karen!

  5. Sylvia says:

    Beautiful…I LOVE YOUR HOUSE…especially those plank floors.

  6. Robin says:

    I love love love your house!!! And I had to laugh about the finding the wrappers from the ex. That will be my son in twenty five years. When he was 3 or so, I would find stock piles of shriveled up baby carrots behind the couch, the dresser, the shelf……

    Merry Christmas – can’t wait for the detailed decorating instructions – I need inspiration/help!

  7. Kat says:

    Your house is stunning but I wish I hadn’t seen all those photos as I found myself dissecting every nook and cranny in your house. I finally had to give my head a shake when I was actually trying to see what was in your fridge, before that I was trying to see if you had dirt in those cracks between the floor boards in your bedroom. They are beautiful floor boards by the way. I stopped now and went back to the top so I could just enjoy your beautiful house tour. Thanks for sharing and can’t wait till Wednesday.

  8. Tracie Berry says:

    Ahhh…I love absolutely everything about this year’s Christmas decorating. It would take too long to comment on all my favorites…but I’m still kind of freaked out about that pig’s head. How long does it take you to finish everything? I am such a slow ass…

  9. Paula says:

    I love your highboy dresser, in fact; I am secretly (not so much anymore) coveting all of your possessions. 🙂
    Beautiful home and decorating job.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I need to get a move on… I am so far behind that it will be Easter before I am ready for Christmas!

  11. Ellen says:

    Should the fella show up…..offer him a piece of toast….haha!!

  12. Sandi says:

    Your gold tree is gorgeous. Your house looks wonderful. The plank floors look great as is.
    Your niece is right, paper whites do smell like vomit. I covet everything but the paper whites. You may keep those.

  13. Steph says:

    Love your house, so many treasures, fab Christmas decorations too, just beautiful.
    It’s 40deg C here today in Oz, so Christmas seems back to front, it’s all summer holidays, swimming & barbecues even though most people still have the traditional decorations & food.
    Pity the fella didn’t stuff $100 bills into the sofa & other weird places around the house, now that would be a nice surprise!!
    Thanks for sharing so generously with us.

  14. Kath says:

    Underneath the cheese?
    UNDERneath the cheese?
    Underneath the CHEESE?

    You know, this sort of…what shall we call it?…aberration?…is what’s known as a strong indicator.
    Congratulations. You dodged one bad bullet.

  15. MissChrisSA says:

    All I can say is WOW!
    Really looks stunning and I love the pine foliage that hangs and drapes everywhere.
    I have been considering attacking the pine trees (in the middle of summer here!!) at our Country Club for some decor for our home.

    I am yet to do any Christmas decor – best get my “a” into gear fast!!!

  16. Laurie says:

    LOVE your house. It’ so warm and inviting. It was obviously arranged by a creative clever mind. It makes me wish for a house. I live in a studio apartment so space is limited. My Christmas tree is a vintage 14″ beaded tree that’s been in my family for decades. Anyway thanks so much for posting all these photos!

  17. Grammy says:

    As usual, I love every bit of your house, and your Christmas decorating. Beautiful. But again I am reminded that with my husband (a set-in-his-ways old man who drops everything wherever he stops using it), an 8-month old puppy who thinks full speed ahead is the proper way to navigate life and that there is NOTHING that is not to be eaten (or, at the very least, sampled), and a six-year-old grandson who is here every day for several hours after school, I just can’t have nice things. Except the wine glasses — I have exactly the same wine glasses that you have! I’ll drink to that.

  18. Gillian says:

    LOVE your floors. They are A.M.A.Zing!! What will you do once you’ve sanded them down?

    The gold tree could totally be a year round holiday type tree. Think of the seasonal decorations and such you could put on it! …or leave it naked. It’s beautiful.

    • Karen says:

      I’m not sure yet Gillian. I’m working on that. I was going to leave them completely raw actually but instead of looking beautiful they just look unfinished, lol. It’s a struggle because pine (which my floors are) is VERY soft and pull a lot of orange when you put any coating of anything on them. Last night I experimented with beeswax/mineral oil hoping it wouldn’t pull the orange but it did. 🙁 ~ karen!

      • Sylvia says:

        Hey. Have you tried a water based poly? Goes on milky, but dries clear. Best part, no orange!

        • Karen says:

          I’m going out to buy some of it today actually Sylvia to test it. The thing with pine though, is no matter what you put on it, even just water, it brings up all the natural colour of the wood which is yellow/orange. ~ karen!

          • Karin says:

            Would a light coat of whitewash counteract the orange? Just thinking out loud… I’m sure whatever you do will be amazing as always!

          • jacqueline says:

            My mom found pine under multiple layers of linoleum kitchen flooring in our 1920s house when I was a kid. Wanting a neutral/non-orange look for the refinished end-product, she did something akin to this:
            The floors still look beautiful today! If you go for a method like this, I think you actually can counteract the dreaded yellow/orange hue (which I’m not fond of, either, in flooring).
            🙂 Just grazing the surface of Google, but perhaps this will help!

      • Suzanne says:

        Have you tested tung oil? Pure, only. My go to finish for everything wood. Best about it, when you get a worn spot, just put a bit more on, no resanding. And non toxic! May not yellow out, brings out the red in pine.

  19. Deb says:

    I look forward to all of your posts however Christmas time house is my favorite, followed by summer front yard garden. I wish I could decorate 1/2 as well as you do!
    Happy Hoildays!

  20. Ardith says:

    You had me at the last photo, big time, Karen. All your Christmas decorating is festive, wonderful, lovely. That one wall is just so rustically impressive. I have wall envy now. I’ve never had wall envy before. I have no coping skills for it. Cheers, Ardith

  21. Julia (mumo3kids) says:

    Your sparse sickly bendy tree looks a little Dr Suess-ey to me (a good thing IMO)… Without a Grinch in sight!
    Lovely decs Karen, not a bum note anywhere… I’m definitely going to try to emulate the over cupboard door wreaths – the kitchen needs them. Are they on door hangers, or have you fashioned something yourself?
    I’d better get in that loft and start hauling..

  22. Marna says:

    Just wonderful! 🙂

  23. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Beautiful. But I’ve told you before how much I admire your home. My envy, though, is reserved for those beautiful old floors. The patina is so rich and golden. Please consider how much work it’s gonna take to sand them down and how you have so many better things to do with all those grueling hours of hard labor. Preserve the floors! Maybe I should start a campaign? Save K B’s Floors! (I recently read a post where dried out, splintery Thonet chairs were saved by apply paste wax to harden them and seal splintery spots.) Just saying…. I don’t think raw floors are going to be an improvement.
    And that’s my two cents worth!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Yes, they really are Sherry, lol. It’ll take some figuring out but it’ll be better. These floors are far too dark the finish is scratched off in most places. They were sanded and refinished 15 years ago, so it isn’t like it’s never been done before. It just seems to frighten people. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • shirley says:

      I agree with Alaska. Leave the floors alone. The only thing worse than good is better.

  24. Catherine says:

    Soooo pretty and welcoming. Love all your decorations and all the natural bits and bobs.

  25. Ruth says:

    Considering this is the first in 2 years you have cleaned your place, you did an excellent job. ;D

    I still love your rolling pin collection. 🙂

  26. Jacquie says:

    If you put cheese over the toppings on pizza, they don’t fall off when you’re eating it so sounds crazy at first but actually makes sense. Not that I’m crediting the fella with that of course 🙂

  27. Bols says:

    See, and I actually wanted a more sparse tree this year. But since every year I buy a tree of the smallest category (I like 5′ but it usually is 6.5′ or 6′) at Home Depot, the choice is limited. Either the trees are tightly wrapped in a mesh making it impossible to guess or the few non-meshed ones are as close to perfection as possible (in a year when I want a sparse one). So my tree is rather fluffy and so far, it only has lights on it.

    I have 3 strings of lights (clear incandescent ones) that I have been using on my Xmas trees for years. They go on the tree in the same order each year because the top string has the plug on one end only which makes it perfect for running the lights up the tip. Anyway, lights were put on the tree and I noticed that my tree is fashionably ombre. The lights on the top string were rather white, those on the middle string the usual warm white while the bottom string ones are getting a bit amber-y. As I said, I have them all for at least 10 years. Sitting on the couch, I noticed that there is gap in the lights near the top and I stood up to rearrange the lights a bit I noticed that 3 lights in sequence are dead. As I put up my hand to move the string a bit, the side of my hand accidentally touched one of the lit bulbs and it burned my hand. It was like when you accidentally touch a hot frying pan, I jerked my hand away before I could even realize what happened. By that time the bulbs on the top string shone so bright the living room was like a lunapark. I realized the top string is a goner and I left it on the tree for the rest of the evening and then it went into trash.

    On Friday night I hit the stores to find a replacement. And this was when I found out that the majority of Christmas lights were recalled due to a fire hazard and there are no lights to be had in the whole city except for some outdoors huge clunky ugly LED ones.

    • Karen says:

      As soon as I read that your lights were “ombre” I wanted to email you immediately to say take the lights down! Hopefully the stores will get more in before the end of the season. ~ karen!

  28. Sandra Lea says:

    I love the sparse, skinny tree. They do look more natural and they show off all your ornaments much better than a full tree.

  29. Cheryl says:

    Hey, I know those tea towels. I wrapped my mother’s Christmas gifts in them.

    • Cheryl says:

      And I forgot the second thing I was going to say, which is that I would totally leave my tree up all year if I had room. I love all the tiny lights.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! I just bought them! They were on sale. Woo hoo! Sometimes all it takes is a tea towel to make things festive. 🙂 ~ karen!

  30. Ronda says:

    the whole house is gorgeous, but I’m especially entranced by the cake stands on the kitchen island, with their bird topped covers! Christie??

  31. Emie says:

    LOVELY! The front hallway tree is the best!!!

  32. Jody Boswell says:

    Some houses make you wish you could move right in. Yours is definitely one for me. You make my day and encourage my “I can do that” part of my brain. Thanks for being so great.

  33. magali says:

    I was already envious of your rolling pin wall and now you have made me love it even more! One day I will have a mini version of that 🙂

  34. Rose says:

    Wow, your house looks amazing. Please keep us updated on the steps you take to redo your beautiful floors. Also, there is a big crack in your stump table. Was it always there or did it dry out. What finish did you put on it?

  35. Rose says:

    You are a magic maker!

  36. Leslie Zuroski says:

    Beautiful tour, tanks Karen! I don’t remember seeing the white credenza in the dining room before. Is it new? Is there a post about it? I’m so curious about that.

  37. Tigersmom says:

    I still love that gold tree. I have never found it’s equal, though I have looked.

    And you are right about paper whites. I love them and my husband thinks they are nasty.

  38. Su says:

    It’s lovely…. I still love the wall of art…

  39. jainegayer says:

    I LOVE it!

  40. Rachel says:

    Do you know what Adam did with the Apple core after he was done eating it? Stashed it in a rose bush hoping God wouldn’t see it. He then went off to swing on a vine with one of his animal pals he hadn’t thought of a name yet because why rush when you’re immortal, right? Plus the Knowledge part hadn’t taken effect yet as compared to Eve so he had a little play time left. You know what Eve did with her core? Found a little spot to call her own and tried planting all the seeds to yield 4 more trees. You’ve made your own gorgeous beautiful Garden of a home for yourself just the way you like it, don’t let Fellas stash crap in it and go off to swing on vines.
    Love your kitchen walls by the way! 😉

  41. marilyn says:

    i can’t believe it took you two years to find those easter egg wrappers!

  42. Heather says:

    who drank the wine?

  43. laura says:

    Love your style. I wish you and thee fella were still together. Videos and posts were hilarious.

  44. Leisa says:

    Beautiful job! It looks very magical and inviting!!!

  45. Karin says:

    Love the whole house, but those floors were the first thing to catch my eye! And, hate to say it, but Ernie doesn’t look like he’s likely to help you with anything at all – not the floor sanding, not the dishes or the laundry, nothing. I suppose it’s all about Ernie? I know that’s how my cat, Louise, feels about things. It’s all about Louise. Happy Holidays!

  46. dede says:

    When my daughter was two, she piped up at the dinner table and said, “peas hurt”. It took three adults to hold her down while I went up her nose with a hemostat. It was so funny. Why do people put things where they don’t belong?
    I’m glad you owned up to your house being perfect only for the pix. I might get depressed if I thought it looked so beautiful all the time.
    Leave those floors alone and go on a beach holiday instead. What the hell.

  47. Carol says:

    Two years isn’t bad on finding those Easter egg wrappers………….it took me almost 10 years to find a decorated Easter egg that was hidden in a wreath hanging on an inside door……….never even had an odor………found it when moving……….

  48. Thera says:

    Beautiful! I love all of it! Can I move in please? Or at least visit?

    As for men I have a hubby, a 15 yr old male and a 17 yr old male, weird stuff is stuffed everywhere here, until I find it.
    Socks, wrappers, kleenex, dried shriveled baby carrots, you name it I have probably come across it in my house.
    Now in all fairness the 13 yr old female is a slob too, however, she leaves all her stuff all around but in obvious-middle-of-the-floor-hall-stairs-bathroom piles.

    I am a Virgo and they are slowly killing me, help please lol.

  49. maggie van sickle says:

    My little Grandson says pizza toppings first and then cheese. Maybe the fella had a point. Just sayin Karen and by the way love the simplicity of your decorating. Elegant and simple,
    my kind of stuff.

  50. Mary says:

    Thanks for the monday morning house porn 🙂 . You have me a bit concerned about stripping the floors – 175 years of patina gone forever.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary. No, lol. It isn’t 175 years of patina. That’s only the case when you’re talking about a barn with unfinished wood. These are finished floors that have probably been sanded and refinished several times over the past however many years. Actually the bedroom/upstairs floors were only uncovered by me 16 year ago. They were under carpeting and had never seen the light of day so there wasn’t much patina to speak of. It was subfloor really. Wood doesn’t really gather much of a patina when it’s been treated or finished with any kind of coating like urethane. ~ karen!

  51. Carol Hogan says:

    Dear Karen – I would like to move into your house because I LOVE every single bit of it.

    PS I am way nicer than the fella and I never stick my candy wrappers in the sofa.

  52. Linda in Illinois says:

    Is that an animal skin rug in your hall?? it is beautiful. I want.
    Your house is gorgeous ! Your style is perfect inside and out.
    I can’t wait for your posts..
    Happy Holidays

  53. Brooke says:

    Just LOVE everything, in every picture! So cheery and spare but cozy…wonderful job. Two questions: I see (I think) some battery-operated candles on your mantel. Any recommendations on them? I’m thinking of getting some rechargeable ones, but want them to look as real as possible. I have a couple of pillars that are battery-operated, but I’m going through batteries like a reindeer through carrots (reindeer DO eat carrots, don’t they?)

    Also, I adore your kitchen…it’s just delightful. What do you use to polish your stainless steel appliances? I don’t see even a HINT of fingerprints, smudge, cooking dirt…You must have very thorough cleaning elves.

  54. ellen says:

    It’s clear you don’t have a dog. Candy wrappers stuffed anywhere would be discovered in minutes! Your house looks fabulous!

  55. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks for sharing your home with us-as usual your decorating is wonderful! The all-white nutcracker is so “you”. There is too much to go on about because every photo is full of your tastes, and done well. My house was built in 1806, and the flooring upstairs is poplar wood with incredibly large planking. I doubt we will ever sand it down though! Good luck with that job, it sounds huge! And Merry Christmas Karen!

  56. Perfection. All of it. That swoony lady picture in the dining room-I’ll be dreaming of her for days on end.

  57. Jack Ledger says:

    Inspiration, inspiration………where do I find that? I remember, in a galaxy far, far away, I enjoyed the toil of decorating my home for Christmas. Now moving on to 70 years old, inspiration has gone the way of the dodo bird. However, so the neighbours don’t start whispering terrible things about me, I have put a string of boughs and lights across my veranda. Who knows, maybe I will get invited over for an eggnog or two.

    By the way Karen, your home is lovely. I like to think that maybe some of that inspiration in that galaxy far, far away found its way into your genetic pool.

  58. Barb says:

    One of my favorite things about your home is how you so freely mix every imaginable style…from antique to contemporary. And it all goes so well together, I think because you use so much white to keep it “calm”. You certainly inspire us all to go for the things that speak to us!

  59. Wendy says:

    Hi Karen. I love your house. Everything about it. If I didn’t have to live with one fella and two little fellas (the former doesn’t see clutter, and the latter leave a trail of socks, Lego and Pokemon cards where ever they go) my house could be like that. Happiest of Holidays. W.

  60. Cathy says:

    I love your kitchen too. I could easily live in it, it has heated floors after all. And the white pick up truck? I’d leave it out all year long and decorate it seasonally. Merry Christmas! Thanks for the tour… My house looks like the bomb squad was 10 min too late.

  61. Ann Brookens says:

    You got a new Rough Linen comforter! …maybe you could send me the old one???

    Your house looks wonderful! Merry Christmas, Karen!

  62. Heather says:

    Everything is lovely and I am sure you love your real Christmas tree but for me it is just too sparse . For my taste I want a tree that you cant see through , lush , green , and sparkly . No Scandinavian sparseness for me in my Christmas tree. I do love the fact that your home is not over the top with Christmas “stuff” . It allows your very lovely statement pieces to shine through and oh my but they do shine ! ….but that real tree ……I am sorry but unfortunately all I can say is ,,,,,,meh . It just doesn’t do it for me .

    The floors are gorgeous ,the beside table is delish and the harvest table to die for ! I do have to ask though, where did you find that pig’s head! It is fantabulous! something I would expect to find in a very french inspired vintage kitchen , I LOVE IT ! and would love to know where you found it ?
    Thanks for sharing your home with us . It is most definitely fodder for inspiration and also allows us to see that the juxtaposition of modern and vintage/antique are such a feast for the eyes ,

  63. Valerie says:

    Thank you for posting these pictures Karen. Everything is precious, lovely and represents a great deal of time, effort and creativity.
    A suggestion for your prize truck which I also love. You need to find a tiny wee doll – one that would resemble you complete with blonde hair to put in the driver’s seat and a tiny decal for the door that reads
    “Karen’s Stuff – Delivery Service.”

  64. leisa says:

    Karen, my daughter wanted pine wood floors that looked exactly like they didn’t have stain on them. I worked with Pete’s Wood floors in MN. The customer service was top notch. We ended up with a slightly blue tinted product that countered the “when we oil it the wood turns ugly coloured, Mom” Her floor looks like it’s untouched wood, but it’s held up to a teenager who paints. Pete’s don’t offer what they sold us on their website– but if you them; let them know what you’re looking for, and they’ll help. And if you can’t find it locally they ship. (We weren’t local either.) Hope this helps.

  65. Alice O'Connor says:

    Always an inspiration! Been looking at these pics off and on all morning.

  66. Ben says:

    The comment about the old custom made field boots that were sadly made for someone else made me laugh till I cried… don’t know why but that was hilarious!!! I really love your house and all the decorations. PS. Does that pig head live on the wall all year? You have a wonderful eclectic style to all your favorite things. You truly rock !! Merry Christmas.

  67. Lisa says:

    Love,Love,LOVE! So beautiful! I am pretty sure you have probably answered this question but, how did you seal and or care for your linoleum floors in the kitchen? I have a number of boxes that I bought for another house (also black and white) but, sold it before my vision was complete. Presently contemplating another move and hoping to use in the future!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa! My floors are VCT (vinyl composite tile) and they’re finished with liquid wax. About 6 coats. You pour it on, let it dry, then buff it. It’s by Armstrong and it’s made for the VCT tiles. ~ karen!

  68. Mary W says:

    Are you going to leave them sand blasted or refinish them with faux patina? Love the shine they have now and whatever you do, it will be amazing. Ernie may not help with the sanding but I bet he will love helping with the dusting! Have to say, I think a tiny jingle bell with two holly leaves and and tiny red bow would look good in your printers trey – just one. For that matter one jingle bell next to that gorgeous white bowl on your wicker end table would look cute. In fact placing 12 hidden around your house would be a fun thing to find in your pictures – like Where’s Waldo. One hanging from the pull chain on the three legged lamp to balance the red from the picture of the upside down red girl. I love to play with your ideas since of course I won’t do anything in my house. Too many kids, pets, and people around. Your DIY snow globes are a true centerpiece! The fire looks so inviting and I adore the white ice cream cone Christmas trees in the platter behind your sofa. That looks like they are buried in snow or is it sugar or salt – nah that would be too sticky. What is it? Fake snow? The lady and her bottle is just too funny. Love the sparse swags and gorgeous old glass ornaments. The tree is so beautiful in all its colors with enough room between branches to show off the glass. Perfect! MS once cut out huge hunks of branches and put little scenes nested in the branches. I imagine she is jealous of your scenes! Love the pig head, the bird on the wire domes, just everything. You certainly have a way with finding just the right things. I love the gold tree which would be fun to decorate all year with a change each month of tiny decorations – snow men for January, hearts for February, etc. I just am having a ball visiting your lovely home and pretending. Thanks for the visit!

  69. Maria says:

    I don’t decorate for Christmas but I enjoy looking at others. Yours is always extra special.

    I can’t wait until January to hear how the floor sanding went and how that orbital belt sander threw you from far to gone in the process.

    Merry Christmas. You are a funny woman and a blessing to me.

    As a small side note, I noticed how you are telling The Fella to stick it. Or did I read that wrong?

  70. Janice Mortimer says:

    Karen I remember a while ago while you you redoing the kitchen, you were thrilled to find the pot lights that had speakers in them. How did they turn out?? Did they work like you had hoped?

    • Karen says:

      omg I LOVE them Janice. They’re great! Most people are now getting the Sonos system for music which is also fantastic. A wireless system where you put a speaker in every room and control it all through your phone. Different music and loudnesses in all the rooms or the same everywhere. Whatever you want. It isn’t cheap but it’s great, great quality sound and you can gradually add speakers as you feel you can afford them. ~ karen!

  71. Laura Bee says:

    Gorgeous as always. Pull the gold tree out at Easter, perfect for a gumdrop tree.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mia! I’ll take a look. Someone else suggested a blue tinted primer type of thing that helps neutralize the orange so I’m going to look into that too. ~ karen!

  72. Shauna Pratt says:

    Abso-fuckin-lovely as an old friend used to say. (And I love how you brought the “sticking things where they don’t belong” thought train back into the station at the end!) YOU Ms. Karen are a Christmas treasure! Well done – enjoy that beautiful home you have created.
    And Merry Christmas!

  73. Kelly says:

    Don’t listen to the naysayers about refinishing your floors. The 1883 farmhouse I purchased 8 years ago had carpet through out, nice new carpet. Friends and family said I was NUTS, CRAZY a DUMB A$$, etc to even consider taking up the carpet and refinishing the wood floors!!!! “So hard, waste of time and energy, you’ve never done such a huge project, enjoy the carpet…” BLAH BLAH BLAH. As usual I ignored them all (I am an aquarius and won’t be told what to do) and set out to prove to them I can do this!! It was a very big project, time consuming and sometimes back breaking but sooo sooo sooo worth it!!! My electrician was very impressed, he saw the condition of the floors when I had removed the carpet (dark gray from years of dirt). Exact quote from him ” Girl I can’t believe you did this, the floors are amazing. You made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.
    I am still stubborn and still proud of my floors 8 years later!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kelly, lol. I think they’re just worried I’m trying to get brand new looking, shiny floors. I’m not. It’s a big job but the floors aren’t looking as great as they could and that’s my goal! It’s hard to see in the photos of my house but the varathane is scratched and the colour is too opaque because of the stain and … and … they just don’t look great. They’ll look more like the original, historic floors they are once I’m done with them. So did you rent a sander or do it with home tools? I’m afraid an orbital or huge rental belt sander will take too much floor off. They’re pine and very soft. I feel a bit safer doing them with a hand held home belt sander and palm sander. ~ karen!

      • Kelly says:

        After much experimentation I found the large belt sander with the dust collector attachment, I rented, to be the easiest way to sand the 2200 sq ft of floors I have. The large orbital sander was a nightmare. Hard to control and removed more than I wanted it to. The belt sander I rented was very easy to control and I learned quickly how fast to push it to get the results I wanted. The men at the rental place were so helpful with suggestions and instructions. They told me what grits of sandpaper to use in each step to get my desired look. I used smaller hand held sanders to get in tight spots and along baseboards. I suggest practicing/ learning in an inconspicuous place in your house. The large belt sander was a back saver and a piece of cake. I wouldn’t be afraid to try it if I were you.

  74. Kalani Allred says:

    Your home looks so pretty. Understated. I love it! The layered towels on the front of the stove is an idea I’m going to steal. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      And *I* stole that idea from my friend Brett Walther who is the home editor at Canadian Living magazine. 🙂 ~ karen! (now that I think about it he’s with Reader’s Digest now)

  75. Caarin says:

    Can I just move into your kitchen?! Such a beautiful home!

  76. Jody says:

    My goodness, where to begin??? I love how you have decorated for the holidays. Little things here and there, surprises scattered around each room. I love your varied collection of bottle brushes. I think I need to head to the Dollar Store and get a load of Epson salts in. I just realized where I’ve gone wrong with decorating. I need to edit out way more of the usual stuff to make room for the Christmas. Then I too could have treasures strategically scattered around my house. It seems right now most of Christmas decorations are smashed together on 2 mantels and it looks like crap.

    If this blogging career of yours ever tanks you could be a stylist–starting with my home.

  77. Elen G says:

    I’m with you on the garland, Karen. Everything looks beautiful, but I’m particularly smitten with the trees on the stands in the kitchen.

  78. Karin says:

    ooooh, i got a little area with really old planks, it’s behind the living room, next to the dining room, it’s all open. i generously i call it my “library” although not a single book is to be found in it, yet. i’m planning on taking care o that at some point. i love the old floorboards and the big ol nails they used, but it got scratched some… well, again i’m being very generous, got the hell scratched out of. so i’m really looking forward to what you’ll come up with.

    i love your house and this year’s decorations. we never really do much decorating (gee here goes my generosity again), mostly because with 3 kitties and a puppy dog, why bother really. but i love love love the idea of keeping it sparse and natural. well, i got some time left; perhaps i’ll get my butt in gear this year after all. i suppose I could get rid of the moldy gourds left over from thanksgiving while i’m at it….

    and your kitchen….. *swoon*….. what a thing of beauty. may i please lick your floor some?

    sick, i know, i can’t help it, it’s a stunner.


  79. Liz says:

    can’t wait for the floor sanding post! I need it

  80. Chris says:

    I love your scraggly tree, I like the holes, the better to put ornaments into. I actually prune a 9′ tree to make holes, so as to have room for even more ornaments. Children and husband cannot bear to watch I cut so much out. I have piles and piles of fir scraps for swags and arrangements. Of course when I’m done putting on about 1600 lights and all the ornaments they approve. You’ve inspired me to make skinny garland it looks so elegant. Your white tree is the only white tree I’ve ever seen that I like, I’d leave it up all year.

    As to the floors, you might investigate a product called Rubio Monocoat, same stuff used in many European airports and museums, non toxic, which is how I learned about it.
    Merry Christmas and Joy to you.

    • Karen says:

      Funny thing Chris. Someone else mentioned they got help from a flooring refinishing store in Minnesota. I emailed them today and they said that’s what they recommend and use. I’m going to look into it to see if I can use it to cut the orange a bit. Where I’m a bit wary is I don’t want whitewashed looking floors, I just want to cut the orange. But you’re recommendation #3 for the stuff so it must have its advantages! ~ karen

      • Chris says:

        Hey Karen,
        Check out this site and call them, he is very generous with advice. Note on the website on left side he has done extensive testing with many products, if he doesn’t know what to recommend no one does. . If I still lived in Illinois I would use them without a doubt.


      • ktr says:

        What is the name of the store in Minnesota? We need to refinish our hardwood floors and live in Minnesota.

  81. Olga says:

    I love your house. However I would like to know if you going to be posting Christmas menu anytime soon. I know you supposed to live alone now, and we should feel sorry for you lol but I really miss your weekly menue, and if really would like to add some new recipes to my christmas menu as well. Sorry, I’m typing in the doctors office, so in have no time to check the grammar. I would have more time if it was my gym appointment lol.

    • Karen says:

      ha!!!!! I’ll let you know what I’m having for Christmas (Eve) dinner here at my house as soon as I’ve figured it out! I will have an easy but really cute dessert idea in the next week or so. It came to me last week and I can’t wait to do it! ~ karen

      • olga says:

        I just noticed that I have a tween brother to your Nutcracker. I and hope you figure it out before our Christmas Eve dinner, specially since we having few of your fellow Canadians at our house as well. You don’t want to disappoint them!

  82. theresa says:

    ok its wonderful – you have something in every room! I have my outside lights up -which for us is an accomplishment – usually my kids are hanging off the roof in the dark and bitter cold using very unchristmasy language a day or so before Christmas eve. So there’s hope that we will get our decorating done and have fun doing it – I will refer all grumps to this article!

  83. Pam B says:

    Hiya Karen!!! If the trees up make you happy and give you joy—leave them up. Anytime. All the time. Until they no longer bring a smile to your face. It’s your home and your life. Live it fully. Blessed be, hugs!!!

  84. Jan in Waterdown says:

    If you EVER get tired of that gold tree, gimme a call, cuz I know you have limited storage space and I will be verrry happy to help you out. Failing that, please leave it to me in your will . . . ‘K?
    And, jumping on the sparse tree bandwagon, I bought a faux sparse one from Ikea a few years ago, so I can totally relate to how much you like yours. It looks so real. Just love it!

  85. Mindy says:

    I laughed out loud at the pizza comment.
    I cried out loud when I saw the wall cubby devoid of vintage ornaments.
    How do I get people to send them to ME? 😉

    • Karen says:

      Ha! O.K., well one set I had to pick up if that makes a difference. AND my niece (Bikram Yoga) emailed me this morning and told me to put vintage ornaments in my “wood thing with nooks” immediately. So … If you check out my Instagram tomorrow they will be right there waiting for both of you. ~ karen!

  86. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Well kid..ya did good as usual…My favorite is the real tree with vintage ornaments (though it may be a bit sparse darling) is the type of tree I love because you can show so many ornaments on it…You never disappoint my old eyes when it comes to Christmas…As for Ernie doing any type of physical labor…she is much too beautiful for that sort of thing…I wouldn’t expect much from Cleo either…she is a queen you know….Thanks for sharing your beautiful home again…I’m also sure a lot of shop owners are going to be curious as to why so many women are wondering around look for pig’s heads to hang on their walls this Christmas…

  87. Sally says:

    Halfway through your post, I stood up, walked into my storage room, and dragged out my Christmas bins; THANK YOU! Just the inspiration I needed and it didn’t even take the whole post!

  88. ktr says:

    You may inspire me yet to search for my Christmas decorations. We moved and I can’t remember where I put them. Although, with a 4 year old boy running (literally running most of the time) around the house and recently throwing balls at the undecorated Christmas tree, I’m not sure putting any decorations out is a good idea!

  89. kelli says:

    Your house makes me cry, it’s so lovely, and even moreso at Christmas time! As an offshoot to TAODS you really should start your own decorating consulting service, you’d absolutely make a killing!

  90. sera says:

    Honestly, there is just too much to comment on. It’s a christmas wonderland!!!
    I hate the smell of paperwhites but I love the way you decorated them with the shiny twigs! Love it!

  91. Victoria says:

    It ALL looks BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!
    A tip if you are going to sand the floors down.. Unfinished floors get really dirty, really easily, I’m sure you already know that..! If you want the light color, typical Swedish pine wood floors, you have to cold clean them with såpa, many many times to build up a stain resistant beautiful light floor. It’s a liquid soap Swedes have been using for generations. Important that water is cold otherwise floors can turn green.. I think you can buy it online. Grumme is a good brand. Good Luck!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks so much Victoria. I was looking into that a month or so ago but couldn’t find the information again! Now to find Grumme såpa in Canada, lol! ~ karen

  92. Kate says:

    Stunning and inspiring–your Christmas tour is a favourite!

    The vintage tree ornaments in particular spark my interest… I’ve got my eyes on a few Kijiji treasures like these. Any advice for buying vintage ornaments? I want to invest in meaningful pieces but if I can get the right price for them that always helps…

    Also loving the garlands on your mirror and Margaret’s frame, are they real?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kate! I actually only ever buy my ornaments from garage sales! Once I bought a HUGE box of them from an antique show but the whole box was only $10. Great colours though. One piece of advice is even though they’re way more available around Christmas time if you buy them during the holidays you’ll also be paying top price. Keep your eyes open at flea markets and that sort of thing and do a bit of research. The Germans were the first makers of glass ornaments and those are often the most valuable. ~ karen! (p.s. my garlands are fake but I love them because they’re so realistic)

  93. Diane says:

    Karen, Do you remember where you got the toast coasters? I’ve got a cute “toast rack?” that begging to set free from its cabinet more often.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane. I go them as a Christmas present but if you go back a few posts to my stocking stuffer ideas I’ve linked to where you can buy them on Amazon. ~ karen!

  94. Cussot says:

    I love the circle of glittery branches around the paperwhites to hold the stems straight – what a great idea!

  95. Anne says:

    Oh man, it looks wonderful. Makes me wanna plunk down on that sectional drink wine and laugh about inappropriate stories (too much?). It feels so truly welcoming – friendly, without being uptight. And your kitchen continues to dazzle, just grand.
    I love the floors now and I bet they will look even better when you are done. I have a 1930’s wee arts and crafts house and hope to do my oak floors someday with a similar rich tone.
    Truly lovely.

  96. Leslie says:

    Wow Karen. I just love your house. You just have that knack for making everything look so nice and put together. I love the wood, the clean everything. Your table is lovely. I love wood and antique. Oooh and that kitchen. I too have a custom made pair of field boots that were made for someone else LOL. Someone ordered them and never picked them up. Lucky for me they fit well. Maybe that is where I know you from?? Horse stuff? You always looked so familiar to me.

    Always love your blogs. Never stop!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leslie. Gotta love the custom made for someone else field boots, lol. I did get a custom made pair of chocolate brown suede chaps which I wish I could wear to the grocery store. Or pretty much anywhere. You probably know me from television by the way. I spent half my life hosting shows on CFMT (OMNI), HGTV, W Network etc. ~ karen!

  97. Robin says:

    OK…I am in LoVe with Ernie, the cozy spot chair, which I’d never get to use because either of my two gorgeous loveable fluff-ball Siberian kitties would be on it, your kitchen floor, the kitchen island and the white truck ( I have a red one very similar!) Sending warm wishes for a happy, glittery Holiday season to you from Victoria, BC!

  98. Alexandra says:

    I am reading this 6 months after the fact but I just wanted to say that I love your house! So lovely and homey! I also love your framed artwork!

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