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.

dresser

The bedroom high boy.

bedroom

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.

 

cat-on-bed

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.

 

 

LIving-room

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

 

furry-chair

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

 

bottle-brush-trees

Those cute toast coasters.

 

 

sofa-table

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.

 

dresser-2

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.

 

nutcracker

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

 

tree

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.

 

vintage-ornament

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

 

antique-ornament

The entire tree is decorated with them.

vintage-ornament-2

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.

 

mirror

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.

 

dining-room-white-tree

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

 

 

dining-room-table

Downton Abbey meets Duck Dynasty on the dining room table.

 

 

buffet

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

 

Paperwhites

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.

 

table-runner

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

 

 

Kitchen-cabinets

I still love my kitchen.

 

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.

 

bird-cages

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)

 

Blue-star-range

Several photos later and I still love my kitchen.

 

truck

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.

 

Rolling-Pin-Wall2

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.

156 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Cussot says:

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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) lol..it 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…

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

        http://Www.napervillehardwood.com

        Chris

      • ktr says:

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

  20. Liz says:

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

  21. 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.

    :0B

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Caarin says:

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

  25. 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)

  26. Kelly says:

    Karen,
    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.

  27. 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!

    • 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!

  28. Laura Bee says:

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

  29. 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!

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. Alice O'Connor says:

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

  35. 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.

    http://www.peteshardwoodfloors.com/contact-our-flooring-store-MN.html

  36. 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.”

  37. 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 ,

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

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

  44. 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!

  45. ellen says:

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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

  48. 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.

  49. 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!

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