Hi Friends! How’s your week been going? It was kind of cold and dreary here today, but guess what? It’s super cozy in my living room! I’m so excited to share what I’ve been up to for Christmas this year, along with some tips for getting decked out on a budget today!
Ayla’s sitting at my feet right now coloring a picture, and Jenna and Aubrey are intermittently playing/sulking in the kitchen. They’re slightly upset because we forgot about what would have been their first field hockey practice today. Ugh. Major parenting fail moment. Ironically, just before we figured out that we’d missed it, my husband and I were having a little ‘meeting,’ trying to make plans for tomorrow and talking over how crazy busy things have been, but how we’ve somehow been managing to juggle it all. You know how every once in awhile, you have a moment where you’re like, hey, we’ve got this. We’ve got this parenting thing f i g u r e d o u t, babe. And just as you’re mentally high fiving each other for being so awesome, you get knocked back into reality by one of your kids biting the other one, or someone catapulting a vase across the living room, or a child sneaking off and eating half a bag of chocolate chips before anyone notices. Or, in this case, your five year old walking into the room and exclaiming, “when are we supposed to leave for field hockey?!” Oh my goodness, I feel terrible. I think I’m going to make chocolate chip cookies for them tonight to make up for it. That’s fair recompense, right?
Yikes, grown up life is crazy! There’s so much going on, and I think we’re all just kind of struggling to keep our heads above water most of the time, aren’t we? So that’s why as I’m giving you all a tour of my living room today, I also want to say, my house rarely looks like this. I wish it did, and I work non-stop trying to keep it looking like this, but let’s be real. I have 3 kids 8 and under, and when I finally manage to get on top of one or two rooms, it looks like a bomb went off somewhere else. Our life is crazy and messy, and that’s ok! I remember kind of complaining to my elderly neighbor about this awhile back, and her saying that one day I’d clean my house, get everything organized and sparkling, and two months later, it’d look almost exactly the same. That doesn’t exactly sound great to me either, so I’m trying to embrace this time in my life, as hard as it is sometimes! But anyway, with that said, let’s dive on in to the tour, shall we? With this all in mind though, I still have a few updates that I want to make to the furniture in the living room. I’ve even done some research into companies like Driscolls Antiques Ltd, in the hopes of picking up some antique pieces. There’s nothing wrong in switching things up a bit! Anyway, let’s get on with this tour.
Welcome to my living room! As I was brainstorming what I wanted to do with my mantel this year, I knew I wanted to bring in this old mirror that I found at a flea market years ago. I also knew that it would be kind of boring just being up there alone, so I thought I’d head to Michael’s and see what inspired me.
Tip #1 for decorating on a budget seems pretty obvious. Shop sales.
And if you don’t know when the sales are, call and ask! More often than not, a friendly salesperson will fill you in. I got this “Joy” marquee sign when Michael’s was having their major pre-Christmas sale last weekend for 60% off. It was a little chipped, so they took off another $5 for me! Yay!
Tip #2: Shop for Christmas decor after Christmas.
I bought those white Christmas trees after Christmas last year for next to nothing!
Tip #3: Use non-specific Christmas decorations .
What I mean by this is Christmas decorations are only available in the run-up to the holidays, not year-round. This means that companies can hike their prices as much as they like. One of the best ways to save money is to create Christmas decorations from items that aren’t necessarily Christmassy. For instance, you can purchase a custom made neon light from companies such as Neon Filter at any time of the year, and have it read, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays” or even “HO HO HO” if you’re wanting something a little more fun.
Tip #4: Shop the dollar store.
See all of these snowflakes?
Ok, they’re not all from the dollar store, but most of them are! And you know what, they cost less than a dollar, because they come in multipacks. The clear, wooden, and white ones are all from Dollar General, and you’d seriously never know.
Tip #5 for decorating on a budget: Blend high and low ticket items together.
You can really achieve a gorgeous look by doing this. I mixed seriously cheap snowflakes with a couple of pricier ones from World Market.
Tip #6: Use what you already have!
Sometimes getting the look you want requires looking at what you have in a new way. Instead of just hanging colored bulbs on the tree, add them to a nontraditional colored box with greenery. Nestle in a couple of bottle brush trees, and you’ve got something that feels new, but isn’t. I bought these bottlebrush trees on clearance after Christmas a few years ago!
Tip #7: Have your kids make ornaments.
You’re probably already doing this, but I had to add it in. This is such a fun family tradition that my kids look forward to, big time. It helps fill up our tree, and I honestly love looking at all of my girls handmade trinkets ?
For me, they’re also a really good reminder of what I want Christmas to be about at our house.
I guess this isn’t really a budget decorating tip, but it’s a tip nonetheless. Have you tried standing your tree in a galvanized bucket? I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and aesthetics aside, this is just a really convenient way to perch your tree. First, shaking off your tree skirt, vacuuming up the needles, and then trying to get the tree skirt back on without covering it in needles again? Not fun. I also have terrible aim when it comes to watering, and a galvanized bucket solves both of these problems! And it looks pretty!
Tip #8: Use Christmas cards as art!
This is a simple and pretty Christmas card that I mounted to card stock and framed! I love the pop of color that it adds to our bookshelves.
Between you and me, I’ve been looking on https://maxyourhometime.com and have found the perfect bookshelf speaker as a prezzie for my husband so I’m going need to reorganize this shelf again after Christmas day! And, yes, the one I’ve chosen does fit in with the rest of the room 😉
Tip #9 is another obvious one, but worth mentioning. Cut your own greens!
You can find evergreen everywhere outside. Bring them in! They’re free, they’re simple, and they look beautiful.
I’m loving this simple nativity this year… The stand and cloche makes it special and gives it a place of honor, don’t you think?
I’m also loving these dollar store ornaments, hanging from garland…
The sense of history old books give to a bookshelf…
This serene little cottage… One of the girls favorites ?
Mistletoe and bells are subtle and festive…
a humble little tree…
A chalkboard pillow…
And one of my favorites – this cute little christmas jeep ornament turned shelf accessory!
And here’s the view coming in from our back door. If you look closely you can see that these bookshelves don’t fit here perfectly. Our intention was to make custom built ins, but these billy bookshelf hand-me-downs became a ‘temporary’ solution about five years ago now! I can’t wait to finish them up and show you the transformation one of these days!
I love this reindeer from World Market, and this clock that I found at Homegoods years ago is still one of my favorites…
The jute wrapped tree was from Target’s dollar section, and the camper pillow cover was a Pottery Barn clearance buy a few years ago….
Isn’t this little bird adorable? I bought him at Target last year… After Christmas, of course! 🙂 So happy that he finally gets to make his appearance.
And that’s about it guys! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the ‘tour!’ Wishing you all a blessed week!
So I love everything about your living room! But the 2 things that really stuck out are your mantel! We dont have one…but I love them and you just made me realize you can almost put one anywhere. I am like jumping up and down right now?? #2 the ladder with your blankets. I am constantly picking up blankets. If I fold them and put them over the furniture the boys ALWAYS throw them on the floor. That is genius! So again your house is beautiful and thanks for the tips!!❤
Aww! Thanks, Justine! What a sweet comment! You really can put a mantel anywhere. Ours was part of that temporary solution that I mentioned in the post, but I really loved it even more than I thought I would after it went up. I’m pretty sure I’ll be working it back in when we get around to doing the finish work on that wall… And I pulled that ladder from our neighbor’s burn pile when we first moved in, and I love it for blankets! Surprisingly, no one ever climbed it either… Until Ayla came along 🙂
Jen @ Migonis Home says
Beautiful, Laura! What a cozy and welcoming space! It is so exhausting doing a tour, is t it??’ 🙂
Oh my goodness, Jen, I never knew! I have so much respect for all of you talented bloggers. This is not easy! Haha! Thanks for stopping by and commenting… Can’t wait to check out all of the fab tours on your blog!! 🙂