Holiday House Tour 2019

Christmas this year has been a little different. Bradley’s grandmother passed away earlier this month, and my grandmother has moved from her home. Our four siblings and their families came for visits earlier in the year, so we don’t see them at Christmas. All of our gathering traditions are changing. It makes for a slower pace which I am better able to handle, but it is sad at the same time. One wonderful addition this year is our new church! We are part of planting a new campus of our church in our local community. No more driving down into the city for church and it makes it so easy to invite our local friends and neighbors. Our Christmas service was on the 20th and I began my volunteer role of coordinating the dinner for over 200 volunteers! I will do this on a weekly basis when we begin normal services in January. I am excited and nervous at the same time!

We began using this slim tree last year so that it could slip into this corner without having to rearrange any furniture. It is easier to put up and requires fewer ornaments, so I’m all about it.
This ornament came from our Christmas service at our new church!
Each year when we travel, we bring home an ornament to remind us of the trip. This one is from our trip to Roanoke, VA for Bradley’s cousin’s wedding.

Sometimes I wonder if I should go all out decorating if no one but us gets to see it, but I really enjoy the nostalgia of coming home to Christmas decorations. I have decided to try to keep my decorations very consistent – I remember as a child, helping decorate and we hardly ever got new decorations and the ones we had were always placed in the same spot each year. There is comfort in that I think.

Most of my nativities go on this shelf. From top-to-bottom: 1. My first nativity, which I bought for myself in high school is a single piece of bone china ; 2. A wedding gift from my aunt who has since passed away ; 3. A gift from my faher-in-law from a mission trip in Africa ; 4. A tiny one-piece nativity from my best high school friend that came from a mission trip to Peru.
This nativity was also a gift from my father-in-law from his mission trip to Cambodia.
I have been slowly collecting vintage glass ornaments, and this bread bowl seemed like a perfect place for them all.

Go Dawgs!

These nutcrackers were a gift from one of Bradley’s grandmothers.
This vintage sled came from Bradley’s grandfather.

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men! (Luke 2:14)

Bathroom Countertop Updates

Eventually, we would like to do full updates to our home’s full bathrooms, but in the meantime, we decided to replace the countertops in our main-floor bathroom and our master bathroom. I was forever frustrated with the original countertops – textured laminate!

BEFORE: textured laminate

I knew I wanted a marble or quartz, because I don’t care for granite. I also knew I wanted a light color for the bathrooms. We looked at a lot of slabs before deciding on Stephanie Carrera quartz. I thought it was a pretty good marble-look-alike, but with the low maintenance of quartz. Other than the stone choice I didn’t have strong opinions, so I let Bradley choose the finish, edge and sink shape. He chose a honed finish with 1/8 round edges and rectangular under-mount sinks. I am very pleased with how they turned out.

Master Bathroom Vanity

I had purchased faucets not long after we moved in anticipating changing them out some day. These polished nickel 8″ widespread faucets are from Martha Stewart’s Seal Harbor collection. I thought the widespread would allow for easier cleaning and the tall gooseneck would leave plenty of room in the sink basin. I’m very happy with how they look.

Main Floor Bathroom Vanity

Eventually, I would like to replace all of our vanities with slightly taller ones that have more of a furniture feel. In our two guest bathrooms this will necessitate replacing the floor tiles, and it would make sense to redo the shower wall tile at the same time. At that point we would also replace the original toilets. In the main floor bathroom, I would also like to eventually replace the drywall to get rid of the texture on the walls. It is a rabbit hole I was not prepared to tackle at this point, so for now – countertops it is!

A last minute add-on I made was encasing the foot prop in our shower. We remodeled and expanded our master shower a few years ago, and I’ve always hated how the tile had to be laid to give the corner “bench” a finished edge, so I had them completely cover it with the same quartz.

Guest Area Updates

I’ve made a few changes since my last posts about our guest bedroom and spare bedroom. I finally made some quick new shots of the rooms this weekend.

Guest Bedroom

I moved the crystal lamps from the den to the guest bedroom when we rearranged the den several years ago. I also replaced the undersized lamp shades with new white cotton ones from Pier 1.

Spare Bedroom

In the spare bedroom, I replaced the cheap square side table with nesting tables that no longer worked in the living room. Unpictured – we also moved the Oxford bookcase with glass doors into this room. It holds overflow books and toys for our friends’ kids that visit. Bradley’s grandfather also gave us an antique rocking chair that sits in the corner.

Guest Bathroom

I lightened up the guest bathroom with new paint (Requisite Grey by Sherwin Williams mixed at 50%) and a white shower curtain. For a little color, I painted the vanity Anchors Aweigh by Sherwin Williams mixed at 150%.

Living Room Coffee Table

I finally found the vintage coffee table I’ve been searching for over the last year. The woman I purchased the dresser for this room from offered to keep an eye out for this table, but I wasn’t holding my breath because she had never seen anything like it before. Last weekend, I got an email from her that she had found one at a furniture re-seller in Atlanta that primarily deals in mid-century designs.

I fretted right up to the moment we got there when they opened on Sunday at 11:00 am, hoping that no one had purchased it overnight. Luckily not, and now it is mine! And for a fraction of what I feared it might cost. This table is skinny, half the width of our old coffee table, and it fits the scale of the other furniture pieces I’ve chosen for this room. The marble top ties into the round side tables, and the caned shelf ties into the sides of the arm chairs and the wooden end tables on the left side.

I think the only thing left to find for this room is a rug. We have been pleased with the Ruggable rug we got for the den recently, so I think we will go that direction again if I can find a pattern I like.

Den Updates

At the end of 2018, we started our search for a new sectional for the den. The recliners we’ve had for the last five years were comfortable, but we had to keep them so far out from the wall so that they could lean back, the room looked a little ridiculous. And the mass of cords visible behind them was an eyesore.

Before and After

Bradley has always wanted a sectional, and I agreed it would be nice to have a couple extra seats in the room, but I never saw a sectional that was shaped right for our room, that also had a recliner built in. I did not want to lose the reclining function, but Bradley is fine with an ottoman.

We learned that the furniture store from which we purchased our other sofas offers customizable sectionals, we knew it was the answer. I measured the room and found that they had a configuration that would fit perfectly into the space.

The hard part was picking out the fabric. I’ve hated doing that for each piece we’ve purchased and I agonize over it. If you ask me, I could have sworn I chose a darker fabric for more of a contrast in the room, but I guess it’s just those darn tiny swatches playing tricks on me.

We went ahead and sprung for an ottoman while we were at it. It’s good for Bradley to prop up his feet or to put a tray on to corral things.

The slipper chairs were already in the room. They were just a clearance find at Target to give us a couple of extra seats in the room. The rug is also a new addition. I found it online from a site called ruggable.com – they are machine washable! We will see how it does, but for now we love it. It was the perfect find for the room that we hang out in the most and where the dogs spend a lot of their time.

Another small addition were these adorable vintage-inspired green milkglass pieces that I got at Hobby Lobby. I mixed them in on the bookshelves that flank the fireplace just for little pops of color and texture. Finishing touches are always the most difficult part of decorating to me.