Decor Tips: A Choo Choo Christmas

Christmas is around the corner and I still can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! It has been a very special year for me where I have found and pursued new interests and goals and I couldn’t be more excited with my progress and for what’s yet to come! It’s all about personal growth, perseverance, patience and self-love 🙂 . As I reflect on this year and start diving into my Christmas decor, a thought came to mind: as exciting and eventful this season can be, it also means decorations and shopping which for some, might not be that exciting. It is that time of the year when everyone is shopping and lighting up their homes with beautiful decorations to usher for the holidays and while there are many traditional ways of decorating the house for Christmas, bringing in a little personal modern touch can make a big difference in how your efforts turn out at the end. With the right tweaks and tricks your home should have a refreshing and happy holiday vibe.

For those procrastinating decorators (me 🙂 ) I wanted to share a few tips on how to decorate different parts of your home as well as a few ideas on Christmas shopping. It can be fun decorating for Christmas, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for indulging in your holiday spirit. Let’s get right into it!

A time of wonder

Red and green are the standard colors for interior Christmas decorations, but why not take yours a step further? Why not challenge the status quo? Do you dare?

  • Personalize the Traditional
    Yes, you can stay with the traditional Christmas decor, and still win. What colors make you tick? Get creative and combine those colors with the classic red and green to create something truly magical and different. Ribbons are an excellent tool for any decorative work, and they deliver super cool effects when used creatively for Christmas. You can use burlap to add a rustic feel to your tables; candy colors also stand out or add the classic black and white contrast to make your Christmas decor remarkable during and after the holiday season. I’m also really into farmhouse Christmas decor lately, which I think is a great style to combine with a modern touch.
  • Combine Metallics
    In the past, decorating with metals required sticking to one type of metallic. Now, you can spice up your bedroom with an elegant mix of different metallic textures to create an artistic look that makes your home unique and sophisticated. Whether you are combining golden candle stands with silverware, brass bowls with aluminum vases and so on, you can never go wrong with this combo!
  • Swap Your Beddings 
    As you prepare for the new season, it’s time to reshuffle your bedding arrangement to accent your private space. There is nothing wrong in combining white and cream-colored beddings and touching it up with red or purple throws. It gets better if you can get flannel sheets as well as a blanket to help lock in the heat during the cold months and reduce your energy bills. Let your creative juices start flowing. Get to it!
  • Christmas Lights
    I think an often underrated decoration item for Christmas is the lights – for indoor use at least. Those multicolored, vibrant, beautiful lights can transform your dull space into vivid brightness if you know how. Whether it’s in the kitchen, living room, bathroom or porch, Christmas lights can add life, glam, and an air of festivity to any space! Last year, I added so many lights in random places like the hand railing on my stairs and my huge artificial indoor plant – don’t ask— it made a huge difference and I loved it!
  • Transform Your Porch
    The best way to create a lasting impression with your Christmas decor is to start from the exterior, and nothing beats a beautifully decorated porch. There are many ways to make your porch look stylish this holiday season; your creativity is the only limitation. Garlands and wreaths are a simple and affordable way of transforming your porch into a wonderland. Hang wreaths and garlands on the walls of your porch, from the roof, arrange on the floor in symmetrical order, and you are good to go! You can also make a bold statement by moving your Christmas tree outside or even getting a second one for the porch – there are many beautiful outdoor trees selections. I even went with the opposite last year and used an outdoor tree as my indoor – it looked amazing! Lights, of course, can also make your porch lovely. From stringed lights hanging from the roof, ornament-filled lanterns, to glowing garlands that send off the lights in a hundred directions, your porch should wear an excellent look this Christmas 🙂

  • Kitchen Decor
    The kitchen is the melting pot of the home for people who cook. It is the place where the family catch up with each other and also serves as a cool spot for the homely visitor. It is also where all the holiday delicacies we love so much come from, making it a top candidate for Christmas decorations. Candles can add a golden and traditional ambiance to your kitchen space, but make sure to choose the right combination to go with your table setting. You can also display your treats in a beautiful decorative Christmas bowl on the counter. Garlands, lanterns and string lights also do well in the kitchen and add a bit of a different feel. Lastly, you can spice up your kitchen decor with natural elements such as pine cones, flowers, twigs, and others. Keep it simple, and Christmas is lit!

A time of giving

Now, let’s move on to Christmas shopping. Can be stressful, I know! With the whole country making last-minute purchases, prices can go up quickly, and stores run out of stock fairly fast on the items that you love! Yep, been there. During this time, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind. But there are few ways to do last minute Christmas shopping without emptying your bank account or losing your sanity.

  • Make a List
    As simple and obvious as this might seem, many people are so panicked by the fear of missing out they have no time left for making a list. Even if you are doing regular shopping, it’s wise to always shop with a list. A list helps you control your thoughts and stay focused on what you need to buy, not what your impulse or suggestive ads make you to splurge on. There will be so much temptation to buy everything at the store, but don’t fall for it – don’t be like me! Before heading out for the last run for Christmas shopping, make sure you have a list of the specific things you are getting and for who.

  • Shop at the Right Time
    You can get great deals if you know the right time to shop. The right time is when stores are discounting their stocks, making it easy to get special gifts at unbelievable prices. It’s also important to shop during off-peak periods. That way, you won’t be pressured to buy on impulse. But since next week is already Thanksgiving – be sure to take advantage for the sweet Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!
  • Choose Smaller Stores
    The large stores pull the biggest crowds, a recipe for confusion and bad choices. However, you can get everything you need at smaller, less crowded stores as well, which means you have more time to think before buying and make fewer shopping choices you’ll regret later.
  • Online Shopping
    In the age of Amazon and online shopping, you can get anything you want online, and it will be delivered to your home in record time! Why waste your energy and effort struggling with hundreds of people at full stores and risk getting punched in the face if you can order from your smartphone while making your Christmas shopping list? Nothing beats the convenience of online shopping. It makes life easier!

Remember Christmas is a special and magical time filled with love, family, and cheer. Make sure you always remember the things in your life that truly matter. Wishing you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season!

Check out a few of my fave holiday sources below! Do you have any Christmas decor tips? What is your process for Christmas shopping? Let me know in the comments!

Kirkland’s Home for the Jolly
Target Christmas Decor
Houzz Christmas Decor
Macy’s Holiday Lane
Gilt’s Home Holiday Sale
Walmart Holiday Headquarters

In the zone – My outdoor decor!

Hi everyone! So I finally got around working on my outdoor project and décor and I could not wait to share! It has been pushed back due to the weather changes in New York, but it’s finally [almost] completed and I am beyond excited 🙂 . Grab a snack and let me show you around! You can find a full product list at the end of the post.

Decision Process

We have a small deck with raw wood so the first step was to find the right color to stain it. It had a few stain marks that were very visible so I needed a semi-dark color to make sure it was all covered. I struggled to think of a color to go with at first, but I ended up with gray… of course! (if you don’t already know about my obsession with gray, check out my blog post here!). I wanted something different, but at the same time, pick a color that went well with what I had in mind for the overall décor and color scheme inside as well as outside the house. We looked through a few deck paint catalogs and found a perfect blend of pewter gray. The next challenge was to find the right outdoor conversation set – I wanted a modern and contemporary gray wicker set with gray cushions. I know what you’re thinking, too much gray right? I was looking to create the perfect contrast of grays and adjust to my taste, which I think worked out 🙂 . Selecting the right wicker set was a bit challenging due to all the overwhelming options, but with my research, I noticed there are actually NOT a lot of gray wicker-and-cushion combos to choose from, so that narrowed it down a little.

Another important factor was finding a set that had separate pieces for personalized arrangement – I had limited space to work with and there was only one place for the set on the deck, so I had to be able to get creative and play around with the pieces. Don’t you love a good challenge? I do! After that, I got a bit more specific with what I wanted so the search got a lot easier:

  • Removable and washable cushion covers – make sure you can wash em’!
  • Connecting clips included – this helps so that they don’t move around when people are sitting on them
  • Weather and water resistant – this is key for any outdoor set, you want to make sure your set will last!
  • UV protected – super important if your set will be completely outdoors at all times
  • Seating up to 6 people – totally up to you and your space
  • Preferably fully assembled – who doesn’t want to avoid assembly? 🙂

The Fun Part

After the search, narrowing down options, and looking for the right set at a good price, I found Mr.Right! Not only did it check off all the things I was looking for, it also came with 3 beautiful blue pillows – does it get better than that? I was really happy with my choice and was ready to move on to the more exciting part, the décor! First, I opted to add an outdoor rug. I love accent rugs overall (the inside of my home is full of them), so I wanted to keep it consistent and include one in the outdoor décor as well. I picked a champagne/grey textured rug which brought all the grays together nicely.

To spice it up, I added a few accent pieces in the mix: a ceramic garden stool (which I planned to use as an outdoor side table), a large artificial green plant with a very pretty geometric pattern, and a set of two decorative lanterns. I added a small artificial orchid with a gray ceramic base to decorate the stool, just to make it interesting. For the coffee table, I went with another accent plant and a smaller sized decorative lantern in white. Our backyard is very dark at night so I wanted to add as much light as I could. The lanterns have LED candles (with AA batteries bought separately), which you can find in a variety of stores or online!

There are a number of ways you can decorate your outdoor space and it mostly all comes down to your style and personal preference. Like all things in design, start with the color and go from there! You can keep your décor even simpler and add just one accent piece to the coffee table for example. My coffee table was more on the larger side, so I wanted to fill up the space as much as possible. The selection process can be overwhelming, but again it’s a matter of choice and what you prefer. It is also more challenging to buy a patio set online, but just make sure to do your research, read the reviews and be sure it works for you. Also keep in mind you are more likely to find it at a better deal online than in-stores 🙂 . Work with your space and make it simple, yet creative and fun! I’ve added a full source list below. Comment below with any questions or tips!

Product List

Outdoor seating area: Patio set – {this set} is similar but with a darker gray wicker | pillows: dark blue, light gray, blue pattern set | Grill

Décor: Outdoor rug | Garden stool – HomeGoods {similar} | lanterns {similar} {alternative} | LED candles {alternative} | Artificial orchid | Artificial plant, small desk plant, white sea shell {similar} – all from HomeGoods |  gray wood tray | small white lantern – HomeGoods {similar}