Deck the Halls

It’s quite literally the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s the only time I can listen to Christmas music at any hour of the day without judgment, the only time sprinkle cookies are offered at every turn, and the only time I can go crazy decorating my house in red and sparkles.  December always turns me into the female equivalent of Buddy the Elf, ready and willing to stay up all night to turn my otherwise ordinary surroundings into a winter wonderland.

Image result for buddy the elf
Me looking for any last corner of my condo that hasn’t been Christmas-fied yet.

I know we tend to focus more on dressing ourselves here at Diapers and Diamonds, but as my third trimester nears, that feat is getting more and more difficult to accomplish (and undesirable to document).  Add to that a hormone-surged desire to nest and decorate a nursery in a condo with fewer bedrooms than humans, and you have a recipe for emotional Christmas projection.  So, since I haven’t gotten decked out in six months, and I don’t have a nursery to deck out, I’m decking the crap out of these halls.

My approach to Christmas decorating is a lot like my approach to fashion; I like to mix things up a bit.  From mixing patterns to mixing seasonal pieces, I’ve always been a fan of a good mash-up of opposing forces.  For Christmas, I like to mix sparkle and glitter with more natural elements.

My love of the glitter-nature mash-up had humble beginnings: this simple and festive vase that I’ve had since I got married, whose contents I change seasonally.  There’s a lot of wood in my condo, so I feel like the pine cones complement that natural element, but the ornaments give a pop of color to break up the monotony of so much brown.
vase-Crate & Barrel (old, similar here) // ornaments- Target

When it comes to the bathroom and my dining table, I like to keep things more on the natural side, opting for decor that I can keep out all winter.  It helps lighten the deep sadness that sets in after New Years when I pack away all the Christmas-y things.

I love the subtle creams and browns of this potpourri, as I think it keeps the bathroom calming and spa-like.  Plus it smells fresh all winter long! vase-Crate & Barrel // orange potpourri-Home Goods // reed diffuser (actually a bud vase)-CB2 (old, similar here)
For my dining table, I love how the natural elements complement the raw wood table, but like the glass vase, I like the pop of red, orange, and silver to break up the browns.                    tray-West Elm (old, similar here)

Now, on the other hand, when it comes to the mantle over the fireplace, I opt for a lot more glitter and shine because it’s the focal point of the room.

Even though there’s a lot of sparkle here, I do still include some natural elements.  The Christmas trees are made of wicker, so they tie into a lot of the wood that I have in my home.  I also like that the natural green of the garland gives a pop of color, making it really stand out against the red, bronze, and gold.
These stocking holders were a labor of love.  Years ago, I started using these fruit picks that I inherited from my parents because I liked the natural element they provided on the mantel.  I decided that my mantel theme would be nature-inspired, so I wanted a woodsy creature for my stocking holders.  The birds on the left and right fell into my lap on a trip to Joann Fabrics, and I knew they were perfect because of the mix of the natural image with GLITTER!  Then we had A, and I was desperate to find them again, but to no avail.  I scoured the Internet for ages looking for complimentary birds, and I nearly gave up until Amazon came to the rescue.  I was so excited that I bought two small bird stocking holders.  Even though we only had one child, I knew that when another came along, I’d want a matching bird for him/her.  And now that I’m pregnant, I can’t wait to put out the matching little bird next year that’s been chilling in its box in my basement for three years!
Stockings-Target //  Stocking Holders-Joann Fabric and Amazon (small center bird can be found here) // NOEL sign-Target (newest version here) // wicker Christmas trees-Home Goods // gold leaf picks-Michaels

When it comes to a woodsy theme, that totally spills over elsewhere in the condo, most obviously in my clear obsession with the pine tree silhouette.

I adore the collection of trees that Target has right now.  So much so, that I couldn’t decide on one collection, so I bought one from three different collections!  I really love the bit of glitter on the natural trees, and the red color of the tree stands out so beautifully against our white credenza.  trees-Target (here, here, and here) // snowflake bud vase-Crate & Barrel (old, similar here) // table decor-Target and Home Goods (similar here and here) // gold vase-Target // whiskey decanter-Macy’s

No window is left untouched by Christmas magic around here!  In our old loft, I used to suspend ornaments from the duct work, but here, I chose our beautiful kitchen windows to frame this whimsical decor.

Because there’s so much white in our kitchen, I use the red ornaments and vases to draw attention to both our large windows and to the magic of Christmas!
Again, I love the sparkle and shine in the red ornaments juxtaposed against the natural green of the garland and soft colors of the trim and paint color.
Red ornaments-Target // silver ornaments-Target // white ornaments-Equinox in Chicago (a sweet independent shop in Lakeview that has been my ornament stop since first moving to the city)

And because my son has an obsession with Christmas lights, you can’t ever have too many!

Since we live in a condo that faces alleys on both sides, we totally miss out on hanging Christmas lights outside.  But Santa still needs something to light his way, so, cheesy as it may be, this year we decided to wrap lights around our duct work.  I can’t lie; the effect is pretty magnificent!

And then, there’s the best part of the Christmas decor: the Christmas tree.  Some things you need to know about me: I change my tree decor almost yearly (last year I was all about mixing metals of gold and silver, two years ago I was into red flowers, and this year I’m sticking with the natural-glam theme).  Also, I firmly believe that a tree should be packed with ornaments.  Think about it: when you see the grand tree in the Walnut Room or the lobby tree of the Drake Hotel, they’re always bursting with ornaments.  It makes the tree look bejeweled.

For the tree topper this year, I wanted something grand.  I found this wood star at Home Goods (for a natural element) and added LED lights (for shine).  My handy helper elf, Dave, patiently suspended this huge star from our ceiling so that it floats just above the center of the tree.  Magic.
Because I have such an eclectic collection of ornaments, I need something that ties the whole tree together.  This year I opted for the natural elements of burlap ribbon and white wood garland mixed with some whimsical, sparkly gold picks.
For me, ornaments are a tradition, and the tree is quite literally the holder of my memories of the past 33 years.  My mother has bought me an ornament every year since I was born, and they’re all on this tree.  On every vacation I ever go on, I buy an ornament as a reminder of my trip, so the tree is also a map of my travels.  Every major moment of my life, from getting my braces off to turning 21 to my wedding day is immortalized in an ornament somewhere on this tree.
This ugly little angel, for instance, is a tree topper that I used to sleep with as a child.  She is always placed in prominent view in my tree.


Happy holidays to you and your families!

Other Christmas decor I’m obsessed with right now:

Porcelain Star Figurine - Small - Threshold™   Red Glitter Wreath  LED Birch Trees  4-piece paz tree sets acrylic reindeer

Stockings and Stocking Holders:

Rustic Star Stocking Hook     Alpine Stocking   Red Quilted Buffalo Check Christmas Stocking - Wondershop™  glitterati gold stocking faribault grey wool stocking.




4 thoughts on “Deck the Halls

  1. I LOVE what you’ve done! Everything is so tasteful and beautiful! It doesn’t scream Christmas. It says, in a cheerful voice, “Merry Christmas, the very best time of year!”

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