Today marks four years since we signed a lease and moved in together. The evening we received our keys, we got a little Christmas tree for our new place symbolizing the start of a new chapter in both of our lives: we were both moving out of our parents’ house for the first time, and taking a big step in our relationship. We were so ready for it and couldn’t wait to start the journey of our rent-paying, avocado-eating, adulting life together.
Since that fateful night, we’ve certainly upgraded our furnishings and home decor, so I thought I’d celebrate that milestone day with a post on how we decorate our humble little downtown condo during Christmas time.
The entrance is where the mood of the space is introduced, so we make sure to make it welcoming, not just for our guests, but for ourselves. It’s where you step into “home”. During Christmas, we are greeted with rustic earthy palette of whites, evergreens, woods, metals, and a touch of crimson red.
That distressed white-washed wooden Noël sign was the first Christmas decor I bought for our condo (aside from that mini tree), and always gets hung above our kitchen table. As much as I love having fresh flowers on our kitchen table, they tend to be expensive during the off-season, so I’ll fill our vase with a branch of balsam and cranberries, and scatter aromatic pine cones and clove-infused oranges on our bohemian metal tray.
Kitchen & Bar
This is the most important area during this time of year. It’s where the baking, the hosting, the entertaining or the lazy take-outs and Holiday snacking occur. We like keeping a minimalistic kitchen counter so all we really switch up are the tea towels, oven mitts and this sweater-patterned ceramic pitcher holding our cooking and baking utensils at reach.
Every year, our signature hot chocolate bar makes a comeback. This year, I embellished our bar with an après-ski theme: a wooden sleigh carrying a trio of hot chocolate tins, and a curved little dish of a tiny little red house, reminiscent of Finnish cabins.
This is the room where we truly live, especially in the winter time. It’s our nest of hibernation where all of our favourite winter activities (i.e. eating and lazing around to stay warm) happen. The shelf above our TV is displays our Christmas cards, and we have a basket of blankets ready to grab if we need some extra warmth.
Christmas flare is further added with little accents like an antique handcrafted wooden tree, and a branch of cranberries with firefly lights nestled in a golden Moroccan lantern. We also love the collection of Christmas ornaments that we’ve collected, been gifted or inherited over the years. But my absolute favourite part of our Christmas decor in our living room is the way our living room feels when the tree is lit. The ambient glow really lulls you into a grateful comfort.
This is where morning coffee, weekend breakfasts, Netflix, cuddles, soothing teas, dinners, entertaining, snacks and wine are being had. So we keep the decor simple and minimalistic – mainly to make room for said food and beverage. This wooden tray has been with us since day one, and I simply switch up certain elements inside the tray to reflect the seasons, the way I’ve done for Spring, Summer and Fall. For Christmas, I’ll display special edition book cover novels, a branch of eucalyptus (or balsam), tree bark coasters and our enamel coffee pitcher.
Although this decor element isn’t part of our coffee table, it deserves an honourable mention because this piece has been in our family for over 30 years and brings back so many childhood memories. This Christmas pyramid, or Christmas carousel, or Weihnachtspyramide if you want to be accurate of its German roots, has always fascinated me as a child.
The flame of the little red candles make the pyramid spin, and as a kid I used to love watching the little wooden people inside the tower spin above the flames. Looking back as an adult, I realize how hazardous this could be around children, but as a child this was beyond magical.
Our den has been a lengthy work in progress project for us but luckily this year we finally completed it, providing us a quiet and comfortable office space for the both us. It’s basically a second room where we can work from home, or where I craft and blog, or where we both do less exciting things like paying bills and budgeting and need a space where we don’t get distracted by Netflix – or each other!
Sticking to our minimalistic style, Christmas decor in our den is so simple: a garland of Christmas stationary hung on our peg board, a warm blanket and….our beloved little “first Christmas tree” sitting atop our linen closet.
We’ve certainly come a long way since the first Christmas we spent together at our condo, and I don’t just mean from a decorating aspect. Looking back at these photos made me chuckle at how “young” we were when we first moved out and moved in together, and how much we’ve grown not just as a couple, but as individual people. But most of all, it has made me feel so grateful and blessed to have a place, and a person, I can truly call home. After all, “Home is not a place, it’s a feeling“.
Wising you a peaceful and joyful Holiday season ❄️🌟 XO