Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cottage Christmas Home Tour 2016

We've decked the halls for this Christmas.  This year is different from last.  I spent a bit of time mucking about on Pinterest, and on Danish blog sites.  I became intrigued by paper ornaments.  In our foyer I used an antique paperback French book, to wallpaper the back wall of a pre-existing door frame.  I'm drawn to antique books, the feel of the pages, the older language, proper English.  People today speak differently, the last generation was more formal, than present.  I find it interesting how our language is changing.  The internet, emoji, texting are all having an influence upon English.  I decided this year to add book pages, and wording "Joyeux Noel" to our Christmas décor. I've tried to keep the "theme" going throughout the cottage, using paper, wording, lettering, and repeating "Joyeux Noel". The approach is simplistic. 

The color scheme neutral, and quiet; grey, silver, beige, and crème with a hint of brown. The cottage is small, rooms are open to one another. A simple approach, with natural elements; sticks, pine cones picked up at my parents home one Thanksgiving, feathers from the dove that wander about our garden, paired with a the Victorian element of wreaths to represent our cottage's era, and a quiet color scheme to flow seamlessly from room to room provide a warm Christmas hug.   

The foyer greets guests with a wreaths hung from beige taffeta ribbon, centered in windows. Hanging wreaths over windows is a Victorian trend.

I add cuttings from our garden to a blue and white porcelain ginger jar, then decorating them with ornaments, and folded book pages.  The ornaments are hung from small silver metallic ribbon, while the book pages are tied with small crème satin ribbon.  A few bits of Christmas clip art, pair together with "Joyeux Noel" to create a bit of art, in the frame on the table.  A collection of glitter letters, placed with a votive candle inside a cylinder finish off the table vignette. The "Merry Christmas" sign, is a tradition, Jr. added it. 

The opposite table, features a Christmas tree created from antique book pages, cut and folded, then affixed with a small bit of hot glue to a pedestal post.   Christmas cards are being hung by brown satin ribbons to the shutter doors, covering our shelf niche.

The fixture over head is dressed with a wreath on top, and a grouping of three ornaments hung from crème satin ribbon.  I cut a wreath on one side with bolt cutters, pulled it apart enough to slip it around the chain, and balanced atop the fixture. 

I made a few simple ornaments for the tree, pages folded into circles, hung with a tiny gold ribbon.  I think they add a bit of texture to the tree.  We used our usual assortment of silver glitter, charcoal grey, satin silver, satin grey, and a few glass ornaments.  We have a few long blown glass icicle ornaments, the fellas fuss over. 

Each year I ready the tree with lights, greenery, ribbon and a tree topper.  This year I took the sunburst mirror on a stand, that usually sits behind our Santos on the dining table, apart.  I placed the mirror at the top of the tree. Once I have the foundation created, the guys, decorate the tree.  I sit back with a cup of coffee and giggle.  "I think I already put one of those there, don't hang another one so close.  How many of those glass dangle things have you put on?  I get to put on four too." 

My favorite ornament creates a fuss; hand carved wooden spheres from Africa.  Jr; "I don't know why she wants to put these on the tree, they're heavy." Mr. GDC; " You'll have to find the right place for them." Jr; " She's got these two loops on them, how are we supposed to hang them. It doesn't make sense."  Umm, fellas, I'm right here. What would Christmas be without the guys having a debate over the orbs? It's tradition. 

Well done them.  Each year, they manage amidst the fuss to create a lovely tree. Though one may have placed more long dangle things, than the other, and in spite of the heavy wooden orbs.

This year we chose to place the Christmas tree on display in the large front window, behind the dining table.  We actually like it there, it works well.  Our tree is small, the upper three sections of a previously nine foot high four section tree, a hand me down gifted by a friend.  I used to put her tree up for her every year. One year she purchased a new one. Score! The bottom section broke several years ago.  We place the remaining three sections in a pot, to give it some extra height, it's about 7 feet tall, and maybe 36" wide.  Petite.  I string 100 lights per foot upon it to set it aglow, then stuff it with Christmas greenery.

The Santos this year is holding a silver wreath. A wreath surrounds her base, and a grouping of three ornaments are inside her cage bottom. 

The dining chandelier is dressed with faux greenery, silver ribbons, and an assortment of ornaments hanging from various bits of crème ribbon.  I used tiny string, 1/4", and 1/2", it's what was in the cupboard. 

The keeping room, is under construction.  I purchased a project, a petite antique daybed.  I'm currently working on cushions, pillows, and staining the bed.  I had the best of intentions of having it finished for Christmas....meh. Best laid plans.   Did you notice the elephant in the room?  We purchased a recliner. Cough. I'm still getting over the shock.  It's a leather, Norwegian recliner, with a steel frame, dressed in very soft dark taupe leather. Cough. Not sure how this happened, I think it has something to do with me lacking the ability to say "no".  I'm working with it.

In this room we have a twin to the large front windows.  I chose to create banners, one for each side of the window using art paper.  Upon the art paper I lettered "Joyeux" on one banner, and "Noel" upon the second in silver glitter maker. Each banner is hung using silver glitter ribbon from the picture molding and allowed to fall down the wall.   Inexpensive, simple method of decorating an empty wall. 

Upon the sofa table, we placed my husband's nativity set.  Lovingly made for him by his grandmother. A few fewer ears, yet we have every piece.   It is a precious heirloom. 

The chandelier is dressed with greenery, silver ribbon, and an assortment of ornaments, repeating them theme from the dining room. Repeating elements is a lovely way of relating spaces; using an underlying theme, repeating a color, or repeating a fabric create a seamless design plan, allowing your furniture, and accessories to take center stage, while giving your home a warm inviting, cohesive feel.  Repeat elements, it's a designer trick.   

The kitchen bay window again repeats the wreaths hung from beige taffeta ribbons.  Upon the island Saint Nick in his sleigh, filled with presents and toys, pulled by one golden paper mache reindeer takes center stage. 

Saint Nick sometimes finds his way upon the tree, on a mantle or sofa table. 

View back toward the front of our cottage. Someday I plan to paint the island a color. When the great wall comes down.  Maybe I need those Polish guys from "Under The Tuscan Sun"?  The cabinetry upon that wall will be moved to Mr. GDC's workshop.

My grandmother's table cloth dresses the window.  We are on what's called a "0" lot. The house behind is a few feet away. The cloth obscures the view.

A hand carved nativity from Nicaragua sits atop a French book page, accented with greenery and a silk bow.  The set is a gift from a friend, her daughter did missionary work there. They are a special part of our Christmas décor. Behind, another tree made from folded book pages.

At the other end of the kitchen is our laundry closet, disguised again with my on of my grandmother's tablecloths. We removed the original levers from the doors, trimmed the opening, and hung half of the cloth inside each door.  Mr. GDC attached a chalk painted board across the middle mutton bar.  I write little bits of fun there.

Presently "Joyeux Noel" dressed the petite chalkboard.  This arrangement works well, the tablecloths enable the washer to breath and dry out when not in use.  The chalkboard greets guest, wishes Happy Birthdays, and offers a word of the week complete with a definition.

Thank you for stopping in for a visit.  I'm working on a few projects, including drapes for Mr. GDC's home office.  Hopeful to complete them this week. 

Until next time, wishing you all the best,
and a Happy Holiday to you;
Joyeux Noel, Habari Gani, Happy Hanukah -

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