christmas living room - classic red and white

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Even though I’m probably going to keep messing with my Christmas living room decor until it’s time to put it all away, I think now’s as good a time as any to share the full look for this year’s tree and mantel.

christmas living room and charlie

The last time I even decorated to this degree was back in 2011 when I was just starting to figure out what I wanted the living room to look like. Since then, probably the biggest change has been realizing that the walls were painted too dark for the limited lighting I get in the room, which prompted me to go with a much lighter color in the hallways, entryway, and upstairs landing area as well.

2011 holiday mantel

A lot of the decor was reused from past years, but there have been a couple new additions, especially to the tree’s red/white/silver/gold color scheme (sources: family heirlooms, my Old World Christmas collection, Target, TJMaxx, Homegoods, At Home, Hobby Lobby). I had some trouble figuring out a decent way to clip my old star onto the new tree, so I went with a few ribbons up top that I found at the dollar store.

living room christmas tree

I don’t love the top, but the rest of the tree grabs my attention so much that I don’t mind. I added my two living room chairs on either side with some pillows from Target as a way to keep Charlie from sneaking behind the tree and bumping my ornaments (two beauties already lost :( …).

ornament closeup

finished christmas tree

As for the mantel, most of it has been taken over by my big-ass TV, but I still found some room (read: crammed decor around it like there was no tomorrow) for the items I liked best.

holiday christmas mantel

Clearly, I have an undying love for mercury glass.

christmas mantel left

I snagged a new bronze reindeer (which, including the kitchen’s red one, brings my total up to 3) and a lovely metal rocking horse that I keep moving around because I like it so much. I may keep that little guy around all year!

christmas rocking horse

The basket next to the mantel is also new, filled with several pillows I’ve either bought new this year (from At Home) or had upstairs in my primary bedroom. One of my pet peeves is seeing hazards around mantels as decor (because fire), but I went with it anyway when I snapped these pics (I immediately took them and the sheepskin rug away and pushed the poinsettias back to the edges of the mantel after I was done).

christmas mantel lower right

A word about the poinsettias: I normally fill a cart with red ones on Black Friday (both Lowe’s and Home Depot have them for 99 cents apiece that day each year), but I have never bought the red-and-white-pinkish ones until now. I guess I went with it just to see if I liked the variety. The red ones began dying off quickly, so I think next year I’ll just buy more of these. (The platform the taller one is resting on is actually one of my wooden couch sleeves I made a few years ago.)

bronze reindeer

I’ve got two stockings hung (“with care” is debatable) with initials (one for me, one for Charlie). More on that in a future post on that little craft and such.

christmas stocking

I also switched out the rug after the old beige and blue one clashed too much for my liking; I snapped this pic mid-switch so you can laugh with me (or, well, at me) at how sometimes I turn easy stuff into a comedy of errors. Every time I moved the rug, the rug pad wanted to come with it, which at one point was put into a flustered heap in front of the tree. It all worked out eventually, of course, but it’s funny to me when a simple thing refuses to cooperate.

crumpled rug

The old rug is swapped it out for the one I originally had in my office and topped with a Turkish rug that my sister gave me, which I liked because it adds some extra, unexpected pattern. The bottom rug is clearly too small for the room, but at least now I know what I might be looking for in a replacement (and depending on what I find, I might still try to layer the Turkish rug on top). I didn’t realize before this that Turkish rugs have to be brushed a certain way to look right (you can see that from certain angles it looks like it’s got one light side and one dark), which I’ll have a post about sometime soon with the details.

christmas mantel and fire

I’m really glad I chose to decorate this year because it reminded me of all of the plans I still have for the living room. Some of it is relatively simple, such as bringing out the color of the stone with some sealer and touching up the wooden mantel area (it has seen better days for sure). You might have noticed that the coffee table is currently missing from the room, and that’s because I’ve put it and the old side tables on Craigslist and dragged them out to the garage. The plan with those is to build my own and give myself a customized option with storage (when I sketch things up, I’ll share it). If you have your own suggestions, I’m all ears as I gather ideas!

charlie at christmas
Speaking of ears

The windows will also be getting an upgrade soon with some window casing (and then hopefully actual window treatments). I’ve added it already to the dining room and kitchen, so completing these three (and the one by the front door) will finish off the entire first floor. I’m tempted to start on it even as I sit here typing this, but I have also been telling myself to wait a few weeks, since it will be a lot easier to do when I take down the tree and have full access to the area. Whether or not I actually take my own advice is another story. I’ll also be adding crown just like I’m doing in the kitchen, so I’ll share that progress as it comes as well.

christmas mantel and fire

Finally, I’m hoping to start on the built-ins (!!!) I’ve had in mind for years once the holidays are over. I can’t wait to start sharing that project!

Christmas living room

So, um… there’s my Christmas living room? I intended on just sharing the decor, then suddenly this post turned into talking about all the things I want to change up. Ha! Hope you’re having a good week!

2015 christmas mantel

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  1. Truly beautiful, Sarah and Charlie just seems to have a wtf-now-how-do-I-get-behind-that-thing expression lol He’s a handsome boy.

    1. Haha, yeah, Charlie is eyeballing the tree something fierce. She actually wound up breaking one of my favorite ornaments today, but luckily it’s still for sale online!

  2. The fireplace is just divine!!! and the pillows just fit perfectly. I’m in love with your living room <3

  3. Looks so great! Where did you get your tree skirt? The loose fabric I have around mine is not cutting it!

    1. Haha, just saw the tree skirt post. Yours looks sooooo much better than mine — I think I actually need MORE fabric to pull this off — thanks!

  4. Love at first sight :) I think you did a wonderful job with your living room and I congratulate you for that, your family is surely feeling the true Christmas spirit :) Thanks for the ideas !

  5. Your living room looks gorgeous! Love how the chairs and pillows look next to the tree, and love the mantel and hearth adornments. And Charlie makes any room look posh, so there’s that, too! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year