Holiday Decorating & Wreaths – 2020

Here’s a look at some of the decorating I did for our home this year as well as the wreaths I made. Pine from the yard was the main green used, I had been waiting for months to do some strategic tree trimming.

I started with pine that I cut from a bush out front. I kept the trees simple and saved decorating them until December.

I like to use greens from the yard (in our former home that was Blue Spruce) and then add one special element, in this case Eucalyptus.

From early November until mid December it is wreath making time! I love making them and sell them locally during this time.

This was boxwood clipped from our yard that became a wreath for above the kitchen window as it is long lasting and doesn’t drop needles.

This was the annual giant wreath that I make to hang behind the kitchen table and bring in that Christmas scent. It’s hard to tell here but the wreath is 3 feet wide and very heavy. It is made with spruce so it has a short indoor shelf life.

At the front area of the house is this corner where I keep extra material and wreaths before they are picked up.

Once it was December I added some baubles to the trees and a bow to the front door wreath just before Christmas. I like to extend the season and gradually decorate.

These Baby Blue Eucalyptus wreaths are one of my favourites because they smell incredible and are long lasting.

This year I was able to cut 5 branches long enough to be mini Christmas trees.

This was the other big (by our standards) Christmas tree.

Here’s another reminder of the transformative power of paint. More on this kitchen makeover from last year can be found here.

Wheat Wreath DIY

Here’s another wreath to add to the tutorials on the blog – this time for a wheat type wreath. I used grasses from our yard (Karl Forester Feather Reed Grass). Last year I was considering making a wreath from these grasses that end up in the yard waste bin but thought it would be too tedious a project.

It’s not actually tedious but you do need quite a bit of material to make. Here is a step by step look at how I made this wheat wreath following the same method at the other wreath tutorials using Eucalyptus, Boxwood, and Blue Spruce.

Materials:

  • Wreath Form ( I used wire to bed a 10″ circle)
  • Paddle Wire
  • Lots of grasses ( I had to go out & cut more 3 times)

Collect your materials, I selectively clipped from our Feather Reed Grasses so that there’s still lots in the yard. The grasses are messy so give them a good shake before bringing them inside the house to work. Better yet, make it outside!

Create bundes of approximately 6-7 grasses and layer around the form, wrapping with wire.

Continue to add bunches. Arrange them and trim before wrapping.

As you approach where the wreath began, tuck the last bundle inside.

A view of the backside.

Here is the finished product – simple & made from materials in the yard. I like the colour combination against the grey door. Here it is against black too.

This wreath could be kept until next year or pull out the grasses, put them in the yard waste bin and make a new one next year when the grasses have grown back again.

Continuing with the Fall decorating from the yard – I added some sunflowers that are blooming in our garden to the arrangement I showed last post. This arrangement also uses clippings from houseplants for greenery.

 

More fresh wreath tutorials can be found below:

 

Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath DIY
Boxwood Wreath DIY
How to Make a Fresh Holiday Wreath

Fireplace Makeover – An Easy Update with Paint

 

Here’s a look at our living room in our open-concept main floor when we first moved in. I was excited to have a fireplace again but this colour wasn’t right for me.

Originally I thought I’d paint everything white, including a wash on the tiles but then changed my mind and I’m glad I went with black instead. At the time it felt like a huge risk but it’s just paint and I was happy with the dramatic results.

Here’s the progress…

Before:  Beige trim and blue walls.

After: Now the fireplace is a feature and I the room has a more modern feel.

Before: The yellow/beige colour didn’t have the same impact with objects displayed.

After: The tiles now look natural and still go with the house.

Now with the black paint, the spotlight at night and natural light during the day create a great space to make seasonal displays.

The fireplace was the first area I started painting, even before the kitchen cabinet makeover I did in December.

This is a wider view of the room before I painted the kitchen cabinets. Once you start changing one area it can start to make everything else look incohesive.

This was not my first time painting a fireplace. 7 years ago we had just moved into our first home near Montreal and this was my first project. The photo will link to the blog post showing how I used chalk paint on the wooden mantel. This is the same couch that has travelled with us from Montreal – Toronto and now Kelowna.

Instead of dreaming of a renovation someday, is there a simple paint fix that could make a big change today?