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Welcome to our home…. this month is special to all of us here at home as we celebrate the birth of Christ and gather all of our friends and family to enjoy this beautiful holiday season.  I hope you enjoy a peek into our home, decorated for the holidays.

This year we re-designed our front garden, removing all the grass and replacing it with gravel and drought resistant plants and trees. It’s in the beginning stages, as it was just completed two weeks ago, but already I am loving that we now have a fence to add lights and garland to!

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Come on in our gate! I decorated it this year with a dried boxwood wreath from last year, a French Willow hanging basket that I filled up with an ivy, a white cyclamen and a few glittering ornaments and berries and pinecones.

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I basically pretended my home is in the Provence , when designing the front garden, with lots of gravel, a simple French style seating area, and lots of lavenders, herbs, and low water plants. In the background you can see several varieties of Silver Sheens which will grow to tall tree size, and some Little Ollies {miniature Olive bushes} and Lavenders.  Peeking over the table is the deer pillow I ordered from Lucy at Craftberry Bush, it’s perfect out there!

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 Here is a close up of the table, set with two faux bois urns with moss and pinecones, and a weathered lantern with a candle that we light at night.

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Here is another place that deer pillow looks wonderful, right by the front entry steps on an antique French bistro chair.  The little Christmas tree lights up at night, I love the new LCD light strings that are battery operated and have a timer, you simple push the “on” button at the right time just before dark once, and the timer “remembers” that time. They stay on for 6 hours and repeat that cycle every 24 hours. How great is that?!

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Our living room.  Our home has an open concept, so that you can walk into the kitchen / family room from either side of the fireplace.  The extra high ceilings allows for an extra tall tree, which is decorated with antique ornaments, ornaments our children have made over the years, and lots and lots of lights.

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This great printable is from thegirlcreative you just print it out on your computer and frame it!

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I decorate mostly with fresh flowers and greens, flowering bulbs and plants, in the European manner, I’m a huge fan of fresh, green and natural, the antiques at home make quite a statement on their own, and need just a little bit of holiday embellishment to shine. This year, because our family is coming from Europe, I’ve actually toned down the decorations somewhat, as our living spaces are not that huge, and with fifteen or more people inside our rooms, I wanted to leave plenty of space and “restful” areas for the eye to see.

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Welcome to our kitchen! This is where most everything happens….cooking, eating, meetings over coffee with antique dealers and magazine editors, everyone who comes over ends up in this kitchen at the big farm table eating home baked cookies or scones. It’s my official conference room, we watch movies here, you name it, it happens in this room.  Last year we had a kitchen remodel, and this stove…I love this stove.  I had quite a time hanging the deer over the stove {finally settled on one of those removable hooks after much discussion about NOT drilling a hole in the tile per Mr. FrenchGardenHouse’s instructions demands.} Tada…still hung the deer and he keeps me company while trying out new recipes to feed all the European family when they are here.

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I love my new farm sink! A preserved boxwood wreath, two topiaries in urns that were a gift from a friend, a cachepot of paperwhites and red linens are all the Holiday dressing it needs.

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I made these white cups that I’ve had forever into Hot Cocoa mugs by adding snow man features with a Sharpie, and wrote my grandchildren’s name on each one. They will wash off with soft scrub I think, and I’m hand washing these for the season. You CAN bake them in the oven to make it permanent {bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees}, I just didn’t so that I can use the cups again for parties later in the year.

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Here is the armoire in the family room filled with my collection of Red Transferware.  {The photograph at the very beginning of this post shows it filled with ironstone when I made that wreath for a Romantic Homes Magazine shoot some years ago.} I set the table for a Cottages & Bungalows photo shoot using my transferware with red roses and brussels sprouts and asparagus for a centerpiece. I still love this table setting and may do a variation of this for at least one meal this season.

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Another armoire filled with mostly ironstone, antique French dishes and religious antiques from France. {painted pinecone was a gift from Linden, my granddaughter}

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Kitchen chalkboard I made from an antique frame with a board and chalkboard spray paint. I vary what it says for each month or season. {sorry, due to glare- bad photography by me- I had to add the letters in photoshop to Lord!}

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The kitchen table chairs wear little preserved boxwood wreaths, so cute!

Outside in the back garden:

 

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Thank you so much for stopping by! What a joy it is to share a bit of our life and home, I am not quite done decorating, next week is the week I add some more fresh flowers and greens everywhere. Here in California they tend to dry out so quickly, that I don’t dare do this before a week before Christmas. I hope you are enjoying your home and those you love during this magical time. We wish you a beautiful Christmas!

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