Monday, December 19, 2016

SPECIAL GUEST: HOLIDAY HOME TOUR

SNOWFLAKE WREATH HANGER: Target | ANTLER CANDLE: Home Goods | BURLAP XMAS TREE: Pottery Barn (old) similar Brookstone | WINDOW: Habitat ReStore | WHITE TREE: World Market | FARMHOUSE ENTRY TABLE: Alameda Antique Fair

Hi Everyone,

I'm happy to share that we are having a very special guest takeover the blog today, Miss Andrea McDonald. Andrea has a talent for combining antique items with new pieces to create the coziest home aesthetic. She has mastered the design equation that makes everyone feel welcome and at ease as soon as they walk in her front door. Her design style is timeless and has a unique rustic charm that is hard to not swoon over. Watch out HGTV, Andrea's attention to detail and eye for design may just make her the next Joanna Gaines! 

Today I wanted Andrea to walk you through her holiday home tour: Christmas in the Woods! Let's start out by learning a little about our guest! Enjoy!

CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF FOR OUR READERS TO GET TO KNOW YOU?
Honored to be a special guest and share my obsession with home decor and Christmas, thank you! There you have it, in one sentence: I am obsessed with home decor and holidays! My whole life my heart, eyes and hands have been drawn towards creativity, art and design. It feels the "design and home decor bug" is in my blood, I can't run from it! Chip and Jo are my heroes - my soon-to-be husband says I need to stop watching the same episode over an over, ha. Home decor is my hobby. Home decor fulfills me in ways that nothing else can. Home decor is the way I express myself.  When I am not restyling things in our home or hunting for the best deals at World Market or Pottery Barn, you can find me drinking coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, enjoying a good spin class, hanging with my amazing family or snuggling my fiance` and (or) puppy!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE?
Farmhouse (true antiques from many eons ago + farmhouse style decor from all of my go-to stores like World Market, Pottery Barn and Amazon). Love the way that FROY blog lays out the 8 interior design styles

CAN YOU SHARE SOME TIPS FOR DECORATING YOUR HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
My best two tips I can offer when decorating for the holidays:
1. Layer, layer, layer. Layering a room is paramount to comfort and visual warmth.
2. Keep things neutral and add live greenery all over your home. Don't minimize the power of green. For years growing up I associated Christmas with red, golds, silvers, glitter, etc. What about good ole' pine green? Try it! Next time, skip the reds and glitter, keep it more basic and natural! 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE AND WHY?
During Christmas, my favorite room is our living room/entry way. In our little cabin in the woods, our main source of heat is our wood burning stove, so we often find ourselves cozied up in front of the fire (usually with a good glass of wine in hand) and enjoying our mantle where the "stockings are hung by the chimney with care..." :) A very close second (and some days my favorite) is our dining room. One of the best parts of the holiday season is gathering around a table with your loved ones - I take my tablescape/place settings seriously (as you can tell from many of these photos).

FINISH THE SENTENCE “EVERY ROOM IN A HOUSE NEEDS ______”.
Fresh flowers or simple live greenery! As I said above, don't every minimize the power of green. If I could answer the question twice, I would say... old books! There is so much you can do with old books. All of the books in our home are my fiance's beloved grandfather's. They have extra special meaning and make for great additions to our home decor!

LIVING ROOM & MANTLE
MERRY CHRISTMAS SIGN: Kirklands | WHITE TREES: World Market  | STOCKING: Etsy |
STOCKING: Etsy | JOY SIGN: World Market (old) similar Macy's | DEERS: Pottery Barn (old) find on eBay | WHITE XMAS TREES: World Market
STOCKING: Etsy | JOY SIGN: World Market (old) similar Macy's | DEERS: Pottery Barn (old) find on eBay | WHITE XMAS TREES: World Market | 

Everyone's home is a reflection of who they are, whether they like it or not! :) Our home and our holiday decor is truly a reflection of who "we" are. My fiance` loves to hold onto special antiques from his family members. Luckily, I have been able take those special pieces and compliment them with new farmhouse pieces - old world meets new world meets country farmhouse. Push yourself to think outside the box. As I said above, instead of getting rid of old books, or an old wheel barrow - ask yourself if you could use it in a creative way!? Could your wheel barrow be a sleigh?! In that same breath, my philosophy (which sometimes I get in trouble for) is: one in, one out! If I buy something, I try and get rid of something. Not only am I obsessed with home decor, I am addicted to organization and a clean home 24/7! The word "clutter" and "andrea" don't belong in the same sentence. 

COFFEE TABLE
VASE & WOODEN DEER: Home Goods | CANDLE: Bath and Body Works | JOY SIGN: World Market (old) similar Macy's 
SANTA MUG: Target | VASE & WOODEN DEER: Home Goods | CANDLE: Bath and Body Works 

Remember, as I said above..it isn't always about the latest and greatest thing to purchase and spend all of your disposable income on! Our coffee table styling is a perfect example of just that. I mentioned above "our little cabin in the woods" - we get a lot of wild animals where we live. Every year, a part of a deer's natural cycle of life is to shed their antlers. I found this antler laying on my driveway a few years back. At first, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. Last Christmas I decided to spray paint it gold! The best part of all, it was free and it is special because in years to come when we no longer live in this home, we will always remember all of the beautiful deer we would see all over our property! Remember how I mentioned above that my fiance` (Garrett) loves to hold onto old family furniture?! Our coffee table is actually two old chests: one from his dad that was at the foot of Garret's parents bed as he was growing up and the second is Garrett's grandfathers old chest that he hand built! I promise I will shut up about old books....but how cool that we have this old antique version of the "Christmas Carol" - every time I look at it I think about how special our Christmas holidays were growing up at my Nana and Papa's house in Boston. 

KITCHEN
3 TIER GALVANIZED TRAY: Amazon (old) SIMILAR |  JINGLE BELL STRING LIGHTS: Target |

COFFEE MUGS: Target | COOKIE PLATE & Milk Jug: Amazon | VERVE COFFEE SIGN: Verve Coffee |
VINTAGE MILK BOTTLE: Amazon | FRESH PIES SIGN: World Market

See the old books? I wasn't kidding! You can use them everywhere in your house! My parents were throwing away these old cook books...oh no you don't! They make for great laying in our kitchen. Same goes for cutting boards - don't put them in a cabinet! Style them on your kitchen counter. Same goes for old medicine bottles or milk bottles! Add some fresh herb sprigs (or for Christmas use pine tree sprigs)! The opportunities are endless. The key to it all: think outside the box. Old does't mean hurry and rush that crap to Goodwill...pause and think creatively. Especially if your style is farmhouse like me!

DINING ROOM & TABLESCAPE

MADRAS CHARGERS: World Market | BUFFALO PLAID NAPKINS: Amazon | ANTLER NAPKIN RINGS: Amazon | LANTERNS: Target | DINING TABLE: World Market | DINING CHAIRS: World Market | CHANDELIER: World Market |  
MADRAS CHARGERS: World Market | BUFFALO PLAID NAPKINS: Amazon | ANTLER NAPKIN RINGS: Amazon | LANTERNS: Target | DINING TABLE: World Market | DINING CHAIRS: World Market | CHANDELIER: World Market |  

MADRAS CHARGERS: World Market | BUFFALO PLAID NAPKINS: Amazon | ANTLER NAPKIN RINGS: Amazon | LANTERNS: Target | DINING TABLE: World Market | DINING CHAIRS: World Market | CHANDELIER: World Market |  

True story: the reason I like to host dinner parties is because I get to dream up and create new tablescapes. No matter the season or holiday, setting our table fills up my home decor soul! When you are setting your table, here are a few tips that I personally live and breathe by:
1. Chargers are critical. They add more to a table they you realize. They don't have to be expensive or anything crazy, but don't skip using them if you have the space.  
2. Layer, layer, layer. My layering tip comes up again :) Use dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, napkins....etc. You get the idea! Keep adding, yet don't clutter your table too much! Try and keep it somewhat functional. 
3. My FAVORITE part of any place setting - NAPKINS and NAPKIN RINGS! We have all white dishes and serving plates. But..hiding away is my stash of all different colors and patterns of napkins and napkin rings to match every occasion. 
4. That brings me to another tip: I am a big fan of white dishes/china. It is timeless and you can always dress it up or down. White also keeps tables fresh and looking clean. Too many colors can be overwhelming to the eye. 
5. Pick a theme and run with it! For this Christmas season I went with a Christmas Tree/Antler/Buffalo Plaid theme...Christmas in the woods!
6. Always make fresh and live flowers or greenery an aspect of your center piece. It breathes life into your table and meal. 
7. If you are going to all the effort to host a dinner party, do assigned seating! It can make or break a dinner if you don't have good chemistry and conversation with those around you. All it takes is place cards... and have fun with them! These are buffalo plaid place cards from Target (in the dollar section!) 

BUFFALO PLAID CHRISTMAS TREE BOW


BUFFALO PLAID RIBBON: Amazon |


BUFFALO PLAID RIBBON: Amazon |

Keeping consistent with my Christmas in the Woods theme of our dining table (and our whole house), I got this awesome Buffalo Plaid ribbon from Amazon and taught myself how to make my own over-sized bow! The key to a successful bow - thick wired ribbon! I taught myself by watching this YouTube video I found on Pinterest...it is simple! Watch and try it for yourself. Despite being brought up with traditional Angels atop our Christmas Trees, I thought this bow would be fun for this year! If you take away nothing else....have fun decorating! Whatever it takes to make it fun for you, do it! In this house, we make spiked cider and open a special bottle of wine when we decorate our Christmas Tree!
P.S. Every year we go into the mountains and cut down our Christmas tree...if you are ever in the Santa Cruz area, you must visit this incredible tree farm: Peacock Tree Farm

KITCHEN NOOK
CHARGER: Ikea | PLAID NAPKIN: Pier 1 (old) similar Amazon | GALVANIZED MILK JUG: Amazon

This is our kitchen table - I keep it set during the holidays. My fiance` and I eat dinner around our kitchen table every night, so it always makes dinner more fun to have it set with holiday cheer. I won't belabor the point, but as I said earlier, LAYER, LAYER, LAYER! Plaid is still my theme at our kitchen table, just a new print! Here I actually layered two kinds of chargers and added the clear bowl atop the white plate for a little contrast in color and texture. The center piece is....can you guess?! greenery!! A delicious smelling fresh wreath surrounds my every day galvanized milk jug, which always has simple flowers or greenery in it, no matter the season! Remember what I said.. keep it natural! Go green :)

OUTDOOR SPACES
WINE GLASSES: Target | BAR SIGN: Target (similar) | NAPKINS: World Market | BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE DRINK DISPENSER: World Market | BEST CHEAP WHISKEY: W.L. Weller :) | HOT COCOA: World Market
ICE SKATES: Pottery Barn (old) | POINSETTIA: Costco | CANDY CANES: Ace Hardware | XMAS TREE SIGN: World Market |

Thank you for sharing in my joy for this special season and my obsession with home decor! I have made home decor my hobby because it makes me happy! What makes you happiest?! Go and do it. Make it your new years resolution to turn what makes you happiest into your hobby. For any questions or to see more photos of our homes throughout the year, follow me on Insta!
And to my beautiful friend, Joss! Thank you for the special guest feature! Merry Christmas to all from our home to yours.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Don't forget to share this post and to follow Andrea for more home styling tips and inspo @angmcd.

Happy Holidays!

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