Decking the Halls Post Christmas: How to Bring Happiness to a Space After the Holidays are Over

Anyone else feel completely underwhelmed when the Christmas decorations are stored away, and your house goes back to “normal?” Maybe even a little depressed? You and me both… There’s something so magical about the twinkling lights on a Christmas tree or the stockings that are hung from the mantel. Sometimes, when we finally face the reality that Christmas is indeed, actually over, and putting away the Christmas decor is probably what’s most socially acceptable… it can leave us feeling a little “blah,” nonetheless.

I have found that there is one thing that can bring a glimmer of joy back to a space after the boughs of holly have left, and the dust bunnies have settled: winter arrangements.

**Hint: What is brown and sticky?

Sticks!

Let me guess… I’m the only one that thought that joke was hilarious? Y’all will soon come around. Anyway, using sticks as a means of decor is one of my favorite ways to bring a fresh, simple feel to a room that might otherwise feel a bit drab after the holidays. One of my favorite types of sticks to use is the Harry Lauder Walking Stick. The unique twists and shapes of these sticks present a bit of whimsy to wherever they are used. I love that they add height when I need something to stand out as more as a statement piece, but they can also be used as add-ins to another floral arrangement. You can add fresh cedar or another type of evergreen to give a hint of color. If you do not have Harry Lauder, going out to a barren tree and using regular tree branches works just the same!

Cedar/Evergreens

You know what I love about using sticks and cedar to decorate? They are FREE! In case you all didn’t know, Braden and I are both teachers. We all know what that means: We’re ballin’ on a budget. Being able to step into the backyard (or beg a neighbor to use their tree… or maybe take some off the side of the road (probably don’t do the last one…)) to grab a few sticks and evergreen sprigs in order to make our home feel cozy and decorated for FREE is quite satisfying.

I use cedar or other evergreen sprigs almost anywhere and everywhere in our home to give blank spaces a simple touch. You can add one simple sprig to a bit of water and place the vase almost anywhere for a fresh winter look. I love adding them to mantels, nightstands, bookshelves, desks, bathrooms, etc.

Tip: Get creative with your jars! If you want more of a simple look, I buy clear vases at Dollar General for a dollar a piece.  You can also use pitchers, mason jars, buckets, watering cans, etc.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus, in my opinion, can be used any time of the year; however, there is something so refreshing about its incredible scent and unpretentious addition to any room. Additionally, eucalyptus is known for its antimicrobial properties, serving as a respiratory aid and an anti-inflammatory. Sounds like a win when trying to fight off the winter crud that strikes down most of us at this point in the year.

I like to mix different types of eucalyptus to add texture and dimension, but you can also use all the same type for a more classic look. If you want fresh eucalyptus, you can find it at Trader Joe’s for around $2.00 a bundle, or if you are wanting a more lasting addition, eucalyptus can be found at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and I’m sure other craft and floral retailers.

 

Being one week into the new year, I hope this finds you well. Now, get to chopping some branches!

 

Xoxo,

Afton

The Start of Something New

As the ever-so-joyful High School Musical hums, “This is the start of something new!” Braden and I are so excited to pursue a dream of sharing the joys of home.

So where did this all start?

This March, we made the biggest purchase to date: we bought our first house!

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Photo Credit: London’s Bridge Photography

During the process of remodeling our humble abode, we discovered a passion that had been dormant in our hearts for a long time: revealing the true character and beauty of old homes. Restoring our 1910-built house to its original glory felt like unveiling a bride at the altar (see OUR PROJECTS for before and afters).

For Braden and I, this process felt like a divine sign from the Lord that THIS is what we were meant to do. I feel like my whole life, I have prayed for what exactly MY “thing” is. What’s my talent? What do I truly love to do? What’s my passion?

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Photo Credit: London’s Bridge Photography

After staying up until 1 or 2 A.M., night after night, determined to finish exposing bricks or hanging shiplap, I finally found it. My heart had never felt so fueled by a passion, and designing and remodeling quickly became all that I wanted to do. Thankfully, I married a man who “knows how to do stuff,” and even better, he loves it. Braden and I saw through the remodel that we worked as a team better than we ever have before.

 

As time passes, we realize just that: time is passing. Quickly. No longer are we going to sit in our comfort zone, afraid of taking a leap of faith. Braden and I are standing at the edge of the cliff, and we are jumping. We’re ready to fulfill our purposes and pursue our ambitions. Our goal is to help others see the beauty in their own homes. We want to transform spaces to create joyful safe havens for families far and wide. We truly want to help turn houses into homes.

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Photo Credit: London’s Bridge Photography