Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to Decorate for the Holidays with Minimal Holiday Decorations

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T
hat's right! Holiday decorating with minimal holiday decorations! Now, if you are a hard core holiday decorator who pulls out all the stops in grand Griswold style, you might want to avert your eyes. This post is all about NOT decorating in the traditional sense of the word. No, I'm not being a grinch! I'm simply applying some "simple living" principles to my holiday decor.

This year, I worked on changing the mood of the kitchen to create a holiday feeling instead of a holiday theme. The secret is in the color and a few simple accessories. It's like putting a new outfit on the room. For example, the WhisperWood Cottage kitchen went from everyday garb to festive holiday attire in one fell swoop...simply by choosing one color and using what I had on hand by shopping the house and garage. This year's holiday color of choice? Red!

MOVE THAT MOUSE...
For the next four photos, move your mouse over the image to see the before and after!
(NOTE: If you are viewing this in a reader, you'll have to visit the post to view the effect.)





THE ACCESSORIES

There are a few key accessories that speak directly and indirectly to the holiday feeling. The first is this tiered display holding some holiday projects I am making out of vintage metal cupcake tins. The second is the pop of red created by changing out these lampshades (found at IKEA) on the two vintage glass lamps.


The third is this fantabulous piece of metal goodness (the bottom of a bird cage, no less!) that I hung to serve as a special spot to hang those holiday greetings.


The fourth is the happy holidays sign, which is stenciled on a vintage tin ceiling tile. It is clearly the most blatant holiday item here! Lastly, these vintage red Cosco stools (along with the vintage gum ball machine shown a few photos earlier) bring a pop of the inspiration color to the floor level.


3 secrets to holiday decorating with minimal holiday decorations:

{1} have a neutral foundation
A neutral foundation provides you with a blank slate that can be updated with a change of colors, patterns, or textures. Think shades of white, black, grey, and brown for the major pieces in your room...like walls, floors, built-in cabinets, large upholstered items, etc. That allows you to give the room an instant facelift by changing out the smaller pieces in the room. You can see that white and cream form the foundation for the WhisperWood Cottage kitchen.
{2} choose an inspiring color
Choose an inspiration color to create the feeling you want in the room. Reds are vibrant and connote energy, celebration, and/or romance. In this case, red is a festive interpretation of the holiday season. Black and silver accents around the room add depth and shine. Time to party! Apply your inspiration and accent colors to rugs, pillows, smaller furniture, throws, photos, lamp shades, towels, and even bowls of fruit!
{3} shop the house, garage, shed, attic, etc.
Nine times out of 10, it is likely you have things around your home, garage, etc. that will fit with your color choices. If you don't have what you want, consider getting out the spray paint to transform a piece. Not that handy? Try a thrift or discount store. Keep it simple and use a few key pieces that you love.

Whatever decorating approach you take during the holiday season, savor each second of creating a space that is magical for you and your family. It is a time to gather, celebrate, and appreciate each other. Wishing you a happy and simple holiday season!





Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester   The DIY Show Off
DIY Day @ ASPTL

92 comments:

  1. Sweet, very Sweet and Red just says Christmas, too!

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  2. I am totally with your minimal holiday decorating! I have begun doing that the last several seasons. What you have done is smashing! Thanks for the photos and I am so impressed with your dang computer skills!

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  3. oooohhh:) this is. simply. wonderful! thank you so much for the special post. it's so inspirational without being overwhelming. i love it all.

    mary

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  4. Once again, you have inspired me. Yes, I decorate like a Griswold but NEXT year I am so with you on minimal decorating. Well, unless the neighbors try to outdo us again. Then it's back on, baby.

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  5. Dear Amy ~
    Please come and decorate for me this Christmas!
    Your style is elegant and cheerful :+)
    Thank you for your endless inspiration.
    xoxoxo
    Franny

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  6. Love your kitchen. I metal I is so neat, I could use a metal M in my dining room!

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  7. The little touches of red make all the difference, and that little change - a - roo when I ran my mouse over the photo was so cool! I have a couple punches here and there, but for the most part, it's very subtle like yours.

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  8. Wow, just fabulous. I love the stools, both before AND after! Thanks for sharing your great advice.

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  9. Wow, another great set of stools! Lucky you. Simply beautiful.

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  10. I just love your decor style..so simple!
    sandy toe

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  11. I love all of the subtle changes! Very nice.

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  12. Absolutely beautiful... the red says Christmas perfectly!

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  13. Very nice. While minimal is not my style ;), I like how it looks with other people. Oh, and I love your red stools!

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  14. Love your style. I found you through the nester's tour of homes. You know what this means don't you? I have to add ANOTHER blog to my google reader! :) Thanks for the inspiration it is gorgeous! :)

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  15. fab, fab, fab!! I love it-so clean and refreshing! makes me want to paint my cabinets white! (and I JUST painted them black lol!)

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  16. I want your sign! oh it's just great!!! Your red stool.... pop!!!!
    xo,
    LuLu

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  17. Wow, very impressive. Beautiful home.

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  18. I fear that I AM one of those Griswolds, but I can certainly appreciate the simplicity and beauty of this. I love the idea of shopping the house and using one theme color. You did achieve the holiday "feeling".

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  19. Very refreshing! Love the graphic punch of that Happy Holidays sign. I would love to get my hands on something like that:)

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  20. Beautiful....such a calm looking home!

    Thanks for sharing...

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  21. Love it, you have the right ideal. Very festive, but not over done. I love your stools, the before pics as well as the after.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sandy

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  22. Oh my. How peaceful. This is my first visit to your blog. It is lovely.

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  23. Oh my stars! Your gumball machine is so cute. How much do you want for it? No, just kidding, but....seriously, how much?

    I kid. I kid. your kitchen is lovely!

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  24. I love your kitchen Amy! It's so simple...and I mean that in a good way. I am trying to simplify things this holiday season and it's going pretty well! Your pictures are grand too. My oldest turned 18 today, so now I can put up our big tree tomorrow. I always wait until his b-day is over to do that. Hope the countdown to the holiday is going great for you! Andrea

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  25. Such a beautiful home! I love the simple, yet elegant look and feel of your kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great week!

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  26. I love it. Simple and fresh is the way to go.

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  27. Oh my!!! I absolutely ♥ your kitchen!! It's so clean, simple, and beautiful. I love your ceiling too.

    Okay, I'm in ♥ with that huge piece of wood where you hang your aprons.

    Oh, and I'm in ♥ with the ceiling tin with Happy Holidays on it!

    And I ♥....oh heck, I really love it all!! Seriously! It's fabulous!

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  28. Beautiful! i love the splashes of red!

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  29. Very cool ideas for using less and yet achieving more.
    Debbie

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  30. As soon as I saw your link on the list, I thought "this I've got to see!", and you did not disappoint! Your holiday decor is fabulously understated, and perfect. Love it, Amy!

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  31. i love your home. very beautiful - i love the red stools and gum ball machine!

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  32. First of all - I love your pretty white kitchen! Love also how you just changed a few things to bring out the red and Christmasy feel!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  33. Oh I LOVE it! Simple, yet stunning. The metal from the bottom of a bird cage is great hanging on the wall!

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  34. I love red for Christmas decorations. Is a wonderful color and everything looks perfect.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Hope you can visit my blog.

    http://santiagotwingirls.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-decorations-tour-2009.html

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  35. All I want for Christmas is your kitchen!

    PS-loved Ron modeling the new digs a la Vanna style a few posts back.

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  36. ::sigh:: I love your style. I'd give anything for a clean, white, clutter-free kitchen to begin with. Your touches of red for the holidays is perfect. :)

    Thanks for adding your inspiration to the DIY holiday party.

    Roeshel

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  37. Gosh I love the "happy Holidays" sign!! Everything is so pretty!

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  38. I love your ceilings. I like simple too.

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  39. I have no idea how you manage to keep a white kitchen clean and crispy white. It's nice to see how a few simple changes can make a room festive. Thanks for sharing!

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  40. That before and after thing was amazing! I love the pops of color that makes it all holiday ready. Beautiful, Amy!

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  41. LOvely!!!

    I love this sign!

    xoxo

    merry xmas!

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  42. Very nice! I did much the same thing...not a single item was purchased!

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  43. I want Santa to bring me a standing red gum ball machine like yours! Happy Holidays

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  44. You have such a lovely home. The red apron with the gumball machine is my favorite!

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  45. Beautiful, I love the punches of red. It looks great!

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  46. Simply Awesome! Love everything about it. Wish I could simplify my home like this. It's absolutely wonderful!

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  47. Your home looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing & Happy Holidays!

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  48. What a change a little red makes, everything is so fresh and gorgeous!!!

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  49. Amy - You are SO creative! The pops of color are fantastic. (And on a technical note, I LOVE the mouseover before-and-afters!)

    Wishing you and RJNJ the merriest of Christmases!
    Kim

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  50. Beautiful!Love the simple, easy look. And cool effect, it took me a while to figure it out but when it worked it was so cool. I really love the simple look but I can usually not stop myself from adding some fluff because I love to fiddle with everything as well. Well maybe next year.
    Have a wonderful time!

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  51. What fabulous photos and tips- I love a neutral palette with punch for the holidays. Those antique stools at the island are so sweet! My little brother used one as a toddler and we still have it!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

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  52. So pretty, I love the cottage look. Could you come re-do my house???

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  53. Stopping by from The Nester's Tour...
    Coming from someone whose house always looks like "Christmas threw up", you're is quite refreshing! So strikingly beautiful.
    If you'd like to see what "Christmas threw up" is, come here: Click here for MY Christmas open house

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  54. Wow you have a beautiful home!!
    Summer :0)

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  55. You have made minimal BEAUTIFUL and ELEGANT!! The pops of red are simply gorgeous... I LOVE IT!!

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  56. YOWZA! So simple...and so beautiful! You proved that there IS such a thing! Okay, I have to know...when you say Cosco chairs- do you mean the STore? or is that what they're called. I have 2 vintage stools and they look just like that! I love the bubble gum machine in there. So festive. I have to find some metal tiles!!!

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  57. Love your minimalist approach! Charming!

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  58. Simple and yet so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am totally in love with this room. I kept clicking back and forth between the photos. Love it all!!!!!!!!!

    Ruth

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  59. What a wonderful way to decorate. I am always frustrated because I can't find decorations I either like or can afford. This is a great way to dress the house up for Christmas!

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  60. Hi Amy...

    Wow...simply yet sooo classy, my friend! I love your beautiful red accents...they do whisper Christmas!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas kitchen and great tips with us!!!

    Warmest wishes and Christmas Blessings to you and your family!

    Chari @Happy To Design

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  61. I love it! And your ceiling are GORGEOUS!

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  62. So simple, so gorgeous! What a huge effect simple things can do! Whisper is right. Beautiful. Merry Christmas.

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  63. Everything is just beautiful, you have a lovely home. The red stools in the kitchen are a nice touch. My Mom had a gumball machine just like that when I was growing up.
    Merry Christmas!

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  64. That's it! I am moving in with you kids!
    I kid, I kid!

    Just simply stunning yet simple. Thanks for sharing.....

    Pssst: think you can share a pix of your outside house one of those days, eh? :)

    Happy Holidays to you and everyone else! xo

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  65. Oh, Amy. So lovely. So simple, so elegant--yet festive and fun. Well done, girl! Well done!

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  66. I LOVE this kitchen!!!!!!!!!!

    Is it your? How do you keep the floors SO perfectly white. No paint chipping??

    -FringeGirl

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  67. Very nice - clean and crisp with a little holiday magic !
    Kammy

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  68. Love your Happy Holidays sign in the kitchen! So nice! Love your home

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  69. So pretty - I love the way the red just pops. And I am completely coveting those bar stools!

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  70. I really enjoyed the tour. Merry Christmas to you.

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  71. Love it Amy...I'm coming shopping in your garage!!!
    ;)
    everything vintage

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  72. I like the simplicity of your decorating and I love the name of your blog. That is so clever how you did the before and after! How did you do that? Thanks for sharing your home with us.

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  73. Hi there, friend! Your kitchen is FABULOUS!!! We are starting to re-do our kitchen now & I'm inspired that you were able to make such a great transformation in yours! I love all of your vintage goodness, but your stools are my fav! :)
    Blessings,
    Stacey

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  74. I LURV the simple touches. I don't have quite the neutral background that you have, but I am trying to achieve a similar look. Of course the train fell off of the tracks when I started decorating the tree, but oh well, at least it is still just silver, white and blue.

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  75. very subtle indeed - I am afraid that I am not particularly subtle when it comes to Christmas, but I really like what you have done. (mind you, I suppose I could be thought subtle by some people as I only decorate the lounge!!)

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  76. What a beautiful home...and amazing pictures. I'm so glad I stopped by on this tour...so many great ideas. I think my house needs an entire makeover, though!

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

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  77. This is great! I just can't bring myself to be the girl who drags out stuffed snowmen and Hallmark ornaments every December.

    I pick out all the red and green everyday things, and I'd like to think it works just fine as Christmas decor :)

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  78. What a wonderful blog! How ever did you do the before/after pics like that? And how do you get the sidebar to scroll? btw, your home is just lovely, too. But I love your blog design! Simple, yet elegant.

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  79. Oh, My! I love the cleaness of it! Maybe I will have to try that out.
    I am stopping in from Nester's Place. To see my tour click on the 'Christmas 2009' Tag on in the left sidebar!

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  80. oh My oh my oh mY!!! your house is so fantastic!!

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  81. Oh my, love it all. What a wonderful sweet place you have. Thanks for sharing your Christmas-

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  82. I love how you use colorful accessories to make a room pop! I must admit I am afraid of using bold paint colors but with accessories you can change the color anytime you want.

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  83. stinkin' cool! How in the world did you do that cool before and after photo thing? This all looks very lovely. I can't believe that's the bottom of a birdcage. As I studied the pictures I made special note of it because I thought it was so pretty. Kelly

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  84. I love the gumball machine.
    All the decorations are just beautiful! Thank you for the tour!

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  85. You people with those gorgeous white kitchens that have NO clutter just kill me!! And the RED!!! I love it! It's awesome and so simple. Absolutely beautiful--simplicity is elegance!! Merry Christmas!

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  86. Amy -- I love it. I have on my to do list-learning how to do the move the mouse over the picture--send me the instructions PLEASE
    cheri
    cheri.peoples@live.com

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  87. You were featured. I love your huge "I" on your kitchen wall.
    Have a Merry Christmas.
    Cheri

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