This is season to celebrate!  I dare say Christmas is my favorite time of year.  A fresh start and the magic of the season are enough to get me every time.  

This year I'm partnering with Liz from The Lemon Bowl, an amazing food blogger in Grand Rapids who is super big-time and if you're not already a fan you should be, and Tracy Anne Photography a local photographer who specializes in family photos, to bring you a three part series during the month of December that we affectionately named #holidaysizzle2014.  Be sure to check Instagram for many photos and updates under this hashtag!

I'm sure many of you have already finished decorating your home for Christmas, but I've talked to a few of you that still need to get that tree up.  Here are my tips to keep your tree looking beautiful without loosing your sanity. ;-)

Before we jump in, here are two questions I get asked often.
1) "Do you buy new all new decorations every year?"  No.  I do try to add new pieces every year, but I always reuse what I had from the year before in a new way.  So last year there were gold feathers on our tree, and this year they are in the dining room.  Last year I also covered our tree in faux white flowers, but this year they are mixed with live greens on top of our piano.  I don't think it's realistic for most budgets to buy all new ornaments every year, but adding to your collection bit by bit gives you flexibility to be creative year to year.

2) "I could never have a pretty tree because of my kids."  I get that.  I really do.  Please be reassured that I have two boys of my own who LOVE to help me put the ornaments on the tree.  We drink eggnog and they get busy hanging ornaments.  Then I have small (cheap) tabletop trees in their rooms for all their darth vader and MSU ornaments.  I'm a big believer in living with beauty while still having kids and only can decide how that works for your family.  

*Stick to a simple color scheme.  
This year I had all kinds of plans to make my tree very colorful.  And then I noticed white glossy bulbs at Micheal's for $2.50 a box and was romanced into an all white tree.  I bought every box of white bulbs they had!  It still wasn't really enough.  But my point is that if you keep your colors simple (last year I had a black and white tree) then it saves you money and you can use the same pieces year after year.  

*Mix different textures.
If possible, it's best to mix the feel of your ornaments, especially if you're sticking to a tight color scheme.  For example, I have shiny bulbs, spiky stick ornaments, paper snowflakes, and huge sequins bulbs.  Mostly the tree is covered in the cheap glossy bulbs, but just adding a few of the more textured pieces makes a big visual impact without spending a fortune.  

*Get out of the Christmas aisle.
We've all walked the aisles of Target or Micheal's that are dedicated to the holidays, and sometimes our eyes gloss over.  It's just overwhelming.  How are you supposed to decide?  (This is another reason to keep your colors limited.  Simplifies decision making.) My biggest tip is to not let the stores boss you around!  Get out of the Christmas aisle, or your Christmas bins, and just see what else is out there that fits your colors.  Do you love to sew or craft?  What types of ribbon do you have left over from another project that you could wrap the gifts with or use as garland on the tree?  I found this white and gold greek key ribbon in the tree isle of JoAnn's on clearance.  I bought the whole spool and wrapped it around my tree.  Don't let the stores decide what is best for you!  Take an adventure to another aisle.

*Use what you have in a new location.  It's OK to move things around!  
My fireplace area never looks like this.  I brought the sheepskin rug over from a different area, the basket is usually flanking our TV stand, the mirror and chair was in our basement, candlesticks in our dining room. Once you know how you want your space to feel {for me that was cozy, layered, pretty, welcoming} then you can start pulling pieces in that you wouldn't normally use.

*Wrap empty boxes as decor.  No, really. 
 I use the boxes from our Christmas ornaments, or from last year's gifts.  Then grab any extra accessories you have floating around in your basement, Christmas bins, or guest room, and tuck them in to the top of the presents.  This could be anything from a Christmas ornament, greenery from outside, to small toys.  I had two fake succulents from Hobby Lobby in my basement and wanted to bring more greenery onto the scene.  Done.

Want to know what goes perfectly with decorating your home for the holidays? Hot chocolate!
This morning Liz is sharing a silky and rich Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe. 

 I tried it.  You want it.
My son loved it.

Here is the full schedule of the #holidaysizzle2014.  I hope you join us for the next installment!

Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


  1. Love your wrapped packages. And that mexican chocolate looks amazing!

    1. Thanks! The hot chocolate really is tasty. You'll have to try it!

  2. Just stopped by from Liz's site (love her) and I am totally in love with your site and all these gorgeous ideas for Christmas, love the simplicity!! Wish i could get new decorations each year...right now we have such a small house it really doesn't make sense to go all out like I want to, so I'm just saving ideas for when we have enough room :)

    1. Thanks for visiting! Always good to save your ideas for next year. ;-)

  3. How pretty are your packages?? Love the gold ribbon with the succulents tucked in. Beautiful.

  4. Hi Abby,
    Been missing you lately.
    I just started decorating today. We haven't even bought our tree yet. We're running behind here but it's all good. I'll get it done. I always do.
    Your space is beautiful. I remember your space from last year. This is just as beautiful. Good job.
    Maybe I'll send the hubs to the store to buy the stuff for some hot chocolate. That might be just what I need.

  5. This is my most favorite of your Christmases yet!! I just love everything about the images of your chair with the tree and fireplace. So gorgeous, Abby!


Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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