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Canadian Christmas Home Tour 2016

Hi Friends! Welcome!

I’m so happy you found your way here on a Friday when you could be doing a plethora of amazing TGIF things! You know, like skipping off work entirely or Christmas shopping or hanging with your friends at a local coffee shop to sip the day away before having to pick up the kids from school and the clothing from the dry cleaner AND the weekend groceries.

Thanks for being HERE! Why don’t you go ahead and treat yourself to something cozy and warm to drink so you can get into the holiday mood while enjoying our Christmas home tour?

Go ahead, you deserve it.

 After all, if I was swinging this front door open today to welcome you into our humble abode I would most certainly be offering you a sweet cup of hot cocoa to sip on…you know, to distract from all the pet hair tumbleweeds and power tools that decorate our fixer upper most days. 

So, without further ado, COME IN! Come in out of the cold my friend! Let me taake that coat of yours and hand you that cup of hot chocolate. Come on in and see how we’re celebrating our family focused holiday this season. If you have pets and kids…we have some tips and tricks for you up our sweatered sleeves. Pay no attention to those dancing dust bunnies beneath the dining room table….they like it here. 
Come in.
When the weather starts to get cool, when mornings become darker and evenings become shorter, around here, I suddenly crave everything warm soft and bright! As soon as the snow threatens to fall, cooling the outdoors to sudden depths , I want our indoor spaces to feel the complete opposite.

So, warm and cozy quickly becomes my winter decorating
This year I decided to change our Christmas color palette to a warm gold
and a soft blue/green while keeping in mind a kid and pet friendly space.

For me that means decorating with things that aren’t too precious. Items I’ve repurposed for example, like my collection of thrifted candle holders, painted white and the addition of simple natural elements like real pine and bleached pinecones to our dining room tablescape.

When I decorate a space I typically gain my color palette from a piece of material. I am a fabric hoarder after all and love the ease of adding multiple colors and tones to a space by simply picking the tones out of a particular piece of fabric.
our living room and dining room are now open to each other, I chose to use this years
fabric selection on our dining room table by commissioning my amazing Mama to create two runners that lay across
the table instead of using a traditional linear runner. Although I chose a floral
design that isn’t a traditional Christmas flower, such as a poinsettia per say,
I love that this color palette reads French country in it’s design and its no
secret I love anything with a blue/green tone!
It is also a huge plus that our big ole 80 year old pine
tree on our property matches perfectly to the blue/green tones in the new table runners
we whipped up.  Meant to be, right?

Also, that old tree was timely due for a much needed hair cut!  Free centerpiece? Why not!

Now we will have a
bigger budget for the important things during the holiday season! Like gift
giving and hot cocoa bars chalked full of chocolate. 😉

My favorite place to house a cocoa bar is within arms reach of our dining room table. It’s not far from the front door and it is a great place to mix up a little something sweet and warm after venturing out in the snow.
If we need extra mugs for guests who stop by, no problem! Our repurposed hutch is an arms reach away too.
This year we chose to utilize a non traditional white flocked tree to really allow our tree’s simple decorations to shine.
We opted out of stringing our tree with lights because this years tree is the ultimate pet friendly variety.
haven’t debuted our pair of Siamese kittens on the blog yet, but today they
will get their well deserved screen time!!
Aren’t they just the cutest? Can you see them snuggled up down there?
Guys, meet Oliver and Julia. The two sweetest and most curious kittens of all time.
If you’ve been following along on IG then you have seen these babies lounging around our home and claiming their favorite spots on our furniture. What you haven’t seen are these wee ones trying to climb everything!
Ever since introducing our tree to our home, the kittens have also claimed their favourite branch in it. Although we love their enthusiasm for getting right into the holiday spirit, their climbing, jumping and chasing have proven to be destructible.

Because we are not the type that is about to give up pretty things in the name of sanity we came up with a kitty-cat-Christmas-proof-solution!

It sounds like an oxymoron, but guys, it’s true! This particular tree was decorated with curious children and climbing and chewing kittens in mind.
To replicate a kid and pet friendly tree, simply gather decorations that can be slipped in-between the branches of your Christmas tree! Also, if possible, it helps to elevate your tree in a container of some sort to deter your pet or small child from reaching and pulling at lower level ornaments.

 We went for a nature inspired tree this year while keeping within our color scheme. We opted away from stringing lights because little climbing and teething kittens might get an unintended shock from trying out their sparkliness while on their quiet covered perch within the tree. Also, our tiny kittens pull this big tree down at least once a day, so a tangled electrical mess isn’t something we wanted to wrestle with. Instead we used lengths of fluffy white feathers to fill in our white flocked tree and then slipped in some faux branches, real pine branches and finished it off with little golden clip on birds to the branches ends. Enter the EASY decorated yet onament free tree!Our self serve cocoa bar is our kid friendly addition to our main floor holiday décor.

Instead of serving hot cocoa in a pourable jug, like a tea pot or a coffee carafe, we are using a handy dandy punch jug with an easy to use little spout for our hot cocoa bar. With a simple twist of the spout our kids can indulge in the holiday happenings at our festive parties while being involved in the fun without us ever worrying about them harming themselves with hot liquid.

Everyone needs a guilt free opportunity to embrace the sugary goodness of Christmas, right?

Our dining area is directly connected to our living room now that we have DIY-ed our home renovation and opened up the whole main floor of our house.
I love that this space is open now! At first it was a lot to get use to, but now it ends up being the place where everyone gathers during the holidays and I love that feeling of warmth and togetherness this room ensues.
See? Every family member around here loves this cozy space.
In our living room I simply added lots of gold ornaments, some fresh pine from our tree’s haircut and some simple blue/green pillows to tie in the dining room and living room.
To give our space a warm overall feel, we easily changed out
the white linen curtains we had up in the in the summer and traded them for a
muted gold drapery that has a slight sheen to it which adds the perfect amount
of festive flare to the space. (A $15 change!!) It’s amazing how framing the window with a golden
tone can help create a gold overcast across the whole space.
Quite the contrast from the stark winter roaring outside.
I know we still need to show you guys how we made our DIY custom built ins with open shelving. We will, I promise. For now though, I gotta’ tell you to find a wall in your house to replicate this on. Maybe a basement wall that hasn’t been touched yet? Whatever the case, you wont be disappointed with adding a focal wall full of storage to your space. Maybe in the new year?? When organization is the focus?
Best of all though? I have had so much fun dressing up all our open shelving for the changing seasons!

Last year, we didn’t have walls in this space and had barely insulated these rooms before we were on the receiving end of freezing cold weather. This year, we are toasty and warm and because of that, we have a reason to smile…

We are still working away on the upper level of our home, where our bedrooms are, but a few months ago we did finally get done renovating our master bedroom!

Here it is dressed up a little bit for the winter season.

Jewels from my beautiful maker friend Brittany from Simply Rustic Co. decorate a sparse tree in our master.
Love em’ or hate em’, our elf friends come to visit every year and are eagerly anticipated by our littles. They also have this uncanny way of waking exhausted Mommy and Daddy out of a sound sleep at 1am every day because we wonder if/ or when they are moving around the house and if/when they are going to get up to mischief. Mommy and Daddy are always happy to see them show up but are even happier and less jumpy when they go back to the North Pole. 😉We don’t typically decorate our bedroom for the holidays, but because we are living in a fixer upper and this is one of the only rooms finally finished, this space got dressed up too.

We repurposed and created a gallery wall in our space with some spray paint, and some hanging icicles. You can see more of our spaces HERE. To learn how to replicate this festive repurposed gallery wall click HERE.

A painted reindeer bust nods to the magical feeling of Christmas and a feather covered wreath looks soft and snow like against the contrasting painted addition to the repurposed gallery wall.
The addition of a long bench in our room, to house a sweet little Christmas tree, also doubles as a place to stack pretty presents away from prying hands…. and paws.
Though as many precautions as we take, sometimes they still don’t deter the curious littlest ones…
This year we have given up glass ornaments and fussy Christmas décor, but we have gained so much sweetness in every way. It’s hard to miss the over the top of Christmas’s past when little adorable faces have us fussing over them instead of fussing over stringing bunches of lights.
We are spending that extra-light-stringing-time simply trying to teach little Oliver and his darling little sister Julia how to sit pretty and how not to chew and claw at things. After all, our elves need to give a good report back to the North Pole….
So far our new additions to the family have no clue what we are getting at, but I don’t think they’ll have any trouble getting their names on the “good list” in the end.
Not with these sweet faces…
Thanks for swinging by for our Holiday Home Tour!
Have you checked out the hashtag #CBHomeTour on all social media fronts to see what the other Canadian participants have in store for you?
If you’re finally getting time to yourself on this lovely Friday, your in luck. These tours are stuffed full of so much inspiration that they will put Santa’s stuffed stockings to shame. 😉
Have a peek and get your pinning finger ready. This beautiful great white north country of ours knows how to survive the winter months and we ALSO know how to celebrate them too. Have a look below at the participants involved and their decorated space and you’ll be convinced…

Oliver, for one, is enticed.




Elliven Studio

A big thank you goes out to Christina Dennis from The DIY Mommy for planning and organizing the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour Christmas 2016 addition. xo

A BIG thank you to Red Suitcase Photography for the lovely photos. xo

Wishing you all a happy weekend full of lots of holiday happenings. xoxo

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  • Ariel Garneau
    December 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I grew up with Siamese kittens and just about died when I saw these two! They're toooooo cute! That being said, the rest of the decor is chic and on point! I love the yellow poinsettias!

  • Heather
    December 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I do love your kitties on Insta! And I also love all the traditional gold you've used. Nicely done!

  • Heather Travis
    December 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I love your colour palette! so beautiful. and your pooch on the couch just melts my heart. I love all the details, especially on those lovely built ins!:)

  • Krista thehappyhousie
    December 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Beautiful tour, Bethany! I really love the gold in your living and dining rooms along with the bits of greeny/blue/aqua! Gorgeous combo!!

  • Laurie Dickson
    December 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I enjoyed your Christmas tour sooo much! you've made me LOL and those little faces, I die – too much cuteness in one place, I'm not even sure how you stand it?! I'm not sure what my favourite Christmas touch is, if I have to pick just one (very difficult) I think it's the black frames with the icicles and that black steer head and white feathers… but but I love the warm coco station too, so clever! Geeze, all of it is so wonderful and made me smile, ear to ear, same as your pup! hahah, that was so FUNNY! xo

  • Shauna@Satori Design for Living
    December 10, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Bethany, it all looks so pretty and inviting. Christmas time must be magical at your house! Happy Holidays 🙂

  • Dannyelle
    December 12, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Bethany, your home is beautiful! Love your hot chocolate bar. And, the kitties are so cute, definitely worth a few Christmas adjustments. Merry Christmas.

  • Thea Morris
    December 12, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Oh my goodness! What a gorgeous home! All of your gorgeous Christmas details are so delightful. I have several favourite including your china, your whole tablescape (God Bless your mother for sewing your table runners because they are gorgeous). i also love how you included your family pets. Your Christmas tree is so unique! But my most favourite are the two wreaths on your gorgeous double windows. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Jamie-So Much Better With Age
    December 12, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Those kittens though! It's really not fair, really, the cutest 😉 I used to always have my tree on a table in my large entryway in my previous house when the kids were young so I totally get that. Your home is beautiful. Happy holidays.
    Hugs, Jamie

  • kimpowerstyle
    December 12, 2016 at 7:08 am

    You've worked so hard on your home and look at the gorgeous pay off! Beautiful tour. so many gorgeous Christmassy touches I can't even begin to pick a favourite! Love your dining table and light fixture! Those kitties are pretty precious too!

  • JoKnows
    December 18, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I adore all of the gold touches and your white painted candle holders! Everything is stunning actually. And the kittens! Soooo adorable. Let's not forget your sweet pup either! Enjoy the holidays with your gang!