When you walk up to my friend Cara’s 1912 Victorian home, you can’t help but feel the holiday cheer.
She decked out the home for Christmas.
The wicker chairs on her porch got dressed up for the holidays with bright, red stripey throw pillows. And a green table runner draped over the table in front of them proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get festive.
A real evergreen wreath hangs on the door. But it isn’t the only greenery in sight. A galvanized metal bucket brims with sticks, holly berries, and evergreen and pine boughs clipped from her parents’ land and hauled back in her dad’s pickup truck.
The door’s open but before you step inside, her sweet puppy Jude might come out to greet you. And then you’ll know you want to stay awhile.
Vintage meets new
Every year, the teeny town of Weston, Missouri, where Cara lives in her much-loved rental house, hosts a holiday candlelight homes tour.
She decorated her house especially for the tour using vintage items, new finds and what she could forage in nature.
Everywhere you look, her vintage-meets-new decorating style abounds.
Like her collection of new Christmas mugs on display in an original built-in hallway cupboard. Or, the original brick fireplace festively decorated in today’s style with a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign from Kirkland’s and a cheery Christmas banner.
And you can’t miss the rustic framed print from Target that’s modern but feels vintage at the same time.
Natural Christmas decorations
The original architecture of her home shines through with her unfussy natural Christmas decorations. There’s nothing gaudy here.
An evergreen garland frames the original wood pocket doors, separating the living room and the dining room.
And her mom’s vintage wood sled got festive with a twist of real evergreen garland, a couple of pinecones and a few holly berries. An old metal watering can and a rusty shovel got the same treatment.
A house with history
When preparing for the candlelight homes tour, Cara did some research and discovered her home’s interesting history.
Dr. Joseph J. Carter and his wife, Artie Mason Carter, built the home in 1912. In 1915, the couple moved to Los Angeles.
Mrs. Carter, who was a music teacher, musician, lecturer and activist for the arts and female rights during her lifetime, founded the famous Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood.
Fitting for Cara who loves the arts and girl power all the way.
Making it jolly
Cara didn’t want to completely redo her house for Christmas.
So besides using natural Christmas decorations, like real greenery, she mixed in a few new items here and there to add holiday cheer.
A buffalo check blanket draped over a chair instantly makes the room feel festive without changing a lot. Plaid pillows add coziness to the couch but can easily get stored away come spring. And she dressed up her deer antler coat rack for the season with a red scarf.
Lanterns with tea lights throughout the house complete the look and make easy Christmas decorations.
A festive kitchen
The kitchen didn’t miss out on the celebration.
Mini wreaths tied with festive ribbon spruce up her kitchen cupboards.
She even gave her coffee station a Christmas facelift with a buffalo check (see a pattern here?) tea towel and candy canes displayed in mason jars.
Working with the quirks of an old home, she hung a dramatic tree stump centerpiece above the half wall between the kitchen and the back door.
Eat, drink and be merry
After three days of hosting the holiday homes tour, Cara was excited to have her home back to herself.
With the Christmas tree lights turned on, a glass of local wine made in Weston and a good book, that’s how she really does Christmas.
Now that’s a home with holiday cheer. The natural Christmas decorations just make me smile. What do you think?
Want More Holiday Home Tours?
Check out more homes decked out for the holidays. Here’s my holiday house tour from 2016.