Simple Christmas Tour

Hello, hello! 'Tis the season for Christmas decorated home tours, and while it's been really fun to see how other friends have decorated their homes for the holiday season, I wasn't planning to share my own home until yesterday afternoon! We've enjoyed getting our Christmas decorations out as a family and setting up our tree and lights, but it's kind of been something I just wanted to enjoy with my family this year. It's easy to feel pulled in a lot of different directions during the holidays, and with our plates full of other really good things, this was one that I was planning to shed. I confided my conflict to Cate who wisely advised that if it doesn't bring me joy, then don't worry about it. And at that, I decided to whip up this post!

I don't share a lot about life behind the scenes of StyleMutt Home, (not as much, anyways). But it's moving forward at Polar Express speeds, (just like anyone's). The way I decorate our home is every bit a reflection of that passage of time, our growing children, myself. Our home has always been an extension of the character of our family and my personal development as a creative individual. The reason I enjoy documenting our home is the same reason I journal - to be able to look back and see growth and movement. So, despite the simplicity, it warms my heart to share our Christmas 2017 home with you, friends!

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Notice the angel on the far left, with her nose in the air and arms crossed. No candle, baked good, seashell or wreath like the others....she's my favorite. Hah!!

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Oh my goodness, I hope I can still remember in years to come how funny it was trying to figure out a layout this year! We are right smack in the middle of a sofa debacle that is a story for another day, but we figured things out by using only the chaise part of a massive sofa / chaise combo.

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Our kitchen has seen A LOT of action lately now that we're in full swing holiday party season. Yup, lots of mediocre baking going on in here. If you like quantity over quality, I'm you're gal! Lol! Between the kids' classrooms and their various activities, it's been one party after another!

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Shire's bedroom is pure Christmas magic to me. I find myself in here without any reason to be; it's just a happy place. The bedspread was from my grandparents' old lake house, and the mini tree is on loan from my sister. I love that Shire's room is a compilation of special memories, people and places.

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Our bedroom is the last stop because the boys room is just done being photographed. It's a charming hot mess and I love it because I birthed them, but their door is officially closed to the public. :)  I enjoyed adding a tiny bit to our own bedroom, though, to make it special for the holidays! The bunch of boxwood was just the kind of small festive nod I was looking for for our room. It suits the simplicity of the space well and because there's not a lot going on, I feel like you really see it, you know? I often tell clients, the less there is, the more you see.

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The only other impactful addition to the room is the kilim rug  covered bench at the end of the bed! Both the rug and the bench were found on a neighbors curb on trash day, so I brought both pieces home and turned them into one!

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Well that's it! Thank you so very much for taking the time to come by. I hope you enjoy these days until Christmas and have peace about what is on your own plate. A bit of advice - no one else will really notice what you don't get done. As I walked into yet another children's holiday party last night for my son's cubscout pack, I placed my 4 dozen brownies on  table full of other various treats and thought to myself, no one would have noticed if I didn't bring these. Here's to shedding the excess so we can focus on the priorities.

Merry Christmas and God bless!

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Simply Set, Fully Enjoyed || A Holiday Collaboration with Carthage Co.

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! We hope you have been able to enjoy time with those near and dear to you and that your hearts are feeling full. We are delighted to continue the celebrating on here with you today through a partnership with a wonderful company who is hosting a giveaway!

Allow us to introduce you to  Carthage Co., an ethically responsible company creating beautiful stoneware with local manufacturers in North Africa.

We're proud to work with local manufacturers that employ and empower their communities with dignity and equity. We believe in sustainable entrepreneurial growth that would rather partner with, than compete against.  -Carthage Co.
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So their ethics are sound, but what about their pieces? Well, my photos don't do the beauty and quality of their products justice, but take a gander at some pieces I've had the pleasure of getting my hands on these past few weeks.

What I find so beautiful about these pieces is their quiet presence on our table. I don't want anything to distract from the faces that gather here. I desire for everyone to be able to see one another, to talk to each other and pass dishes around with ease, so I keep centerpieces simple and to a minimum. When I set my table it is with one purpose in mind - togetherness.

Carthage Co. stoneware dishes support that goal with pieces that are beautifully simple, uniquely designed, and allow quality time to happen around them.

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-Pitcher in 'Rose' (10 colors available)

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-La Marsa Dinner Plate in 'Chalk' (5 colors available)
-La Marsa Dessert Plate in 'Muslin' (5 colors available)

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As I have gotten older I've come to appreciate a few things I once took for granted: higher quality pieces for my home, raw beauty straight from this earth, and most of all, time with those I hold close to my heart. If you've spotted something of interest, (whether for you or someone else), or you resonate with Carthage Co.'s mission, I invite you to enter a Giveaway they are graciously offering the StyleMutt Home community for a $50 gift card to their shop! Please leave a comment below of a special item you've spotted in their shop that's piqued your interest - your comment will be your entry. Entry closes at midnight tonight so this is a quick one, guys!

Winner will be announced in this post tomorrow, so if you enter be sure to come back tomorrow to check the results! And whether you see your name or not, all are welcome to use the discount code STYLEMUTT15 for 15% off their entire order now through December 5!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today! Have a wonderful rest of your holiday weekend!

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StyleMutt Design: Chelsea's Updated Home Tour

What?! Where is our usual Friday Reader Design home tour, you ask? Our booty kicking intern, McKenna, is taking a much deserved week off, so I'm slipping in to share a little tour of my own! Hope you guys don't mind! We've got a fabulous line up of Reader Design tours that will resume next week, though. Promise!

A LOT has changed in our main living spaces since last fall; a result of HGTV coming to photograph our home and then casually letting me know our home can't be shared on our blog or social media until after it's printed next Fall....unless I change it all. Challenge accepted, HGTV! The day after the shoot I sold rugs, chairs, tables, swapped things from one floor to the other, deconstructed, redesigned and reconstructed our pipe shelves, and redesigned our main living spaces. It's been such a fun process but I sure am glad it's over. It's time to kick back. :)

We're going to go ahead and just call this tour 'moody', as opposed to, 'it started pouring cats and dogs during the 45 minutes I had to prep and shoot this thing before the kids came home from school, so I had no time to manually adjust the light settings on my camera before each shot'. Moody has a better catch, don't you think?

Well, come on in!

It helped me tremendously to lay the plan for this space out in a 3D rendering, (which I posted about here). Seeing it come to life confirmed that the shelves really belong in the living room, rather than the dining room where we built them originally. Along with moving them to this wall, I also wanted a bit more desk space. Matt cut two boards on the upper left side to make room for a piece of art, and we transplanted one of those cut pieces off to the right hand side as a desk!

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With the pipe shelves busy with books, plants, art, pottery and photos, I really wanted the rest of the room to caaaalm down but still be interesting, you know? This jute rug by Plush Rugs was the perfect unboring plain rug to compliment the space. The soft thick cream braided fringe on the ends adds that character I was hoping for, but the simplicity of the overall rug doesn't beg for attention, (linked here if you want to check it out).

Our coffee table here was previously in the basement - the two rooms agreed to swap coffee tables and they've been the better for it! This piece was a WWI army cot in another life. It made a rickety bench; too wobbly for the babes to use, so I cut it down and turned it into two coffee tables! One table sold, and the other has been serving our home ever since. Once in the service, always in the service!

While finding pieces around your own home is fantastic, it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes peeled out of the home as well. While taking a few bags of old clothes to Goodwill several months ago, I noticed this beautiful old Persian rug rolled up and left by the dump. It was dirty and stinky, but I brought it home figuring I could re-purpose at least some pieces of it, just like the rug I made the tree skirts from. After airing out for nearly two solid months I cut it up, using one piece to cover this, (also found in a neighbor's trash), bench!

It's not an impeccable job; I wrapped that thing like a Christmas present and used a staple gun to attach the fabric underneath, (after stuffing in some batting I had on hand). But you know what? It's a sturdy little piece, my kids use it as a pirate ship, and it's a solid homemade job using totally free supplies. Ahoy, matey!

Let's meander to the dining room, shall we?

Of all the rooms in this home, our dining room is by far the most temperamental. We just don't get along, period. Every single move I make, it counters with something contrary. Here's a sample of our ongoing dialogue over the years:

Item 1: I replace a very wide table with a narrow table so we can reach across to help our, (then), three toddlers during meal time
Counter: NOW THERES TOO MUCH SPACE.
Item 2: I try a big dark green cabinet to store all our craft supplies; perfect style, perfect color
Counter: OOPS, NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR THAT.
Item 3: I remove the curtains in favor of a cleaner look
Counter: MY EYES! TOO MUCH SUN! (says all my kids who suddenly have sensitive eyes)
Item 4: Replace the old thrifted chandelier with something more modern
Counter: MY FAVORITES DON'T WORK ON A SLOPED CEILING. (So I settle for this one that's like a baby size of what this room needs)
Item 5: Center the table with the sliding glass doors.
Counter: THE DOORS ARENT CENTERED WITH THE LIGHT FIXTURE. NOW EVERYTHING IS OFF, FOOL! GOTCHA!

Can you believe our dining room talks that way?! The nerve.

But how about that rug! After selling one of our old rugs I purchased this one for the same amount as I sold the old one for - even stevens! It's an Overstock rug I found here, and is THE softest thing under our feet. I don't mind saying, it's borderline luxurious!

I don't do fussy tables, but I like interesting pieces like this pottery from my grandparents' old lakehouse.

Moving on to the kitchen to finish this marathon tour already! Recognize anything?

I cut a long strip of that dumped old Persian rug to use in here! It's just the kind of excitement this space has needed! I love tossing a bit of unexpected into a space and this rug is just the right dose in here.

That's a wrap, folks! If you made it this far, congratulations; you deserve to start your weekend early! Seriously though, thank you so much for coming by today. I just really enjoy this home and the way it has evolved with our family and it's a special thing to get to share it with you, friends.

Have a wonderful weekend!