Eclectic Winter Tour

Welcome friends! Thank you for stopping by on the Winter Eclectic Home Tour hosted annually by Jess Rey from Domicile 37!  Ok before we begin my holiday tour, I should probably tell you that I've recently realized something very important: Christmas décor stresses me out. 

Now, I'm not saying I'm a Grinch - just that I'm stressed!  I know this is foolish.  (My husband who's middle name is Christmas tells me this often.)  Christmas is a joyous time of year!  A time for family, generosity, and humility.  And yet, I can't get past the feeling that our little apartment gets turned upside-down when the holiday décor comes out!  So this year, I challenged myself to find a way to have my fruit cake and eat it too.

If you're popping by from A Designer at Home - welcome! We are StyleMutt Home, a sister-in-law duo  (Chelsea & Cate) who love to mix and match a myriad of styles in the pieces we refinish and the spaces we design...

We have a small apartment - a modest 800 sq.ft.  The addition of a grand Christmas tree can easily overwhelm our little living space.  For that reason, I tried to keep my usual décor intact and with only a few low-impact, holiday additions.


I started by choosing a smaller tree this year than those we've used in the past.  It's all dressed up in our hodge-podge of ornaments - many of them handmade (not because we have kids, but because my husband and I were straight poor our first Christmas).  I spent hours cutting up everything from pizza boxes, old sweaters, and Christmas cards from the first year we were married. 


Every year, I like to read the sweet sentiments on the folds of the ornaments and remember a time that we may have been broke but we had everything we needed: each other and our then recently-adopted best dog in the world.


In addition to the usual red-beaded garland, I finished our little tree with some ribbons of leather in my beloved Camel color.


The smaller tree meant less furniture re-arranging and the rest of the living room could stay pretty close to normal:

The cot under the window where our dog loves to perch


Our tufted velvet sofa (scored for FREE on craigslist believe it or not!)


Our thrifted rock-star-of-a-lounge-chair we call John Bon Jovi


Behind the sofa is our little dining nook. 


We don't have a mantle so I hung our stockings on our chairs.


Across from the living room, next to the kitchen, is some built-in shelving which is currently sporting our little record collection.  This is the time of year we consistently like to have an old record on the turntable - preferably holiday classics circa the mid-century.


I hardly ever show our kitchen on these tours because well… there’s not much to show. 


But the highlight of the space is this Moroccan boucherouite runner purchased from The Gardener's House.


Each boucherouite rug is a riot of color and pattern, handwoven from recycled scraps and beautifully unique.  This one is titled "Farwell from the Farm" which lends itself to more of a work of art than a rug.  Perhaps one day, we'll have a bigger place and I'll hang it on the wall in the place of honor it deserves.


Two staples at the end of our kitchen counter is our mail-and-key bowl (a beloved wedding gift) and the porcelain lunch bag with Thor's doggy treats.

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Past the whimsical grid of Matisse portraits, a few steps down the hall (like 3 to be exact), is our one-and-only bedroom. 


Right when you walk into the bedroom is my perpetually cluttered dresser. 


Pasted down from (and refinished by) my mom, it is always adorned in a tangle of jewelry and usually buried under a pile of clothes (let's be honest).


My husband's dresser, on the other hand, is usually clothes-free (apparently that's what the floor is for).  *Insert eye-roll emoji


I really didn't do much to spruce up this space except add a "Merry Christmas" banner above the bed.


Currently, a lot of my plants are bunking-up to make room for the visit from cousin Christmas tree.


This might be another reason I get stressed - I'm never sure how my plant babies will react to the displacement.  Last year, my fiddle-leaf fig tree (may she rest in peace) did NOT like getting upstaged from her usual corner and promptly let herself go just to spite me.  Figadora Tonks now lives in exile - I mean on the balcony - in a corner where no one can see the incriminating evidence of my black thumb.


I am pleased to report that so far, minimizing our holiday décor seems to be treating my holiday anxiety effectively...  Of course I haven't started holiday shopping yet so that could easily change lol.


Next stop on the tour is Jessica Brigham!  Pop over to her home for more eclectic inspiration and more directions to the last stop on today's tour circuit!  Thank you again for stopping by!


Show Us Your Bar Cart || and meet my Christmas tree ||

As Chelsea shared last week, the whole family shlepped out to a local tree farm to chop down our own Christmas trees.  Now, there's something more... intimate... about going the cut-your-own route for the holidays.  Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of the process.  But let's just say, "organic trees" do not go quietly...

First we scourged an entire forest for our perfect candidate.  He's big, and rugged, and an all-around beast.  So we battled with the branches just to get our saw some bark to bite.  Then we [and by we I mean the fella's] applied some major elbow grease to get that bad boy to part from it's stump.  Now the candidate is officially a conquest and we have to drag it through the woods back to check-out so it can get prepped and wrapped for transport - a process which involved at least 5 men to shove our lush fur through the netting hoop.  After we strapped it to the car [or in our case, threw it in the truck] we hauled it home and wrestled it into it's prominent place only to find it had a diameter of like 5ft AKA half our new living room.  So we resorted to drastic measures and gave it's back branches a quick haircut [think an angled bob...] just so we could shove it deeper into the corner.  After the first round of needle-vacuuming, we were ready to decorate.  But our beast was not interested in getting gussied up: his razor like needles bit everytime I came at him with a bauble.  I eventually started throwing ornaments on from a safe distance, hoping they'll catch...  It's no wonder, after all that, your cut-your-own tree becomes a reluctant member of the family [meet Chelsea's tree Paul Pfeiffer].  We affectionately nicknamed ours...

The Beast [see the resemblance?]


He's ruing the day he met us I just know it.


We are still moving in to our new place so there's not much more to see just yet, but I do have one other holiday stop on the tour before you go: our pop-up holiday bar cart!

Caleb and I are not mixologists by any means so we rarely have anything "fun" in steady supply.  But when you hit the season of holiday hosting, it can be fun to have a pop-up bar for all your festivities!  So I put our suitcase table to good use with the help of a small vanity mirror, a strand of lights, a strand of garland, and some tree trimmings [from the Beast's haircut to be exact].  Viola!  A festive impromptu drink station.

So just to recap, my holiday recipe for an easy pop-up bar cart is simple:

1 Folding Tray Table
1 Suitcase
1 Mirror

And dear DIY friend Brandi over at Don't Disturb this Groove has kindly organized a whole slue of holiday bar cart inspiration for your perusing pleasure.  Be sure to browse the tag #ShowUsYourBarCart on Instagram at 10am EST to check out the other savvy ideas from some fellow fabulously festive creatives.

I promise to give you a formal tour of our new apartment in the new year dear friends!  I just need to survive the holiday's first ;)