Welcome to my French Farmhouse Christmas Tour
I never meant to go this long in between blog posts.
What’s the opposite of a Grinch?
The opposite of Ebinezer Scrooge? Because, c’est moi!
Last year we were surrounded by moving boxes and utter chaos. We had just moved in on the 18th (Can you BELIEVE it’s been a year?) and to keep things simple, we walked the driveway to find the perfect Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
We stuck it in a pot. We made a meal and went to church. And that was the extent of our Christmas. We didn’t even buy the children presents. (They survived.)
“We bought you a house.”
And darn it, that was good enough! Not many families get to move permanently to their annual vacation destination, after all!
And so, to celebrate God’s goodness and the joy and gratitude in my heart after this first year in Door County… I went all out. And oh, by gosh, by golly, it was fun!
But first, I needed to shop. My Rubbermaid Christmas tubs were…. um… lacking. I had come to that point in my adulthood where, aside from my Shiny Brite collection (which you are welcome contributions to whenever the Spirit moves BTW), but aside from those vintage beauties, my Christmas décor had become, how shall we say this…
Not away in a mangy.
Just plain mangy.
And so, I hit the Door County resale shops for some serious #resaletherapy.
I stocked up on more greenery swags than should be allowed, plaid blankets, scarves, tinsel trees, mercury beads… the mind reels.
And then I came home and set Pandora to Harry Connick Jr. Christmas and it was GAME ON!
I mean, let’s be real. Do you understand what the photograph below does to my heart? My brass peafowl nestled into gilded greenery, watched over by my lovely shepherdess?
It’s more than I can take.
So different from the towers of moving boxes we were surrounded by last year.
My first move was to buy a giant plaid tablecloth. I love plaid… tartan… call it what you will. I especially appreciate a good, old, 1980’s quintessential plaid… something that looks like my mother would have sewn me a dress from it for the Christmas contada.
I took down all the creamy, white, French linen from the sink skirt and island skirt and I cut this plaid tablecloth up as strategic as possible so that I could have valences for the windows and skirts where needed. It instantly set the Christmas tone in the kitchen… and then I started tacking in swags where ever I could. Me and Ella Fitzgerald singing carols at the top of our lungs.
I adore the one above the sink with its cheesy bright red berries. And the one above the range hearth is about all I can stand with its faux eucalyptus and pine cones and berries. I couldn’t resist added dehydrated oranges and little tiny Christmas lights.
It’s so lovely. I feel badly for the kitchen. She’ll be so exposed and naked come in the middle of January.
The “foyer” is not really a foyer at all I suppose, but a tiny room at the bottom of the stairs with an entry into each room of the first floor, including the envelope greenhouse. It’s dark and extremely château-y. I grabbed a few bottle brush trees and some crocheted stockings and installed a faux tree at the bottom of the stairs which I decked in my kid leather glove collection and some precious popcorn and cranberry garland that the children made one afternoon. We’ve made some serious cosy memories doing Christmas crafts these last few weeks.
What about the Shiplap project?
And in the middle of all this mushy, lovey, goodness has been the chaos of ladders, air compressors, nails, and wood scraps as we plug away, plank after plank on the “shiplap”.
But look at it!
Even unpainted and not yet trimmed out, it is arresting. Joel NAILED IT (pun intended) and each plank is perfectly level and spaced… it’s a masterpiece. I can’t take it. It’s been a six-week project and I’ll come back to that in another post and YouTube video in Season Two of Everyday Château, but we are pleased as Christmas spiked punch with the outcome. The tools are packed up and we will finish up after the Holidays.
Since we use the fireplace to heat the house, all day, every day, we couldn’t have the stockings on the mantle. I chose to hang them on this perfectly sized wall, under the watchful eye of Rhett Butler who makes sure that no Littles peek inside.
I found two lifesize wooden Dickens carolers at Midwest Retro in Dundee, Illinois on a recent trip and named them Rhett and Scarlett. Of course, like a normal person, I put them in my living room.
I made the stockings years ago. They are very sentimental to me. Of course, I had to quickly throw another one together for Junior after he was born. Thank goodness I had extra fabric!
This room is looking SO different with the shiplap instead of that awful, red, rough-hewn cedar. It was like having velcro walls. Even the fireplace got a little makeover. I swapped out that dinky, horrible, red cedar mantle for a piece of limewashed barn wood. It’s a little longer and a little deeper and so it’s perfect for my Italian nativity. The giant, distressed mirror was from my resale excursion. And more tiny lights, of course.
Cause you can’t have too many.
Nor can you have too much swag 🙂 Or crazy quilts edged in tattered plaid taffeta.
Say that five times fast.
More Farmhouse Makeovers?
And now, darn it. Can we talk about the bathroom?
Do you remember the downstairs bathroom last year? One reader called it a trailer park bathroom which made me spit my espresso! She was totally right! It was decked out in mauve CARPET with cattail embossed wallpaper…
Cattails. Like swamp grass.
And a “Home Depot special” vanity that was so huge you could hardly move. But now…
(You can see all about it here:)
I’m prattling, aren’t I?
I’ll close with the tree. We cut it here. Joel finished this portion of the wall just in time for us to grab the saw one afternoon and go out back to find the perfect tree. I had this vision for a huge “Queen Victoria Tree” (Like you’d see Victoria, Albert and their royal brood celebrating underneath.)
We found it, Joel cut it and carried this ten-foot beauty all the way back up to the house.
It might be the most beautiful tree ever, to me. And this, by far, is the most meaningful Christmas ever. I needed the décor to capture the joy in my heart.
I think it did.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the video tour down below. And if you’re Christmas stuff has gotten “mangy” over the years, I’ve added some fabulous stuff here.