This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY


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Deck the Halls

Since Thanksgiving fell so late this year, we quickly had to turn from thankfulness to the Christmas craziness. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t allow myself to get into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving, even if that does mean there are only 4 weeks left (eek!). That being said, we wasted no time this past weekend getting ready for the first Christmas in our new home.

The first thing I tackled – after cleaning – was the mantel. I didn’t really have a plan of attack. The only thing I knew I wanted to incorporate was a 6-pane window I found in the attic of our garage. So I started with that and worked around it using items I already had. One issue I encountered – there’s an outlet on the wall above the mantel, which you can easily hide with a picture or clock, but with a window, not so much. In comes the “Happy Holidays” sign. I decided to hang that from the window using gift wrapping ribbon and voila, the outlet is now strategically hidden!

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I continued to go through our Christmas storage bins, picking out anything that caught my eye and might work. I used pre-lit garland, candle sticks, my favorite chalkboard platter, and real pine cones left over from my Thanksgiving place card holders! Oh and remember those two wooden sleds I snagged for free (see post here)? I used the smaller one by the fireplace, adding a little faux garland to it. Here’s the final result:

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In the dining room, I changed out the table runner and added a simple glass bowl filled with ornaments. I also put a few decorative items on the ladder shelf, including 3 mason jars with pine cones inside, to carry over from the living room.

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Outside, I used the larger sled on our front steps. I added real pine branches, which I found in someone’s curbside leaf pile, and I used that same gift wrapping ribbon for the bow! I am beyond happy with this decoration. It was completely free!

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And, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without lights! I placed candles in all of the front windows and my husband adorned the bushes. I love white lights, they’re so classy!

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Next weekend we get the tree! What are some of your decorating tricks?


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Home Sweet Home

My husband and I recently celebrated our 3rd anniversary, and I wanted to share the gift that he got me. It’s a simple throw pillow, but it holds a lot of meaning.

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Home means something different to every person. For Jamie and me it’s always meant a state of comfort. Our physical home may have only just been established this year, but we have always felt at home just being together. Our first dance at our wedding was to Duncan Sheik’s “Home.” One of the lyrics says “When I’m with you it feels like I’m home.” And it’s so true. While we are working on making our house a home, together we already are one.

I recently came across this artwork on Etsy.

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I found it beyond appropriate for us. I’m adding it to my list of projects in hopes that someday soon I’ll make it. I believe a home doesn’t have to be 4 walls and a roof, it can simply be a feeling. What does home mean for you?


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There’s No Place Like Home

After 4 months, our house is finally starting to feel like home! Every change we make, it becomes more and more our own.

In the living room, we finally have furniture. It’s been an empty and echoey room up until now. We picked up a sectional my mother-in-law had for us. So that went in the family room where our nicer couches had been, and we could finally move these into the living room.

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We also changed out the chandelier in the dining room. That wasn’t something we planned on doing right away, but my dad had this beauty lying around and gave it to us. I think it really softens up the room and even matches our table really well! It had been a gold candle chandelier before.
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And the biggest difference is in the entryway. We had a stair runner installed last week. I love the sage color! We also took down the handrail that ran up the wall, which I think gives it a much cleaner look.

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It’s all about baby steps (no pun intended!) What changes have you made to make your house feel more homey?

 


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Fall in Love

Fall. It is by far my favorite season. How can you not love the colorful leaves, crisp air, comfy sweaters, apple picking and pumpkin pie?! Though it never lasts as long as I’d like it to, I still find it such a soothing season. It’s only mid-September, and here in Jersey it was just 90 degrees last week and the leaves won’t change for at least another month or so. But I couldn’t help myself from decorating our house for autumn. We don’t even have furniture in our living room yet (that’s coming next weekend) – but the mantel was just begging me to dress it up! I used some everyday items, flea market finds and a little inspiration from Pinterest to come up with this:

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I also put together a quick little centerpiece for our dining room table using a wooden box and mason jars. I found the box on the work bench in our basement. It apparently came with the house. Something similar would probably sell in stores for around $30. Gotta love a free find!

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Next up will be the front door and steps. What are some of your favorite fall decorations?


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Flea Market Finds

Don’t you love when you find something that really speaks to you … especially when it’s at a bargain price?! My husband, Jamie, and I may not even have paint on the walls yet in our new house, but that’s not going to stop me from browsing flea markets, garage sales, etc. You never know what you might come across. During a recent flea market trip, I was pretty happy with the treasures we found.

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A nice, simple nightstand. It’s a little wobbly, but nothing that can’t be reinforced. I think we plan on painting it at some point, but for now it actually matches well with the bed in our guest room. Not bad for $12.

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Two rustic scales. I don’t plan on cleaning these up at all. I like the authenticity of them. The bigger one will be for décor. The smaller one might eventually get used for a hanging plant or something similar. The pair cost only $19.

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Wooden bottle carrier. Normally you see a lot of these with Coke or Pepsi logos. So when we saw this one with Crystal Club, I knew we had to get it. Jamie drank this soda growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was actually made in Scranton. So not only is this great to display somewhere, but it also has a little meaning. Price? $15.

What fun flea market finds have you come across lately?