Sunday, July 23, 2023

Cottage Review: Inspiration for Christmas in July

Hi friends, I'm jumping on the "Christmas in July" train and sharing a post I did last year when I joined a great group of bloggers for a hop sharing our favorite ideas for Christmas decor and traditions. 

"Years ago when I first heard the concept of "Christmas in July" I thought "Why would I want to drag all my Christmas decor out "twice" in one year?" The Christmas season to me is more than just decorating but a state of mind that builds and accumulates each year.  But, the last few years I've noticed instead of actually "celebrating" Christmas in July, many of us realize it's a middle point in the year when we can start gathering ideas and inspiration for the upcoming season. So today I'm sharing some inspiration from Christmas Past so I can kickstart my creativity for the Holidays ahead."

Here are some of the ways I rely on to start getting ideas for decorating for Christmas...

1. I love Pinterest and make it a habit to Pin ideas and inspiration throughout the year. Make your Pinterest Christmas Boards work for you as a great resource for new ideas and ways to use your existing Christmas items. (yikes, I have about 11 Christmas Boards that break down Christmas ideas by design subject). Start browsing your boards and Pinterest, and look back through your favorite Christmas seasonal magazines starting late summer. Sometimes you'll see a pic that starts the inspiration process.

2. Do a quick revisit of your Christmas stash to refresh your memory on things you already have on hand. Sometimes I buy things on clearance and forget that I have them. Make a list of things you're interested in trying this upcoming year. Buy early, things will be gone before you know it. 

3. Consider a theme or vibe for your décor this season coming up. What are your interests this year?  Vintage, Coastal, Garden-y, Rustic, Elegant, French Country, All White... OK, you get the idea. What are your favorite Christmas design themes?

4. Want to try something new? Don't be afraid to mix it up a bit. But keep in mind you don't have to reinvent the Christmas Wheel. Love your traditions with decorating?... Go with what feels like you and works for your family.

5. You don't have to decorate every surface or even every room. Choose several focal points, then build from there.

6. Start your DIY projects early!

Christmas Past

Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite pics from Christmases past, that in a nutshell represent my Christmas decor style. It may be a bit different each year, but it always has the same "flavor", that being Vintage, Cottage and with a bit of Nature thrown in.

I have a few "collections" that are Christmas related and I try to use them in different spots each year. I try not to get in a rut with using the same pieces in the same places. So I challenge myself with fresh vignettes and centerpieces each year.

I have a few pieces of furniture that are naturally suited to display. The old family sideboard is one that's a favorite with it's large back mirror and small upper shelf. White pieces look perfect there so it's been a fun place to display my vintage look small house and church collections. 

I love the little shelf above the mirror, because it's a nice size to display smaller items, so some of my white Putz cardboard houses and churches are here.

I started collecting old Shiny Brite ornaments years ago when I had booth spaces at antique shops and vintage markets, so here are a few old ornaments that are neutrals like white, silver, and gold displayed in a dough bowl with a large candle.

These larger churches had a mini makeover back several years ago. I had collected them because they were white churches, but as my love for a white palette continued I decided to make them a little more "white". I was ready to give these away, but I'm so glad I took a minute and freshened them up for a more current look.

Here they are at dusk lit up and reflected in the wonderful original beveled mirror. We've moved so many times, it's truly a miracle this mirror has survived.

Here are some pics of the "before" churches, before their mini paint makeovers. I felt like these might be out of date because I hadn't used them in way too many years, but a bit of strategic white paint saved the collection.

You can check out that post by clicking below.

We've lived in our current home for 4 years and even though it's an older home built in the 60's, we've managed to bring it up-to-date for our needs. One of my favorite rooms to decorate is the sunporch, aka the Garden Room. It was added on to our home in 2015 and is a huge asset to the livability and space of this house. It's across the back of our home and holds much of my vintage white chippy furniture, a wicker seating area and also our casual dining area. Here are some pics where I'm using Tartan Plaid (my favorite Christmas theme).

I collect old wool Tartan throws for Fall and Christmas, so they are used each year to bring in my love of plaid. I also keep vintage quilts, and pillows rotating through the year with seasonal color and texture. One of my design tips is that I use seasonal "color" in my decorating. You don't have to have a ton of seasonal or "holiday" decor pieces to convey the mood and holiday feel. The red transferware, Tartan plaid tins and blankets, and greenery all add up to "Christmas".

Another wonderful old vintage piece is my pie safe which has been dubbed "The Holiday Cupboard". It's a fun dish and collectible display spot throughout the year, seasons and holidays.

Here's the  Christmas Holiday Cupboard  filled with red transferware, ironstone and Scottish tins. 

Even the vintage Shiny Brite boxes are fun to display on my old "toddler chair".

You can find another Christmas Display in the Holiday Cupboard HERE

The Garden Room is such a fun place to decorate...
 for any and all seasons and holidays.

This is our casual dining area, just off the kitchen. We use the breakfast bar on the island in the kitchen instead of sitting at the table when it's just the two of us. When we have family we take the few steps out here for meals.

The Baker's Rack is an old purchase from the 90's that's another fun spot for seasonal display in the Garden Room.

Now let's head to the Dining Room

I like to keep the Dining Room a little more formal and tend to lean toward a bit of a mashup of vintage cottage and a French Country aesthetic. I have dark heavy furniture in this relatively small space, and I need something substantial as a table centerpiece so that it will actually show up over the chairs. Sometimes I get an idea that flops, but I'll tweak it and change things up till I finally get there.

I have an old window box that I salvaged from two houses ago; it's the perfect size for the dining room table. So last year I used my 3 preserved boxwood topiary trees with some faux greenery, faux hydrangeas, and then for some color I added green and gold pears. I love the look of the pears, but they needed a little dressing up for Christmas. I searched through my paint stash and found this DecoArt metallic paint and decided to give that a try. I didn't want a solid look, but something more like a gold "wash". 

Here's another post from 3 years ago in the dining room, using an antique basket and some velvet poinsettias that I'd had for years. I had been in a rut here on the table. The basket had me using a different more neutral color scheme other that the usual Tartan plaid.

Well friends, thanks so much for coming by to visit. I hope you found some fun ideas and inspiration for decorating for Christmas. We may not be ready to pull out the tree, but maybe ready to get some inspiration and fun ideas for our upcoming Christmas season. 

When do you start getting excited for Christmas?

joining in at these great parties:
The House on Silverado,  Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
 Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life  Home Imagined at the Antique Journey
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode, Wednesday Link Party at Our Tiny Nest
 Wonderful Wednesday at Eclectic Red Barn
 Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin's Kottage Share Your Style at French Ethereal,  
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  
Home Matters at Southern SunflowersGrace at Home at Imparting Grace
Farmhouse Friday at  County Road 407  Fabulous Friday at WM Design House 


  1. It is fun to go back and look at Christmas Past. I like to change things up every year but I do use my same ole things. Maybe a new piece here and there. I am thinking of blogging about my Christmas Past too. Just fun to look and get some ideas for this year. We all know it will be here before we know it. Hugs and Happy Weekend. Kris

    1. I love seeing ideas that might work for me from year to year. I always end up buying one or two things, but I try to "recycle" pieces maybe in different rooms or vignettes. Too hot right now other than to "think" about Christmas decor! haha

  2. I love your Christmas vignettes! The pears last year were really neat with thise boxwood tipiaries (I gave mine to my sister in my purge 4 yrs ago!😣). It's so hard for me to completely change all that I have, so I just try new mixes. I've tried to keep a photo album of purchases so I won't forget what I have and what I can sell. Otherwise, I'd totally forget. Christmas in July. It'll be here before you know it!

    1. thanks Rita, I DO love those pears, I'm going to use them again somewhere this year. You should see all my Christmas tubs. I need to do some serious purging, but it's so hard to get rid of Christmas decor!

  3. Always fun here, Debra. Love seeing your creative ideas, but honestly I'm not ready to think about Christmas yet. Although I did see a sailboat Christmas ornament today. It gave me pause! Have a great week!

    1. I agree Sarah, it's too hot to get too serious about Christmas decor right now. I just need a few ideas to kick start me in late October!

  4. It's fun revisiting your Christmas -- and the nice thing about your white is that despite the summer, it still looks cool! I love your churches especially and that wonderful tartan!

  5. That sideboard is gorgeous, and I just love those white churches there! So beautiful! I have never heard of Christmas in July as decorating--just as planning ahead for gifts and such--so it's fun to see all your decor right now. Great tips for planning and ideas. Visiting from Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop.

  6. I was the same way about dragging stuff out of the hotter-than-hell attic in July but about 2 years ago realized planning was the way to go. Especially when I had purchased duplicate items and had to return them in the crowds. :/ Not fun.

    And only once in my time here in this house have I picked a theme for our Christmas decor. That year was Peppermint. It was so overwhelming I never did it again. LOL! I do choose colors though and sometimes (which I guess is a theme) I go natural with no color or real decor.

    Enjoyed this post! Especially smiling at the fact that over the years I've pinned just about every single photo in here. Love that!

  7. We love Christmas in July here, I even get my husband in on the fun. It is where we get ideas and decide how we will decorate for the upcoming holidays. Love all of your tartan plaid, I keep collecting pieces as we find them. Happy Christmas in July!

  8. So much Christmas inspiration, Debra. Love it! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About… I’m so pleased to be featuring your post at this week’s party! Pinned!


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends