Thursday, December 22, 2016

Decorating my home for Christmas with vintage

Last week, after sharing some holiday decorating with vintage ideas that I found on the internet and put on one of my pinterest boards called "Decorating for Christmas with Vintage," I promised that I'd show you around my house and some of the ways I decorate with vintage.

First of all, I'll take you to my kitchen. Our house is just barely vintage, as in 1990 we purchased a high, wooded parcel of land in New Hampshire and in 1992, after clearing some of the trees, we built a one-room cottage (my husband purchased a book called "Building Thoreau's Cabin" and began building) which, once finished, served as our living room, dining room, and bedroom (that ladder leads up to a sleeping loft, which we now use for storage; on the ceiling is part of our extensive basket collection).

At the time this was our getaway house from the metro New York City area, and primitively exciting as we heated with just a wood stove, used oil lamps, brought water in to use for drinking and washing, and had an outhouse behind the cottage. Definitely "back to the land" living! Which works great when you're in your 30s or 40s. However, eventually we started hankering for hot showers and electricity....

Over the years, we finally hooked up to the grid, knocked out a window and built a wing with a bathroom and bedroom and another sleeping loft, along with a sitting room.  The next project was breaking through another window and building a deck with a view of Mt. Monadnock.
Then we extended out in the other direction and built a new living room and, eventually, a whole other wing with bedrooms and work areas.
While all this building was going on, we dreamed and wondered how we could manage to live up here in the New Hampshire hills full time. In 2004 our dream finally became a reality.

(For a video tour of a few rooms in my house, go here, to my About page in my Etsy shop  and you'll see the video with me narrating)

This year we're going to our daughter and family's home in Vermont for Christmas, so we just put up a little tree that we loaded with lights and ornaments, some vintage and some newer.

And the white dove on the top we've had for many years (as well as the old flag behind it):
We put the tree into an antique square wooden box with faded old blue paint and a wire and wood handle (the icon is from Lourdes, but not quite vintage):
Next to the tree we put up a red, rosemaled sleigh that my father made many years ago, as well as the Santa inside, which he carved and gave me as a present. This year my husband hooked up Santa and his sleigh to the vintage reindeer candlesticks we found long ago:

On the other side of the tree, we filled a red wire basket with my collection of vintage mercury glass ornaments:
And next to that is a treasured creche that my father carved:
On the coffee table in front of the wood stove is an antique dough bowl my husband and I found decades ago in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley--we always fill it with big pine cones saved from trees at our old home in New Jersey (the pine cones are vintage, too!), along with a few little gold mercury ornaments. The antique silver candlestick we found in an antique shop in Wisconsin while celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary (we doubled that last June).
On the stone wall behind our wood stove we hung up my husband's stocking and mine from our childhood--definitely vintage!
And my collection of vintage Putz houses is set into a window:
The history of these little cardboard houses is interesting--according to Wikipedia, it seems that, in Germany, families would create miniature scenes in their homes to celebrate Christmas. The word "putzen" means "decorate," but sometimes it took weeks to collect the bits and pieces for their tableaus, and so the term "putzing" (taking your time doing this and that) came about!

I love these little houses because I remember them lined up along a high door ledge in my grandmother's home at Christmas. I don't know what happened to those, but years ago I came across a bunch of them and bought the whole lot in what I considered quite a bargain.

I inherited a lot of vintage Christmas ceramics from my parents (cute Santas and angels and snowmen), and scatter these around the house, mostly in windows. My mother used to put them on the mantle above her fireplace, swathed in white, wispy angel hair--but we don't have a mantel!

Another treasure is this wonderful Santa, also carved by my father:
Christmas is a wondrous, blessed time of year, and from my house to yours....
I wish you all the joys of this beautiful season!


  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kris! Your home is lovely, just like a Christmas card come to life.

  2. Beautiful Kris! Your Dad had quite the knack for carving those gorgeous figures!!