My Holiday Home Tour – How to Decorate on a Budget {Part 1}

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I hope you guys have enjoyed the “12 Days of Christmas” Holiday Home Tour so far.

We are now on Day 5 of the tour –> which means it’s my turn to share my holiday home with all of  you.

It is my first Holiday Home Tour with a group of other bloggers…well it’s the first tour of my home of any sort!

And I won’t lie…it’s been a little stressful pulling it all together. Especially being away for 5 days for Thanksgiving.

But I did it. 

(just keep in mind…the areas of the rooms that you can’t see are still full of craziness…and mess — on second thought, don’t, just forget I even mentioned that)

Shhh…that’s a blogger secret. Push the junk to one side of the room while you take a picture of the other side.
Now you know. ;)

Anyway, it’ll get all cleaned up and sorted before the actual holiday arrives. I hope.

While writing my post I realized I had taken way too many photos for one post so I have decided to break it up into two parts.

Today I am going to show you the Foyer and Family Room. Monday I’ll be sharing the Study, Kitchen and Dining Room in Part 2 of the tour.

And I will have follow up posts on the DIY holiday decor you’ll see today, and on Monday, in the coming weeks.


Welcome to my home…….come on in….


Lexi is so excited to see you….can’t you tell!?
Don’t let that calm little face fool you.
If it really were you (or anyone else she didn’t know)…she’d be barking and going all crazy. ;)

I made the Snowflake Wall Hanging (on the mirror) last year. The full tutorial for that is –>here.

Looking up you will see some “Mistletoe”….perfect spot to catch people as they walk in….or out.
( it’s not really mistletoe…but I always tell everyone it is!)

Mistletoe for the entryway

I love my new light fixture in the Foyer. You should see the pattern display those crystals make on the ceiling at night when the light is on.
And a steal at $39…clearance at Lowe’s. Thank you Lowe’s!!

I love Lowe’s…it’s our home away from home. Really.
And sadly, doesn’t get enough credit in my posts. I like to let you all know where the things I post about come from.
Most of the smaller (not as fun to talk about ;)) items, tools, tape, twine, etc, etc also come from there. And even the floor tiles in the photo above of the Foyer/Kitchen.
I’ll let you all know about that “little” DIY project soon too.

But things like the gorgeous light above…now that’s fun to talk about!

Close up of the entry chest holiday decor.
Almost all thrift store, made over items, including the chest–> which you can read about here.

Foyer table up close - decorated with thrifty finds - Holiday Home Tour

Santa (spray painted & sparkled), the silver snowflake tray, snowflake basket, the metal dish holding the candy canes and the metal tray turned chalkboard…all picked up at the thrift store.
“Snowballs” and Chalkboard “art” made by me. :)

Santa..simple and classic.

Santa - Dollar store and thrift store finds for decorating - Holiday Home Tour

To the right of the Foyer is the Family Room….and the tree.
We always do a live one. And it usually takes me forever to pick the perfect one.
Not this time.
This time I pointed to one, we pulled it out….and it was PERFECT.

First. Time. Ever.

Nautical themed Christmas Tree without lights on - Holiday Home Tour

This photo is without lights on.
We did colored and white. And can turn on either or.

(Please excuse the cable box and such sitting on the floor.
We have not completed this room makeover and plan to put a small cabinet there to house the equipment)

Be on the lookout for the tutorial for the “Be Merry” nautical wall hanging.
Super simple and inexpensive!

I did a nautical themed tree this year. But with the sentimental ornaments as well.
Like this one….

Babys First - Home made Pine Cone Ornament - Holiday Home Tour

From when my daughter was born.

And this one….for my son.

Baby Ornament - Holiday Home Tour

And of course the homemade ones made by my children…like this one…

Home made ornament - Holiday Home Tour

I’ll be doing a post on how I made the pine cone and sand dollar, starfish, etc, ornaments soon.
So easy…and such a great addition to the tree for a wonderful natural element.

DIY Sand Dollar Ornament - Holiday Home Tour

And when you live in a coastal area…there are always an abundance of things like this….

Crab Shell Ornament - Holiday Home Tour

For the mantel….I used the greenery from the lower limbs of the tree that we cut off.
My color theme for this room is teal/red…as you can see below.

The stocking holders came from the thrift store for a total of $2.50.
I spray painted the Angel (she was multi colored) and sprinkled her with glitter.
The sparkly Christmas trees came from JoAnn Fabrics (with a 25% off coupon PLUS 40% sale!)

Holiday Mantle - Holiday Home Tour

Thrift store Angel stocking holder painted white with sparkles - Holiday Home Tour

I put some white “greenery” also from JoAnn Fabric (I can’t think of a better term at the moment) in a jar that I got at the thrift store and sprayed with Looking Glass spray paint.
Then I stuck some blue starfish in them. They were supposedly blue in their natural state…but then have to be dyed back that color–
I don’t know about all of that but I think blue starfish are cool.

Holiday Decorating - Natural Starfish - Holiday Home Tour

Close up of some real holly that I used on the mantel…..(and a reflection of ME taking the photo in the silver ornament…fun surprise when editing my photos)

Natural elements in holiday decorating - Holly - Holiday Home Tour

The “coffee ottoman” (I’ve yet to blog about this too) tray display….

Holiday tray made with thrift store finds - Holiday Home Tour

The 2 stars are thrift store finds. The large one was sprayed with Looking Glass spray.
The jingle bells and ceramic balls came from Pier One.
Pine cones came from the woods behind my house. :)
(the metal tray was a thrift store find that I painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint….I use it all year long)
“Jingle all the Way” towel…JoAnn Fabric.
How cute is that? You never (hardly ever anyway) see Christmas items in teal so I snatched it up! (same great sale, btw)

Up close…

Close up of DIY pine cones holiday tray - Holiday Home Tour

The couch (where the monstrosity of a wall unit used to live)…

and my “Naughty/Nice” 2 sided pillow and “Jingle Y’all” pillow….
(posts on how I made those are here)

Family Room Holiday Decor - Thrift Store Pillow Makeover with Chalk Paint - Holiday Home Tour

Loving my new colorful pillows from TJ Maxx
(not actually part of the “Holiday” tour but there they are ;) )

And the other side of the room…..

Family Room Holiday Decor - It's the Most Wonderful DIY Sign- Holiday Home Tour

The sign “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” post is here.
The antique dresser is one I picked up about 10 years ago…and painted (it was metallic blue).
I stripped it last year, replaced hardware, repainted the base and refinished the top.
I’ll post about it soon too.

Love this….so much

Dear Santa I Can Explain - Holiday Home Tour

The dresser up close (one of my favorite pieces…although I do love paint and painted furniture, I love wood too)

Antique Dresser - Holiday Decor - Holiday Home Tour

My glittery little metal thrift store bowl from last year.
You have to see what it looked like before….see it here.

Thrifty metal platter with Nativity Manger - Holiday Home Tour

….along with my Nativity Manger set I’ve had for 20 years.

My Chalk Painted (custom blended, triple colored) armoire decorated up a bit.

Chalk Painted Blue Armoire decorated for the holidays - Holiday Home Tour

Close up of the Santa hat….

Chalk Painted Blue Armoire with Naughty and Nice Santa Hat - Holiday Home Tour

And finally….the full room shot. Sort of.

Family Room Dressed up for the Holidays - Holiday Home Tour

I’m loving the red/teal/turquoise theme. I didn’t plan on that from the start but with all of the teal/turquoise already in the room it just evolved.
And then I played it up a bit.

Really enjoying my tree this year too :)…..

Christmas Tree Up Close - Holiday Home Tour

I know this was super long….and can you imagine if I included the other 3 rooms?

Holiday Home Tour - Part 1

So happy you came by for a visit today! Don’t forget to check back on Monday to see Part 2 of the tour –> the Kitchen, Dining Room & Study.

Happy Holidays!!

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I always post projects and things I’m working on (like this one)
long before it hits the blog…..
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  1. Nancy! Your home is stunning! I LOVE so many things it’s like Christmas Decor adhd going on right now for me with your photos lol! Your fresh tree is gorgeous (so miss having a fresh tree) the white tree is adorable, I so want one of those ornament wreaths uhh I LOVE them so much! Don’t you love having the dual lights on the tree? I love using the color ones at night and the clear during the day / early evening. You did a fantastic job your home feels so welcoming and full of the Christmas spirit, very nicely done!!!

    1. Thank you so much Dria!! And I think my brain was a little tired last night when I was finishing up because I totally did not catch that I had left the “study” in this grouping!! LOL It’s going in on Monday’s…I copied it over to Monday’s post but forgot to delete it here. Duh!! I thought it seemed too long when I proof read it last night! haha…no wonder you had ADHD, it’s a long post! So glad you mentioned the stuff in the study because I caught it immediately…this morning (after a full night’s rest….and fresh mind)
      You’ll just see that part again on Monday. ;)
      And yes, I do love the separate lights thing!


  2. Hi Nancy! What a fun tour and I love seeing all the things you’ve made and done! I am chuckling over the pushing things to one side while we take photos because that will SO be happening at my house! :) Everything looks beautiful, inviting and full of cheer! Pinning and sharing – and will be back for part 2! :) Have a happy Friday and a merry weekend!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Thanks so much!! (I accidentally left in the Study…on this post…after I had moved it to Monday’s!…that’s what happen when you sit at the computer all day editing photos and writing posts!!lol) But noticed it immediately this morning with my fresh, well rested brain! ;)
      Thank you so much…and yes, pushing stuff around…it’s a mess I’m tackling today! ;)
      Have a great weekend!!

  3. Hi Nancy: Your home is beautiful, not over crowded with stuff, just warm & inviting, a reflection of you perhaps?! I also totally love the nativity bowl – I would never have visualized that one – thanks for the tip! It turned out beautiful! I also love sparkles – but not in clothing and jewels – it is very “South Philly” ! hahahahaha but that is what I love about our cousins down there, their uniqueness and style. Off the subject…….sorry! Anyhow, can’t wait to see the other rooms. I have yet to show my house and don’t know when the nerve will hit! Congratulations on committing! Trisha

    1. Thank you Trisha! :) So sweet! I was a little nervous since this is the first time I’ve shared my entire home (well the downstairs, minus the laundry and guest bath ;) ) on the blog.
      But this tour got me on it! And it was stressful but fun to finally share. :)
      Hope you have a great weekend!!


  4. Nancy, I don’t know where to start. I love all your decorations and your home is absolutely beautiful. The brown color in the foyer looks identical to the color I used in our home in Florida. I really miss that place. I love the wreath hanging over the mirror. I just got a peek of it in the hallway photo. Your tree is lovely and the white arrangement with the blue starfish is so simple but what an impact. I love the red naughty pillow and your red sign. Of course I’ve already checked those out from your earlier posts. I could go on and on but I have to move on and pin. I am always a fan of your painted furniture and I see you keep a lot of your pieces too.

    1. Thanks Kathy :) I love that brown…when I chose it I was so unsure of such a dark color in the entry but I LOVE it! The rest of my house is very bright and I think it makes a nice balance.
      Thanks..I do love my furniture and have a hard time parting with a lot of it! Too bad I have no more room for any new pieces. ;)

      Have a great weekend!!

    1. Thank you Megan!! Yes, I did lol!! And it was stressful with a capitol S. (and I wasn’t kidding a bit about the mess everywhere else,lol)


  5. Nancy, as usual…I love everything you post. I think you’re one of the bloggers whose projects get the biggest reactions for my readers, there is definitely a wow factor in all you do. I’m VERY honored to be in this tour with you. Your home is beautiful…and that armoire is outstanding. xoxo

    1. Aww thank you so much Jeanette! ;) Wow, really, thank you! And ditto back to you!

      Have a great weekend friend!


  6. I’m exhausted!! I know how much work it is when you’re a lazy decorator (like me)…I can only imagine how much time you spent! It’s all beautiful!


    1. Thanks Andi!! I am usually a lazy holiday decorator! But I’m on overload this year!! ;) It’s the only time of the year you can be a little tacky and overboard in decorating…the wonderful holiday season! ;)


  7. you know how much i love the jingle y’all pillow well your home is just as great….i found you through kathy at petticoat junktion and i am glad i did you are another real person like she is thanks for sharing your home xx

    1. Aw thank you Chris! That means a lot really. I always want to come across as real to my readers…and always try to tell people about all of my “oops” and such when doing projects! It’s the only way, in my opinion. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by! SO happy to have you here!!!
      Have a great weekend :)


  8. Nancy, your home is so pretty! I love your honesty about the picture perfect side of the room and then the mess stashed away on the other. I’m still cleaning up my messes from yesterday’s post, feels kind of like the day after Christmas. Your decorations are so cute, I am in love with your navy blue starfish and of course your little Santa but definitely drawn to your beautiful furniture pieces. You do such a great job with paint! Thanks for sharing your lovely home!

    1. Thank you so much Tami! :)
      Hhaha…exactly what my house looks like right now! The day after Christmas. ;) Mess everywhere. Well, there are some clean areas..and for some reason I just keep looking at those right past the mess. (ignorance is bliss, right? ;) )


  9. Oh my! I LOVE every detail of your Christmas tour. From the sentimental ornaments to the beachy touches it is all eye candy for me.
    I am totally inspire Nancy.
    Love and pinned.

    1. Thank you Melissa :) I’m actually really loving the red and blue together too! Who knew! ;)
      Oh yes, paint, paint! (sorry, I’m a paint enabler)

      Thanks for stopping by …and pinning! :)


  10. Ooooh…how pretty!! It looks sooo festive, and yes, looks like it took a lot of time to get together. Good for you getting it together so nicely! I love the chocolate on your entry way walls! My house doesn’t get a lot of light, so that would make my house like a dungeon. I’m jealous of people that get such great sunlight and have a whole spectrum of colors to choose from. Great job!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    1. Thanks Serena! :)
      So funny….we have a front porch and huge old oak trees in the front yard, a screened porch and woods in the back. Our house is terrible for getting enough light! ;) But I’m so glad it looks bright in the photos!!! Timing for picture taking. ;) My house was a dungeon when we moved in so it is a HUGE improvement from then!! And yes, to be honest, I was worried about the brown because of that but the rest of the house is super bright and light colored so it works. One thing that I totally notice a difference with is the paint finish I chose this time. I always used to use flat because I liked the way it looked…this time I went with eggshell (a slight sheen) and it reflects the light so wonderfully without being too shiny. I love it!


      1. One would never tell from those pics! You’ve done a great job getting enough light in! :) And the chocolate looks rich and expensive! And OMG–wait, I just realized that your house is almost laid out exactly as mine!! :) I’ll take a pic and show you. LOL I love your molding on the walls, too. Now that I’m getting my workshop set up and I have a miter saw, I plan to add some. I hope it looks as nice as yours! :)

        1. OH cool, yes, would love to see it! It’s not a bad layout…now that we’ve knocked out a few walls. ;) And thanks…my husband and I did all of the board & batten, crown, wainscot (well everything in this house!lol)…it was built in 1978 and still looked like it was 1978 when we moved in. Down to the avocado green and gold in the bathrooms to the gold counter tops in the kitchen (oh and orange and gold linoleum in the laundry room) and it was so VERY dark inside, dark wood paneling, dark wood trim etc. Almost ten fun years now of doing..doing..doing. ;)
          Oh yes, you will be all good to go now! Can’t wait to see the new molding you create!! Fun awaits you!! ;)


    1. Hi Laura,
      Thank you so much :) I loved the idea of combining the lights too…don’t know why I never thought of it! So glad Dria did her tree before I did mine so I could “steal” her idea! ;)
      I hope you also have a wonderful holiday season…I know it will be a tough one for both of our families. xoxo


  11. Nancy, just had a chance to sit down and read your new post. I’ve been excited to see what you have done for Christmas… and you did not disappoint! The tree looks gorgeous, as does everything else! I’m still loving your Jingle Y’all pillow! And of course your new red pillow, too! They look great on the couch! And I’m particularly partial to the red sign you made. You know I loved it when you posted about it recently! I so wish I had your talent!

    Something that really caught my attention… and it’s such a little thing in the scheme of all the other decorations, but I LOVE your little white bowl with the blue “Peace on Earth” indented wording! No one would ever know you didn’t just buy it that way! I love it!

    You did a wonderful job decorating these rooms for Christmas! Your home has such a warm, inviting feeling (especially with Lexi laying there looking all sweet!). And I can’t wait to see the other rooms tomorrow!

    1. Aw thank you Karen! :) Trust me, anyone can do the signs and pillows…promise!
      I know, isn’t that little bowl fabulous???! I love it so much. I really did wish I had found a bunch to paint and give away as gifts last year!
      I knew immediately what I would do with it when I found it. :) It is definitely one of my favorite holiday items.


  12. Nancy, ahhh a fresh tree! I miss a fresh tree. I love how you decorated yours and everything in your stunning room. I fav is the coffee table and vignette on top. Can wait to read about the coffee table. I also love the thrift store finds and how you make them your own. Will check back to see more next week. My tour post goes up tonight and I need to count my pictures.

    1. Oh, yes, I love the fresh tree! :) We’ve always done real…I’ve never had an artificial one (except for the little white one I’ll post on Monday that is in another room)
      And yes, finding and transforming (or not!) thrift store finds is the best!!!


  13. Beautiful tour, my friend! I love, love, love your style! So cool how you incorporated beachy elements along with the traditional Christmas stuff, and what a fun way to show off all of your gorgeous furniture! Can’t wait for part two!

    ~Abby =)

    1. Aw thanks Abby! :) Yes, we live right here by the beach/coast and I’ve never (ever) done any kind of nautical theme in my decorating. I finally decided I wanted to do that since it is where I really love to be the most.
      I transformed my entire home, over the last year or two, to a more nautical, beach-y cottage feel. So, I thought it only fitting to make the tree a little nautical this year too! :)


    1. Thanks Christy!! Ha, the coffee table…I do love it and it turned out pretty well for my first time doing the “tufting” thing! (I hate sewing though and it did require me to use a big ole needle and thread! lol) ;)

  14. So pretty, Nancy! I love how you incorporated so many coastal elements in your Christmas decor. And I think it’s really cool that you buy a real tree every year – I have so many happy memories of picking out real trees with my family when I was younger. Thanks for sharing your lovely home!

    1. Thanks Jen! Oh we love our real tree…have never even done an artificial one (except for the little one I’ll share on Monday) They are much messier but we are used to it by now! ;)
      Have a great weekend!!


  15. Your home looks gorgeous! It looks so cozy and warm there! Love all the personal touches. We do a live tree every year too, and I love the way it smells! Funny, this year, we had great luck with the first tree we saw too! My husband was very happy!

    1. Thank you Karen! :) I am with you….nothing like the smell of the real tree! Love it! And so funny about you and your tree too…I’m not kidding, that never happens!! :) I know my husband was shocked (and thrilled) as well! lol


    1. Thanks Shelly! :) I know doesn’t it!?! It’s hard to believe…the time goes so fast! I have no little ones on Christmas morning anymore ( my “little-est” one is 15)…I do miss those days!


  16. Nancy your house and decorating are absolutely beautiful! Very warm, inviting and not over done. I am in awe of your endless talent, you’re inspiring me to get creative. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hey Karen! :) Aww thank you so much!! Yes, get going, get creative…I’ll come help! ;)

      Happy Holidays to you too my sweet friend!

  17. Your home looks so pretty all decked out for Christmas. It was fun to see the many Christmas projects that you’ve shared with us in place in their room. I love a coastal tree for folks who live near the beach. I am looking forward to part 2 of your home tour!

    1. Thank you Paula :)
      Yes, they were all fun to do and finally get them all in place! I have lived here most of my life and never decorated nautical in any way. Crazy, I know! Decided last year, the beach and living near it is what I love most, so why not surround myself with it. I redecorated my entire downstairs to have more of a beach cottage feel. (and now a nautical Christmas too!)


  18. I love your home, Nancy! You’re so talented and I see that reflected in all the fabulous details. Your Christmas tree, the cutie pillows, wreaths, all of it…it’s like eye candy my friend! Thanks for inviting us in. Can’t wait for Part 2!

    1. Thank you Therese! Aw sweet…thanks so much, I’m never sure how it will all turn out (the decorating ideas in my head)…it just ends up evolving. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. ;)
      Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  19. I love your tree and those precious first Christmas ornaments. And I also really like the white Santa..I have to agree that he is simple and classic.

  20. nancy your home is beautiful – I am in LOVE with all of the fantastic nautical touches. I still have a box or starfish and sand dollars to use and was thinking about doing a tree by the pool again and using those. The blue starfish are awesome!! So many fantastic little touches. Pinning!

    1. Thank you so much Claire! :) Oh yes, by the pool, that would be beautiful…and the perfect theme!
      And thanks so much for the pin too!


    1. Thank you Christine! :)
      My baby is the baby of the family… ;) I call her my child #3 ;) Love her!

      Hope you are having a great week!

  21. Nancy,
    I love the mix of decor in your home … and the furniture pieces, oh my! It’s so fun to mix some of the older pieces with the new. I think you and I must live mirror lives … Lowe’s and Joann’s; that’s where I spend most of my time too!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Hugs …

    1. Hi Lani,
      Thanks so much! It is…and I do, old and new! ;) Oh yes, you and I both…love those stores!
      Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas too :)

  22. Your home is lovely and thanks for the tour. I especially like how you include special family ornaments on your tree. The blue of the armoire is a great colour and I really like the vintage dresser you stripped and painted. The colours in the new pillows work with your colour scheme and look great with your seasonal pillows. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! :) Those are two of my favorite pieces! And oh thank you, I am really loving those new pillows and the little splash of color they give the room.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)


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