Merry (almost) Christmas! It feels like not long ago we were basking in the summer sun, am I right? And here we are, hustling and bustling to get our trees trimmed, our homes decorated and gifts picked out. Thank goodness for online shopping! I think my UPS driver and I are buddies, or I’m his enemy. Ha! It’s hard to tell. This year has been a big one for our family. We moved from a home we spent nearly ten years in, (see that tour here and here) buying a home that needs lots of love and vision poured into it. We have no problem with the vision and the love, but the execution and paying for said vision is a different story.

A CALM + COZY CHRISTMAS…..TWO THINGS WE CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH OF

This year I’m really craving calm and cozy- think lots of neutrals and texture. I know we’ve craved neutrals for the past couple years, but I see this becoming a softer version of the bright white we see all over Pinterest and Instagram. I wanted our Christmas decor to evoke this same feeling. The new Hearth and Hand Collection by Magnolia Home  (Chip and Joanna Gaines) has a lot of the elements I wanted to incorporate. I knew their matte black ornaments along with the soft shimmer of the deep green, paired with cream tones would be the perfect fit for our tree. Our tree is nestled between the living and dining rooms and since these rooms are connected, it’s important to create cohesiveness with the entire space. I’m slowly adding a little here and there while looking for just the right extra oomph for the tree, but wanted to show you what our home looks like now! I’m thinking some sort of garland will finish the look the tree and we have yet to add all the kiddos’ ornaments.

 

Calm + Cozy Neutrals - a Home Tour Aedriel.com Pottery Barn Coffee Table

 

One of the first things we did when we bought our house was remove a wall separating what was a pretty small family room space from the formal living and dining room space. We felt like this was a better fit for our family- having a large dining and living space that we’ll use all the time. It was a game changer for the layout of the home. About where the Christmas tree is now, was where the wall was. This was quite a chore since this was a load bearing wall, but my handy hubby added a glue lam beam and framed the opening to mimic the other angles in the room. I make it sound so easy! It definitely wasn’t but I’m always puzzled at how expensive this is when we watch shows like House Hunters Renovation. The beam cost $350, saving us a ton because my hubby Matt did all the labor. I think it’s so important to ask for the breakdown in costs when tackling big home renovations. I’ll step down from my soapbox and get back to the tour….

The entire back of the home has windows and sliders, making the space so bright! It was one of the things we loved about the home when we looked at it the first time. Come Spring (I hope!) we will modify/gut/tear out the back patio and yard space, again, making it feel like one cohesive space by revamping the hardscape and landscape.

calm cozy christmas home tour

 

We loved our wood burning Kiva fireplace at our last home, but this gas fireplace is such a treat! Switching it on in the morning when we have breakfast or in the evening at dinner increases the coziness factor big time. We were really drawn to all the clean lines in the architecture of the house, including the fireplace. We wanted our dining table to mimic the same angles in the space. I added glass to the top of the table because I didn’t want to fret over the toll everyday living can take on wood furniture. Now I wipe it down and have come to love the reflections in the table, whether it’s the   sunset or the green outside. The little one does homework, colors and paints at the table making it a multi-use space. It’s also the best surface for wrapping gifts! I called our local glass company and for about $130 they delivered the glass with buffed edges and placed it on the tabletop. Easy peasy!

 

cozy christmas tour

We’ve had long-loved tradition of making a day of going to the mountains and cutting our tree down, having Indian tacos for lunch on the Jemez reservation and coming home to discover trees look much smaller in the forrest than they do when you get them home. Though we’ve loved this tradition, it also means we have to wait closer to Christmas to put our tree up and inevitably we go a couple days forgetting to water the tree, and the thirsty tree dries up and shrivels up. For reference- here’s the before and a short time after of our tree from last year….it’s hard to tell in the second photo but it got so crunchy it was a fire waiting to happen..ha!

Aedriel New Mexico Style Spanish Home Christmas

Aedriel New Mexico Style Spanish Home Christmas

 

I never realized until this year how much this has made me feel one step behind with all the other things that need to be done! Receiving this stunning pre-lit King of Christmas tree meant we’ve gotten in the Christmas spirit a little sooner and what’s not to love about more Christmas!?? Setup was a breeze with each section easily popping into the next and no need to spend time stringing lights on the tree.

Hearth and Hand Magnolia Home Christmas Tree Ornaments DSC_0200 Hearth and Hand Magnolia Home Christmas Ornaments

When you see the detail of the branches up close, it doesn’t look anything like the trees we’ve had in the past. With most fake trees, I feel like I have to wash my hands after touching it. Ha! There’s variation in color and texture of the branches, just like a real tree. Even the faux trunk of the tree is made to look like wood. King of Christmas pays attention to every detail!

Cozy Christmas Home Tour

The recent addition to our holiday decor are these brass candlesticks! Mixing green and varying heights of brass adds just a little sparkle and fun to a table. I’ve been on the search for brass candlesticks for ages and happened to pop into pop into my local thrift store with my daughter at just the right time and wallah! there they were, six mismatched/matching candlesticks. I think the way I was repeating “brass candlesticks” over and over again totally embarrassing my 14 year old as I made a beeline for the back of the store is the secret to “popping tags” success. Yes, I embarrass them with those sorts of comments too. (I should add we only listen to the clean version of Thrift Store by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis…it’s a catchy little tune if you haven’t heard it but again, keep it clean, even the KidzBop version is a great alternative…) The candlesticks were in pretty poor shape when I brought them home but I polished them up with some Brasso and now they have that collected charm I love. Mixing old with new is like layering the cozy! As it gets closer to Christmas, I’ll swap out the faux greenery for my favorite Trader Joe’s garland and of course adding presents under the tree makes the space even more welcoming.

Thanks so much for popping into our home! I always appreciate the comments and questions I get on Instagram (here), and wanted to be sure I covered everything. Find the complete source list below and let me know if you have any questions I didn’t answer! Be sure to check back to see our progress. On the long list of future plans for this space, we want wood beams for some much needed interest to the living room, an additional fireplace and add just a hint of texture to the fireplace in the dining room. Fun fun!!

 

King of Christmas Tree (Royal Fir Slim Quick Shape)
Christmas Ornaments + Wrapping Paper : Hearth & Hand Magnolia Home
Dining Table : Big Sur Natural table by Crate + Barrel
Dining Room Chandelier : Livex Lighting Alpine Polished Nickel Light
Coffee Table : Pottery Barn Parquet Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table
Sofa : Ballard Designs Vintage Vogue Super Twill White Slipcover
Sheepskin Furs (layered as a tree skirt as well as on dining chairs) in Stone : Sheepskin Town
Ceramic Reindeer on table purchased at At Home last season
Faux greenery on table: Hobby Lobby
Tray on Coffee Table : Project 62 Target 

Similar Brass Candlesticks : eBay
RH Modern
CB2
CB2 Glass Option with Vintage Charm

 

Paint is Dunn Edwards ‘Antique Paper’

LONESTAR-BBQ-SAUCE-AEDRIEL.COM

Who needs store-bought bottled BBQ sauce when this is SO TASTY and super easy. My hubby prefers the grated onion in the sauce but I prefer it without or just a little. Enjoy!

french martini aedriel.com

When you’re celebrating your dog’s 21st birthday (they’re 3, so 21 in dog years…dog math is the best), you celebrate with a cocktail. Well maybe you don’t, but my best friend/sister/dog’s sister’s mom thought it was a great idea and found the perfect drink. It’s the French Martini and it’s the most gorgeous peachy blush. Even better, it ombres my Homegoods decanter and Anthro shaker. It’s the little things. ;)

But first, let’s take a look at these goofballs.

They’re litter mates, if you can believe it. They might have different dads, which I had no idea was such a well-known secret whispered in the dog world. I learned this shocking truth in the middle of Petsmart.  All my innocence was ripped away with a ‘your-dogs-aren’t-as-cute-as-you-think-they-are’ tone. An employee, old enough to be my kid, took a glance at these two and in one annoying breath uttered the words  “oh yeah, they totally don’t have the same dad.”  Well, we love them anyway and we don’t have proof of this, so I’m treating her statement as an observation, not a fact.

PUPPY DAY JACK LUCY aedriel.com

The photo above personifies their teen years. They’re not interested in anything we have to say and know everything we don’t. They like to leave several glasses in their room they only take a few sips from and grunt when you ask things like “please take out the trash”. They come out of their rooms for food and when they need a ride somewhere.
(the last part isn’t true but those with teens understand)

jack lucy vday one

With these cuties being mutts we like to play the fun game of “what breed?”.  They came from Carlsbad, New Mexico so I call our Jack Jack (on the right) a Carlsbad Terrier. They’re not quite puppies in this photo and not quite teens. House trained and still puppy soft so basically the perfect stage.

lucy jack vday

 

They’re smiling because they feel super awkward right now. They don’t know what any of this has to do with a French Martini.  It doesn’t and that’s okay.

 

French Martini 

 

1/2 oz Chambord Liqueur
1 1/2 oz Vodka (I prefer Tito’s)
2 oz pineapple Juice
lemon twist or raspberry to garnish (or not)
some ice

Add ice, Chamboard, vodka and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker. Always add the liquor first and the juice/soda water/tonic after. Did you know that? I never knew that until someone pointed it out recently. And I’m not sure why this is how you’re supposed to do it. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

find-your-homes-style-post-aedriel-com

(source)

Pinterest. Instagram. Google Images. Blogs. Oh the places we will go for fresh design content. But with all this inspiration,  trends are changing at warp speed. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, we had the same dishes, the same sofa, same dining room table and chairs….same same everything stayed the same. And while I love change, I thrive with it, sometimes it’s exhausting to have a reoccuring case of design ADD. Do you have it too? I seriously love elements of (most) every design style. But there’s this hamster wheel out there spinning faster and faster just to create fresh content? I am absolutely guilty of getting caught up in this. But lately I’ve thought, will we ever get to the finish line? Will we forever buy new stuff and rearrange what we already have in a constant juggle to make our homes look different because of the nagging feeling that it’s not good enough?

The way we decorate is very much a form of self-expression, an art really, and should be celebrated! But how do we decide what is our design style with so much noise and images flooding in? My answer? Location, location, location. Your closet matters too- we’ll get to that in a bit.
living-room-kiva-fireplace-aedriel-com

(Our home- isn’t our Jack Jack adorable? I’m a little biased.)

When I first moved back to my home state, New Mexico, I was a little put out about the architecture and southwest vibe. But after being back for ten years, I’ve embraced the classics because it speaks to the heart of this part of the country. The kiva fireplace, wood beams, Saltillo tile, wrought iron- these are all elements that haven’t changed for generations. Leather furniture,  kilim textiles, and navajo influenced decor have always been staples here in the Land of Enchantment. When you defer to the story your home tells, based on it’s exterior style and architecture, location, the timeframe when it was built, you honor the style that was meant to be.

 

Of course it’s fun to throw in your own flair for fun but a midcentury home in Palm Springs would just feel silly with cherubs painted on the wall of a dining room outfitted with Victorian antiques and heavy drapery.

 

palm-springs aedriel.com

(Domino.com)

This home is begging for clean lines and mid-century furniture. And I bet the I could tell you a little about the couple who owns this home without even walking in the door and meeting them! I bet anyone who would paint their front doors this yummy shade of pink has all sorts of edgy confidence. Now I LOVE this look, so in my home I would add an acrylic bar cart and mid-century plant stands as a little nod to this love. See where I’m going with this?

modern-farmhouse

(Park & Oak Design)

Contrasting elements can be striking in a home. Crisp white shiplap brings a touch of farmhouse to this beautiful entry. So if you LOVE shiplap but don’t live somewhere where shiplap was traditionally used, balance it out with other elements that speak to the truth of your home’s location.

Still not quite sure how to narrow your interior design focus or need a nudge to stay on track? Take a look at your closet.  What’s your go-to outfit? You know that outfit when you have “nothing to wear” and you throw it on because it’s your favorite. I bet that’s also the vibe you gravitate to for your home. I’m a jeans, tee and booties or flip flops kind of gal but also like to throw on the polished date night outfit every once in a while. Adding too much jewelry to an outfit, for instance, makes me feel cluttered. Annd…the same thing applies to our home. But if you love lots of bling, I bet you love lots of interior sparkle too!

black-skinnies-booties

what-your-outfit-says-about-your-home

Make peace with the way your home looks right this very second, not the fairytale home pieced together of what it could be someday. And don’t get discouraged when you see all the pretty squares on Instagram. I’m pretty sure everyone has beautiful corners AND hot messes. ;)

As you’re adding and subtracting the big ticket items from your home, keep your location in mind. Trends are fun but location is forever and being content with what you have is priceless. :)

Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays because it centers around something we should do every single day- be grateful and thankful. I am so thankful for YOU for finding your way here and supporting this site. I hope your day is full of love and food! Sometimes the holidays stir up family drama and tension and all those yucky things that can ruin such a special day. As Lysa TerKeurst said in a recent Instagram post “It’s so easy to be distracted by one wrong thing that we can often miss out on many right things.” AMEN!! She followed this quote with this nugget of truth “If I prepare myself in advance to give grace, I can more easily overlook those moments where others bump into my happy. There are so many right things to celebrate this year and I don’t want to miss a single one!” Yes!!

grateful-aedriel-moxley

Click HERE to print (scaled for a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper- adjust scale when printing for other sizes)

So often we chow down and without taking the time to acknowledge the whole purpose of Thanksgiving- to celebrate all the blessings in our lives. I created this lettered printable with plenty of room for the little ones to draw a picture and plenty of room for the big people to list a handful of things to be thankful for this holiday season. Add these to your table with a mug of pens and crayons and let the fun begin! I’d love to share your images (with credit given, of course!). Please email images to hello@aedriel.com or use the #thankfulprintable on social media.

Free Thanksgiving craft at Aedriel.com

Download the printable HERE (scaled for a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper)