Elsie’s Holiday Living Room Tour

Ah! I love the holidays. A big part of the magic, for me, is taking a full week to two weeks to set up all my stuff and get it just right. This is our first year in our new home, which is always an exciting one! Around November 1, we pulled out all our holiday decor and since then I have been slowly adding, tweaking and setting up our living spaces.

This post is sponsored by JOANN. JOANN is my favorite craft store, but they have so much more than just supplies. They also carry a great assortment of seasonal decor, which I will link for you throughout this post. We’re proud to partner with them as they donated 300 million masks this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is going to be a long post, so grab a hot chocolate (with mini tree marshmallows!) or your favorite cozy treat! It’s time for our yearly dose of holiday decorating magic!

The first thing you see when you enter our home is this glowing pink tree with this topper. We decided to go with a food theme for this tree after I fell madly in love with a croissant ornament. It was my muse!

Some of our favorite food ornaments are the pizza, soy sauce, avocado, and cheeseburger, You can see more food-themed ornaments here!

Our 5-year-old daughter helped me pick out the foods and decorate this tree. She’s so into it, which makes it all the more magical!

It’s important to me to always have a DIY element (or five!) when we are decorating. This year, instead of buying matching wrapping papers, I bought a lot of play kraft paper, some pretty ribbons and I am using white craft paint to give each gift a personalized touch!

Here are a few more details of our food themed tree.

I added these wreaths to the inside of our door.

We have a toy shelf in our living room and I added some things to make it more festive. I switch it up every season (really every month or so) and our kids get so excited to discover the new play things. Adding bottle brush trees to the bus and gold bells to the basket made it so much fun!

OK, going into the living room, we have an animal theme tree! This happened pretty naturally and we have been collecting animal ornaments even before we cared about themes. JOANN has really cute animal ornaments!

We also have a pretty sizeable collection of Covid ornaments (we spent the whole year since March making our own ornaments from air dry clay—you can see the butterflies here in this photo). I love a mix of store bought and handmade ornaments!

Here are some of our favorites: llama, giraffe, swan, owl and flamingo.

Here’s our record station. I was so excited to pull out our vintage Christmas record collection and we’ve been listening to Dolly and Kenny on repeat. It’s so cheerful and fun!

I love to collect different sizes and styles of neutral trees. They are so useful for layering when decorating, like these two on the edge of our piano.

Here’s the view of our fireplace. The painting was made by our kids. If you look closely you can see their two different painting styles.

Thank you so much for coming along on my tour! It brings me so much joy to decorate our corners and enjoy that GLOW for a few months, especially with the sun setting so early. I know 2020 has been an especially challenging and heartbreaking year for so many of us. We’re sending you love and I just want to say thank you for being a part of our lives. More than ever I feel so grateful for our community here! Love you, Elsie

Having a holiday dinner party? Check out this Holiday Dinner Party Wishlist!

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly.
  • Your decor is so beautiful! I love the toy train you have under your tree. Did it come pink or did you work some DIY magic? ✨✨

  • Hi Elsie!

    Where did you get your pink tree? I currently have a pink one, but its too small and sheds like CRAZY! I’m looking for something similar to this one. Thanks!

  • I heard a good tip recently to buy your butcher paper at the dollar store. It’s supposed to be thinner which makes it easier to wrap than my home improvement store version. I also jumped on the pink tree bandwagon this year! I got an inexpensive one from Big Lots of all places, never shopped there it just popped up on my google search. It’s full and gorgeous, but it’s flocked so I think it’s going to be a mess! We’ll see how my husband feels about it

  • Your home always inspires me! In fact, I loved your pink door in your old house so much that I bought the same color and painted my interior doors. It makes me so happy! I love seeing how you incorporate pink in your home in such a beautiful way without it becoming overwhelming, and am drawing major inspo from these photos.

  • I love how so many people are starting their Christmas celebrations early this year. Normally I would say it’s too early, but even I have felt compelled to buy a Christmas tree, which is something I have done without for several years. I didn’t want boxes of decor cluttering our tiny apartment the rest of the year, but I can’t deny how a Christmas tree lifts a person’s spirits. Emma promised that you have a truly astounding number of trees, so I’m interested in seeing how you decorated all of them and what themes you chose.

  • That chair’s texture is amazing!! I couldn’t find the source. Can you possibly share?! Thank you!!

  • I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your posts about Halloween and Christmas. They’ve allowed me to give myself permission to decorate early which makes my life SO much easier. Trying to squeeze everything in to one month makes the whole process unpleasant in our household. Giving myself more time takes the pressure off and allows me to really enjoy the magic of the season!

  • The record station with Dolly & Kenny’s Christmas album is great. I really want to have a record station in my home but I’m worried my daughter (7y) will destroy the records out of enthusiasm and wanting to play them. Do you have rules with your kids about the records. What are they? Do you have any tips about records and kids coinciding peacefully together?

    • Honestly, our kids don’t ever try to tough the records unless one is playing. They are still too small to reach the shelves for sure. And they’re more interested in requesting songs from google home too… haha.

  • Your enthusiasm for the holidays is infectious!! You totally inspired me to go all out for Halloween and now I’m getting that itch to pull out the Christmas decorations earlier than usual, haha. Love the vibe, it really is magical! This must be SO MUCH FUN for your girls. 🙂

  • It’s all so beautiful!!
    I just noticed your windows with the blinds, are these the ones inside the glass you talked about on the podcast? I thought they sounded weird, but now I see them they are cool, no dusting! I had fabulous colonial shutters in a period house here in New Zealand. They looked amazing but were constantly needing dusting and it was a huge job! Maybe think twice before removing them as they look very good, and I’m sure were very expensive to install.
    I love how you’ve decorated your houses so far, a true inspiration for me , but most of all I love you and Emma’s chatty, friendly way on the the podcast, it makes me feel we are all friends there!

    • Hi! Yeah I guess “no dusting” was probably the goal when they were created. I find them frustrating mostly because most of them are broken and don’t move up and down, soo they just permanently look that way.

      Awe thank you so much for listing to the podcast!!! 🙂

    • Hi! I love reading your blog. I have been adding to my Christmas vinyl collection and was wondering what the album is that you have hanging below Dolly and Kenny and above Doris Day.

  • Beautiful!!!!! It makes me SO happy to see Christmas decorations (especially during this crazy year!) We’re going to put up ours soon, too. 🙂

  • Beautiful, Elsie!! Where did you get that pink toy train that goes around your Christmas tree??

  • Where did you get the lovely cotton rope baskets? I love them for the Calico Critters!!

    • Hi The small wrapped baskets are from Lone Fox, one of my favorite small shops. :))

  • Looks very glowy and festive! I’m sure it feels simply magical!

    I’m typically not into decorating early, but this year I was craving holiday cheer when it started getting dark at 4:30. I added holiday lights everywhere inside my house during election week (comforted me so much!) and my husband put up our outdoor lights.

    Now I’m a convert. Early decor for life, ha ha!

  • The pink tree brings me right back to childhood (in the 90s). So interesting to see pink and white trees make a come back. When I was little, my mom had a pink tree and my dad had a white one. Both places had black ornaments as well (very 90s I know). I’m more of a traditionalist and minimalist myself (never been a huge fan of Christmas in General……for me, decorations and music should be reserved for Dec. 1st to 25th and that’s it……but when it brings joy to other people, I let them have their fun). We have just the one tree and we’ve collected ornaments for years so some have been used since I was a little girl. We usually do a colour theme based on the different colour garlands we have (either gold, silver or red/purple). This year, we have filled a large black plant pot (one of those vase/goblet looking ones) with different branches of pine and needle trees with some small tree branches and a bright red Christmassy ornament in the middle and a lovely plaid bow for the porch and I’ve added lights to the cedar on the front lawn (always soft yellow white lights for us….not a fan of the multi coloured lights for my own décor). But our tree is pre-lit and has two settings, soft white and multi-coloured…….we have this ongoing “war” with the kids every year, we set the tree lights to soft white and then they find a way to switch to multi-coloured without being seen and it goes on and on until the tree is back in storage 😀

  • I love the Brown paper with decorations. My dad does the same thing! He hates trying to match wrapping paper with ribbons and making sure the patterns look good on the package so instead he wraps things in butcher paper and draws bows on with a red sharpie. He also will write clues on the packages that make zero sense— it’s one of my favorite traditions!

  • Love this! I wish I could have a tree but cats LOL. Also where did you get the curtains

    • Hi! I get them from Amazon. They’re velvet blackout curtains (we’ve been using them in bedrooms too and they work as black outs). I’ll talk more about them in another post soon. XX!

    • Hi! Almost all my stuff is from Joann or from a previous year. So if it’s not linked here it’s probably old. XX!

  • It is so lovely! I love the pale pink tree! So sweet. Thank you for sharing your magical holiday with us! ?

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