Fireplace Part 1: The Before & Holiday After

I decided to go ahead and break this tiny fireplace makeover into two separate posts. I wanted to avoid overwhelming you with a zillion words and photos at once, because you may get upset and never come back, and I just can’t have that. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the progress photos with details about my thought process, but for today, I’m sharing the before and after only, with a holiday spin. Go me, I “decorated” for the holidays this year.


TV wall


full view

I find myself having mixed feelings about Christmas decorations. They are so temporary, which I find bothersome. It’s all the “stuff” stuff that get’s me. How does one even begin to accumulate items, do I just go to hobby lobby and wrack up? I’d rather buy new leggings, those I can wear daily. Which is weird, since I love fresh flowers that die after like eight days. Apparently I want Ari to grow up without a sentimental connection to Christmas decorations and tradition. Just kidding, I’ll get better as the years go on. Like next year, I want to put a tree in the living room, and make cookies (egg free of course since SOMEONE has an egg allergy) while we put ornaments on it,  and maybe I’ll do elf on the shelf, and burn cinnamon on the stove to create an aroma, and we can laugh and roll around in glitter and joy. And then we can go caroling. mantle

No not really, I would never in my life go caroling, but the other things are totally doable, and I really want to start my own family traditions. Especially as Ari get’s older, I find so much joy in seeing his joy. If your wondering if I had some sick childhood where we didn’t decorate for Christmas, the answer is no. My family had a whole day of Christmas decorating and I loved it. My mom played music, baked cookies, and brought boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations up the stairs and let us go through it decorating the house. I may have had a bit of an attitude problem in the actual moment from age seven until college because I may have thought I was too cool to do any sort of activity with my family, but it was still a very special day that I have the best memories of.

detail 5

Since Ari is only two  and a half, I kept things simple. I think I did a lot better job than years past, when I did nothing. In fact, For the last two years, it was Mike who put up our tree. Two year old’s as you know are so into everything. Kind of like cats. So, we agreed no tree in the living room this year. Instead, I opted for fresh foliage, and it truly brightens my day. I spent about $12 on Eucalyptus and Pine things (forgot the actual name). The smell gives me a warm holiday hug, and you can’t beat the look of fresh plants. It’s simple and fresh, exactly what I needed this year.

detail 3

I placed most of the foliage on the fireplace mantle, and tucked some other stems into the wreath on the bathroom door, and in a few mason jars on the desk. Speaking of my desk, I’M SITTING IN IT RIGHT THIS SECOND. Just like I dreamed I would be. Ari is watching Dora (yeah guys, Peppa Pig may be old news), and Mike is sleeping on the floor because he ate too much pizza, and here I am enjoying their company while finishing up a quick blog post.

detail 2

You may notice some things about the fireplace makeover, like the fact that we have a bunch of logs living in there now, but tomorrow I’ll explain all about that. For now, can we all just appreciate the fact that the golden tones of the cut logs perfectly match the golden stuck up reindeer sitting on my mantle, which then carries our eyes to the golden tans found within the vintage photo frame, and then back down to the floor where the legs of the wood stool have those same warm wood colors? And that the builder grade marble is now black, and that our TV may still be too huge but who cares.



euca detail

detail 6

I would love to hear how other families decorate when with a two year old it can be seemingly more work than it’s worth. You know what, looking at this last photo, well I clearly could have at the very least added a stocking for each of us. Eye roll at myself. Tomorrow I’ll be posting all about the fireplace process, and some thoughts and problems I had along the way.


One Comment on “Fireplace Part 1: The Before & Holiday After

  1. Lauren,
    I love, love , love your, once again, magical transformation! As a true fireplace lover (I am sitting in front of the fire as I type) I find such beauty in your stack of colorful logs!….and even though, I’m certain, the time for buying is long past, where did you find the lovely “Noel” banner? Perhaps sometime this winter, your mom, Aunt Kathy, and I may sip tea amid your creativity and stare longingly into the logging. 😉

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