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Rachel Denbow: Mini Holiday Home Tour (PHOTOS)

holiday wreath treescape

Artist and crafter Rachel Denbow of Smile and Wave shows around her holiday home and talks with us about making a meaningful season.

For more from Rachel Denbow, visit her blog Smile and Wave or Red Velvet Art. Also, check out her lovely holiday home tour from last year.

Oh, Christmas tree!

1Rachel's holiday home

Artist and crafter Rachel Denbow of Smile and Wave shows around her holiday home and talks with us about making a meaningful season.

Vintage-style Christmas

2Holiday inspiration

Rachel, where does your holiday decorating inspiration come from?

I started from scratch last year and kept most of the handmade decor but knew I wanted to incorporate a few new things this year.

I find most of my inspiration online through Flickr, blogs, and we heart it and keep a file of those that strike me as fabulous with their color combos, ingenuity, or specialness. I often gather materials in mediums and colors that I love so that when I want to start on a project, more than likely I'll already have something on hand. If I don't, it comes down to how much trouble I'll have to go through to get exactly what I need rather than resort to Plan B. Sometimes Plan B turns out to be even better!

Shiny Brite ornaments

3Vintage-inspired holidays

Rachel:

I think most of our holiday decor is a reflection of our love for vintage home goods. It's only fitting that I would find some of our holiday decor at the same flea markets where I find my favorite restaurant mugs and mid-century chairs. The bottle brush trees and Shiny Brite bulbs can be used in any room of our house because they mingle well.

Sebastian's Advent calendar

4Advent calendar

What's your favorite holiday tradition?

We started some new family traditions this year now that our son Sebastian is old enough to participate and remember specific events — and because having a second child during the pre-holiday preparation period forced me to be more intentional with how we spent our time and energy. 

One of the traditions we've started is using an Advent calendar to help us focus on each day in December as a chance to enjoy doing special activities with Sebastian or as a family. Each day holds a different surprise such as making brownies together, building a fort, renting a movie from redbox, or playing a special indoor game. Some cards hold specific events such as letting Sebastian go to the bounce house night at the local YMCA, and others are general enough that if we need to rearrange some cards, we can. It's teaching Sebastian how to be patient by only pulling one card a day and giving us all a specific activities that can create a special memories during a busy month.

More tree goodness

5The gift of giving

Rachel:

Another family tradition that I hope we can incorporate this year and in the years to come is doorbell ditching a baked item or other relevant gift to one of our unsuspecting neighbors with a little note wishing them a Merry Christmas. It's one of the ways we can experience the excitement of Christmas as adults and model generosity to our kids at the same time. 

One of my favorite childhood memories is leaving a cut tree on the doorstep of some friends who weren't going to be able to afford one that year. We watched from around the corner as they opened the door and realized they were loved.

Treescape in the luggage mountains

6The organized decorator

What kind of holiday decorator are you?: An early bird, a continuous decorator, adding little bits each week, or do you wait until the last minute to do it all?

I love to start putting Christmas decorations up as soon as the turkey has been digested on Thanksgiving evening! With a newborn added to the mix this year, I knew I'd need to start working on new projects early enough to enjoy them. 

I kept my yarn and crochet hook close so that I could add a few more circles to my holiday garlands when my arms weren't full and kept a list of things I wanted to spray paint when the weather was warm enough so that I could take advantage of every available opportunity.

Baby Ruby's festive crib

7Festive children's rooms

Rachel:

Other things weren't planned... One night Sebastian and I were watching Elf together. We got to the scene in the department store where Buddy the Elf is accusing Santa of being a fake, and they were rolling around and knocking down all of the decorations. Sebastian yelled out, "Oh no! They're ruining it!" He burst into tears and my heart broke a little at how upset it had made him to see something so pretty be destroyed. 

We decided we would make our own beautiful Christmas decorations and the next afternoon got out the computer paper and went to town cutting out snow flakes and making paper chains. His job was to hang the snowflakes and soon he had his sister's crib covered in them. It's a sweet memory and a fun way to let Sebastian have a role in making our home beautiful for Christmas.

christmas christmasdecorating handmades holidays home tours inspirations kid spaces

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