natural elegance

Break out the Christmas music, hang the mistletoe, bake some cookies, put in the “It’s a Wonderful Life” DVD, and get ready to deck the halls because it’s Christmas in July at 7th House on the Left!

Yes, it’s supposed to look like a cheesy, Photoshopped Christmas scene. So don’t hate : )

Over the next few days, we’re going to talk about ways to gear up for the Christmas season. Sure, it’s a little early, but people wait until the last minute every year, and there’s no better way to fight procrastination than a little pre-work and planning. We’re going to talk about thoughtful think ahead gift ideas, do some DIY projects, and generally try to inspire you to plan ahead for a season that should be filled with joy, family, and friends – not stress. We’re hoping that by doing some of these things earlier in the year, we (and you) will be able to take more time to simply enjoy the season.

eclectic christmas tree

When it comes to decorating for Christmas, our first thought is the tree. It’s the focal point of our holiday decor, and it sets the tone for the rest of the house. Ideas for Christmas tree decorations actually start trickling in the back of my mind around this time of year. Early? Absolutely! But I’m a planner, and I love Christmas! Last year, by Christmas time, we were knee-deep in boxes and didn’t get a chance to decorate much, aside from the tree and a wreath on the front door. Even though we aren’t “done” with any of our rooms, the boxes are (mostly) gone, and I’m super excited about decorating for Christmas this year.

eclectic christmas tree

Some people like to change their Christmas tree from year to year, but we’ve used the same decorations for the past three years. Our tree, which is on the eclectic side of things, has a combination of silver, gold, bronze, red and a smidgen of white. And lots of glitter. Lots. When it comes to Christmas tree decorations, the more glitter – the better. I love how the white lights make the glittery decorations shimmer and bounce the light around the room.

Every year, we switch it up a little here and there. A few years ago, we added black and white photos a la Pottery Barn, and it looked pretty cool. This past year, Greg thought it would be cool if we used antique cameras instead…

We liked this addition so much, I think we’re going to bring it back this year. Another thing we’d like to do is add more white to the mix. I think it would really bring out all of the white accents we have going on in the room. Yeah, the Christmas wheels in my brain are warming up now!

Since I was already on the Christmas tree train of thought, I thought I’d put together a few mini-mood boards for different Christmas tree styles. These are just small collections of ornaments and other decorations that might look good together. Hopefully one of these will inspire you to go ahead and get some new ornaments or decorations now (while some are on sale!), rather than waiting ’til the last minute.

jewel tone christmas tree

peacock round glass ornament, silver + gold snowflake, green spike ball, white + silver glitter flower ornamentturquoise teardropfuchsia teardrop, glitter peacock, shiny green glitter scallop glass ornament

natural rustic christmas ornaments

mini brown owl ornament, snow branchgold + silver sunflowerwren feather clip, venetian design ornamentbrown pinecone ornament, birds nest, mistletoe glass ornament

modern whimsy christmas decorations

red ball spray, mirror ball ornament, green snowflake flower ornament, clear snowflakes, whimsical polka dot stocking ornament, circles teardrop ornamentraz red + white ball garland

So what about you? When do you start thinking about the Christmas tree? Do you have go with a theme? Do you use the same ornaments every year or like to change it up? Have any Christmas planning tips? Share them in the comments section… Come back tomorrow for another dose of Christmas in July!

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  • Reply
    Kim Bauer
    July 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who gets started on Christmas this early. By the time we put our tree up (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) I already have all of my gifts purchased and wrapped, and most all other decorations ready and crafts and baking planned. Yay for Christmas planning!

  • Reply
    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me
    July 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Ha! It is too funny that you posted this because I was just thinking about Christmas and how much I can’t wait for it! I wanted to put on Xmas music today but fought the urge.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I find the various approaches to decorating Christmas trees fascinating, particularly since we are old school: ornaments from my folks, ornaments purchased as souvenirs, small items with meaning from years ago, and new ones for each of our sons each year. We try to get one that commemorates something of the year (we saw a bear outside our house, he made the tennis team, first baseball team, that kind of thing). I love looking at themed trees but can’t imagine how I could give up the memories we revisit each year as we decorate the tree.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Yes, we love sentimental ornaments! We don’t have that many (yet) but we have a few for our tree. I really like to mix the sentimental ones with the coordinating ornaments. We just try to keep everything in the same color family when we buy sentimental ornaments throughout the year – which is pretty easy because we have every metal finish under the sun, haha!

      • Reply
        July 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        Of course, the problem with sentimental ornaments is that next summer we will be down-sizing (the youngest heads to college). We’ve been filling a twelve foot tree with ornaments and I’ve collected a ridiculous number of Santas as well — Come January 1st this year and we and the boys will have to make some tough decisions.

  • Reply
    Jill Lee
    July 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

    We pretty much use the same Christmas Tree decorations each year, but each year we add a special ornament that represents something that happened that year (our new home, baby’s first Christmas, etc.). So usually I start looking for that perfect ornament to add to our collection each year. We moved to a new house this year, so I suppose our ornament this year will be a repeat from 2007’s ornament…Our New Home. 🙂

    I’m super excited about your Christmas in July posts! I have also started thinking about Christmas and have recently compiled my gift list. Hoepfully I won’t procrastinate like last year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be done Christmas shopping by December 1st?!?!

    I’m hoping you have some fun DIY Christmas Gift Ideas!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara M
    July 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I love this idea! Can’t wait for the tips!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I think I’m one of those people who starts thinking about Christmas the day after Christmas lol Lookijg forward to the rest of your Christmas in July posts!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Yay CHRISTMAS!!!!! So excited =D

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! I was thinking about changing my Christmas ornaments… I’m up for Christmas in July!

  • Reply
    Amy @ the Happy Tulip
    July 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve been thinking about Christmas recently too. Last year, we moved into a house that has a vaulted ceiling, so we were “forced” to get a 9′ tree on clearance right after Christmas. Now I’m dying to get it out and decorate it!

    I love the antique cameras! Are they real functioning antique cameras or are they decorative?

    • Reply
      July 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

      Thanks! They are real, but I’m not sure about functioning… but they did at one time, haha. That would be interesting to try out!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Ashley, I absolutely adore your Christmas Tree!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I actually have been thinking about it this past week! I am in college working at a Hallmark and our holiday stuff is on sale and our new ornaments were just revealed this past week! I’ve been looking for some other good holiday sales going on now to decorate the apartment come fall (also looking for halloween/thanksgiving stuff). Do you know of any good sales at the moment?

    • Reply
      July 21, 2011 at 1:15 am

      I’ve been seeing some on sale at Macy’s (online), Trendy Tree, and Amazon. Sales are good : )

  • Reply
    Malorie S
    July 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I use to get so frustrated trying to make everything “match” (including Christmas decorations) until one day an interior designer told me that things needed to “blend” not “match”. I’ve enjoyed the decorating process much more ever since! That tip has helped with my Christmas decorating too. Merry Christmas, Greg and Ashley!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Love it! I’m so going to be playing Christmas music all day tomorrow! Pulling out the old Johnny Mathis (brings back memories of when I was a little girl), Michael Buble and Mariah!

  • Reply
    Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    July 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Since my family has had a fake tree for many years, we typically start the decorating process the day after Thanksgiving (or that night if we’re not too much in a turkey coma).
    Every year that Joe and I have been dating, we’ve given each other a Christmas ornament. This will be the first one we’re married for so I’m very excited! I think we may even get a real tree this time!!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    We have done alot of redecorating over the past year, so this past Christmas I decided that our holiday decorations needed a makeover, too. In the past I have used white lights and red, silver & gold decorations on the tree, but this year I ditched (well, kept most but didn’t use) anything that wasn’t white, silver, and gold. I also bought alot of peacock blue ornaments in place of the red. My favorite find was a peacock feather wreath! I think this year I may add some bright green to the mix.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I looooove Christmas too! I used to work at a year round Christmas store. It was amazing and got me extra excited for the holiday season. If you are ever in Berlin, Ohio you should definitely check out Tis The Season! Who doesn’t love 20,000 square feet of Christmas goodness?

  • Reply
    July 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Ok, so I got super excited when I saw these Christmas posts today! I LOVE Christmas, in fact I just watched a Christmas movie yesterday while I was home sick from work. Thinking about Christmas makes me so happy. I think you are absolutely right, the more you plan ahead the less stressful the holidays are. I love the holiday season and hardly ever feel stressed by it. I feel bad for those who dread it. When it comes to decorations I’m a traditionalist. I don’t like to change my tree theme every year or anything like that. Growing up our tree was covered in ornaments made by my siblings and I out of pipe cleaners and popcicle sticks etc. My husband and I have slowly collected meaningful ornaments to decorate our own tree with over the past 4 years. So every year we decorate it’s a trip down memory lane of the places we’ve been and thoughts fo loved ones, family, and friends. We both have Swedish and Scottish heritage and we try to incorporate that into our decorating, though most of our decorating is traditional Swedish decor. We recently moved apartments so this Christmas will be the first in our new home and figuring out how to decorate our new space. I can’t wait to have a house, but for now our apt is just fine and will look lovely trimmed out in white lights, tree and candles. CANNOT wait!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    We use mostly the same ornaments and garlands on the tree each year, with a few new additions (we always get a real tree). Last year for the first time we added an artificial tree in our dining room. This enabled us to use ornaments that wouldn’t fit on the main LR tree and work with different color combinations. There are mixed metals on each but the one in the DR gets all of the green, red, and purple ornaments while the main tree is total glitz all the way — lots of small mirrored disco balls; silver, gold, pewter, and copper ornaments of many types; and clear glass ornaments along with white lights. I found some mirrored icicles on ebay after last Christmas which I can’t wait to add! The best thing we did was take apart a broken-down old crystal chandelier we bought years ago and hang all of the drops and beaded chains as ornaments.

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