Christmas Tour of Homes 2011

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to drive around at dusk and try to look into people’s houses. I know it’s more polite to say “I’m looking at Christmas lights” but the truth is I’d much rather see what’s on the inside of those warm windows – the trees glowing in the corner, photos framed on the far wall, TVs playing It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s curbside Christmas stalking and it’s fantastic.

Though I don’t post about house-y stuff as much as I used to, I can’t resist joining in my sister’s Christmas Tour of Homes every year. It’s like standing on the curbside at dusk and having hundreds of people come out to their porches shouting, Merry Christmas and come on in! And so whether you decorate fancy or small, grand and colorful, or not at all, our homes are our haven and this time of year they are especially sweet to share.

“Setting the stage in our homes for us to celebrate Christmas with our families and in our hearts is no useless thing. I hope the effort you made works to bring your family closer and creates an atmosphere of rest and safety and belonging.” - The Nester

So this is me, standing on my front porch, welcoming you in. Now, it hasn’t snowed yet this year so I’m borrowing a photo from last year to kick off the tour. Enjoy the little walk through of our home here in December. I do hope your month has been restful and filled with joy.

The dog had to make it in here somehow.

In the kitchen, I decorate for Christmas by not decorating for Christmas. This way, there is empty counter space to roll out the dough for the cinnamon rolls we’ll make for Christmas Eve and to spread out the ingredients for the cookies my mom will make with the kids when she comes next week. Plus, the empty space here helps me breathe a bit more deeply.

Merry Christmas, friends.
If you would like to see more Christmas-y house photos, here are the links from the past three years:

Christmas Tour of Homes 2010
Christmas Tour of Homes 2009
Christmas Tour of Homes 2008

Don’t forget to visit Nesting Place to see hundreds of lovely, lived in Christmas homes.
And since you have permission, it doesn’t even count as stalking:

Thanks for visiting today! If you would like to know more about Chatting at the Sky, this would be a good place to start. If you like what you see, I want to invite you to subscribe for free and have new post delivered into your inbox. And Merry Christmas!

Comments

  1. says

    Okay. I’m jealous. I know I’m not supposed to be, but all I can say is, “Wow! How DO you keep your house looking so clean?” I feel like I’m in a battle with the dust mites and the dog and cat hair everyday.

  2. says

    I have many notes:
    1. Upon seeing the exterior of your home, Siley says, “There’s papaw and gamma’s house!”
    2. Upon seeing your dog he says, “There’s Carol!” (my mom’s cat)
    3. Upon seeing you, he says, “That’s Kristin!” (my friend on whom he’s got a mad crush)
    4. I forgot that THAT was your kitchen! Those tiles. They now grace my mom and dad’s kitchen, all because of YOU.
    5. I feel like we just went full circle, somehow.
    6. Your Christmas is beautiful, but I’d expect nothing less.

  3. says

    oh emily, i absolutely love your candidness. really, you had me at ” It’s curbside Christmas stalking and it’s fantastic.”

    it’s funny b/c our home is situated up on a hill, & our dining room is at the front of our house with a large window. and i know there have been many, many times when the curtains didn’t get drawn before dusk or even dark — & i always wonder if people driving by feel like they’re watching us, on display, eat dinner. LOL. you know the scene — the dining room light shining on the scene amidst the dark outside surroundings. ;)

    anyway, thank you for the walk through your home, & i’m now officially inspired to walk around my own home w/ camera in hand to make sure i capture our family’s simple christmas touches for this year. (and kudos to you that yours INCLUDES your kitchen counter!)

    christmas blessings to you,
    tanya

  4. says

    It is beautifully warm and welcoming Emily.
    I confess that when I was a little girl the best part of the ride home from our weekly visits to my Grandparents’ little apartment was getting a peek inside the softly lit homes we drove by. Okay – I still like to do that, and you’ve described the feeling perfectly.
    Thanks for opening the door and letting us into your home. Merry Christmas!

  5. Elizabeth S says

    You have such a beautiful home! I just love your style, and your living/family rooms are beautiful :) If I lived near you, I’d try to convince you to come help me decorate my crazy house! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. says

    Oh, Emily. I love your house, and I love this post. But mostly I love knowing that I’m not alone in my gazing-into-windows tendencies.

    When Jack and I were penniless young marrieds, I used to walk through our neighborhood and dream that someday I’d have a front window that people would want to look through. To this day, I’ve never had window treatments (aside from plantation shutters) on windows in the front of my houses (and we’re several houses into the story by now).

    When we sold our last house, our realtor brought the offer to us in the evening. I love having lamps lit, especially at night, and that evening was no exception. When I opened the front door to him, his first comment was, “I think your house looks even prettier at night than it does during the day.” Somehow that comment was the ultimate for me–THAT’S what I’m going for when I decorate my house. I have this longing for my house to look welcoming to someone outside–I want them to want to come in. I guess I want them to feel the way I feel when I pass by houses at night. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, thank you for the glimpse into your home as well as your heart. Love you much.

  7. says

    Lovely!
    And Christmas stalking – ha, ha! As a child I was appalled when my mother would admit that she loved looking into people’s homes, but now? Now…I know how she feels and I totally do it too!

  8. says

    What a beautiful home you have and it’s filled with Christmas cheer and lots of pretty! This is the first time to your blog and now I’m going to make myself at home and prowl around a bit. You’ve taken some lovely photos too.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. says

    Your home is BEAUTIFUL! Love the first picture with all of the snow…and inside…so warm and cozy! AND you are FABULOUS…it is always fun to see the face behind the blog.

    Kristine

  10. says

    I am from England, and love looking into pretty Christmas windows too. Your house says ‘American Christmas’ to me in all the very best ways! I love sneaky peaks into people’s houses anyway – being one of those folk who keep the interiors magazine publishers in business! :)

    Perhaps I’ll put a picture or two of my own little house on my blog when the decorations go up this weekend.

  11. says

    I love house stalking too!!! My husband and I have our favorites…We drive by and just sigh :) And I love your mantle! Especially the stockings! Thank you for sharing…

  12. says

    Your home and pictures are beautiful.

    I totally relate to wanting to sneak a peak into other peoples homes to see how they are decorating for the season. Folks wouldn’t put their tree right in the front window if they didn’t want you look, right?

    I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog (I’m here from the Christmas Tour of Homes).

  13. says

    oh emily! every litle bit is beautiful. and i am envious of that breathing kitchen… clear and ready for any christmas project!! maybe i’ll get there? {sigh} and that last picture? perfectin :) thanks for the peek into your home. warm & cozt, just as promised :)

  14. says

    First, I am so glad that someone else will admit to looking at people’s houses…..I am going to go further and say that I love to drive around at dusk anytime to year to get decorating ideas.

    Second, one day I hope to live in a house where I can have a couch like yours…..we will see. Parsonages usually aren’t set up for awesome sectionals.

    Third, as a fellow North Carolinian, when I first looked at the snow picture, I wondered what part of the state you live in where you already had this kind of snow. Because here in my mountain town, we’ve have zilch thus far.

    Fourth, it’s beautiful!!!

  15. Sue says

    Love your home. So pretty and welcoming. Thank you for sharing. I have to ask – please tell me about your backsplash tile. It may just be exactly what I’m looking for.

    • says

      Thanks Sue! The backsplash is called Bevel Hampton Sand – we have the mini tile 2×4 that is mounted on mesh but it also comes in the 3×6 individual tile. It’s got a crackle-type finish but you can’t really see it unless you’re close up. We got it nearly 4 years ago at a local tile store.

  16. says

    Your home looks so warm and friendly and restful. I love looking into windows too. My husband hates to leave windows open at night (too many scary movies/books), but I think I’ve convinced him that at Christmas time, we should make an exception. It’s a bit of magic to glimpse into peoples homes. Especially these days when we are all so disconnected from each other. Thanks for the tour.

  17. Beth M says

    Curbside Christmas stalking! So glad someone else enjoys it as much as I do. Loved loved these pics of your home all dressed up for Christmas. I’ve missed your house-y posts. Love your style.

  18. says

    As always, beautiful photos! And lovely home. Good job on the Christmas tree shots—those are always so hard, aren’t they?

    And my Finn saw your Finn and said, “Pepper!” That’s our cat. So you know… apparently your dog IS a cat.

    Love you! Merry Christmas, friend.

  19. says

    seriously, looking at the pictures, brought tears to my eyes. beautiful home. i’d say you set the stage amazingly well for family time during this Christmas season. wish i could swing by! being a virtual stalker will have to do for now!

  20. says

    Oh your house looks so beautiful! I just want to come over and drink a hot chocolate and hang out :) LOL. It’s just so lovely!! I’m going to look at your previous years.

  21. says

    What a beautiful home, Emily! Love seeing that old wicker settee out in the snow. :) You’ve created a very cozy and festive look in your house and I especially love that mini-tree in the burlap by your French doors. :) Merry Christmas to you!

    xoxo laurie

  22. says

    your home is absolutely beautiful…so glad you pulled out the snow picture from last year to start the tour off…..

    oh, how we are praying for snow this year!

  23. says

    I just love the outside of your home. It looks so warm and inviting…a perfect place to enjoy mugs of hot chocolate and spending time with family. Beautiful decorations!

  24. says

    Chuckling over your admission about wanting to peer inside the house – I do this too. Sometimes I miss the days of childhood when it wasn’t a social faux pas to go wandering about another’s house.

    Thank you for welcoming us into yours. :)

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