holiday decor – the truth about what it looks like

This will be our first year celebrating Christmas in this house. We closed on the 21st of December last year and were in full on demolition mode by Christmas day last year. That meant there was no decor here or in our old place. I had grand plans of being all decked out for the holidays by now. I started off on the right foot with some glittery centerpieces and a clean house. 

But now we are in a time crunch with the holidays quickly approaching. Seriously? How fast is this month going?! I’ve derailed the decorating to deal with more pressing issues like painting and the crazy list of pending projects before we host several events starting on Christmas morning. Nothing like parties approaching to light a fire under our butts. 

So in attempt to keep it real, I’m showing you how the house currently looks. Definitely award winning, holiday decor ready for the magazines I tell you. Yes, some bloggers out there have these perfect houses with amazing trees and tablescapes but not this one. 

The centerpieces are still on display but they are joined by piled tools, papers and half finished projects for the various events we are hosting. Until just a few moments before this picture was taken the table was also home to my huge stack of unfinished holiday cards. Don’t worry, they aren’t done, they were just thrown in my computer bag so I can try and tackle them during lunch today at work. 
To add to the festive decor, we have brown paper all over the floors since I started repainting the dining room, bar and kitchen last night. That big blue pile behind the table are the Christmas gifts we had under the tree covered with a blanket so they don’t get paint on them. 
Our Christmas tree is missing all the ornaments from the bottom third of the tree thanks to Lemur. It is also just chilling in the middle of the bar, unplugged and nearly dead while I try to paint this room too. Not sure if it will make it to Christmas day. What you can’t see is the other side which has been stripped of most of its needles too. I wanted to show you the pretty side ;)
At least the mess means there is progress, right? Here is a glimpse of the kitchen. Take a look at the top left corner in the picture below. Right above the fridge you can see the white primer and the gray I’ve started painting. 

And a full on view of the kitchen. Just need to get that backsplash done and those darn toe kicks installed this weekend. We also need to install a hood but that is a major project for another time. Unless Santa decides to leave me a nice chunk of $$$ some things just have to wait.

So we have 10 days and a massive to do list. We are both on vacation from work and have a few good friends/family coming to help but this is going to be a bit crazy. 

Is anyone else out there trying to finish up projects before the holidays or when guests arrive? Or are we just a little nutty to try and do this with such little time? Eek.

Thanks for following Directions Not Included!

you might also like:


  1. says

    and the truth is that is why most blogs look better with really close up pictures! :) whenever i take photos of the whole house, i have what i call the traveling mess. it’s the pile of stuff i move out of on photo and then keep moving so it is never in a photo!

  2. says

    While my decorations are all up, only the tree remains, I am refinishing a table in the middle of my family room. So I turn on the Christmas lights and work away and I am enjoying the decoration while I work.
    Keep up the good work your house is really looking good.

  3. Lesley says

    My craft room is always a totally insane mess no matter how much I clean it.
    I have a teeny, 1 by 1 foot area where the counter is white, the wall is white and it’s right next to the window. That’s where I take photos of everything! Because the rest of the place is chaos!

  4. Emily @ EAKaHouse says

    Good luck! I’m waiting until the new year to start any more major projects. I just don’t have time right now to do anything! Your kitchen is looking great though

  5. says

    Love this post, I can totally relate! We got the keys for our house on the 18th November and it was un-livable in, think mould on the walls etc, and had a crazy month of DIY and builders and moved in on the 14th December! My Christmas decor was also improved by the addition of various power tools, boxes etc!


    Following and can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *