November 28, 2016

Redecorating My Home for the Holidays

I was a bit stressed going into Thanksgiving, if my posts hadn’t already made that clear. And I was particularly bummed that I didn’t get to cook the holiday meal like I usually do. But looking on the brighter side, my post-Thanksgiving weekend was surprisingly good, and I’m actually really looking forward to the holiday season!

Thursday night after dinner, I stopped by the Michael’s Black Friday sale (which started on Thursday night). All the holiday stuff was 70% off, and then there was a coupon for an additional 30% off your entire purchase! The prices were fantastic – comparable to the after-Christmas sales, but with everything fully in stock rather than just leftovers. I picked up a wreath ($12) two nutcrackers ($4.50 each), and some random knick knacks. I put the wreath on my front door within minutes of getting home, and I was so happy with it!

I love the way the blue looks with the pine/berries.

The next day, I opened up my Christmas storage bins that I had filled last year so I could get to work decorating… and discovered that I had actually bought a wreath at the after-Christmas sales last year. Whoops! But I loved my new wreath so much that I didn’t want to return it, so I just left the new wreath on the outside of my front door where it was, and hung the one I had discovered on the inside of my front door. I’m sure that’s not traditional at all, but I love the look and how it dresses up my plain white front door!

You can also see a bit of my orange-y banister in the foreground of this pic…. FORESHADOWING.

The (fake) tree I had gotten last year only took me about 15 minutes to lug up the stairs and set up (hooray for pre-strung lights!), which was awesome. In all, it took me less than an hour to get everything out and set up Christmas-y things everywhere. I was definitely helped out by Home Depot’s annual Black Friday sale on poinsettias for 99 cents each – allowed me to put some real plants all over the house without spending much money.

But for the piece de resistance, I decided against opening the box that had all my pine garlands to string on the banisters. Several months ago, I started sanding my banisters in preparation to restain them from orange-y oak to a nice dark cherry. But the sanding was such a pain, and kicked up so much annoying dust, that I stopped working on it about halfway through and never got the motivation to get it going again. Well, Christmas turned out to be my motivation – I told myself that I couldn’t put the pine garlands on the half-sanded banisters, and that I needed to stop procrastinating and just refinish them ASAP!

I decided that rather than put myself through the annoyance of sanding, I’d hire one of the local kids in the neighborhood to do it. (There are tons of high school / college students always posting on my neighborhood’s Facebook page looking for odd jobs.) And since I felt guilty sitting around while the boy I hired was working, I used that time to clean out / reorganize my kitchen cabinets, sell a bunch of old small appliances on Craigslist, and deep clean the laundry room. In just one day, I made $100 from stuff I’m not using anymore! Just goes to show how much I desperately needed to clean things out of my house…

…and also started me on a home improvement project kick that led me to put the first coat of stain on the banisters yesterday. I was nervous about DIYing this, since I have no experience whatsoever in crafty/DIY things. I love all the possibilities at Home Depot, but I have zero confidence in my ability to execute on anything more difficult than changing a doorknob.

Luckily, the cherry gel stain I bought turned out beautifully, and I was in love with the color from the very first stroke. Unlike sanding, where I would scour for ten minutes and not feel like I made any progress, I loved the instant gratification of seeing the wood go from bare to rich, deep cherry. I’m so excited to finish next weekend!

Look at that gorgeous finish! Full reveal still to come…

However, I won’t finish until next weekend (or possibly even the weekend after). Each coat of stain takes 24 hours to dry, and in a twist of fate, I got staffed on a new project starting today, which will have me traveling most of the month – so I won’t be “home for the holidays” like I thought. (Well, I’ll be home for the actual holidays, but I had thought I’d be in Colorado the whole month.)

I’m really excited about my new project, though, which is a great fit for my background and will have me working with a different team of people than my usual circle. And, while it might be have been nice to stay in town for a few weeks, I know that the time away will help me appreciate my time at home that much more 🙂 I always love being so booked that I’m forced to schedule my free time; it helps me get a lot more done and that makes me happier as a result.

So – finishing up the banister stain over the next week or two, and then what? Who knows – maybe if this restain turns out well I’ll have the confidence to tackle re-tiling my fireplace 🙂


2 thoughts on “Redecorating My Home for the Holidays”

Leave a Comment

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

Join the List

Subscribe for instant email notification of new posts.

Join the List

Subscribe for instant email notification of new posts.

© 2023 by 50by25. All rights reserved. Actions taken from the hyperlinks on this blog may yield commissions for 50by25. View my FTC disclaimer.

Scroll to Top