17 decorating lessons from the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes

As I'm sure you've read, I'm participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes this year. It's been a delightful journey the last couple of weeks as I've taken a sneak peek inside one gorgeous home after the next. I have that "pin it" button on repeat as I have been gathering inspiration for next year's holiday home decor.

As the tour comes to a close, I wanted to share some of the most interesting takeaways...

1) Utilize ribbon and garland to connect a space, creating an cohesive, seamless look.

I love how Jenny from Evolution of Style pulled her space together visually with the simple incorporation of ribbon. What's even better is that she said the wreaths were just $10 at IKEA.

2) Make the most of monograms.

Amanda from Dixie Delights has a true southern style that speaks to me. The wooden monogram additions to her stockings are right up my alley! Plus, they're an easy way to personalize, while taking the hassle out of getting stockings embroidered. 

3) Free tree clippings can go a long way.

Tamara from Provident Home Design asked the staff at Home Depot if she could have leftover tree clippings, and sure enough, they said, "Yes." She used these to craft garland for mantle. The best part? This piece of decor was free of charge!

I did the same things a couple of years ago at a local Christmas tree farm. I collected leftover sprigs on the ground and used them to top all of my gifts. 

4) Christmas decor isn't just for the common areas. 

Like Vel from Life & Home at 2102, many of my blogging friends are taking the Christmas decor well beyond the common spaces of their homes and adding a bit of holiday cheer to their bedrooms. I've seen countless trees nestling up along side beds.

I don't think a little girl's room could be more adorable. Vel did a lovely job blending red, pink and gold together, don't you think?

5) Ornaments (especially delicate, vintage ones) in a bowl create instant art.

Pam from Simple Details has an elegant eye for design. I love how a simple display of ornaments in a bowl can go a long way in making a statement. Notice how her pinks pair so nicely. Often that pop of color will do just the job in creating interest when using predominately neutral colors. 

6) Christmas doesn't have to mean red and green.

Have you ever peered inside Paige's home? I can't get enough of her vibrant use of color. Pink is definitely her signature hue and it translates so nicely as a holiday palette.

7. Adding holiday cheer to your entryway can be achieved through a few special touches.

With the addition of wrapped packages, a stocking and winter accessories, Becky from This is Happiness was able to transform her mudroom and instantly greet visitors with a festive vibe.

8. Pay tribute to your favorite lyrics.

Christmas songs always bring a smile to my face. I think Lauren from Bless'er Home had the right idea of celebrating song lyrics.

If you haven't already stopped by her home tour, do so. Her story is heartwarming and a great reminder of what's most important.

9. Give your everyday items a holiday makeover.

I love how Mandi from A Tale of a Ugly House added a few small touches to transform everyday household items. Greenery, ornaments and pinecones go a long way in sprucing up your space.

10. Wrap coffee table books to create a festive stack for styling. 

Rachel from This is Our Bliss is super savvy when it comes to styling her coffee table for the holidays. Take a cue from her playbook and use your current book collection to add holiday flair.

11. Group like items together for big impact.

Mary Ann's grouping of gold trees is gorgeous. The jeweled one on the left is handmade from a collection of vintage pieces. On Classic Casual Home, she talks you through her approach.

12. Put that cake stand to use.

Cassie from Primitive and Proper did just that with faux snowballs from a yard sale, and look how elegant it turned out!

13. Simple and elegant goes a long way.

After struggling to style our front porch without investing a lot of money, I took a cue from Lisa's curb appeal and went with a simple wreath and two evergreen planters. You'll have to head over to Shine Your Light to take a peek inside her home.

14. Get creative with your advent calendar.

Kris prepped an advent calendar with a twist. Head over to Driven by Decor to see how she fills each daily bucket with surprises for her girls.

15. Personalize with a single initial.

For the past year, we've had the three-inital wooden monogram from our wedding paired with a boxwood wreath residing on our door. Now I'm ready for a change. I love this wreath featured by the girls at Suburban Bitches. You can easily find a single gold initial at Hobby Lobby. This display is so elegant and timeless...a must-try! 

16. Bring the indoors out.

No need to strictly limit outdoor decor to just lights. Weather permitting, invite your guests to cozy up on the porch for some holiday cheer. Amanda from Our Storied Home always captures magazine-worthy moments and this opportunity to gather on the porch is no exception.

17. Accessorizing can go to a whole new level.

Cindy from Rough Luxe styled that dress form in the most lovely seasonal wear. I absolutely adore her vision and hope to create a similar masterpiece one day.

There's still time to gather additional inspiration for your holiday gatherings. Get started by browsing the full tours below.

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

December 7 

December 8 

December 9

December 10

December 11

December 14
Simply Sarah Style | Rough Luxe

December 16
Come back tomorrow and link up your own holiday home tour.

Happy holidays, my friends!


  1. Sarah! You are GENIUS! What a great way to share your recap and highlights! I love it!!

    1. Thanks, Rachel! There were so many great ideas to note. Even after I published my tour, I continued tweaking. :)


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