Vintage Christmas Decorations Find a Home in This 1940s Farmhouse
"I want it to feel like the whole house is transformed for the season, so every room you go into, you get that festive feel and that joy from the decorations—I want it to be felt everywhere in the house and not just one room," blogger Charlotte Evan Russell says. "We have so much fun decorating and baking, and I like making memories together and involving the whole family, especially Kelbee, my stepdaughter—she loves it as well. It's not how I grew up at all. We would celebrate some, but it wasn't anything like I try to make it!" The family's 1947 Alabama house is always dressed in a cheerful mix of farmhouse finds, both vintage and new, and come Christmas, Charlotte maximizes the merriment.
Though she changes the decor from year to year depending on what she feels like, a few mainstays stick around Christmas after Christmas. Trees are a given. There's a tree in every room — sometimes two! Garlands, both fresh and faux, are also seasonal standards; they traipse along tabletops, down the staircase, and across headboards. Vintage Santas (and Santas who only look vintage) make regular appearances as well. And twinkle lights — good glory, the twinkle lights! There might be enough lights in the house to illuminate a small neighborhood.
For holiday artwork in the living room, Charlotte chose the prints, their sizes, and matching frames online, and she hung them in a tight assembly, so they read as a single, sensational piece of seasonal art.
The living room's flocked tree is the first one Charlotte and her husband, Jon, bought after they were married. "That's our family tree, so it has all of the special ornaments on it," she says, and a garland of vintage Santa postcards clipped to a jute string.
Two trees flank the living room fireplace. Their trappings are mostly golds and browns to suit the space, and of course, they're laden with lights. A stand of bottle-brush trees, a large wreath, a trio of stars, and plaid stockings embellish the fireplace and mantel.
A print of an old-fashioned Santa oversees the dining room, where the wintry scene of a small town spreads out on the table. Accent the houses with vintage bottle brush trees and sprigs of fresh evergreen.
Two trees grace the dining room, one dressed simply in lights, and this one decked out in sparkly garland, golden deer with antlers, vintage sleds, and ornaments of wood, gold, and green. This year, Charlotte included black ornaments for the first time to complement the house's freshly painted windows
Charlotte gussies up the kitchen with trees on the counter and island, and a garland around the window. She also tucks battery-powered lights along the shelves for sparkle. Every year, her Instagram followers clamor to know where the red "believe" sign came from: It's an old Kirkland's purchase that Charlotte displays in a new place each year.
The stairway joins the celebratory spirit! A swag of greenery (it's actually one and a half faux-pine garlands tied together), a festive sign, and an old sled polish this small spot. Charlotte makes regular rounds to Hobby Lobby and Kirkland's this time of year but also includes vintage items in her vignettes. She scooped up this sled at a summer sale and squirreled it away for Christmas.
An office that's all work and no Christmas just wouldn't play in the Russell household, so Charlotte is sure to tuck greenery onto the shelves, loop candy-cane garland along with the glass bottles, and situate two trees in the room. She kept the larger one simple with red-and-white-striped balls and no lights.
Another flocked tree, this one in the master bedroom, features trappings both sweet and Southern — just like Charlotte. Ornaments favor farmhouse style, such as galvanized trinkets, old milk jugs, and cotton bolls plucked off cotton stems from crafts stores. The tree is capped by one of Charlotte's hats. "Honestly, I think I just randomly put it up there one day," she says. It's cute enough to stay put.
A green garland wrapped in twinkle lights adorns the headboard in the master bedroom, which is outfitted in farmhouse-style finds both new (lamps and luxurious bedding) and vintage (nightstands and framed photos). "I like finding old pieces and thinking about the stories behind each one — how long it's lasted, the houses it's been in, and even the families who had it and the memories they made," Charlotte says.