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A few nights ago, Ken and I were drinking tea and chatting about decorating our house for the holidays.
“It’s so funny,” I told him, “because I think if I weren’t living here yet, you definitely wouldn’t have a Christmas tree by now. Maybe you wouldn’t have one at all this year!”
“Yeah, I don’t think so,” he said.
“Well, you’re welcome,” I said, teasing.
Joking aside, I’ve really found a love for fostering the feeling of “home” this year, and decorating for the holidays is a big part of that. I’ve always been one for decorating my space — even my dorm rooms had their own Christmas decorations. But the joy is doubled when you share a home with someone, and when the space you’re sharing is a first home with someone you love, it’s even more special.
This year, I’m using my favorite card and home decor site, Minted, to add some personal and creative touches to my home for the holidays. I’m such a huge fan of Minted’s beautiful, artist-created collections of cards, art, and home decor; the first things we ordered for the house were actually a set of Minted prints for my gallery wall. So I’m thrilled to use their collection to shape the holiday decorations in my first home. I’m also sharing a few tips for decorating your first home for the holidays, inspired by their collection.
Make it personal
Customizing your decorations for the holidays is a really nice way to add a personal touch to your decor. One example is printing names on your stockings. My brother is coming to spend Christmas with Ken and me this year, so I had both him and Ken pick out their stockings from the Minted site and then had their names stamped on the leather tag. Having different, personal patterns on each stocking, as well as the name on each, make these feel so much more “ours.”
There are a few other ways you can personalize your home decor. One example is creating personal gift tags for each person, or letting each person choose a ornament every year to symbolize their year. Ken and I are actually making paper ornaments to symbolize our favorite parts of this year — you can read more about that here!
Think about a theme
In addition to making our decor feel personal to us, Ken and I wanted to keep our ornaments understated, which meant that they had to go together. For a theme of sorts, we chose to use vintage and natural elements: for example, these gorgeous vintage glass ornaments, felt garlands, and natural ornaments made of things like paper and dried orange slices.
If you’re interested in choosing a theme for your decor, you can consider using a material-based theme (for example, glass), an aesthetic theme like we did, or a color-based theme (like blue and gold). Your decorations don’t need to all come from the same place; choosing a few guiding principles will help them feel cohesive.
Bring in the light
Finally, I’d recommend bringing in light for your decor. I’m completely nuts about candles — I actually crunched some numbers and found that I bought 47 candles this year! (And yes, I’ve burned through them all.) I use them all over the house — we have one in the kitchen, one on my bedside table, and six on our windowsill for cozy evenings in.
Lighting candles (safely!) at the table, by your windows, or even in the bathroom or bedroom can be a great way to bring in some cozy light to your holiday space. But if that’s not your scene (or you live somewhere where it’s not permitted, like campus housing), then twinkle lights can contribute just as much magic. Ken and I ordered some warm-tinted lights for our Christmas tree, and the light brings me so much joy when I walk into the living room every morning.
These are just a few of the ways that I’ve been decorating our home this holiday season. Minted has made it the process so much easier because of their beautiful and easily-personalized designs. Be sure to check out their decor blog for more inspiration, as they feature so many of their favorite picks. And let me know in the comments: how are you decorating your home this holiday season?