Clean + Simple: Scandinavian Christmas Style

December 9, 2013

With so much hustle + bustle over the past few weeks (well, months really!), I’m feeling the need to simplify more than a few areas in my life. The New Year is always the perfect time to clean off the slate and start fresh and I just bought myself a shiny new planner to get the ball rolling. There’s a lot to be said for online calendars and apps but between juggling kids and shop life, I really just need to write things down. Speaking of clean + simple, this Scandinavian home and it’s understated take on Christmas was like a breath of fresh air amidst the glitter + glam of all things Holiday currently circling the web. While I’m loving my amped up dose of colour this year, there’s a lot to be said for the calming neutrals of this family home:

Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.

Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.

Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.

Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.
Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.

Birch + Bird: Scandinavian Christmas on Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.Lantliv. Photo by Magdalena Björnsdotter.

Relaxing, isn’t it? And I don’t think anything could be cozier than sipping hot cocoa next to that kitchen fireplace, unless it involved curling up on the fur rugs in the living room! When it comes to Christmas decorating, are you team less-is-more or go-big-or-go-home? I’d like to think I’m somewhere in the middle :)

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Christmas at My House, with Pottery Barn!

December 6, 2013

Sorry for skipping out on Wednesday’s post! It’s been another busy week, one that had a few challenges thrown in for good measure (“challenging” sounds so much better than draining, non?) but I’m still standing and pretty happy that the weekend is here. Pottery Barn recently asked me if I’d like to receive a surprise box of Holiday ornaments from them and I happily accepted, of course! It was such a treat to come home to a pretty package on my doorstep last week, a box that contained not one, not two but ten gorgeous glass ornaments! There was one small catch though: I was challenged to creatively display them, ie. not on a tree. A little tougher than you’d think but I used some vintage finds that I already had as the backdrop and styled this travel-themed vignette on my mantle.Come see:

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

The large “painting” in the centre is one of my favourites and is actually a vintage card table top. My dear friend Monica gave it to me and the scene is my happy place when life’s “challenges” get me down :) The other artwork is also all vintage except for the black + white architectural sketch, which I drew in an interior design class years ago. My mom made the stockings for each of us and the nutcrackers are a mix of new and vintage finds. The greenery is all from our front yard and I forgot to turn our gas fireplace on so just imagine a toasty glow inside!

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery BarnOrnaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery BarnOrnaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery BarnOrnaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

Birch + Bird: Christmas with Pottery Barn

I’m pretty thrilled with the end results and Gabe told me last night that it’s “the best decorating you’ve ever done!”, a big compliment from my 10-year old boy :) Make you want to jump on a plane and go somewhere, doesn’t it? A BIG thank you to Pottery Barn for the early Christmas gift and here’s a list of the 10 ornaments that I received:

Temperatures are dropping fast and it’s supposed to get reeeeally cold (for us!) this weekend. So stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!

*While I did receive 10 ornaments from Pottery Barn at no cost, I was not compensated for this post in any way. All photos are by myself, Lily Ellis, for Birch + Bird.

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Feeling Festive: Colour for Christmas

December 2, 2013

Happy December to you! Are you feeling festive? I sure am! This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind but we had a great time hosting our first Holiday edition of The Urban Market (it’s hard not to get into the spirit of things when surrounded by handmade goodies, Christmas tunes and cheerful shoppers!) followed by a fun evening in with Rachel and her family (man, we’ve missed them!) and our annual trip to the tree farm (we found the perfect tree!). I haven’t had a chance to  actually decorate yet but Brad hung up our outside lights and, guess what? I nixed our usual all white strands for bright colour this year!!! I know, totally unlike me but I found some ceramic coated lights at Target that just called out to me and I must admit, they’re pretty darn cheerful! The kids are begging for more lights in our trees now too so pretty sure I’ll be heading back for more :) Here are some more bright + cheery ideas for Christmas:

Birch + Bird: Shining stars by Bijzonder MooiBijzonder Mooi

Birch + Bird: Mini wreathes by Martha StewartMartha Stewart

Have I mentioned that I’m heading to Alt Summit in January? Well, I AM!!! Surprise packages from sponsors and the Alt team keep arriving on my doorstep (so awesome!) including some gift wrapping notions from Minted and 10 free sheets of personalized wrapping paper, so fun! I chose this pretty Sugar & Spice paper and personalized it with my favourite pumpkin bread recipe. I don’t know how I’ll cut it up and actually use it for wrapping!

Birch + Bird: Personalized wrap by MintedMinted

Birch + Bird: DIY marquee garland by A Subtle RevelryDIY marquee garland by A Subtle Revelry

Birch + Bird: Bob Greenspan PhotographyBob Greenspan Photography

Birch + Bird: "Cheers Around the World" print by Bluebird Kisses“Cheers Around the World” print by Bluebird Kisses

How do you decorate for the Holidays? Bright + bold or neutral + natural? I’m usually pretty neutral but have a feeling I’ll be brightening things up a little this year. Have a great day!

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Sugar + Spice: Harlow’s Nursery

November 27, 2013

As this week kicks into high gear before our next batch of Holiday markets, I must admit that I’ve dreamed (more than once!) of escaping the hustle + bustle and flying off to a hot, deserted beach somewhere far (very far) away. Sounds dreamy, right? But back to hustling it is and, despite being stretched just a wee bit thin, it’s all coming together (it always does!).  My friend Jayme sent over some pics of her adorable daughter’s nursery this week that I’m pretty excited to share! I love getting a sneak peek inside other people’s homes (obviously!) and it’s a treat to be able to share a space that I’ve actually seen in person. You may remember Jayme’s kitchen renovation that I helped out with last year and they’ve since added to their family with sweet baby Harlow. I love how her nursery is feminine without being too fussy and there are so many handmade and whimsical touches throughout. But don’t just take my word for it, come take a look:

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.All photos by Jayme Anne Photography

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.All photos by Jayme Anne Photography

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.All photos by Jayme Anne Photography

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.

Birch + Bird: Harlow Lang's Nursery. Jayme Anne Photography.All photos by Jayme Anne Photography

And, I mean, just look at the little lady of the moment. Seriously! Cute as a button, isn’t she? Such a little bird and I think Jayme did an amazing job with her room. I love that it’s a space that Harlow can easily grow into too. Curious about where things are from? Here are the sources:

I’ll do my best to pop in and say hello before the weekend but if things get too crazy, I’ll see you again on Monday!

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Trend Alert: Where the Buffalo Roam

November 25, 2013

I’ve got a big thing for quirky wall art (as you can see here and here) and after seeing Emily Henderson‘s bedroom makeover for Joanna Goddard last week, I pretty much fell in love with Sir Buffalo hanging over the bed! It’s one of many stunning photographs (seriously, there are far too many great shots to choose from!) by Sharon Montrose over at The Animal Print Shop  and I just love how unexpected and stoic he looks watching over the room. Other spaces and products featuring the proud bison kept catching my eye over the weekend too so I thought I’d share just a few of my faves:

Birch + Bird: Cup of Jo. Design by Emily Henderson. Photo by Ryan Liebe.Cup of Jo bedroom makeover. Design by Emily Henderson. Photo by Ryan Liebe. Art by Sharon Montrose.

Birch + Bird: Bison by White Faux Taxidermy.White Faux Taxidermy

Birch + Bird: Berkley IllustrationBerkley Illustration

Birch + Bird: Custom stamp by Six & GrandCustom stamp by Six & Grand

Birch + Bird: Great Wide Open series by 1Canoe21Canoe2 via Poppytalk

Birch + Bird: Wilderness RomanceWilderness Romance

What are your thoughts on seeing buffalo in home decor? Love? Hate? I just think they’re pretty funny and there’s something so Canadiana (or Americana, depending what side of the border you’re on) about them. We had a really fun weekend filled with friends and family and now I’ve got to hit the ground running for the next three batches of The Urban Market that my shop, Spruce Collective, is hosting. I’m really behind on emails (sorry if you’re waiting to hear from me!) but hope to get caught up before the week gets away on me again. Have a great Monday!

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