HOW TO DECORATE YOUR ENTRY FOR CHRISTMAS

Outdoor front door christmas entry

If your kids are anything like mine, they have been begging to hang up the wreath and decorate the house for Christmas since the day after Halloween! While we’ve fought this a little bit over the last few years, their excitement won us over this year and we are decorating extra early. I love the holiday season, mainly more catch ups with friends and seeing the magic of it all on the faces of the kids. To create space to enjoy this special time with them, I try to get as many things done before December, such as decorating the front entry and ordering Christmas cards so they can be written and sent in the first week of December. Last year’s cards were so cute and I can’t wait for this year’s to arrive! Even though we are the first family on our street to have a wreath up, it feels great to be ready when guests arrive. It really is just three simple steps to make your entry extra special.

STEP 1: HANG A WREATH

christmas wreath and bells
faux cedar and eucalyptus wreath

WHY NOT ADD SOME BELLS TO MAKE YOUR WREATH FEEL EXTRA FESTIVE?!

gold bells for front door wreath

I chose a fresh wreath this year but if your climate doesn’t allow for that, this faux cedar and eucalyptus wreath is by far the prettiest I’ve found. Use a sturdy door hanger to hang it. I like to match the colour of the hanger to the door so that it is as inconspicuous as possible.

STEP 2: ADD A FESTIVE DOORMAT

Merry Christmas doormat and entry rug

Buy a fun and festive doormat wherever you can find one. Hardware stores often stock seasonal mats and this doormat is on its’ second year at our house. If you are ready to splurge on a gorgeous mat, this Merry + Bright doormat is modern and pretty much perfect. Where size permits, I love to add an extra rug as a base layer to an outdoor entry. Use a 3’ x 5’ rug suitable for the outdoors as a pretty underlay for the doormat and why not take this chance to add a pretty pattern or some colour. This indoor outdoor rug is THE BEST and we have owned it for over a year with three kids tromping over it daily and IT STILL LOOKS NEW!

STEP 3: ADD ACCESSORIES

Use this moment to have fun adding decorative features! Get the kids to help (cute buckets are a perfect place for them to add sticks or pinecones that they collect on walks). Display a small tree like this 3’ one in a wicker basket if your entry is under a covered area and add festive bins for added fun.

black outdoor ceiling light

CHOOSE A LIGHT THAT ALLOWS THE LIGHTBULB TO BE CHANGED EASILY - I LIKE OPEN BOTTOM PENDANT LIGHTS OUTDOORS FOR THIS REASON

USE A BASKET FOR A SMALL TREE, FIREWOOD OR EVEN PINECONES! THE TEXTURE ADDS A LAYER OF WARMTH + INTEREST

PIN the image below to save the full look of a jolly, festive and bright entry for the holiday season below.

outdoor entry decor for christmas and holiday
 

 

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6 WAYS TO ADD LIGHTING (TO YOUR CHILD'S ROOM)

That warm sunshine through your windows is quite literally happiness for the soul, but as the days shorten, lighting up the inside of our homes is the next best thing. When thinking about ways to add light to your nursery, children's rooms, or playroom, consider one (or more!) of these six key ways to light up the space.

1. Make use of overhead light

There are SO many beautiful pendant lights to choose from and many allow for a dimmer switch, sometimes making this the only light you actually need to add to a child's room. I love this pretty feather pendant from Ella's room.

Ella's pink and gold toddler girl room

2. Use a floor lamp

Simple for kids to switch on and off and handy if next to a rocking chair for reading, a floor lamp can provide task lighting as well as overall ambience. This budget friendly tripod lamp is sturdy and looks pretty too. 

floor lamp in living room

3. Install wall sconces

Use wall sconces for a high-end look that provides just the lighting you need in the exact position you'd like it. I love using wall sconces above kids beds, especially where there isn't space for other options, like in Rafa and Leo's room below. 

shared neutral baby and toddler room

4. Use a night light

I've shared some of my favourite night lights before and I love to include them in the rooms I design. So many kids love having a little light they have control over turning off and on themselves and they are handy in a nursery to ensure you can see what you are doing in those mid-night changes! This rocket nightlight is from Etsy.

rocket night light in kids room

5. Use string lights

Lights on a string come in so many ways, that the options are limitless. I love the bright ball lights, fairy lights, star lights, you name it. They are practical and add such a soft touch for calm light and decor on a wall or draped over a book wall. 

fairy lights with moon and star
star lights over a book wall

6. Use a table lamp

Table lamp or task lamps can provide just the light you need for a change table in a baby room, a little light in a toddler room or on a desk as children get older. I love pieces that carry through from baby to teen and a solid table lamp will do just that.

dresser and mirror in girls room

I like to include at least two of these ways in each room that I decorate so that there are a couple of options for providing the light you might need. An overhead light and a night light will work in many cases, but ambience lighting in the form of a lamp is almost always welcome too.

HOW TO CREATE A HOMEWORK AREA FOR KIDS

kids desk setup
children's homework desk area

To create a homework station in your own home, you really only need a few basic things:

  1. A table or desk;
  2. A chair;
  3. Some type of light (either natural or a lamp); and
  4. Basic supplies (pens, pencil, eraser, scissors, tape, etc).

As with any space, creating an organized and inviting area to tackle tasks, such as homework, is key for kids. I love to think that it’s a great starting point for staying organized through life, that good habits start early and that making it fun goes a long way to making kids work hard too!

For younger kids, I love to put a desk next to a reading corner. Reading is one of our favourite ways to learn and it's handy to go from sitting on a chair to a more cozy and casual floor area where we can snuggle and read. For us, our only homework for Kindergarten was to read to our kids. I also love to keep a few books and toys nearby for those frustrating moments when everyone needs a break. It’s a great time to connect and reset.

dream big sign on kids homework desk

I like to think about ergonomics when setting up a desk. Make sure that the child fits correctly with feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle. The desk surface should be 2-3 inches above their elbow when bent.

If you can, put the desk near natural light. Looking out a window is helpful to rest little eyes as well as enhance productivity. If this is not possible, a lamp works well too. 

Keeping basic supplies handy ensures the child can focus on the task at hand. We like to keep supplies minimal and tidy, such as a pencil, pens, stapler, tape, scissors and paper clips and add in any other supplies when they are needed for the homework.

art above desk

The final touch is adding a few fun pieces like inspirational quotes, art and even a plant. Using little extras like a chalkboard or letterboard is a great way to keep key reminders close at hand.

Setting up an ergonomic environment, with comfortable surroundings and inspiring extras helps to make the space feel cozy and inviting, hopefully encouraging kids (and you!) to enjoy their homework time as much as possible.

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