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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Boughs of Holly

The Mister and I and the children spent a good bit of last weekend decking the halls of the T&C house, including decorating our tree, a beautiful Frasier fir.  Below are some photos I hope you enjoy!

At dusk.

Our Advent wreath on the family room coffee table.

With the tree in the background.

The tree, with lots of old ornaments and lots of kid-made ones, too.

Our nativity scene, which Mr. T&C's mother bought at their church's rummage sale in the 70s!  The church got a new set, so this one was sold.  She bought the Holy Family and the three kings.  The Mister and I found the two shepherds more than 20 years later!  Best we can tell, the pieces were made in Italy out of some type of papier mache-like composite.  The tallest figures are about 12 inches tall.  We do not put baby Jesus in the manger until midnight Christmas Eve.
Santa needlepoint pillows in the Ralph plaid wing chair, looking from the family room into the living room.

Pine boughs among the wooden bowls and beadles, looking from the family room into the front hall.

One of my favorites in the family room is a faux feather tree from Martha Stewart's Kmart collection.  I pryed it out of its original pot and placed it in an old wooden box.  It is trimmed with small vintage ornaments.
Cranberry wreaths from Restoration Hardware in our sitting area just off the kitchen.

The kitchen has faux juniper wreaths in the windows.  The Santa with holly and the stitchery were gifts, and the red lamp is actually an old metal flour canister that Mr. T&C made into a lamp for me.  I think I bought it for six dollars at Reninger's antiques fair in Mount Dora, Florida.

Pomander oranges and pine are the only decorations needed in the red front hall.

The living room with a resin nativity, which was a gift, and is one of our favorite decorations. 

Above is the desk we bought this summer and the ribbon-tied cards from my dad. You can also see the little plate I found last year at a consignment store, where I paid two dollars for it! I painted the door red (I might have used a Sharpie actually) and wrote our house number above the door.

In the dining room, a stag cup served as the inspiration to make this little tabletop scene.  The resin antlers were bought at last year's after Christmas sale at Pottery Barn.

The stepback cupboard with the clay nativity scene that Big made when he was 12. 

The sideboard with a silverplate hunting trophy filled with vintage ornaments.  The glass beads draped over the pine boughs were Mr. T&C's great grandmother's.  Only that two-foot fragment remains, but they are a treasured decoration.  The angel in the bowl was my grandmother's, and I remember hanging it on her Christmas tree when I was a little girl.
If you enjoyed this home tour, be sure to check out the house tour at Hooked on Houses,  and at Southern Hospitality, .  And to all a good night!


  1. I love your home. I could just move right in, it is so warm and cozy. GOD BLESS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS

  2. Still making my rounds from the Nester's party...your home is BEAUTIFUL! It looks so warm and inviting! Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!

  3. Your home is beautiful! It should be in a movie. Every room is so cozy and perfectly decorated. I love love love the picture wall.

  4. Oh how I love your classic style! Sorry I can hardly notice Christmas because I'm too busy admiring your home and furnishings in general. Beautiful!

  5. I'm here from The Nester's tour. Your home is SO lovely!

  6. Your house is absolutely beautifu. Spectacular. Classic done right.

  7. Love your quintessential New England looking home! We have verey similar tastes in that I love a lot of pictures on the wall --especially love that one picture of all those pictures grouped over the sofa. :)

  8. You have a beautiful home!


  9. Love, love, love the ornaments in the silver bowl (hunting trophy). I have a box of my grandmother's "Shiny Brite" ornaments. They are the ones she put on her tree as a child. What a treasure!

  10. I love the old church nativity set - and your wall of pictures above the couch! Merry Christmas!

  11. Beautiful. Love all the details. Merry Christmas.


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