The Best Gifts for the Home Decorator

Hey y’all! Still have some Christmas shopping to do? I’ve rounded up some of my favorite gifts for your “home decorator” friend or family member, but honestly, they are great gifts for anyone. When I’m brainstorming gift ideas I try to think of something functional and useful.

Home Decorator Gift Guide
1. Toaster // 2. Herbs // 3. Voluspa Candle // 4. Garden & Gun Magazine // 5. Reindeer Ornaments
  1. The Retro Toaster

How cute is this retro toaster by Smeg?? Kitchen appliances are extremely practical gifts and this retro line is making them more stylish than ever! Gone are the days of getting out and putting away the toaster with each use. Now you can leave it on the counter as an adorable accent piece! (Pssst, this is on my personal Christmas list. Hehe)

  1. Potted Herbs

I got my first set of herbs last spring and instantly fell in love. Not only do they smell wonderful, but they can be useful for cooking, too! I recommend rosemary because it is a perennial plant that will come back year after year. At Lowes they have rosemary bushes that have been shaped like Christmas trees—how sweet! Make sure to choose a pretty planter to go along with it!

  1. Voluspa candles

You really can’t go wrong giving candles. Voluspa is my new favorite brand. All the scents smell great (rich and fresh, but not overpowering) and their various packaging is really cute. They look perfect on the coffee table or in the powder room. You can find them at Nordstrom or online at amazon.

  1. Magazine subscription

It’s the gift that keeps giving! This is something that people don’t typically buy for themselves (unless they are bored at the airport), so gift someone with a year subscription to Southern Living or Garden and Gun (Only $19.98 for 1 year!). They will be thanking you all year long!

  1. Ornaments

Ornaments can be really sentimental gifts. My best friend started a tradition by giving me one every year. I love unpacking my Christmas decorations and being reminded of my sweet friend! I’ve talked about where to buy ornaments in a previous post, but hit up your local gift store or Etsy for something more personalized!

What are some of your favorite gifts this year?? I would love to hear them! Thanks for stopping in…happy shopping;)


*Contemporary Charm participates in several affiliate advertising programs. Clicks and/or purchases made through links on this blog may provide me with a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions on this blog are my own.*

Christmas Décor Update

I’ve finally wrapped up Christmas decorating around the house, y’all! It definitely feels more like Christmas now. Only 19 days to go!!


Originally, I got artificial, snow-frosted garland for the table and it was a complete mess. I opted for my own tree trimmings instead (beware of sap!). They haven’t started drying up or shedding yet, so in the meantime it looks great! I’m ready to have a dinner party! Who’s in? ( Farmhouse Dining Set // Burlap Wrapped Tree // Stoneware // Placemats // Napkins //Napkin Rings // Candlesticks //  Glass Candle Jars )


Gotta have candles!! All my candlesticks and jars are from Target. The small gold jars are $3 (in stores only) or get similar ones here. I had plans to add even more candles, but they happen to be stashed in a cabinet behind my massive, double-wide tree . I won’t be attempting to retrieve those; otherwise, I would have an entirely new “A Christmas Tree Nightmare” post to write.


The stoneware is a boxed set from Target. I chose this color because it works with any season. Win:)


Aren’t these antler napkin rings the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? My bestie got them for me for Christmas (we exchanged early). They were just what I needed to finish off the dining room décor. They look great with my shimmer napkins and play off the garland perfectly. I’m glad I’ll be able to use them beyond Christmas, too!


Ok, I had to throw a picture of sweet Santa in here, too! Ho, ho, ho.


Again, I used tree trimmings for garland on the mantle. The wooden reindeer were gifts from Kevin’s mom! So adorable. They are from a local shop in Greenville, SC, but you can find some similar ones here.


The snowflake lights were the perfect final touch on the mantle!


I mentioned how great these stockings from Restoration Hardware were in a previous post. I love the fur and the monograms turned out just how I wanted them!


When I mentioned to my mom that I was having trouble finding a nativity set, she sent me this in the mail. It is a nativity that my grandmother gave her when I was a little girl. I have fond memories unpacking it and helping arrange each piece under the wooden manger. The manger is now broken, so I used this rustic advent calendar as a temporary background, but the simple, white pieces really speak for themselves. I’m so grateful to have this heirloom that I can pass down one day, too! Thanks mom:)

What are your favorite Christmas heirlooms? If you haven’t decorated for Christmas yet, it is not too late! Most shops already have their Christmas decorations on sale, so go for it! Thanks for reading everyone:)


A Christmas Tree Nightmare

I was really anxious to start decorating for Christmas after Thanksgiving, so Monday night Kevin and I went to pick out our Christmas tree. Mind you, I grew up with an artificial, pre-lit tree, so this was all new for me. Kevin, on the other hand, always had real trees, so it was important to him to keep up the tradition. Here are a few things I’ve learned about real Christmas trees (the hard way):

  1. Not all trees are the same. First, we looked at Pike because a neighbor told us they were running a special ($40 for a 9 footer). I ran around the place pointing at this one and that one, only to have Kevin tell me that it wasn’t “full enough” or that it was “almost dead.” Sheesh, who knew what all went into picking out the right tree? Clearly, this was a serious situation. We ended up going to a tree lot instead, where they had trees shipped in from Boone, NC (pretty legit). I could tell right away that these trees were much higher quality (and also double the price). I was learning so quickly!
  2. They are expensive. This might be obvious, but the tree is going to die (duh), so you can’t keep it for next year (bummer). This means every year you dish out $$ for a new tree. The tree we ended up getting was $80 (Kevin talked them down to $75, woohoo!). It’s huge! So huge that the tree dude couldn’t fit the stump on to our tree stand. He sat there shaving away at the bark and knots until it finally fit. Then he says, “I tried to preserve the bark, so that the tree would still drink water.” Wait, what?
  3. They are messy.

Part 1: Water. So apparently you have to water the tree everyday. Kevin went out of town for work, so I was left to care for the tree (great, as if I need another responsibility). I filled up a big cup of water and army crawled under the massive tree to get to the stand. I poured and poured and then, I felt a splash. Luckily, we had a special inner tube, water-catcher, tree mat thingy under the tree in case of spills, but SOMEHOW water still managed to leak underneath on the hardwood floors. Crap. This tree is huge and heavy, so moving it was not an option. I gave it a test nudge with my foot, forgetting that the stand was filled to the brim with water, and even more water sloshed out. Seriously? I felt like I was babysitting a vomiting child and failing miserably. 20 tiny pushes and 5 towels later, I cleaned up the water.

Part 2: Sap. Like, real trees have sap. The tree dude was nice enough to send me home with tree trimmings that I could use around the house (I chose the mantle and dining room table). It only took me snipping a few pieces to get sap all over my hands, which I then proceeded to wipe on my shirt. Bad decision. Not to mention it doesn’t come off, not even with soap. Fail.

Part 3: Pine needles. They’re everywhere. I guess I’ll be vacuuming daily. Major fail.


I’m going to call this our “double-wide tree.” I was so glad that Kevin already had tree lights and several ornaments to get us started. I bought a set of base ornaments and added in a few others to complete our collection (can you spy my favorite feather ornaments?) In general, I stuck with white, metallic, pops of red, and burlap ribbon. It may not be a perfect, “designer tree,” but its our tree and that’s what makes it special. I’ll always remember it as my first, real tree.


This is a 54″tree skirt from Target and it is still a touch too small for the double-wide. I’m thinking about having one made next year instead, but this one will do for now:)

Needless to say, I’ve learned that Christmas decorating is not easy. Just when you think you’re finished, you find more to add, which means more to buy. Our tree is so huge that the tree skirt we had was too small. Naturally, I strolled to Michael’s (my one-stop-shop) in search of a new one. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the larger size I was looking for (fail), but they did have a 70% off doorbusters sale (win). I left with an entire buggy full of new Christmas items. Oops. Even with all the new stuff, the house is still a work in progress, but I’ll share with you what I’ve done so far! My hope is that by next year I’ll have all the kinks worked out and I’ll be able to decorate all at once. Fingers crossed!

Poinsettias might be my favorite flower. Our realtor gave us this one for Christmas! I was so thrilled. I love it! (Garland // Stocking)
I love the simplicity of pinecones! These are cinnamon scented..mmm:) My “garland” is made from the tree trimmings. I’m not finished with the dining room, but I’ll share more pictures soon! (Candlestick // Placemats // Stoneware)
Florals, florals, florals. I change mine out every few months to coordinate with the season. These are from Michael’s. (Milk bottles & crate — similar)
I spruced up the entryway table with a couple of Charlie Brown trees. How cute are those miniature ornaments and jingle bells?! (trees // mason jars)


Keep me updated on your Christmas decorating progress! Do y’all opt for real or artifical trees?? Thanks for reading, y’all!


It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means it is officially Christmas season! Not only are lights, trees, and tinsel socially acceptable after Thanksgiving, but now I have free rein to listen to Christmas music on repeat (hello, Michael Buble Christmas album) from now until December 25 (sorry, not sorry). To kick off my first of many Christmas posts, I wanted to share a few of my favorite places to buy Christmas decorations. Whether you’re going for a traditional theme or end up choosing something unique like “winter wonderland” or “cozy, mountain house” I’m certain you’ll find something new to add to your collection at one of these places!

Cost Plus World Market – Ornaments


I’m loving World Market for ornaments! They have over 1000 unique ornaments to choose from, so it’s easy to create your own look with such a wide variety. Shown above is the metallic ornament collection. From now until 12/11, get 30% off all ornaments, plus use the ad to get an extra 10% off your entire purchase.

DECORATING TIP: Start with your base ornaments (buy a set, like this one with 24 glittered pinecones) and space them out evenly across the tree. Fill in remaining gaps with your other favorite ornaments.

Target – Gift Wrap


What is a Christmas tree without presents around it? Wrapped gifts can add a lot to your Christmas decor if you coordinate it appropriately. Sugar Paper has some gorgeous gift wrap at Target, everything from bags and boxes to ribbon and gift tags. I love their gold foil wrapping paper!

TIP: If you don’t have enough gifts to put under the tree yet, wrap empty boxes to give off the perfect illusion!

Pottery Barn – Pillows and Throws

Uh-oh, here I go on my pillow rant again. Pottery Barn’s holiday pillows and throws are so stinkin’ cute though! Get yourself a few classic Christmas pillows with a plaid blanket and your living room is instantly transformed. Get 30% off select throws and pillows now. (pom pom knitted throw // plaid throw // Christmas pillows)

Stockings – Restoration Hardware


Faux fur is my new favorite way to decorate for Christmas! It just makes everything feel so warm and cozy. Originally, I ordered my fur stockings from another vendor and had them monogrammed. Long story short, the monograms were messed up multiple times and I had to send them back for replacements three times. They still never got it right and I was not a happy camper. Luckily, RH had similar stockings that I decided to get instead and they turned out fabulous! I highly recommend the luxe faux fur stockings. They are on sale now for only $17 each! (add $8 for personalization)

At Home – Wreaths, Trees, and Lights

At Home (the former Garden Ridge) is literally Christmas heaven this time of year. It is hard to spend less than an hour shopping in that place! I highly recommend it for purchasing an artificial tree, any type of lights (indoor/outdoor), wreaths, or garland, mainly because they have a large selection and at a great price point.

Michael’s – Everything Else


If you want a one-stop shop for Christmas decorations, this is your place. At Michael’s you can get everything I’ve already mentioned and more! Not only that, but usually they are running a sale! I love their Pinecone Lodge Collection shown above. Go now to get 50% off all Christmas decor and trees!

Where is your favorite place to shop for Christmas decorations?? Stay tuned, I’ll be posting some pictures of how I chose to decorate later this week:) Thanks for stopping by. Happy decorating, everyone!


*Contemporary Charm participates in several affiliate advertising programs. Clicks and/or purchases made through links on this blog may provide me with a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions on this blog are my own.*