I wouldn’t imagine that many people would describe me as a minimalist!
In fact….someone just told me that my style was “to randomly put a whole bunch of stuff together and then stick a bow on it!”

For some reason, when I started to get out the “whole bunch of stuff” and the “bows”…I felt like taking a step back and going with a more minimalist look.


as lovely as this little vignette is…..I don’t think that I could go quite that stark!!!

minimalist is an adjective that means extreme simplification of form and color. When you call a person a minimalist, you’re describing their interest in keeping things very simple. A minimalist prefers the minimal amount or degree of something

Well….I could take that definition and interpret it here at Sweetwater this holiday season.

Wanna See?

The minimalist theme for our tree stems from the fact that first of all it was FREE!
While “dumpster diving” at the Home Depot for greenery…Mr. S. spotted this broken top of a big Frasier Fir….he negotiated with the manager for a reduced price…and she said “ah…just take it!” So that is also the THRIFTY element!

Only FOUR elements comprise the minimalist decorations.  
White Lights
Red Glass Ornaments
Red Dogwood Branches

 Burlap ribbon bows with a few copper colored ornaments tucked into the greens make a simple and elegant decor for the family room stairs.  It is a good idea make sure to tuck the decorations under the railing so that people still have a good way to hang on as they come down the stairs.  With this treatement, a simple tie of raffia secures the greenery.

The thrifty element is the fact that all the ornaments are from Goodwill.  I love finding ornaments that are interesting colors.  Funny how in July….Christmas balls are super cheap!
The ribbon is from Cost Co…the best place to buy wired ribbon.  50yards for $7.99!

The front banisters are also pretty minimalist this year.

A simple swag on each post….with a big wow bow!

The thrifty aspect is the fact that I reuse the ribbon from year to year.

The satin ribbon is easily ironed and looks like new!

In the den….just a lovely photo of a friend’s barn behind a display of the antlers from hunting trips through the years makes for a simple vignette.
The thrifty part….using the mat cutter to frame an enlarged photo!
Not so thrifty was the actual cost of those antlers!
The kitchen decorations are also minimal….just little touches in spots that catch the eye.
Nothing is “over the top” Christmas….just simple signs of the season

The little dried orange slices are really easy  to do.  Simply dry thinly sliced oranges in a 200 degree oven for an hour or so.  Add some cinnamon sticks and greens and the display can stay long after the holiday.  

More burlap ribbon ties two giant sugar pine cones to an old french horn on the kitchen window.  It seems to float there thanks to a sneaky little bar that is suspended in the window sill

The display of the collection of Fitz and Floyd holiday ceramics is maybe not so minimalist….BUT….it is thrifty.  Most of the items were found for little or nothing at the thrift store. 

I know this shelf above the desk is supposed to have cookbooks on it…..but since I mostly find recipes on the internet…
it can house the copper collection with some greenery.  Copper is such a pretty holiday color in our house.  (remember minimalist design is a simplification of color).

I spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks teaching people to make really lovely and fancy centerpieces…..

The one on our table is lovely….but maybe not so fancy.  All these things are thrifted too.  By changing out the greens….this can stay until mid-January too.

Check out Trader Joe’s for the little cypress trees that they sell for around $10.  As long as you keep watering them….they will last all the way until spring.  My tree from last year was planted in the Fairy Garden,(if they so much as dry out once….they are crispy critters).

These Santas are in keeping with the bronze and copper color scheme.

I know….these photos are awful….but I wanted to show you the minimalist dining room.

The only decorations in here are some artificial greens on the top of the mirror with a fun garland of dark red glass berries found at good will.

Same thing with the chandelier…I just wound greenery through the arms and draped some ribbon over the base.

The ribbon is very fun….with printed “FA LA LA” on it.  The thrifty part is my habit of NEVER throwing away cute ribbon….this was on a hostess gift…and it was obviously meant to be put in the ribbon stash.

The “sugared” grape clusters were another thrift store find.

Right now….Good Will has all of the Christmas Decor on a 50% discount…so get yourself over there….you don’t know what fun stuff you may find!

The living room chairs have a dose of holiday cheer with a simple red pillow sham. 

A few pretty things on a thrift store mirror.

Minimalism at it’s best.

Another Cypress tree….this one is a lemon color!

The little paper weight is etched like a globe….the little thrift store mirror got a coat of red paint and some Holiday sentiment!

The simple wreath hanging in the front window finishes things off.

Oh….here is one more decor touch that is pretty fun!
One little boy enjoying the decorations!

There you have it!  Our Minimalist and Thrifty Christmas Tour!

If I stand in the center of any room….there are nice little holiday touches in each….but nothing overwhelms me.
In fact….it is at this point most years when I start to feel like “CHRISTMAS” is closing in on me….and that isn’t happening.
Yes…there are lots of pretty things still in the boxes in the “Holiday Stash”….but they will be there next year!
In the meantime…..
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

shaker song – simple gifts – elder joseph brackett – 1848
“Simply” Have A Wonderful Day!