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2020 Holidays Feel Different; So Does My Living Room

I think it’s harder to re-decorate an existing space than it is to just move. Do you have a room in your home that is in transition during the holidays? Here’s how I decorated my living room while it is undergoing some changes – just like 2020.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s time for a makeover in our living room.

I know, I know, some of you were startled. One reader even posted, ‘OMG Maria, you gave up ITALY for those pink drapes! ITALY. That was the year Terreeia was invited to go with a group of friends and I stayed behind.

We did go the following year (so I did see Italy–twice since then in fact).

And let’s be clear, I’m doing this because of the blog. I can’t keep showing the same room over and over.

And raspberry, in the end, was never my favourite colour. I have loved them, and they even put this room on the cover of Style at Home, so I think they’ve served their purpose well.

I originally considered a yellow plaid, or white with a yellow banding, but after I sourced the fabric, it was discontinued, so I decided to go for a colour blocking look instead.

Redecorating an existing space

And it’s a lot harder to re-decorate an existing space then it is to just MOVE.

If you move, every new space is custom, so even if you keep a lot of the same furniture, it looks different because the space is totally different. Maybe you have a wall behind your sofa in the new living room, where this one is positioned in front of the window, for example.

A few weeks ago, I arrived home with an area rug and as soon as the much lighter, more neutral rug was installed in the room, my raspberry drapes immediately had to come down, because the strong raspberry was no longer balanced by the black and white area rug.

I like this rug because the violet undertones pick up the lavender in the painting. 

And it’s funny because I have always thought my black and white rug was 8′ x 10′ but it was actually 6′ x 8′. That’s how strong black is visually. If that rug was any bigger, it would have overwhelmed the colours. 

Now that the room feels more neutral, it’s easier for me to envision a new palette.

I also really prefer the round coffee table in this room as well. After the pale rug was installed, the drama of my statement art needs to be repeated on this side of the room.

Coffee table similar here  | Rug similar here & here

I had also ordered the leopard pillows for my Mom’s sunroom, but then installed them here when I moved my Eames Lounger over from my Family room (because it’s currently in the way of the Christmas tree) just for the holidays. It’ll go back to the family room when the tree comes down.

And then of course the room will need to be repainted. At least that’s the easiest part for me. 😉

I also pulled the green lamps I had in my dining room before (moved them to the guest room) and borrowed my family room light for the dining room buffet (below) just for now.


Micro Christmas Lights

Holiday decorating with pops of orange

I added some pops of orange just for Christmas, and I really love the micro lights on these little Christmas trees (below). For so many years now, little miniature lights have been battery operated, it’s so fun to be able to just put them on and forget about them. I leave my Christmas lights on from the minute I plug them in until New Years Day when I take them down.

Similar slim trees here and here | Acrylic reindeer (similar here)

Photography by Macy Yap

Here’s what my mantel looked like last year:

Christmas Mantel 2019

This year I kept the holiday decorating simple in here! And since I already have my Christmas tree up in the family room, this was a pretty way to add sparkle to this room.

Christmas Mantel 2020

All you need for a simple holiday decorating idea is small tree and garland for your mantle with micro lights! Who has discovered these mini-lights this season? Or maybe they’ve been available longer but I haven’t seen them before!

Happy Decorating! 

Related posts:

My 2019 Holiday Living Room

My Living Room Inside Style at Home (Including the Before’s)

What is the Best Colour for Living Room Furniture (An eDesign Before & After)

54 pins


  • Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to see it painted. I’m always on the hunt for mini trees. Can you update the link? It’s not there right now.

  • Julie says:

    Good morning Maria: I am loving the more simple look! The room was very very pretty before, but now it feels calmer and refreshed. I like the yellow/green/orange/white combo. The little touches of orange are lovely and easy to swap out since it’s mostly seasonal flowers and wrapped presents. The other Christmas decorations are also just wonderful. I truly love the simplified green and white with lights. There is less “stuff” overall and this room feels so serene to me! This flows super well with your white/gold/silver decor in the family room. This year has been so stressful and chaotic, it’s no wonder the more neutral overall look is appealing. Thanks Maria!

  • Robin says:

    We call them fairy lights.
    The feel is still colorful but elegant and serene. ❤️

    • Maria Killam says:

      OMG fairy lights is definitely the word, haha. Thanks for the correction! Maria

    • Beth says:

      It is harder! My husband made me promise not to change the wall color (which mostly have had to be repainted anyway…but too late now). That color affects every choice. We’re spending way too much to have so many compromises. Grrrr

  • Janice says:

    Maria, you are so photogenic! Kudos to Macy for making your decor come alive.

  • I love the changes you have made. Nothing like a fresh do-over!! I am moving mid January and I cannot wait to get started on the decor. I have blue and white furnishings/decor in storage with pops of orange. I can’t wait to add green and pink to the mix.
    Ill be blogging all about it and might need some advice too!!! Enjoy your beautiful space and Merry Chirstmas.
    PS..the pics of you are very lovely too!

  • Mindi says:

    The link for the small trees didn’t work and I need those in my living room ASAP! Beautiful pics, your home always inspires me to take another crack at mine.

  • Fran W. says:

    I’m already loving the room’s new look. Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  • BillP says:

    Brava, Maria. Editing things we love is a difficult process. My last house had existing draperies panels in the dining room and great room. I never loved them but thought they looked expensive and they kept me from painting the color I really wanted. Only now I realize I probably would have sold the house sooner without them. Sometimes less is more. As Coco Chanel said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Same applies to decorating a room.

    • Noreen says:

      Look forward to seeing how you finish the room after Christmas
      Yes to one of your commenters,
      No cost in editing and repurposing.

  • Betty Monson says:

    Beautiful, Marua, but I must comment it is not very doable for the average homeowner’s this year. We are struggling in 2020! Shopping what we already own, rearranging and editing are about all we can manage this year; IF we find the energy for even that! Extra cash? No. Money is tight, tight, tight.
    As for new items, it is On-line or it doesn’t happen. I am grateful for the old box of memories from holidays past that I pulled down from the attic today and grateful I am still here to “deck the halls” at all. Stay strong, stay safe and Happy Holidays to all.

  • Connie says:

    Wow! Can’t wait to see the end result. That gorgeous pink so perfectly balanced the intense yellow it’s hard to imagine something better but I’m sure you’ll find it!

  • Gery S. says:

    Thank you so much for the cheerful and inspiring photos. I was feeling glum about the smoke from fires here that keep us indoors, but just ordered some fairy lights and will spend the day cleaning and getting out my holiday decor. Looking forward to seeing your wall color:))

  • Lucy says:

    It is always exciting to have something new even a new accessory or two. I think it is hard to think of redoing a room and especially during the. holidays. We are being distracted by Christmas colors whatever they may be. For me it is hard to get a clear picture in mind what I want the room to look like. I take my hat off to you for doing a complete makeover at this time of the year. So looking forward to the new reveal!

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family!

  • Michelle says:

    Still so jealous of how you found that Eames Lounger.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Lynne says:

    I’m loving your simplified mantle. It’s a personal thing but I sometimes feel visually overwhelmed by Christmas decor.

  • PursuitofPerfect says:

    Love the update – it looks both serene and interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  • I never liked the raspberry curtains and the black and white rug needed to balance the colors. I’m looking forward to the next iteration.

  • Breanna says:

    I have special feelings for raspberry color this year, and it was hard for me to find the right combination of colors with it. But I like how you did it, so bright and lively! It cheers me up! Thank you for inspiration.

  • Brooke says:

    Thanks for the links to the selected decorative and furnishing items, but missing was a link to the fabulous necklace you are wearing. Your living and dining room look lovely, but so do you! Love your entire ensemble, especially the shoes! 🙂

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