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Holiday Tour of My Home 2016

By 12/15/2016January 29th, 201957 Comments

In front of my Kelly Green front door

Welcome to my house!

This is the pared down version since this year we leave for Palm Desert on Christmas Day and won’t return until the end of January.

Because we aren’t going to be here for the entire season, I put up a flocked tree again in the family room and installed a more simple mantle.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with flocked trees, they are preserved and only last the season. But the beautiful thing about them is that they come on a stand. No more back and forth trying to get your tree to stand straight.

And since most ornaments are colourful, they really stand out on a white tree.

Maria's flocked Christmas Tree

Holiday Vignette with Penguins

Family room with cream slipcovered sectional

Holiday bar vignette

I set up a bar on my console table and used some of the fancy bottle toppers on the liquor bottles that sit around in my drawers waiting to be used on bottles of wine.

My sister gave me a fun Jonathan Adler face (below).

Fancy bottle stoppers for liquor bottles!

Holiday Bar Vignette

White flocked christmas tree and mantle

Cedar Garland Holiday Mantle

Christmas Gifts in Kelly Green

I got my kitchen all festive too with an ivy wreath, little shrubs and angel wings on the back of the counter stools.

Holiday kitchen with Nougat Caesarstone Countertops

Upper Shelves in holiday kitchen

White subway tile backsplash holiday kitchen

Paper whites and shrubs along with angel wings.

Breakfast area, banquette, holiday

Breakfast room, banquette.

I would like to thank Ted Karlsalr my photography instructor (below). I hired him to give me some extra photography tips while I was shooting my home, I wanted to make sure I was using all the right settings.

Ted introduced me to the world of Lightroom. I didn’t know that it comes with Photoshop when you buy the monthly plan from Adobe.

Lightroom manages all your photos, automatically saves all your changes, and is much faster for editing. You only need to move them into Photoshop if you need to do things like take out wires, etc. And you can download them right into Lightroom when you are shooting so you can easily see what has to be moved in order to get the photo absolutely perfect.

Ted regularly holds classes on photography, Photoshop and Lightroom, it was only when I started taking his classes 3 years ago that my photos on this blog started to improve dramatically.

After I took his Photoshop class, every couple weeks I would go to his office for an hour or two of private lessons so I could learn exactly what I needed to know to edit my design photos and they were hugely valuable. Go here to see his available courses.

Photography lesson

Maria Killam and Ted Karlsalr

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I have two more holiday tours coming up before Christmas is here! Only 10 more days, are you ready?

Related posts:

Christmas Tour of my House 2015: Flocked or Green?

2014 Holiday Tour of my House in Canadian Living Magazine

Holiday Tour of Elizabeth (my sister) and Bill’s Home

74 pins


  • karen says:

    Always such a breath of fresh air and happiness Maria. So gorgeous…I just love it.

  • So fresh and clean. Love the white and green together, Bravo!

  • Centsational Girl says:

    So lovely!!! Such a fresh color palette and your home is gorgeous! xo Merry Christmas!

  • Absolutely beautiful, as always! I love everything, and your mantel is magical.

  • Beautiful Maria! Looks like a green Christmas! Enjoy your holiday in Palm Desert.All the best to you in 2017

  • Ange says:

    Everything is beautiful. I loved the angel wings on the chairs.

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    I say ditto to everyone who has complimented your beautiful home! The green on the white tree is so fresh and simple! Love it all. I sure need help taking classes on photography. You do a great job!

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and a safe trip to Palm Desert.

    P.S. Love your boots!

  • Colleen Coleman says:

    Maria, beautiful as ever! Have a wonderful trip to Palm Desert! Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

  • mary says:

    Love the fresh and clean green.

  • Lisa says:

    Looks beautiful as usual! I’ve never heard of a flocked tree for one season. Is it a live tree? Flocked trees are so beautiful and wintery.

    Thanks for all of your posts on the importance of photography. It’s a skillset I’ve wanted to grow for some time and plan to take classes this year. Do you have any camera recommendations?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes it is a live tree, it’s just preserved so it doesn’t need any water and the needles don’t fall off!
      I have a Canon Camera but it’s really all about the lens, if you take lessons, your instructor will tell you exactly what to buy!
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Ok, you’ve convinced me. Faux greens are the way to go. Your mantel looks so good! I’m about ready to throw out my greens.
    I love your white tree. It’s perfect for your home.
    And I think Pantone got their idea for Greenery from seeing your home. It’s truely lovely!

    • Karen Gaudun says:

      So pretty Maria!! Love the angel wings : ) Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your time in Palm Springs!

  • Kimberly Wright says:

    Your house looks lovely, as usual! Merry Christmas to you and Terreeia!

  • Holli Amato says:

    So fresh, I love your Christmas decor! Simple, yet beautiful❤️ Merry Christmas!

  • jeannine says:

    Really pretty!

  • Ivy Lane says:

    Maria, Thank you for sharing your beautiful, festive home with us! Merry Christmas!


  • Ann says:

    Beautiful, soft and relaxing. What is the wall color in your family room?

  • Ann says:

    What is the wall color? Beautiful

  • Rebecca says:

    Your fireplace looks so much better than in years before. High quality garland will last for several years. I like to add a bit of real evergreen from our yard to give our rooms a fresh smell and for some added texture.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Fresh colors against white look amazing for an updated Christmas. Your pictures tell a beautiful story. Happy Relaxation!! Xo jan

  • Mariko says:

    So beautiful. White,with touches of fresh green and yellow, what could be lovelier?! Your home is absolutely gorgeous. Merry Christmas Maria.

  • Maureen says:

    I totally love the look, all so pretty. Your storage must be pretty large to hold everything you have to put out :). Lovely accents.

    Lightroom I have used for years, but I definitely could use the ability to use Photoshop for some things.

    One suggestion on your photos, is that I think you have a different white balance for your Living room photos with the tree, they look really yellow/orange, not fond of that. It is good to set the same WB for a consistency in all, when doing a spread. The one of your mantle alone looks much cooler, fresher than the one with tree and mantle, for example.

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Maureen,
      That is a great tip thanks! And I did take the photo of the mantle the next day when I realized it was missing from the rest!
      Thanks for your comment!

  • franki says:

    All is bright, all is white…it really looks just right!!! franki

  • Brenda says:

    Merry Christmas Maria! Your home looks beautiful. Thank you so much for all the work you and your team put into your blog. It is so helpful! All the best for a wonderful 2017!

  • gogogramma says:

    Love the fireplace, actually love it all. Where did those adorable white penguins come from?!

    • Maria Killam says:

      HomeSense. . . where else? But I have had them for a few years and I pull them out in the winter time 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Deesha says:

    Beautiful! I was thinking of you the other day because I want to choose exterior decorations that actually go with my exterior colors. We have just sort of used what we inherited each year. But it doesn’t match my brick! My search is on! Thank you for all of the lovely inspiration!

  • Ann says:

    I LOVE the angel wings!

  • Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Maria.

  • Lana says:

    Phenomenal photos, Maria! Your best yet.

  • Fran says:

    Your home looks so fresh and inviting, Maria! I love love love it! I hope you and Terreeia have a wonderful time in Palm Desert!

  • Rhonda says:

    So incredibly fresh and beautiful. Have a great vacation.

  • I look forward to your Christmas Tour post every year. And…this year is as beautiful as ever!

    I love the two trees in the kitchen…in the corner by the stove in one view and on the windowsill in another. Are they wood? Or soapstone? From this side of the computer monitor, they look like gorgeous little works of art.

  • Connie says:

    Lovely! I do not miss the trendy hot pink at all. Terrific idea for the bottle stoppers! (ps you must not get all the mud and slush mess we get in MN!)

  • Your house looks beautiful, Maria! Fresh and festive.

  • sharon says:

    Look forward to your Christmas home tour every year Maria. It is so refreshing to see a well coordinated decor even at christmas (compared to the inherited stuff I am begged to bring out each year!) Must say I missed seeing your living room/dining room and the fireplace there as well as the touches you add to your bedroom. Did you not do them at all this year because of the trip?

    Have a wonderful month away from our cold winter this year. This was the year to go!

  • Your house looks fresh, festive and beautiful!

    The photos are beautiful, too. I love that you are learning Lightroom through Ted. I wish he was in Seattle!


  • carolanne says:

    love your home design for Christmas, clean and pretty… we pick up Christmas from our locker across town tomorrow… Merry Christmas !

  • jeannie casey says:


  • Susie says:

    You really do white well! Your home is decorated so beautifully and tastefully. I was just wondering if you did the photos, since they were so professional, not not credited. It’s amazing how a good teacher can really improve your game.
    Merry Christmas. Thanks for a year of great ideas.

  • Deb Teitelbaum says:

    Love the counter stools with the angel wings! So fun!

    Can I ask who manufactures the counter stools? They look super comfy and durable! Thanks!

  • Tina Meyer says:

    I just love the pics of your home, Maria. They always looks so clean and fresh and are decorated nicely. I hope you both enjoy your stay in Palm Desert and wish you a great holiday season. I look forward to more posts in 2017 I enjoy so much reading them. Have a great new year.

  • Evelyn says:

    Just beautiful Maria! As a landscape designer I couldn’t help but offer a tip on potted plants, such as the one by your front door. The white bits of vermiculite in potting mixes aren’t particularly attractive. You can hide them with a thin layer of moss, soil or even finely ground bark mulch. The devil is in the details!

  • Mary says:

    Hi, Maria. I recently purchased your books when they were on sale. I am so looking forward to reading them…but how do I get the pdf Download? I haven’t received any emails with links.

  • Gery says:

    Just beautiful and bright. I notice that you have dark metal colors in your accessories, but have chosen polished chrome and silver for the hardware, including the curtain rods. Is there a rule of thumb for metal choices?

    Thanks for sharing your home.

  • Alisa says:

    Maria, when you’re in downtown Palm Springs you will no doubt go to the Uptown Design District to see the great mid-century modern shops. You MUST visit Pelago at 901 North Palm Canyon Dr. The owners Bill and Mark have the best eye for design and you will love them (everyone does!).

  • Gery says:

    You are so lucky to have each other as a neighbors. I agree with everything. My decorations are always victorian, which appeals to actual, and inner children.

  • Claire Christensen says:

    Maria, I thoroughly enjoyed the tours through your and Lois’ homes! Both are completely different, but completely lovely.

    Happy Holidays and have a wonderful time in Palm Springs!

    Big hug,


  • Patricia says:

    I love the pops of green in your cozy home! Would you mind sharing where you picked up your kitchen rug? Thanks!

    • Maria Killam says:

      HomeSense (or HomeGoods) but check Dash and Albert for indoor/outdoor black and white ones good for a kitchen!! x Maria

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