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Decorating My HomeHoliday

The Secret Polka Dots in my Holiday 2019 Living Room

Look closely at this photo (below), if you know my dining room, you’ll notice something different. The backs of my dining chairs are black and white polka dots instead of stripes.

That’s because when I was choosing the fabric for the backs of my dining chairs I couldn’t decide between stripes and polka dots so I ended up not choosing and doing three of each.

In the end, I preferred the stripes but that’s because in order for the polka dots to really look good the chairs should have been black and not white. The fabric should have had a black background with white polka dots to be even better.

But, this season I pulled them out for the photo because they happened to match my outfit.

Here’s what you normally see:

And here’s the rest of my living room decorated for this season. I don’t normally have a tree in here but last year I bought a faux green one and this year a white faux flocked tree and since Terreeia opinion on Christmas decor is that there can never be enough, so I installed a tree in here too:

Love my oversize flower art (left), see more flower pieces by James Wiens here.

Photos by Macy Yap Photography

My sisters joined in on the fun wearing holiday sweaters with reversible sequins that you smooth out with your hand back and forth and it changes from naughty to nice :

You can follow my sisters on Instagram: Elizabeth Jacobs and Lea Junttila

The above sweaters are sold out, but The Gap still has a fun selection of ‘flippy sequins’ tops, My nephews have a bunch of t-shirts reversible sequins on them and they are so fun! Such a fun gift idea!

Is your house decorated for Christmas?

PS. I have a question about re-gifting. I love Marie Kondo’s philosophy which is that the act of giving or receiving a gift sparks joy and then if it’s not for you, pass it on to someone else who would love it!

What do you think?

Related posts:

Our Annual Holiday Party: Merry Christmas

4 Keys to Fresh Holiday Decor (Even with Brown Furniture)

The Holiday Home of my Neighbour; The Rose Whisperer

37 pins


  • Cornelia says:

    Those owls are great! I once saw some uber-chic black patent leather French dining room chairs…kid proof!
    Also, thanks to you I am now a flocked tree convert.
    Thanks, Maria!

  • Stacy G says:

    It’s all lovely, including your family.
    We live in such a disposable world that regifting seems to be the responsible thing to do. We keep our gifts to our children to a maximum of three each, but we make those meaningful so they don’t quickly lose their appeal and end up in the donations basket.

  • Mara says:

    I am a re-gifter, I feel if I don’t think I would use it, but know someone else who probably would, I give it as a gift even if it isn’t for Christmas, my friends love me 😉 I like the polka dot side, but I do agree it would look better as a black background with white dots.

  • Loren says:

    Merry Christmas
    I admit to having mixed feelings about regifting. I usually end up donating the gift to Goodwill so someone can enjoy it; I’m uncomfortable with passing it on to friends or family. Perhaps it’s silly but I feel I’d be betraying the original gift-giver.
    Ps LOVE the Polka dot hosiery.

  • Sandy says:

    I enjoyed the “find the polka dots” – not just the chair backs but all the dots of round table tops, the mirror on the wall behind the table, the side view of a wreath, the myriad dots of Christmas-ball ornaments (especially red, which really stand out), and on and on… I went into the internet vortex of searching for “why do we have round shiny Christmas-ball ornaments” – oh yeah, and I presume those reversible sequins are fields of little dots too (the world in pointillism).

  • Candice Hill says:

    Hello, Maria…I so love your posts, and that you attach related posts. They bring me so much joy! I hope you, Terreeia and your whole family have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!! Enjoy your wonderful life!!!! Love, Candy ????

  • celestial says:

    What I love most about your blog is seeing your house…and seeing that it is not GREY. I have seen so many new and redecorated homes with the charm of a federal prison…but not yours. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Sandy says:

    Beautiful home! Would love to know more about the dining room chairs – where to purchase?
    Thanks, Sandy

    • Maria Killam says:

      I found them in a consignment store and had them completely redone! Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Marina says:

    Dear Maria,

    I love your posts, your attention to details and your choise of decorations! I only hope to get a house soon where I could use your ideas… I really agree with Loren here who says that regifting is a betrayal. Of course celebrities receive so many gifts that they can’t even keep them and, therefore, there friends could take those gifts. Also, in some countries there is a custom to give gifts at work, as an obligation, and often this is something unnecessary… But my friends’ gifts are precious, because close people put their souls into it. These gifts will be with me till my old days, because they are part of my life. Loyal people simply can’t do regifting .. ♥+♥

  • Kathryn Sims says:

    Your home is just adorable and so very cheery – you have a fabulous talent that makes this whole world brighter- thank you for your blog and hope to be in one of your classes in 2020!

  • Maryanne says:

    I LOVE the polka dots!
    Very cute photo shoot with your two beautiful sisters!

  • Sharon says:

    Maria, I actually preferred the polka dots you have…even with the yellow seats. And I like them just the way they are …black on white. They have a certain “tension” in the whole over all decor of the room that provides interest..that certain something that to me is magical, which I wouldn’t expect anything less of in your house! Thank you for pulling those chairs out for the view. I absolutely love gobsmacked with design elements!

  • Joanna says:

    Your home is so joyful! I love that you share it with us.
    You are so lucky to have your sisters and mom close by and close. Seeing these two hamming it up for you brings a smile to my face.
    I have no problem regifting, otherwise it just sits unused, unloved, gathering dust. I give these things to friends, not as a wrapped gift but to pass it along to someone who will appreciate it. Or, donate it to the Salvation Army. I feel good knowing someone will be enjoying it.

  • Lucy says:

    Wow I’m seeing spots before my eyes! It makes me wonder if there is a psychological reason why we are drawn to certain patterns?
    Your house makes me happy just to see all of your beautiful accessories. You certainly think outside of the box! Also I love the closeness that you have with your sisters and mom! Such a beautiful family! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New and prosperous Year!

  • Susan Burch says:

    Polka dots much better than the stripes 🙂

  • Tara says:

    Hi Maria,

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    I love the polka dot chairs. So refreshing and unexpected.

    And I love the large flower art and the naught & nice holiday sweaters your beautiful sisters are wearing.

    As for regifting – I think that’s a no no unless it’s a White Elephant gift exchange. Better to donate it to Goodwill or sell it online, imho.

    Enjoy the holidays! Looks like you all already are!!


  • Elaine says:

    I LOVE the polka dots on the chair! I also love that you use so much color in your space which is so refreshing from the norm. Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging the rest of us to not be afraid of color.

  • mrsben says:

    LOVE how you have styled everything Maria (particularly the angel wings on the tree …. ☺). In respect to re-gifting; on occasion I have passed a few items on rather than have it hang in a closet or sit on a shelf collecting dust (etc.) but never re-wrap as more of a ‘thinking of you gesture’ when I know I have no need of it, but they may. To conclude; do hope SANTA is good to you and wishing you and all your family A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. Warmest hugs -Brenda-

  • Hi Maria, you look adorable! And so do Elizabeth and Lea 🙂

    And your living room looks great!

    Re-gifting sounds like a good idea. It’s better than a gift sitting in a closet unused.

  • Mimi says:

    LOVe polka dots and the ones you are wearing.
    Your posts about your home reflect so much joy.
    Wishing you and your family-and team-Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

  • Michelle says:

    Is that a new table on the right side of the sofa? Love it!

  • Cynthia says:

    I too love seeing your home and family! All so BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
    Regifting…. I am ok with it… our family does it, but openly.. usually wrapped in newsprint with a tag that says “Regifted with love”????
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!

    • Maria Killam says:

      I love that haha I’m stealing it thanks! I don’t like waste so I fully believe in re-gifting especially if you know someone else will appreciate it so much more 🙂 Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • sandyc says:

    Maria, loved this post because of the pics showing the “other sides” of the rooms which one rarely gets to see. Extra wonderful because your home is not museum white or federal prison grey (as celestial dubbed it) or everything blue and white (lovely in itself but not when every blogger’s home tour looks like every other blogger’s home tour). As Lucy said, you do think outside the box (beautifully) which I love to do as well and there are so many ideas that spark when I look at the extra views.

    As for regifting, I think it depends so much on the situation and perhaps it can go wrong more often than right. I do think there are occasions when you decide to rehome something and you might more easily offer it to someone else because you honestly think they might like it. I had that opportunity just last week and the new neighbor I offered a lovely handpainted wooden doored letterbox in my favorite shade of yellow green (which another neighbor had offered me and which simply didn’t fit where I wanted to use it) became hers because she loves that same shade of yellow green and has a couple of pieces I covet. It was a pleasant experience for both of us, I think.

  • Pat from Wisconsin says:

    Kondo said a gift has served its purpose when it is given. Therefore the recipient can do whatever they want with it: keep, donate, toss. I’d say regifting is consistent with this philosophy. Thank goodness! I do it all the time. Love your blog!

  • Anne Elise Hudson says:

    My first Christmas tree after a 15 year hiatus…worth every second of the time and money. Makes me happy to walk into the room.
    A process question: do you put on your garland FIRST, after the lights, or LAST?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes I think it’s easier if you add the garland first, but after the lights for sure 🙂 Maria

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