Someone stopped by our house the other day for a tour and asked me if I had a favorite room.

I didn’t even have to think.

Don’t tell the other rooms, but this is my number one.

My go-to.

My ride or die.

It’s at the very center of our house and you can stand in the middle of it and see the front door at one end and the back door at the other end. I think someone told me the house was designed like that for airflow way before air conditioning was invented. There’s a wrap-around staircase with beautiful moldings and the prettiest banister. I used to wait for Santa on the very first step and we take family pictures on the staircase every year.

It’s a beautiful room that looks beautiful all year round.

But at Christmas?

It’s a supermodel.

Here’s how I decorated it (and an easy way to attach garland) this year.

Here’s the view from the back door.

This small dresser is a piece that we inherited from my husband’s grandmother.

It was damaged so I distressed it (you can see how I distress wood in minutes here).

On top is a stack of stamped books that I linked here (you can add anything to the books you want).

I added a trio of snow-flocked trees and this advent calendar.

One of my best new finds this season is this reed diffuser from Hearth and Hand at Target that is scented with cypress and pine.

You can see it here.

I just make sure to turn the sticks every day and it makes this entire entryway smell like Christmas.

The staircase is wrapped with garland.

And guess how I attached it?

I just used jute twine to tie it onto the staircase. That’s IT. I had tried everything (command hooks, wire, ribbon) and nothing holds it in place like a simple strand of jute twine. I just wrapped it around the hooks on the garland and tied it in a knot (I’ll cut it off after the holidays).

The garland came from a local store here, but I added in different types of greenery to it. I think that’s the secret to a really pretty garland—mixing your greens. You can add magnolia or eucalyptus or cedar and take it to the next level.

I found the prettiest white velvet ribbon here.

And you can layer it with this wide weave burlap ribbon here to make similar bows to these on my staircase.

Here’s a photograph of the entire staircase so you can see how I draped the garland.

Make sure when you hang it you have someone else to help eyeball it so you make sure your garland swags are even and not too glumpy on one side.

(total aside: I’m not even sure if glumpy is a word, but the twins and I use it on the regular).

Here’s the tree in my office that’s just off the main entryway.

This nativity set was made by my grandmother and she hand-stitched every line.

I tucked it under the tree on these metal boxes this year.

Joseph is falling over and one of the wisemen needs a hair implant, but that makes it even more precious to me.

On the other side of the room, I added a swag of greenery to my favorite yard sale hutch.

And then I added these little Christmas tree ornaments that I bought downtown on our square.

On top is a vintage toolbox with an entire village of paper trees.

Right at the entrance to the office, I have this entire set of reindeer.

I’ve decided it’s my new thing and I’m starting to collect them.

The straw ones I bought at Target this year and I found the tiny wooden reindeer at Wayfair years ago.

I know you aren’t supposed to have room favorites.

You are supposed to love them all equally.

And try to. I really do.


It’s just when I’m handing out the Christmas joy and decorations.

I save a little something special for here.

Merry Christmas from my favorite room to yours. 🙂

PS My brother filmed an ENTIRE Christmas tour of the space with me and I should have it posted on YouTube today or tomorrow. Make sure you are following along with me over there to get a notification when it goes live. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jayne @ Chalking Up Success Jayne @ Chalking Up Success

    Thanks for sharing this KariAnne. For some reason, I always find my staircase the hardest of all to decorate. In my Christmas home tour this week I kind of cheated with the stairs - oops! I'm pinning this so I remember to try your tips next year!

  2. Image for Heather Forkey Heather Forkey

    Another really great way to hang garland from banisters, railings, etc is to use monofilament fishing line. It is clear so it is invisible and you can choose the "test" (strength) based on how heavy what you are hanging is. it's very inexpensive, easy to tie and you just cut it when you are ready to take everything down!

  3. Image for Laura Laura

    For someone that is alone and does not really decorate for the holidays, seeing your home decked out brings me joy! And, yes, glumpy is a word. In my dictionary at least.

  4. Image for Betsy Betsy

    It’s no wonder it’s your favorite spot. It’s where loved ones and dear friends arrive……surprise packages too!

  5. Image for Kris Kris

    In my family, my mom used the word glumpy (or sometimes glunky) on the regular, but it referred to the weather. You know, those dreary sunless, cheerless days with just enough drizzle to be miserable but not enough to be useful. It's funny that your family has its own definition. I think I would refer to your hanging-the-garland situation as clumpy. Ha. Anyway .... I love love love your entry and stairwell area. And yes, it's exceptionally beautiful at Christmas.

  6. Image for Joanne Joanne

    Oh KariAnne I never miss a day of your blog and I’m glad this was no exception! What a beautiful staircase ! I love all your decorating. I’m saving all your tips for when my big addition is completed. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

  7. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Love this area all you do. Will look for the tour. Thank you for all the tips, etc. Enjoy the holidays with your family. Blessings,

  8. Image for Calypso in the Country Calypso in the Country

    I'm totally using your technique next year. My garland is pretty heavy and I always have the hardest time wrapping all those ties and things around it to keep it in place. You're a genius!... And I like the word glumpy! Cheers! Shelley

  9. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Your favorite room is the showboat of the house-it sets the stage for all the other lovely rooms. Thanks for the hints on hanging garland. Twine is always in my floral basket. Glumpy is a perfect word to describe what you are talking about.

  10. Image for PJ PJ

    At first I thought that was one of your daughters standing on the staircase in that pretty velvet dress. What a beautiful setting for a beautiful soul!


    KariAnne, your staircase is just beautiful and so are you standing there with your lovely dress. Your home is always decorated so beautifully but Christmas is my very favorite! Enjoy your lovely home with your precious family this Christmas! God Bless You All!

  12. Image for Lori Lori

    Your entry way there has always been my favorite too. I love the wood textures with the white and how they mingle with the beautiful chandelier and how bright it is. I bet there were some wonderful photos taken there many years ago. White is my favorite color as it's ethereal feeling to me. Who knows why but I find it calming. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. I'm sure they appreciate all your homey works as much as we do on your blog.

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    We all love you KariAnn and your home, its beautifully decorated as always, i love the deer also and your big white bows are so pretty. Glunky works for me!! I love twine for all things, wont scratch anything and is easy to take down!! I am with ya girl!

  14. Image for Lynne Zemaitis Lynne Zemaitis

    This is all so lovely, KariAnne! Thank you for sharing the great tips and for sharing your precious nativity. I hope you and your family are enjoying a beautiful holiday season!

  15. Image for Cindy Cindy

    So pretty and I wish I thought of using jute in our old house We seem to try new ways to hang garland instead if something so easy In our home now stairs aren't a concern anymore. Beautiful and special you have family pieces that are special.

  16. Image for Kim Kim

    Oh, Karianne, it's all just perfect, and I absolutely love that sweet little nativity that your precious grandmother made! What a sweet treasure at Christmas!

  17. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Dreamy decorations everywhere. A house with front and back doors aligned for air circulation was called a "Shotgun House" years ago, LOL. One could stand at the front door and shoot through the back door. One of those hilarious yet descriptive names from the South/Texas ?! Yours is way too elegant to have such a description. Enjoy your beautiful nest filled with your loved ones this Christmas.

  18. Image for Vivi J Bottoms Vivi J Bottoms

    Oh my Goodness! Absolutely Heavenly A holiday paradise. I Love it! Thank you for sharing. Have a Joyous Holiday.

  19. Image for MaryAnn Merrell MaryAnn Merrell

    Hi! I have been following you for a few years, love your work! And congratulations on your weight loss! So I am very surprised that you would work with McDonalds as a sponsor. Just seems like the wrong message to send. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

Comments are closed.