Friday, December 23, 2011

'Tis the night before Christmas Eve!

'Tis the night before Christmas Eve! And it's been a long time since I've done a new post. I thought of putting the blog to bed and saying it's been a good run, but I think I'd miss blogging. I know I'd miss the sweet friends I've made in Blogland. I appreciate all of you more than you know.

After a busy day of cooking, wrapping gifts, and dropping off food and flowers for neighbors and friends, I decided to share a few pictures of this year's Christmas decorations. There's so little that's different from last year's efforts that I almost crossed it off my "to do" list (by that I mean posting about it -- not the decorating itself!). If you've visited Affordable Accoutrements before, you know I love entertaining family and friends.

I'm glad you're here! It's a gloomy day, and it's been raining. But it's warm inside -- come on in, OK?

I made a magnolia wreath for the front door again, using leaves from a neighbor's tree (some of the branches extend over the back fence, so no trespassing was required!). It took about thirty minutes to hot glue the leaves to an inexpensive (old and battered) artificial greenery wreath. Maybe next year, I'll do a more painstaking job. But probably not. Perfection can be boring, don't you think?

So far the ferns flanking the door don't seem to realize it's December in Tennessee! They're somewhat protected by the porch and seem to enjoy the cooler temperatures and indirect morning sun ...

The garland on the staircase is artificial, but I inserted greenery clippings here and there to create a more realistic illusion. The clippings were free at Lowe's! I attached the garland to the railing with plastic-coated wire and covered the wire with drapery tie-backs with tassels.

If you look closely, it's easy to see that it's not real, but at a glance (particularly in the evening when the lighting is softer), I think the overall effect can be appealing.

The mantel in the sitting room received a similar treatment ...

Candles always enhance the mood, and mirrors can be an asset in maximizing the effect (as they were in the days before electrical lighting).

Even on days when the dining room's not being used for serving meals to guests, a centerpiece flanked by candles warms and softens the space ...

The double-light candleholders are vintage Fostoria in the Holly pattern. The tall single ones were a Goodwill find.

I wired some inexpensive glittered ornaments to the garland in the den to create extra sparkle.

This year's tree is a much smaller one than the one from 2011. It goes up faster and requires far fewer decorations. It also interferes less with traffic flow in the room.

My favorite new/old ornaments are the mid-century blown glass teardrop ones. They were still in their original box from Sears. I think I paid $1 for 5.

I noticed a few bare spots on the tree after I'd put away the decorations. Drapery tie-backs to the rescue again! I love repurposing, don't you?

What to do with the pine cone wreath that had been on the front door ... how to use the leftover magnolia leaves ...

A thrifted glass candleholder in the middle and Voilà -- instant centerpiece!

Would you like to see the rest of the table? ;)

Come back next week, and I'll try to have two versions for you to see: a fantasy table for 8 and the scaled-back version of the real dinner party for 4.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!


  1. Good morning on a lovely crisp morning here in the UK. Good to see your blog post. The house looks lovely with it's decorations. Where do you put the Christmas cards you receive??
    My blog is still in bed, not sure if and when it will get up again!!

    As you can guess this Christmas will be very special for us with Harry, now 7 months old.

    Have a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. Jackie in Surrey, UK.x

  2. Good to see you! Beautiful, as always - Merry Christmas to you all...

  3. Hi Bill.

    Its so good to see you. I love your holiday decor this year. Magnolia leaves always look great to me and you used them well..
    You've been missed.

    Merry Christmas

  4. Bill, So glad you decided to post again. Please don't put your beautiful blog to bed. It's such a treat to see your creations, even if they are few and far between. I always look forward to your posts and this one did not disappoint. Happy Holidays to you. Dianne

  5. Very Pretty!
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas !

  6. Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël from Canada.
    We all feel like throwing in the towel on our blogs at some point.
    Usually the feeling passes. I sure hope it does here. Sometimes we just have to scale back a little....words that I don't think are in your vocabulary. Lol.
    As I was looking at your photos I instantly knew I have to hang pearls like that from my tree. They would fit in perfectly. Next year!
    Big hugs Bill. I hope your Christmas is filled with peace, love and joy.

  7. Merry Christmas, Bill. I have missed you and your blog. I love the mantel with the simple glass pieces.
    Hope you will continue to post every once in a while.

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Greetings and kisses:)

  9. Bill, I was just thinking last night that I hadn't seen a post from you in ages and here you are!!!!! I am SOOOOOO happy you didn't decide to shut down your blog! You are so inspiring to everyone, please stay! Your decorations are all beautiful. The ornaments on the tree are gorgeous, I REALLY want to shop with YOU!!!!! Wishing you and your loved ones a very merry and blessed Christmas! Can't wait to see the tables. XO, Pinky

  10. Merry Christmas Bill. Your decorations are stunning. You always do such lovely things, I really like the pretty bows and the tassels are a very creative touch. Your tree is exquisite. I hope you and all your family have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas filled with tons of love, laughter and Blessings.

  11. Merry Christmas, Bill. Thank you for taking the time during this busy season to post to your blog. Your decorations are gorgeous and your house is breathtaking. You are truly an inspiration. Yours is my very favorite blog and I've missed it. Please don't stop although I understand that it is time consuming. Enjoy this magical season with friends and family. Thanks again.

  12. Welcome back, big brother! Everything looks lovely and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!
    Best wishes,
    Gloria xxoo

  13. Bill, good to see a post from you. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you. I can relate about putting the blog to bed, but like you, I know I would miss all the friends I've made. So I post when I can and hope that friends will still stop by now and then. Look forward to seeing your table next week.
    Holiday Hugs ~ sarah

  14. Welcome back, Bill... please, please, please don't stop blogging!!! Okay?
    I still have so much to learn! You are a wealth of information, a guy with wonderful style and talent, and I would miss your posts terribly! And where could I easily find photos to show my DH of how I want our home to look? I love your home! Crown molding... I long for crown molding and wainscoting and archways properly trimmed. I digress...

    Merry Christmas and my Best Wishes in the New Year!

    p.s. What is the dish/bowl in the center of the mantle in the sitting room?

  15. Hi Bill!
    Everything looks lovely! Don't you dare quit on us!!
    Can't wait to see the tables apes!
    Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!!
    from and

  16. Merry Christmas Bill - I have a loss for words to describe how elegant and timeless and tasteful and exquisite your home is!! I can't believe the amazing things you find whilst thrifting. We simply don't have things like that here. We were in VA and DC in Oct. and in Alexandria I found several amazing thrift stores with lovely traditional east coast things. I was so thrilled. And you have the wonderful eye and taste to put them all together with your other beautiful, interesting things. Dreamy! Merry Christmas to you!
    Hugs from Canada, xo Terri

  17. Merry Christmas, Bill. It's nice to see you back!

  18. Merry merry Christmas Bill. It's great to see another fabulous post from you. You've been missed. I do love your style of decorating, it's quite elegant. I wish you all the peace of the season and multitudes of blessings and joy in the year to come.. xo marlis

  19. Absolutely beautiful holiday decor!

    Merry Christmas and blessings for the new year.


  20. I was missing you dear Bill! I'm so glad I can enjoy your gorgeous, elegant and inviting home...all you Christmas decor is beautiful, as always. May you have a terrific Christmas along with your family...are my wishes for you. Blessings.

  21. MerryChristmas and best wishes for a good new year. Love your blog and hope you find the time to continue. Much to learn and appreciate--nobody does it better.

  22. Merry Christmas, Bill! Everything looks very festive in TN.
    I know the feeling, I have done very few posts, just so much to do for the holidays!
    See you next week! What time? :)
    Are you near Cordova?

  23. You are so talented my friend!!!! LOVE what you did with the house! The colour palette is brilliant and all the decor is heavenly! Can't wait what you cook up next :)
    Have the most merry and love-filled Christmas, happiness and joy to you and yours and a blessed new year!


  24. Merry Christmas my beautiful friend!!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Coty

  25. Merry Christmas! Glad to see your post, always enjoy them and have missed seeing them. Thank you...I can only imagine the time and effort it takes.

  26. Merry Christmas, Bill. I am glad you decided not to abandon us or we would really miss you a lot. Your Christmas decorations are just gorgeous, and yes, I would love to see the rest of the table...Christine

  27. Merry Christmas Bill...

    It's so nice to see your post! I'm glad you decided not to leave all of your followers without your beautiful tables and decor!

    Your home looks beautiful and I can't wait to see the tables. I'm sure that your dinner party was wonderful!

    Happy Holidays and welcome back!!!

  28. Bill,
    I have been invisible for a while myself. Tablescapes are not a summer thing and I just am not back in my groove yet in Florida. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!


  29. Bill wishing you a very Merry Christmas. I would miss your posts so I hope you continue. They are like a rare gem when they appear and oh so special! No one sets a table quite like you do! hugs, Linda

  30. Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad!
    Wonderful decor!

    Big Hugs

  31. I'm so glad I stopped by here, this post lifted my spirits! I didn't do much decorating this year with a new grandbaby in the house, not much time or ambition, but you've given me wonderful ideas for next year! So great to mix the real greens with the fake garlands! And it must give you that wonderful Christmas scent in the house too!
    I LOVE your decorating style, not just the Christmas decorating, but your overall style. Your furnishings are PERFECTION!
    A very nice, warm, inviting home inside and out.
    LOVE the red door and you did a wonderful job with the magnolia wreath.
    Many Blessings in 2012!
    All the best,
    PS ~ Our Christmas did not go as planned at all, we've all been sick with colds and/or viruses. NOT FUN! Especially hard to see the baby with such labored breathing. So this post was a nice respite from reality!

  32. Your home is beautiful, Bill. Certainly worthy of the effort you put forth in decorating "her" for the holidays. So glad to have you share your home and your decorating with us, but the best news is that you've decided you'd miss blogging and all the friends who love each and every one of your posts. Thank you, Bill!! ~Zuni

  33. I was hoping you would post this Christmas. It is always so beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us. Happy New Year!

  34. Please don't put the blog to bed, Bill! (That's a lot of Bs all in a row!) I know it's a lot, but PLEASE don't put it to bed for good! Just let it take a very short little nap, if necessary. I would so (selfishly) miss seeing how you work your way around a table and the mini history lessons!!! Your home is so beautifully dressed for the Christmas holidays. I knew it would be! The tree is gorgeous (GREAT thinking with the tassels!!!) and the mantel is totally the bomb. (Outdated slang, yes...I know!) For all this and more...PLEASE don't put the blog to bed! It would give the rest of us nightmares! :-) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing the table all decked out!

  35. Bill, my goodness, you are the most inspiring tablescaper I know, so I cannot imagine you not being here!! Plus, you know everything about every pattern ever made, I think, so we need you, lol! Your holiday decor is just beautiful and exactly what I have come to expect from you...elegant, timeless and so classy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!

  36. Oh Bill, I am so glad you have returned. I, too, have difficulty in finding the time to photograph and then blog. And sometimes I think that perhaps I am just talking to myself. But you are an inspiration to many of us and I hope that you do decide to continue. I am your biggest fan (and you still are my Justin Beaber!)

  37. Bill, you did an absolutely fabulous job with your Christmas decor! But that doesn't surprise me one single bit. You rule! :-)

    I hope that you had a lovely Christmas. Your guests were mighty lucky to have such a gorgeous home to come to and enjoy. It is just stunning.

    Sending you warm Christmas wishes. I worked my way through the posts, and now, I am going back to comment. I'm amazed at your talent!


    Sheila :-)

  38. I would be so sad if you were to put your blog to bed. Each Thursday, I scroll through all the entries to see if you've been able to join us...always my favorite spot to stop for a visit. I think that you might be quite lucky that I don't live in Tennessee...I would be that pest that you made the mistake, in your kindness, of letting through the door...and who never recognizes that it's time to go home. And I do sense your gift of kindness each time that I visit your post. Thank you for generously continuing to share your glorious eye for design and your inspiring tablsescapes with us. I adore your metamorphosis table this week. I would be blessed to sit at either of them. Thank you, friend. Happy New Year! Cherry Kay

  39. So great to see your Christmas decor!

    I sure hope you don't put your blog to bed. Although you aren't blogging as often as you used to, it's still great to be able to visit when you do post. Life has it's twists and turns and blogging doesn't always make it's way, but I do so love to visit when you do post.

    - The Tablescaper

  40. Just discovered your blog. Beautiful holdiay decor Bill and great fun to read.