December 16, 2014

Christmas 2014 Home Tour...Part Two

Thanks for coming by to see the living room of the Christmas
Open House Tour at Kopy Kat Kottage!  

This is the third year that I have used DIY bleached bottle brush 
trees as the main decorating element in the living room.
They are such an inexpensive (if you bleach them yourself)
yet warm, fuzzy, classic version of a Christmas tree. 

 Each year the mantle in the living room has taken on a 
 different look with the little trees depending on the other 
accessories used in the display the trees. In 2012 old books
were the props with the trees.  In 2013 the trees were placed in
glass apothecary jars with epsom salt mimicking snow. 

The Christmas 2014 Mantle pairs wood and wire elements 
with the bottle brush trees. 

When I attempted to make bottle brush tree wreaths, none of
them turned out as well I as had thought they would.  
This year I did add more trees to this wreath and I am liking 
it better.  It reminds me a little of a sunburst mirror.

The center of the mantle has a collection of trees held by a wood
and wire two-tier display stand from World Market. 

This angel used to be gold and not used very often. This past 
summer she got a chalk paint makeover and is more versatile now.


To the right of the mantle is a set of double bookcases.

In front of the double bookcase is an end table holding 
another vignette of bottle brush trees.  Epsom salt once
again gives the look of snow. 

(Epsom salt is cheap...about $1 per pound.  This salt has also been re-used for the third year. 
Just put it in sealable plastic bags and store in a dry place if you want to save it.)

The other end table holds more trees.

The coffee table is kept pretty simple to allow it to be a good
landing place for drinks, etc.  This wire frame reminds me of a
mini-cathedral. I got it at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago...
I think they still are carrying it. 

Looking to the left of the mantle/fireplace is a single bookcase.

Wire baskets lined with shed birch bark...

"Top Shelf" in my house does not mean "the best". Usually I put
things on the top shelf that I don't want folks to see too well like
these metal trees that I thought I could spray paint to look 
similar to bottle brush trees (that don't so much). 

Another way to disguise trees that don't turn out 
quite right is to spray them with adhesive and 

On the wall opposite from the sofa is a thrift store
 re-painted console with frames holding Christmas cards above it.

Originally I made the framed chicken wire to hold Christmas
cards. I have ended up leaving it up year-round and using
it to decorate seasonal displays like Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day, Summer, Fall, etc. 

The Christmas cards are held in place with tiny clothespins.

The top of the console holds mini-winter-wonderland scenes
made from glass vases, small Christmas-village-type people
(these are now available pretty inexpensively at Wal-Mart 
and craft stores), epsom salt and more bottle brush trees. 

If you want to try the "glass/epsom salt/bottle brush tree"
 combo in a small version, here's a place to start...

If you walk towards the back of the living room, you will
come into the kitchen area.  It doesn't have a lot of Christmas
decorations but it does have an off-shoot of the little bleached
trees on the kitchen table...I call them bottle brush critters.

Most of the bottle brush menagerie came from Michael's a couple
of years ago as a line of ornaments that they had that year. 
All I had to do to them was to cut the tags and hangers off.
I have collected a few other critters when I run across them. 

The "milk glass" stands they are on are actually just inexpensive
glass or plastic pieces from Dollar Tree or yard sales that have 
been spray painted white.
For better information on spray painting items to look like milk glass, you can click on

Over by the oven/stove in the kitchen is another small vignette.

It has a moose cookie jar from Hobby Lobby (that I probably 
bought for myself while I was supposed to be shopping for others).
He is elevated on a cake stand and surrounded by iced 
oatmeal cookies and Mexican wedding cookies which 
both look like the are snow-covered to me. 

Next to him are cute dish towels from my friend, Donna.
The Christmas rabbit was made by my sister, Jeanne.
My grand daughter, Lilly, made me the cute Christmas chalk
drawing on the home-made chalk board when she was at 
my house at Thanksgiving. 

Thank you so much for coming to visit my holiday living room
 and kitchen! If you would like to see the outside decor and 
the dining room decorated click on
Christmas Open House Tour Part One. 

I am sharing this post over at these blog parties...
Dwellings' Amaze Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
Sand and Sisal's Inspire Me Monday
Between Naps On The Porch's Metamorphosis Monday
Knick of Time's Vintage Inspiration Party


  1. What a beautiful home, and I love how you kept the bottle brush tree theme running through several rooms. Merry Christmas! :)

  2. Gayle your home always looks so have a way with always creating such beautiful vignettes and displays! LOVE all your bottle brush trees! Merry Christmas my friend!

  3. I love all your bottle brush trees, Gayle...and your wreaths, too. Everything looks festive and beautiful. So pretty. The room looks amazing. xo Diana

  4. Oh my word, I had no idea that bottle brusht trees could be so beautiful. I need to find 100 or so and bleach them, yours are absolutely stunning. Such amazing displays.

  5. Every detail is wonderful! Love all the bottle brush trees and the way you so artfully displayed the small items to make them more important.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the inspiration. :)

  6. Gorgeous! I love trees and I've bleached them too - just like this :) I love groupings of them like you've done - your mantel is amazing!

  7. Wow! You have an amazing collection of bottle brush trees! You show so many great ideas for displaying them, too. I enjoyed your post very much. :-) Merry Christmas!

  8. Everything is beautiful Kitty. I just love the bottle brush tree wreath. I may have to copy that! Have a Merry Christmas.

  9. Just WOW !!! ... I see now that I will be stocking up on bottle brush trees this coming year. What you have done is amazing. Love the wreaths. I may have to copy a Kopy Kat.
    Christmas Blessings,
    Audrey Z.

  10. I just love how you used all those bottle brush trees! I tried bleaching some but they had too much flocking on them I think! Love the scenes in glass and the wreaths!

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