5 minute ideas with a minimalist Christmas junk decorating tour

Evergreen branch kitchen valance for Christmas decorating / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Our lead up to Christmas had the strangest twists this year.

All kinds of things happened, that required my time in other places other than decorating and preparing for Christmas properly.

So when Christmas Eve arrived, I decided to gift myself with a clean, company ready home, even if no one visited it but us. Every paint can and brush and tool went downstairs, and every square inch was taken care of to sparkling perfection.

Best. Gift. Ever. 🙂

But I will admit this. Starting From Crap to Clean before Christmas back in September paid off in spades! Working in freshly painted rooms and emptier spaces really made the difference.

There was only one thing lacking.

Christmas decorating ended up… sparse. Too sparse. 

I had done the fireplace mantel and put the tree up, but that’s it. 

So as I cleaned one room at a time, I started added little 5 minute junk inspired Christmas decorating ideas to each room, to chime in with the season.

So… if you ever run late, never fear! Maybe some of these more minimalist approaches would work quickly for you too.

Christmas decor in the kitchen with a hot cocoa tray sign, and evergreen branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Hot Cocoa sign tray turned cup holder in the kitchen for Christmas decorating using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Think easy, like hanging up a Hot Cocoa Christmas tray and turning it into a festive cup holder behind the stove.

The fit was perfect!

Christmas decorating in the kitchen with evergreen branches / funkyjunkinteriors.net
The strong coffee sign was a Christmas gift from neighbour Janette! Isn’t it perfect?

Christmas decorating in the kitchen a red bench hot cocoa and coffee station / funkyjunkinteriors.net
One evergreen branch placed behind stuff that’s normally always there was truly all that was needed.

With the addition of hot cocoa fixings of course! Which worked well on my chippy, red vintage coffee station bench.

Evergreen branch valance for kitchen Christmas decorating with an antique pulley / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Evergreen branch valance for kitchen Christmas decorating with a twig star and wooden present / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Evergreen branch kitchen valance for Christmas decorating with antique pulley / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Evergreen branch kitchen valance for Christmas decorating / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Three branches were hung above the kitchen windows, one just wood, the other two evergreen, offering a forest styled valance.

Simple decorations, such as the firewood kindling star and wooden present added just enough interest and colour.

I left the blender in place, because that’s the reality of this season. With my son’s wisdom teeth removed, this blender is important. 🙂

Antique black typewritter with Christmas cards as a Chrismtas centrepiece on a kitchen island / funkyjunkinteriors.net
The old typewriter vignette happened out of pure laziness. It’s HEAVY. And was sitting on a chair upstairs for months, waiting for a willing set of hands to give me a hand. It was just forgotten.

So I plunked it on the kitchen island, and dressed it up with one evergreen branch, oranges and a couple of Christmas cards.

Simple real Christmas tree with opened presents underneath / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
This year’s Christmas tree going up.

Here’s the aftermath of Christmas under the tree, with a few gifts revealed.

We always leave them under the tree until the works is cleaned up after New Year’s at some point. The tree is not in our way, so it’s welcome to stay as long as it decides to keep its needles.

White old gate window screens with evergreen branch for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Window screen tutorial.

Trunk coffee table tutorial.

Old signs and rustic old crate stairway with evergreen branch for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Coffee sign tutorial.

Stairway tutorial.

The stairway is so simple, clean, woodsy, rustic. Just the way I like it. I think it’s my fav Christmas stairway decor thus far!

Boy, did things get a whole lot simpler… 🙂

The area just feels bigger and brighter, and is super easy on the eyes.

Farmhouse window with chippy white pitcher with evergreen branches for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Farmhouse window with chippy white pitcher with evergreen branches for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Salvaged Farmhouse Bathroom tutorial

My son doesn’t like stuff on the window sill, so it gets moved frequently. One white pitcher of greens will be more than enough for him to handle. ðŸ™‚

Clear sodapop bottles with evergreen branches in an old shutter shelf for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
The shutter shelf hanging from the toilet faced wall was the perfect place to get a tiny bit fussier.

Clear sodapop bottles with evergreen branches in an old shutter shelf for Christmas decorating / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Two water filled soda bottles and greens, and it was deemed done.

Christmas decorating with a galvanized bucket with evergreen branches with a black metal Coca Cola sign / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
The master bedroom is where I love to spend time when my son currently rules the TV with either a game or his kinda show.

The hydrangeas on the dresser were simply swapped out for evergreen branches, lightly misted with snow spray.

Christmas decorating with a buffalo check scarf on a rustic black ladder with laptop on a rustic bed tray / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Since this is my escape to a chick flick Netfix fix, my movie gear is sitting on my oversized cutting board tray, ready to roll.

Old horse gate headboard in a master bedroom with wreaths and a Bed & Breakfast sign / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
Don’t laugh… ok, laugh. 🙂 But I leave the bed relatively unmade (or made messy) to rumply crumply white on white perfection. It’s like a ‘welcome to dive right on in!’ any time I desire.

I never did make those Christmas pillows or pick up a pretty red plaid blanket I had in mind. Maybe next year!

Old horse gate headboard in a master bedroom with wreaths and a Bed & Breakfast sign / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
The bed and breakfast sign was a 5 minute decision back in summer that I’ve never shown you.

Christmas or winter decorating with a Ski Lodge blue sign in a window sill in a master bedroom / www.funkyjunkinteriors.net
And my fuzzy-kitty-slow-shutter-pic caught a little simple Ski Lodge sign action on the window sill.

I will say this. Decorating for ‘me’ on ‘my own time’ for Christmas was a welcome, much cleaner, and less stressful treat. 

We are still living out the season for another week, so I don’t yet know what it’ll all hold.

I was alone yesterday, so I hopped on the bike and went for a chilly trail ride and even found a little snow. (will show you soon!)

I’ve been watching old Fixer Upper shows. Dear Joanna, please visit British Columbia. I need your shiplap/ rustic touches. And Chip’s bashing up skills… 

I’ve been snacking on Toblerones and other things we generally never have in the house.

I think I’m simply healing from too much busy. So I’m not going to rush a thing and let time evolve.

But first, I think it’s time to reheat some homemade soup, while I catch another Fixer Upper rerun… and hopefully get inspired into action myself!

Let’s all hope… 🙂

How early do you do your decorating? Ever go this last minute before?


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Categories: All Cool Projects, Christmas, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Signs
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  1. Oh Donna,it’s beautiful! I can see the cleaning and painting you have done. Fresh, clean,crisp and with Christmas naturals. Sometimes less is more and it’s lovely! I also love branches and woodsy touches. Thank you for another post, and I wish you and your son a very happy 2016!

    • Loved every inch of this!! I, too, decorate on the fly, and these were wonderful ideas!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Simply beautiful. Very Scandinavian. Yes, I decorated on Christmas eve one time when my job kept me really busy and totally enjoyed it. This year, because I went back to Missouri for my mother’s 100th birthday the beginning of December, I started about ten days before and was still enjoying tucking a few greens here and there Christmas morning while I was waiting for afternoon festivities…this is in a one-bedroom apartment! I made many small vignettes in every room that all delight my eye and I, too, love adding winter greens here and there to give a holiday air to everyday settings. I use high-end artificial greens so will leave my decor up well into January. It’s just too enjoyable to take down soon. So glad you are both doing better

  3. I just love your ‘minimalistic’ Christmas decor. I think we often go overboard with decorating because it is expected of us. Yours is simply simple and lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love all that you did. Or DIDN’T do lol. I have left decorating to the last minute before. I remember a few years where the tree went up Christmas Eve. Sad, I know. Lol

    We even had a few years where we had no room for a full sized tree because of how we had moved furniture around. I used to live in a TINY house before I remarried. That is a “tiny house/lots of stuff”issue. Lol. Some years we used the big footstool to sit the 4 foot tree on. And we used about 1/4 of the ornaments. Hey, at least there was a tree, right? Lol

    Now that we r in a bigger house I can do more. I don’t like that my table and lamp have to visit the basement because of the tree, but it’s only temporary so I deal. I put fake greenery over the living room and kitchen Windows, over the sliding doors in the dining room, and over the front door. I dress them up with whatever color is this year’s theme.

    This year was purple so I had purple ribbon wrapped around the greenery and purple picks throughout. And the mantel got purple garland wrapped through the lighted greenery. The tree had white lights, purple star, ribbon and ornaments. I brought up the pole lamp from the basement to put next to the recliner since the table and lamp went downstairs. I decided to go for it and wrapped the pole with purple garland! Yes it looks a bit ridiculous. But it goes with my purple theme. So it stayed. Lol my dining room has Christmas/winter themed items on top of the china cabinet and the dresser. My living room mantel has the same. IT is jam packed because it’s the mantel’s 1st Christmas and I was excited. lol! I have a few decorations on the walls. We take down the regular pics and put up Christmas/ winter things. This year’s door wreath is simple. A painted wood wreath that has trees on it. I added a fresh pine wreath to the porch on the living room windows. We have icicle lights outside and my daughter’s light up hedgehog wearing a Santa hat. He is cute. He sits between the bushes in front of the porch. No magnetic wreath on the garage this year because I just plum forgot ! Then I didn’t want to have to get the plastic tubs down off the high shelf in the garage to get it. I would love some light up stuff on my lawn. I used to have a lot but donated it all when I moved. Sometimes when u r moving u get to that point where u say “Get rid if it. We have no more room in the garage and basement for any more boxes!”

    I love Olaf and wouldn’t mind one of those silly blow up Olaf lawn ornaments. I just don’t want to have to pay the ridiculous price for one! Lol

    • This is a good reminder for me. As I was putting up our decorations this year I noticed how so many are tired and falling apart after 19 years of use and the wear and tear of 4 kids. I was beginning to despair about how many needed to be replaced. I always seemed to purchase the cheaper decorations that inevitably do not stand the test of time. At the same time, I purchase them after the holidays when my focus is on saving money and not spending too much!

      You have reminded me of the beauty in simplicity and that the large, and sometimes garish, decorations I feel I should replace might not need to be replaced after all.

      Btw I just went and visited Joanna’s store a few weeks ago (I am lucky enough to live a couple of hours from Waco) and that too was inspirational. Maybe its getting older, but I am starting to understand and appreciate the less is more philosophy. I may just not replace those decorations after all!

  5. While having my last cup of tea this morning (I’m feeling very lazy after Christmas!), I thoroughly enjoyed every little detail you artfully accomplished, Donna, at bringing nature’s beauty inside. It’s all simply perfect; I love every photo and SO wish my condo suited that look. My place suits a sort of “glam” sparkly look (but I don’t overdo it) but I’ve introduced your look into the kitchen. I think I’ll get real brave and try combining the glam and the rustic together for next year’s Christmas mantel and see how it looks! Wish me luck.

    By the way, in a previous house years ago, I measured the width of the window that was over the kitchen sink then went on a hunt for grapevines out in the country. I gradually wove vine branches together then hung the (light as a feather) “valance” on cup hooks pre-screwed into the bulkhead. I loved the natural look! All the best to you and your son in 2016!

  6. I am with you,no hurry, just relax and enjoy. Your Christmas decor was just great! Happy New Year for you and your son.

  7. I’m so glad I saw this today. Due to 3 floods in our basement since Thanksgiving and having to replace our septic pump, I did not have time to decorate much either. (Just a occasional price of country living and lots of rain:) Usually we take our decorations down New Years weekend. This year I think I will talk the tree down and do winter decorating with greens and lights until the end of January or February. Now I feel energized! Thanks Donna!

  8. Wow, why didn’t I think of greens in my enamel pitcher?? So cute. I love the sparseness. I also love the cocoa tray behind the stove. I may borrow that idea and change it out for the seasons.

  9. Oh Donna, don’t worry about last minute decorating. Christmas is way past and I am still putting finishing touches around the house because I am getting ready for my children and grandchildren to come on New Year’s Eve.

    Oh what a fun time we will have and as far as I am concerned the decorations can stay up until I get in the mood to put them away. One nice thing this year is that our tree is on the front porch and can be seen through the living room window. Therefore there will be no hurry to take it down. Who cares what the neighbors think, not me. We did this because my husband built the most precious log cabin and all of the furniture and it is sitting on my treadle sewing machine right where the tree usually sits.

    One of my grandchildren wondered if we had to open our gifts on the front porch. I assured here we could look through the window as we open gifts and all will be just fine.

    Here’s to you having a wonderful and fulfilling new year. You are the greatest blogger and I enjoy your posts every day.

  10. Oh Donna – minimalist decorating is right up my alley. To me minimal looks better, cleaner and it’s easier to take down and put away! I’m into primitive colonial decor and to me that also speaks minimalism. You have a great eye for decorating!!!

  11. I have always wanted to ask about your kitchen lights, what is the black material on the ceiling? I read your kitchen remodel but didn’t see it mentioned. Thanks

  12. Looked like plenty of decorations to me. Looked clean, fresh and cozy! I put up about 1/4 of my decorations as I used to. Sometimes…….less is more. Happy New Year!