Home Decor

Minimalist Winter Tablescape

Hi there, friends!

I’ve got a couple of pics to share of how I transitioned my dining room table to a simple, winter-themed tablescape featuring a buffalo check throw blanket as the table runner, some faux greenery, pinecones, and candles for embellishment.

I’m loving the simplicity of it after the exuberance of my Christmas décor.  It just feels so fresh and so clean (clean….shoutout to Outkast!).

I just lit this Balsam Fir candle and now our entire house is smelling like a winter forest…love it!

Do you do any transitional decorating in your home post-Christmas?  Do tell….

My Favorite Black and White Christmas Stockings

Happy Saturday, friends!

I wanted to quickly share with you an Etsy shop that I recently stumbled across that makes the most stylish Christmas stockings.  The shop is called HungByTheChimney and the owner’s name is Michelle Swingle.

Here are some of my favorites, but definitely visit her shop because she makes them in many different fabrics.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

And while on the topic of Christmas stockings, I know that traditionally we see them hung on a fireplace mantel, and it’s a beautiful look, however there is no mantel here at Casa De Effortless.  We typically hang our stockings on our stair railings, or along the entertainment center. Here’s a picture of this year’s setup:

TIP: If you do opt to hang your stockings along your entertainment center, be careful not to place them in front of the TV’s power button, or in front of the cable box for that matter.  If you do, you’ll probably be hearing about it from the Mr. or Mrs. Effortless in your life.  You’re welcome!

Check out these alternative methods for hanging Christmas stockings:

Image source Pinterest (uploaded by user)

Image source: Pinterest (uploaded by user)

Image source: christmas.365greetings.com

Image source: Honey We’re Home.com

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Inexpensive DIY Holiday Pictures to Coordinate with your Tablescape

What’s going on, peeps?  Happy Friday!  Today I wanted to share with you how I inexpensively transformed two existing pictures in my dining room so they would coordinate with my Christmas tablescape.

The original pictures looked like this:

There was no way I was going to be able to keep them in the room with my red, gold, and black buffalo plaid check tablescape.  But instead of running from store to store to try and find two holiday pictures to hang, I decided to use items I already had at home to make these pictures work.  Here’s what I used to make it happen:

Wrapping paper, scissors, scotch tape, and packs of letters previously purchased from Michaels was all I needed.  The letters usually retail for $7.99, but I always use a 50% coupon and get them at half price.

I simply took the existing pictures off the wall and wrapped them in my wrapping paper.

Then, using my gold letters, I spelled out words synonymous with the holiday season, Peace and Hope.

I re-hung the finished pictures on the wall and my project was complete.  Effortless, right?

Putting Together a Christmas Tree – the Effortless Way


Hi there!  I hope you and your loved ones had a bountiful Thanksgiving with great company, delicious food, and plenty to be thankful for.

Today I’m ready to talk Christmas trees.  I am by no means a tree expert, but I have picked up some tips over the years that I feel have really helped me to put up a beautiful tree each year, so I want to share my process with those who may struggle in this department.

1. The tree

First things first….the Christmas tree.  Faux trees have really come a long way over the years, but to be honest, even before they were as fabulous as they are now, I’ve always preferred a fake one over a real tree.  I never liked the thought of having to keep the tree watered and never mind worrying that it could catch on fire if it got too dry.  Ain’t nobody got no time for that!  Ha!  And I always felt like real trees make a constant mess with the pine needles falling off everywhere.  With my fake tree, I vacuum the floor immediately after putting the tree up, but I don’t really notice a ton of needles falling out every day after that.  So for me, fake tree for the win!

Another important topic when it comes to your Christmas tree is the price.  I have no clue what the going rate is on a real tree seeing as though I’ve never purchased one, but I can tell you that a really elaborate fake one can cost you a pretty penny.

But don’t fret my friends, as they make trees that go along with every budget.  I personally don’t care to spend a ton of money on my tree, but I like to embellish it in such a way that it looks expensive, you know what I mean?

We’ve had a our current living room tree for about three years now, purchased at the end of a holiday season, but I don’t really love the tree.  Hubby brought it home because he found it for a really great price, I’m talking dirt cheap you guys, so I’ve just made it work over the years.  The thing I don’t like about it is that it’s not quite full enough for me.  But I remedy that by adding lots of picks and stems to it, so in the end, it works.  Bottom line, find a tree that you love at a price you’re willing to pay.  And remember it pays to shop off season too.

2. The tree skirt

I’m all about using neutral tree skirts.  The sheepskin skirt you see pictured above is from HomeGoods, but for two years before I found it, I always used the sheep skin rugs I had bought at Ikea.  No one knew except for me that it wasn’t a traditional tree skirt, and honestly, no one really cares.  I think the reoccurring theme you’re going to see in this post is that it’s okay to use unconventional items.  Think rugs, throw blankets, fabric, even sheets of burlap; all of these items work as a tree skirt and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  And sometimes these items will end up being the design inspiration behind your entire tree.


3. Picks and stems

In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what I mean by picks and stems, here are a couple of visuals for you:

Image courtesy of Southern Hospitality

Image courtesy of the Krazy Coupon Lady

You can find these in abundance at Michaels and Joan’s over the holidays.  Buy them.  Lots of them.  I use these bad boys to fill in my tree in the areas that seem bare.  I weave them through tablescapes on my dining table.  Last year, I even used them along with some garland to frame my stairwells.  As you can see, I like the more natural looking ones, usually with pine cones and a bit of flocked snow on them, but these things come in all different sizes and colors and add so much interest to your tree. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color.

4. Ribbon or Deco Mesh

Once my tree is nice and full and I’ve added whimsical items like glitter flowers or poinsettias, I like to add the next element, either ribbon or deco mesh.  I never use both, always one or the other.  Again, in case you’re not familiar with deco mesh, here it is:

And generally when I select ribbon, I tend to go with a thicker width, something like this:

though the one I used on this year’s tree is a bit slimmer than this but it still worked out well.

Deco mesh looks beautiful on a tree, but it can be a bit more difficult to work with, as compared to ribbon.  I’ve used both and generally decide which one I’m going to use based on how much effort I plan on putting in that day. Ha!

5. Ornaments

There really isn’t much to say about ornaments.  Pick ones you love and that coordinate with the feel and theme of your tree.  The deer head ornaments mounted on the wood plaques are the stars of this tree.  I found these at Big Lots the week after Christmas last year and immediately fell in love with them. I was able to score 4 boxes of them for something like $5.00.

One other thing I would like to add about ornaments is, again, don’t be afraid to use unconventional items. The Let it Snow pieces you see hanging from the tree are not ornaments at all, but just a box of gift tags that I found in my holiday stash.  They added the perfect pop of silver to the tree.

6. Tree Topper

I have no fast or hard rules concerning tree toppers.  In years past, I’ve used a traditional star, an angel, even a bouquet of peacock feathers.  This year, I saved two of my picks from the body of the tree and stuck those in the top and called it a day.

7. Vignettes

The final thing I like to do once my tree is all put together is to create a mini scene or vignette under the tree.  This can be a series of wrapped presents under the tree with coordinating wrapping papers, a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, holiday stockings laid out, a spool of ribbon with wrapping paper, the sky is the limit. For this tree, I just placed a metal bucket with leaves and pine cones in it from HomeGoods off to the side of the tree and placed a large Merry sign underneath it with ribbon and pinecones.  The wood of the sign coordinated well with the wood of my deer head ornaments.  Easy peasy.

*Please note: you will notice there is no mention here of any tips or tricks to help you string lights onto your tree.  Not only am I a fan of fake trees, but I’m all about fake trees with pre-strung lights!!  Please search elsewhere if you’re looking for tips for stringing lights, cause’ this ain’t the place!

So there you have it folks.  I hope you found a few of these tips helpful and that your tree decorating process will be just a little bit simpler because of it. Happy decorating!


Kids’ Playroom Inspiration and Design

Design Inspiration

1. Color Palette: Navy, Gold, Teal, Black, and White

2. Accent Walls: Polka Dot Wall Decals (available at Amazon) and Black and White Striped Wall

3. Artwork (purchased at Target)

4. Play Tent (inspiration from Land of Nod but actual tent pictured in playroom purchased at Sam’s Club)






Design Execution



DIY Marbled Christmas Ornaments

Here at Casa De Effortless, we don’t begin pulling out the Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving night. In fact, we’ve made it our family tradition to start setting up the first tree after we’ve enjoyed a scrumptious holiday dinner. Then, the rest of the house is decorated in the days that follow. And yes, you read right. I said first tree. We put one tree downstairs in the main living room and a second one upstairs in the kids’ playroom. I’m contemplating adding a third tree to the kids’ room now that they’re older and won’t be trying to take everything off of it.  And that’s not counting the trees I setup in the entryway.  Or the mini trees sprinkled throughout the kitchen.  I like Christmas trees. A lot.

Here are some photos from a couple of our most recent Christmas trees.

2016 Living Room Tree

2016 Playroom Tree

2015 Playroom Tree

Whether you wait to decorate until after Thanksgiving, or if your tree is up now, you’ll want to try your hand at these amazingly simple DIY painted ornaments. The materials needed to make them are inexpensive, the process is as easy as 1-2-3, you can customize the color combinations, and the finished product is spectacular.

If your tree isn’t up yet, you can make these now to coordinate with your planned color palette. If your tree is already up, you can make a set (or two) to add to the décor already on your tree – I mean come on, you can never really have too many things on a Christmas tree……….right??!! Actually, you can. So if your tree is done, you can make these and place several of them together in a basket or bowl to place on your coffee table or on a shelf.  Picture them in a setup similar to this:

If you decorate your dining table, you can sprinkle them throughout your tablescape with a mix of greenery and other accessories. You can also make a set to attach to a wreath. Or, if you have absolutely no need for them, (though I would find this very hard to believe!) you can make them to give as a gift to someone else. Imagine these beauties all packaged up in a clear gift box with a coordinating bow wrapped around it. The possibilities are endless!

But enough jibber jabber.  Here’s what you need to make these bad boys:

The ornaments are from the Dollar Tree and you can purchase these 2-packs for $1, or they sell a large, single ornament for $1.  The two bottles of acrylic paint pictured are from Michaels and they’re a part of a 16-count variety pack.  It regularly retails for around $8.00, but I caught it on clearance last year for around $3.00.  And that’s it.  All you need are ornaments and paint.  Shortest DIY project supply list ever.


1. Remove the ornament cap.

2. Pick your paint colors. You can choose multiple colors to create a marbled look, you can use one solid color, or you can make a combination of these.

3. To begin, squeeze a generous dollop of paint inside the ornament and gently swirl (do not shake) the ornament to ensure complete coverage. If you’re using two or more colors, alternate the colors side by side before you swirl so you get a nice mix of both colors.

4. Allow the ornament to dry on a paper towel overnight and while the ornament cap is still off.

5. Once the paint has completely dried, put the cap back on.

And that’s it.  You’re done.

Gorgeous, right?!

Simple Halloween Place Setting

Halloween is right around the corner and I’ve been seeing tons of inspiration for kids’ parties, but not a lot for us grown folks that are big kids at heart.  So I threw together this simple (and inexpensive) place setting that would be perfect for an adult dinner party.

The tablecloth, skull, skeleton hand, and white plate were all picked up at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each.  The striped plate is from Ikea and retails for $4.99.  The flower is from Michaels and was attached to a garland that I’ve had for awhile now, so I don’t remember what I paid for it, but I do remember picking it up on clearance.  All of Michael’s fall florals are currently on clearance at 70% off, so if you’re in need of faux flowers, now is a great time to pick some up.

I literally put this place setting together in about 5 minutes, but to dress it up even further, I would lay a table runner down the middle of the table; add a black place mat under each setting; lay the cutlery on top of a striped cloth napkin; and add a nice floral arrangement in burgundies and pinks to serve as the centerpiece.

TIP: When creating a floral arrangement, you can always do a mix of real flowers with fake ones if you have some on hand.  I like doing this because real flowers can get pricey, but if I add fakes ones and mix them in with the real ones, my arrangement ends up looking nice and full and I save some money too.

And since you know I love me a themed-event, here is a sample dinner menu that coordinates perfectly with the Halloween theme:


Potting Bench Turned Indoor/Outdoor Bar Cart

This past summer I was on the hunt for the perfect bar cart. I wanted to find one that I could use both indoors as a drink station for get-togethers, and outdoors while the fam and I were lounging at the pool.

I didn’t find a lot of options during any of my hunting sprees, and the two bar carts I did find at Homegoods and TJ Maxx cost more than I was willing to pay.

Then lo and behold, while browsing on Amazon one afternoon, I stumbled across this potting bench that I thought, with a little TLC, would make a great indoor/outdoor bar cart:

I  loved the shelving space the bench offered.  The top shelf could hold cups and glasses and the bottom shelves could hold drinks, extra cups, or display party décor.  The drawer was fully functioning and could hold napkins, straws, a bottle opener, and drink stirrers.  The hollowed sink looked like the perfect place to store ice.  And the price was right too.  I was sold!

I knew immediately that I wanted to stain the bench a darker color and that the hardware needed to be upgraded, but those were both really simple fixes I knew I could take on.

Once the bench arrived from Amazon, it took my hubby all of about an hour to put it together.  Here was the finished model:

As I mentioned, the hardware left much to be desired, but a quick trip to Lowes solved that problem.  I bought a sturdier, classic looking pull and ditched the side hooks altogether.

Here is the stain I used, also purchased from Lowes:

It was easy to apply and dried in about 24 hours, though it’s probably best to let it dry for a full 48-72 hours because the paint is somewhat tacky the first couple of days.  If you plan to leave the cart outside, you should apply some type of sealant to protect the wood in the elements, but I have no intentions of leaving mine outside so I skipped that step.

After staining the wood and applying my new pull, my bar cart was ready for action!

It turned out great!

And I love dressing it up for different occasions.  Here’s what it looked like on the 4th of July:

I plan on adding caster wheels to it at some point to make it easier to move around, but otherwise, I think it’s perfect as it!