Christmas is fast approaching, but there’s another big date on Katie Simcik’s calendar in addition to December 25 this year — her due date! Katie and her husband are expecting their first child, and while they await their little one’s arrival, the mom-to-be has been busy nesting and decking the halls of their gorgeous home in perfectly cozy and sophisticated farmhouse decor.
From their festive entryway — complete with a special “Santa’s Magic Key” on their front door! — and comfy family room to their red, gold, and green dining room, Katie’s holiday decorations make a bold statement while still being traditional. If you’re looking for some classic Christmas decor inspiration this season, look no further than the Simciks’ elegant yet understated abode.
Name: Katie Simcik
Location: Geneva, IL
Home’s Square Footage: 2,600
When do you typically start decorating for the holidays?
Normally, I have a strict rule of only after Thanksgiving. But this year, I am in full nesting mode and completed it the week after Halloween! Never thought I’d be that person, but here we are!
How would you say your holiday decor differs from your home’s everyday decor?
I like to really have fun and play along with the “Magic of Christmas” during the holidays. I add lots of color and sparkle. I love to have a “Santa’s Magic Key” on our front door, and stuff our giant Santa sack full and set it by the tree to make it look playful. I love accessorizing with fun little knick-knacks rather than larger-scale items. I make sure everything is nice and cozy!
Where do you typically shop for holiday decor?
Everywhere! I love thrifting. I’ve found things — like the adorable holly topiary tree in my entryway — at yard sales for $3. I love to check out HomeGoods for candles and soaps for each holiday. I also purchased a lot of items, especially on our tree, from Target!
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Do you typically buy new holiday decor or use the same year after year?
I recently purchased a large chunk of it this year, only because we had been traveling for the past two and we are finally settled, so I can let my creativity finally run wild. I know we will most likely be content with what I have purchased this year for the next few. That’s my big rule; I make sure the items I am purchasing are timeless and will last us at least a few years. I hate to waste anything. I try to stay away from big trends.
Where do you spend versus save with your holiday decor?
If you are getting a fake tree, I would splurge on one. You will use it for the next 5+ years. The pre-lit one we got this year is 9 feet tall with very realistic looking pines! I also think you should splurge on the more meaningful ornaments, and you can always cheap out on the accent ones. As long as things “look” expensive, people don’t question them. I currently use a women’s scarf as a tree skirt for our entryway tree, you just have to get creative! I also would never splurge on things like candles. You can find the nicest looking festive candles at places like TJMaxx and HomeGoods, and they always smell amazing! I would also splurge on nice fresh garland for either inside or outside around your home! It always looks so lovely.
You’re about to have your first baby — congratulations! Do you plan to change your holiday decor to be more kid-friendly as your little one grows?
I’m sure we will have to be more careful with the delicate and fragile items, and then, of course, add things like Santa’s cookies and milk to our decor for on the table next to the fireplace and other fun things like that! We also have a tradition in my family to have a Christmas Book Bag next to the tree, where each night of December, we read a Christmas book before bed. I can’t wait to start this! We already have been gifted a few Christmas books for our little one to start our Christmas Book Bag.
Where do you find holiday decor inspiration?
A lot of it comes from Instagram, Pinterest . . . the usual spots! I like to think I put my original spin on things as well.
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What is your favorite piece of holiday decor in your home?
I think I love dressing up our mantel the most. It’s the focal point of our downstairs. My husband also loves when I set the table with our Christmas dishware and napkins, etc.
Tell us about your holiday decorating process.
I start doing the major pieces like the trees and mantel, then we accessorize as needed. I am still adding things here and there each week; you have to take your time and find the right spots and colors for everything!
Do you and your family have any decorating traditions?
We always make sure we save the tree decorating for last so we can complete it together! We also have a tiny goat figurine that we all love to hide and find once the tree is finished! My girlfriends and I recently, within the last two years, have started our annual Christmas ornament swap where we all exchange and buy each other ornaments. They are always so fun to get in the mail!
You and your husband used to live in Australia! Did people decorate differently for the holidays Down Under compared to here in the US?
Oh yes! I was so surprised by how little everyone decorated in our neighborhood in Melbourne. You’d see maybe one to two houses in your entire neighborhood with lights outside. They all have trees in their homes, but since they have a summer Christmas, I feel as though they don’t get as into it as we do here. Plus, I feel as though they are more minimalistic in general. We spent both Christmases in 90-degree heat, on the beach, having a barbecue. It was so fun!
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What holiday traditions have you started for your family? How do you think the holidays will change after you welcome your first baby?
We are starting our first, which will be a gingerbread house contest the day after Thanksgiving with my in-laws and family! I also want to start going to the tree farms in our area once we have the baby.
What does Christmas morning look like in your home? How do you expect it’ll change this year with a baby?
Coffee. Lots of coffee. A huge delicious brunch — we love breakfast in this house (thanks to Australia’s amazing food scene)!
What are your favorite holiday events? How does your family celebrate the season?
We always try to make it a point to visit both sides of our family. We also try to keep in mind that it is a time to relax, and we don’t want to be running all over the place all day long. It’s nice to sit back and relax and enjoy the day with family, or in this year’s case — just with ourselves.
What is your favorite thing about the holiday season?
I just love visiting family and snuggling up by a fire with a drink!
Katie Simcik is The Everymom…
Hot cocoa or eggnog? Hot Cocoa
What’s on your holiday wishlist? A new pair of fluffy slippers, iPad, and a healthy baby!
When do you start listening to Christmas music? After Thanksgiving!
Go-to holiday drink at Starbucks? Caramel Brulee Latte
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? A trampoline when I was about 8!