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10 Easy and Fun Ways to Decorate for Winter

TALK OF THE HOUSE ways to decorate for winterNormally January makes me want to decorate with blue, but for some reason this year, I wanted to keep up all the red after Christmas.  Red is such a warm color and feels more cozy to me than blue in these cold months, and it lends itself to Valentine’s Day as well.  Definitely another advantage for red!  So no blue here this January.

This was supposed to be the start of a “Winter Home Tour” post for you, but as I was looking at the photos, the teacher in me wanted to give you a list of things to notice..things that you could do in your own home (that many of you are probably already doing)…things that will work for both January and February.  With that in mind, the home tour changed into a Decorating Ideas post.  I hope that is alright with you.

So what are my 10 easy and fun ways to decorate for winter?

winter foyer buffet

1.  Reuse Christmas decor.

Yes, I am serious, but I do not mean your tree.:) Look for decorations that say winter...not Christmas.  I found several snowmen tremendously reduced in price at an after Christmas sale.  (And I changed out the scarf on the one in the playroom.) They work just as well in January as they do in December  (and if I tie a little heart on a string suspended from those branch arms, they will be great right on through Valentine’s Day.:))

snowman for January decor2.  Use mittens and gloves in your decorating.

Mittens and gloves add texture and coziness to winter vignettes – not to mention color.

snowflake pretzel treat bags with mittens

3.  Display snacks and sweets in jars.

Cookies, candies, and even white chocolate dipped pretzels look pretty (and taste delicious!) when displayed in jars. If you have a fireplace, you can keep a jar of marshmallows nearby for roasting.  For a movie night when you are all snowed in, have popcorn ready in a jar with movie candies close by.  Use various size jars for even greater decorating impact.

jar of marshmallows for toasting

snowflake pretzel treat bags with marshmallows

(You could always change the message on the tag to “I love you snow much” for Valentine’s Day.)
Yes, I can hear you groaning.:)

white gumballs in jar

popcorn and candy for movie night

4.  Add cups and mugs to a winter vignette.

You know those cups and mugs that you just love?  Why not pull them out and use them in a grouping?  Instant warm-up-your-winter accent.:)And if you have a thermos or two somewhere in your stash, they also work wonderfully!

winter vignette with mug

winter snowball vignette

5.  Use cut branches from evergreens for winter arrangments.

There are tulips in abundance in our local grocery store, and although I do love them, I am not quite ready to use them.  They say spring, and we are just barely getting started on winter here in the South.  I just want some greenery…without having to purchase a plant.  There are plenty of evergreens in our yard, so making an arrangement with cuttings from them works well.

end table

cut branches for arrangement

6.  Use cozy throws and sweater textured pillows.

Anything you can do to warm up your room in winter is smart.  Placing throws across chairs and sofas or in a basket keeps them handy for use.  And while fur seems to be the latest trend, I prefer the less sophisticated (more cottage like) look of sweater knit for throw pillows in winter.

sofa with sweater pillows

family roomwinter fireplace and chair7.  Display family photos that were taken in winter.

Do you have photos from a family ski trip or from playing in the snow?  Now is the perfect time to bring them out of the storage box or to print them from your computer.

snowballs and photographs

 8.  Light candles.

Nothing warms up a room or gives it more coziness than lit candles. (Well actually a fire in a fireplace does, but if you don’t have one of those, use candles.:))

candles in jar with sugar snow9. Use the elements of winter in your decorating.

What does that mean?  Well, it means that you can have fun using any and all references to snow that you can find.  From snowmen to snowballs in jars to candles in sugar snow…they are all game for seasonal decorating possibilities.:)

fireplace and mantel with winter vignettejpg

 jar of faux snowballs on mantel10.  Have fun with winter on chalkboards.

I don’t think this one really needs anything added to it other than just showing you.:)

snow chalkboard

winter chalkboardAnd there you have it!  10 easy ideas for some winter decorating.:) The biggest thing I want you to keep in mind is to simply have FUN with your home decor.  You and your family live there, and more than likely, you are spending more time inside during the winter months.  So shouldn’t it be a place for fun and enjoyment – especially during the winter?

playroom with black and white check drapes

I know this post should have come out in late December or early January to be most helpful, but maybe you can pin this image to a Pinterest board so that you will remember some of the ideas next year.:)

TALK OF THE HOUSE 10 Easy and Fun Ways to Decorate for Winter

I’ll be back next time with the kitchen and dining room in their winter attire.:)

Until then…
Stay warm!


Sandy in FWB - January 19, 2016 - 7:23 pm

Everything is adorable as always.
I have to admit it is my least favorite time of the year to decorate for. After the Christmas comes down, I always love the clutter free look, but still like something seasonal (guess that is the school teacher in me).
Some great ideas that I will have to remember because other than one small cross stitch piece in the kitchen I am season free longing for spring. Long way to go though! I need to learn to embrace winter as it really is a good time to slow down.
Thank you Sandy. Yes, winter is a good time to slow down. If I waited until February for anything Valentine’s related, there would only be 2 weeks to enjoy that. So by introducing red now, I can enjoy it for a longer period of time with no rush. :)

Maryanne - January 19, 2016 - 7:35 pm

I love all your ideas, Kelly! Several years ago I took my more winter decorations, like snowmen, and put them in their own box separate from the Christmas things.
Now when I put the Christmas things away I get out the winter things. I love your idea to use mittens and gloves in vignettes. I’ll have to “borrow” it!

Thanks for sharing your lovely home.
I’m so glad you like the ideas Maryanne! Love the idea of storing the winter items separately from the Christmas things. I will be putting the snowmen in my Jan.-Feb. storage box this year.

martha - January 19, 2016 - 7:36 pm

I like all your tips. You inspired me with your glass jars a while ago and I love to fill them with fun things. You will find that once you have grandchildren all over the place that the jars don’t stay looking so decorative and you don’t even care. Actually, my husband is just as bad as the kids when it comes to eating anything not nailed down. I am always impressed that you are able to leave things unattended. My daughter and I used to hide things ( cookies, dark chocolate) from her father and 2 older brothers. I don’t comment as much as I used to, but I love your style and enjoy your interesting travels. I still am not able to do the beautiful,chalk handwriting…mine looks more like a kid trying to be fancy. Maybe one day!
Grandchildren for us are a very looooong way away…so we will keep on munching on our unattended snacks! LOL Thanks for taking the time to jump in to comment on the post. I know life is busy…which is why I don’t get to comment on other blogs like I once did. Keep on practicing your chalk handwriting. I find that it is so much easier to use the chalk pen than actual chalk. Good luck with it!

Vicki - January 19, 2016 - 7:36 pm

This winter I have done the same thing! There are pieces that I wanted to enjoy longer than just Christmas, things that just said “Winter”. The little glittery cardboard houses, my sugar snow vignettes of children, and I also got out a few copper pieces that just said “cozy winter” to me. I looked for winter books to display – other than Christmas, but tempted to leave those out! Lol! I love books and I learn from you how to display them and change them around seasonally. I am busy collecting Jan Karon books – I have read the entire series, however the books were lent to me, so I am collecting them now, re- reading as I find them. I use those in my master bedroom. I love your Volkswagen vignettes, and remind me of the Volkswagen my parents owned when I was 6 years old. I loved riding in the little back compartment (no seatbelt requirements then! Lol! ). Thank you for so many ideas for my home!
Great thinking Vicki! (Great minds think alike. :) ) It sounds like you have done a lovely job decorating for the season. And I love that you are collecting and re-reading Jan Karon’s books. She is currently working on one that is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2017. We have quite a long wait for that one, don’t we?!
Hope you are having a good week.

Dawn - January 19, 2016 - 7:44 pm

I love your winter ideas and was needing some inspiration. After I took down all the Christmas decorations it did look a little bare around here. I have added extra throw blankets but I do like your jar and snack ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Always glad to share here Dawn. I am happy you could find some inspiration in the post!

Brenda Kula-Pruitt - January 19, 2016 - 8:28 pm

Great ideas to cozy up rooms when winter is making us all stay inside!
That was the goal Brenda. :) Definitely want it cozy here. (It has been COLD!)

Design Chic - January 19, 2016 - 8:35 pm

So many great ideas, Kelly and beautiful inspiration! I love the idea of displaying snacks and sweets in jars, but my problem would be, I’d never pass one without tasting! Happy Tuesday ~
Thank you. They are simple, but work for seasonal decorating. And yes, the jars are VERY tempting…especially the ones in the dining room!

Delma - January 19, 2016 - 9:20 pm

As always, your home is so cozy!!! Love it!
Thank you Delma. You are so kind!

Vicky Hunt - January 19, 2016 - 9:20 pm

Everything looks beautiful… always! I Always love to see what kind of snack you have in your jars. Such a cool idea! Enjoy your winter decor!
I’m so glad you liked it all Vicky! Yes, there are always snacks in the jar. Love the cookies I have right now in the dining room. They are YUMMY!

CherylfromWV - January 19, 2016 - 9:58 pm

Really enjoyed the decorating for Winter post. Our local grocery also has bunches of tulips and spring flowers and as much as I love them, I too just want to enjoy the season for what it is. And…. I do love snow! We are expecting a big snow on Friday and I am looking forward to a cozy weekend! This is my first year retired from teaching Kindergarten and I do miss decorating for each month in my classroom. So,I am channeling that energy now into my home and am really enjoying it. I also add seasonal family photos to my decorating. It’s such fun to relive those special memories! Thank you for continuing to inspire us!
You are welcome Cheryl. Thank you for enjoying the post. It does seem that the teacher in us makes us decorate seasonally…or maybe it was the decorator in us all along that just came out when we were teachers! LOL Lucky you to be getting snow! Wish we would get a little (or a lot!) here.
Stay warm!

sarah joelson - January 19, 2016 - 10:40 pm

Kelly – As usual your house looks so pretty! Thank you for all of the great winter ideas. I usually have a very hard time taking down my Christmas decorations…and when I do, I usually tend to leave up some red accents too so that my house doesn’t feel so cold and bare. I love the snowballs that you show in the playroom/den (green room) and on the mantle in your living room. Did you buy those or make them? If you made them…can you provide us with the instructions. I’d love to add those to my January decorations and maybe even reuse next December too. Thanks! Sarah
Thank you Sarah. I hate “un-decorating” the house after Christmas. All the plain-ness makes me ask, “Where did Christmas go?”
I made the snowballs. Super duper easy. I simply bought several sizes of Styrofoam balls, and pushed in my thumb prints all over to look like packed snow. (It did give my hands a workout!) I used to paint them with Elmer’s glue and roll them in white glitter, but the syrofoam was so sparkly I did not think that was necessary. Then just place them in sugar for the snow.
I hope those snowballs are not the only “snow” we will see this year. :( Crossing my fingers for February!

Sherry Myers - January 19, 2016 - 10:53 pm

I like your ideas. I started decorating for the winter season last year for the first time. It was fun. It brings joy and color to an otherwise gloomy time of the year after the festive Christmas season. I love the snowmen you found on sale. They work so well with your photographs. I think my favorite vignette is your entry table. The touch of greenery is a nice idea. Who wouldn’t want to sit in front of the fire and enjoy the warmth of your cheerful living room? You inspire! Thanks for sharing, Kelly. Stay warm!
Thank you Sherry. You were smarter than me to start the winter decorating last year. :) (Of course we were still doing Christmas until mid-January last year, so I do have an excuse. LOL) Yes, parked in front of that fire is my favorite place to be in the house!

Colleen M. - January 19, 2016 - 11:36 pm

Hi Kelly,
You may have mentioned it before but what is the paint color on your walls (the grey color)
Just redoing a Maine cottage and want a color I can use throughout and accent in different ways in different rooms. Trying to keep it simple as this is a vacation home. Thanks
It is more taupe than grey. It started as an old Martha Stewart paint called Twine that is not made anymore. The best match is Benjamin Moore’s Brandon Beige. I also used Valspar’s Lyndhurst Timber in some of the rooms. It is also a very close match with less of a green tint than the Brandon Beige, but our family room is the Brandon Beige.

Tricia - January 20, 2016 - 6:01 am

Kelly, how perfectly adorable and such a great idea to decorate for winter. The house is always so bare after Christmas is put away. I am thinking of the cute little snowmen I have packed up along with the Christmas decorations and while I have no plans to haul everything out (my husband would not be amused. He’s usually the one to put it all back), it has given me the idea of separating the winter items from the Christmas decorations next year. Then it’s all in one box – marked Winter! In the meantime do the strewn coats and mitts count as winter decor?! Have a great day.
Thanks Tricia! Yes, separate the winter from Christmas, and you will be ready for January decorating. And yes, the strewn coats and mittens count! LOL

Garden, Home and Party - January 20, 2016 - 8:58 am

I think this post is timely. I’m enjoying the cooler weather and my NY goal is to take the time to enjoy the here and now. You always give me great ideas of inspiration for my own home. How cute are those snowmen—I’m definitely borrowing that idea!
Happy Winter!
What a great goal Karen! And yes, you go right ahead and borrow the snowmen idea. I hope we see real snow soon!

cindy hattersley - January 20, 2016 - 9:10 am

Kelly your home is always so inviting. I imagine guests are delighted to be in your home. What clever, simple, tips! Happy New Year!
Thank you Cindy. We do have a good time here!
Happy New Year to you too.

Jean from Georgia - January 20, 2016 - 9:40 am

Hi Kelly,

What a fun blog today. I just pulled my Christmas snowman from storage and we are headed to Hobby Lobby to find fabric for a new vest, maybe Valentine fabric. Thanks for the great ideas today.
I’m delighted you enjoyed the post Jean! Good for you to pull out the snowman! Have fun at Hobby Lobby. I need to make a run there myself!

Kaye Ann - January 20, 2016 - 10:07 am


You have such great ideas for decorating. Thanks for sharing you beautiful home!!
Thank you for reading and for your compliments Kaye Ann! :)

Louvina - January 20, 2016 - 10:50 am

I feel more cozy just by reading and looking at the pictures! Love the family room shot of the fire place! I use snowmen too and add red birds and hearts and winter greens. Thanks for these winter ideas— winter has been so late arriving this year I’m like you not ready for spring yet. I do love the spring bulb flowers inside but they really don’t last too long. Today is a beef vegetable soup kind of day and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, don’t you think!? Happy frosty day to you, Kelly!
Well good Louvina! That is so smart of you to add the red birds and hearts to the snowmen for winter decorating. Your lunch sounds absolutely delicious! Made me hungry! Happy frosty day to you too. :)

Debbie from MountainMama - January 20, 2016 - 12:25 pm

What adorable ideas!! Tell me – what exactly are the snowballs made of? I’m curious!
Glad you liked them Debbie! The snowballs are simply assorted sizes of Styrofoam balls that I “squished” all over with my fingers to make them look like packed snowballs. Easy to do, but it does give your fingers a workout. :)

Kathy P. - January 20, 2016 - 12:57 pm

Kelly, you mentioned that you swap out the scarves on the snowmen. Where do you get those tiny scarves? I would love to just add to some things I have sitting out but, other than making them, not sure where to find those cute little things. Love your decorating as always.
Hi Kathy! I am afraid I did not buy the little accessory things. The cap on the snowman was actually an orphaned glove that I simply tucked the fingers inside and added a little red poof from an old doll’s hat to. (A single pompom from Walmart’s fabric aisle would probably work just as well.) The “scarf” is simply a strip of fabric from a scrap I had. I just clipped the ends to look like fringe and draped it around the snowman/snowwoman. Super easy. :)

Gina - January 20, 2016 - 1:20 pm

Great ideas! I agree with carrying over some of your Christmas decor since snowmen, etc. fit right in for winter. I love the winter photos. That is something easy and I’m sure brings a big smile to your face every time you see them. I need to go through my pictures! The fire looks so warm and cozy! I could use it now since the snow is really coming down outside my window right now. :( I have one snowman still out. I repainted his scarf, earmuffs, etc. orange and blue for Virginia Cavaliers. :) I also still have a “hot chocolate station” out and a small live tree. I plan to hang some card stock hearts on it today. Haha, I have to make them first though. 😉 Thanks for all the inspiration Kelly! :)

Nan, Odessa, DE - January 20, 2016 - 2:13 pm

LUCKY!!! I just found the large, large glass jar with a lid.
I have been searching as long as I have followed you and that is a long, long time. Have many in different sizes but the BIG was never available. I was going to sneak you a personal email (too embarrassed to ask on comment) and ask what do I put in it NOW for winter? You just published and gave me several suggestions! Great minds think alike. What is snow sugar? Where do I purchase?

Your home looks beautiful, comfortable. FORGET the blue! We are r e d girls.

Give us a line or details on some snowmen available for sale.
I have many but want more. This is the reason I like them for Christmas. They work until spring.

Share some winter cooking? Winter attire?

PS all kids back to their homes?
Congratulations on finding the big jar! And I am so sorry it took you so long to track one down.
Sugar snow…it’s just plain ol’ sugar that is acting like snow. I tried powdered sugar on/in several things, but it never looked as good as the granulated kind. So all the jars with the “snowballs” have regular granulated sugar in them. Hope you are having fun filling your jars for February!
And yes all the kids went back by the end of December. Missing them now (but not the electric bill we got for the time they were here. Glory what a big one!! :( )

Ruth - January 20, 2016 - 2:38 pm

Ditto all the other admiring comments! Really enjoyed that “soul refresher”! I especially liked your use of green… guess I’m still fatigued by Christmas red and anticipating Valentine’s red, so the swing to the opposite side of the color wheel is a rejuvenating break for me. The snowballs, mugs, and mittens? Delightful! :-)

Amy O'Quinn - January 20, 2016 - 4:48 pm

I love all the red and white–and SNOW theme! Everything looks so cozy and inviting. I imagine hot cocoa (or coffee) tastes even better sitting in front of that fireplace. :)

Strange dream last night. I dreamed that you (along with your husband) did a post/recipe about how y’all make his ‘famous’ dried beef jerky. LOL I remember thinking *in my dream* that the post was a bit of departure from the things you normally share–but the jerky really did look tasty.

Again, love the winter decorating tips!
That is hilarious!! Can’t say that I have even tasted beef jerky, but I am sure my camp-loving husband would enjoy it if we made some. I keep having recurring dreams about visiting the Study Hotel in New Haven…maybe that means my husband and I should go visit our son at Yale. :)

Cindy T - January 20, 2016 - 7:11 pm

I love your ideas, they make winter a bit more tolerable. I noticed your black wicker lamp, I know how you like to paint and was wondering if you painted this lamp. I have a purple one from the 70’s and was wondering if I could paint it. Love your home!
Most definitely painted! I bought a bunch of those lamps years ago at Lowes, and they were white when I purchased them. Spray paint is your friend. :)

Cynthia Linderman - January 21, 2016 - 12:50 am

Hi Kelly loved looking at your home in the December 7 Th Christmas Ideas magazine! I really loved the girls bedroom and was wondering where you got the quilts from I just love them and haven’t seen anything like them on the web! Thank you
I am so glad you liked the room Cynthia! Those comforters are the Dolly pattern from a few years ago at Pottery Barn. I purchased all of the comforters and pillow shams through several Ebay auctions. Some are still available there today. So check around if you are interested. :)

Claire @A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - January 21, 2016 - 1:32 pm

Hi Kelly! Thanks for these great ideas!January is a little bit a kind of “party empty” time between Christmas and Valentine’s day so your suggestions come at the right time for me! :-) Have a nice day,


Julia - January 21, 2016 - 4:26 pm

Your 10 tips are great! I even have a snowman painting that my son did at one of those canvas painting stores hanging on the wall with some Jan Karon snowmen plates! You also gave great ideas for my new mantel that my husband installed for my Christmas present. I have a small green tree and placed it in a small bucket with some other items that I had around the house and it looks wintery and so cute!

Kathy - January 21, 2016 - 8:39 pm

Great ideas! Thanks for the permission to use Christmas decor. I actually thought about using my snowmen but I put them away. I am ready for spring even though we have a foot of snow in the forecast! I love the chalkboard ideas and your VW bus in the snow. Oh, and the winter photos…I do have some of those I can embrace. Maybe I will rethink spring. (Not sure I have a choice!) - January 22, 2016 - 12:07 am

Love these great ideas for winter decorating. Your home always looks amazing! I’d love to cozy up in front of that fireplace.

Sandy - January 23, 2016 - 6:27 pm

You inspire me! Thanks. Helps with the winter blahs.

Mary - January 26, 2016 - 3:54 pm

Kelly, you always make everything you do look effortless!! Have you ever had a major “fail” when entertaining/decorating?

What a lovely, lovely party for your father-in-law. Embrace your precious parents…..mine are both gone now and I miss them tremendously.

Thanks for sharing your home and your life with your many online friends. God bless you.

I’ve had birthday cakes that don’t look worth a flip! (But they taste fine.) My biggest problem with entertaining is I am never finished with everything when it is time for guests to show up…no matter how far ahead I start. (My husband was still outside putting out pinestraw when his parents arrived for the birthday party!) I guess I just put too much on those to-do lists. :)

Travel Talk: Shopping in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Warehouse row 2When you only have a few hours for a little retail therapy in Chattanooga, where do you go?  Well, there are several places you could go…downtown, or to a couple of places in the Northshore area, or to the riverfront Aquarium area, or even to Main Street on the south side of town, but we thought it would be interesting to check out Warehouse Row when we were there a couple of months ago.

Warehouse row in ChattanoogaThe massive building dates back to the Civil War when it was the Old Stone Fort, and then later it became textile warehouses.   In the 1980’s it was turned into a shopping center, and in 2006 it was purchased by Jamestown LP.  (They also own New York’s One Times Square and Chelsea Market.)  When we were shopping in the new Ponce City Market in Atlanta right before Christmas, I thought…This reminds me so much of Warehouse Row in Chattanooga.  Guess who owns Ponce City Market…

 Yep, Jamestown LP.:)

Okay, that’s your history lesson for the day.  Now let’s take a look at a few of the shops at Warehouse Row.  First up, Shadowbox Paperie.  This tiny shop has a great selection of charming cards, gifts, giftwrap, and more.  This paper geek could stay in there for a loooooong time.:)

Shadowbox at Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNWalk a little further along that striped floor, and you will find….

Warehouse Row interiorThe Yves Delorme outlet.  Inside it are all kinds of beautiful linens that you will want for your bedroom, bathroom, and dining room.

Yves Delorme shop Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNWhen you are finished shopping in there, walk around and study the very interesting decor in the hallways.

Warehouse RowYou will come to Lines Orchids next.  If you are a gardener, I think I will just leave you in there.  You will love all their plants and accessories!

Lines Orchid window display Warehouse Row Chattanooga

Lines Orchid Warehouse Row ChattanoogaOne of the stores that I had heard so much about was Revival, so it was fun to be able to actually shop there.

Revival entrance Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNIt is very different from my traditional style with its mix of high end furnishings, antiques, and unusual objects…  but still interesting to check out.

Revival furniture Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNMy favorite area of the store is the dish room.
Talk about eye candy!!

Revival dishes Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNI am sure I could make room for all that Juliska dinnerware somewhere in the house.:)

Revival Juliska dinnerware Warehouse Row ChattanoogaNot far from Revival is the ultra preppy men’s store, Onward Reserved.  My husband killed some time had fun browsing in there.

Onward Reserve Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNI am sure that by now, Onward Reserve has moved into its new location in Warehouse Row.
Love the sign in the window!

Onward Reserve new location Warehouse Row ChattanoogaOf course, if you are at Warehouse Row, you must go in our daughter’s favorite store, Anthropologie.

Anthropologie Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNWhile our daughter likes all their clothing, I always shop their home goods…

Anthropologie mugs Warehouse Row Chattanooga TNand study their ultra creative displays!

Anthropologie display Warehouse Row ChattanoogaFor clothing, I prefer the more tailored items at J Crew.

J Crew Warehouse Row Chattanooga

My very favorite thing in all of Warehouse Row is this wall.  Isn’t it just wonderful?
(I need to find a place for something like that here.:))

wall in Warehouse Row

When you finish all your shopping at Warehouse Row, you can eat dinner at Public House or Tupelo Honey (like we did.:))

One other evening we went to Manufacturer’s Road to check out Rock Creek (more my husband’s taste) and Whole Foods.  (There is not one near us.:()  This was an area of Chattanooga that I think would appeal to both of our sons.

Manufacturers Road shops ChattanoogaAlthough we did not have time to drive through neighborhoods while we were there, I did manage to take a couple of photos of some interesting architecture we saw.

architecture Chattanooga TN

architecture ChattanoogaI hope the next time we visit Chattanooga, we will have more time to really take in all that the city has to offer.  From Lookout Mountain to the Aquarium to the Tennessee Valley Railroad, there are plenty of things to do.  You can find more information about dining, shopping, where to stay, and where to play in Southern Living’s City Guide to Chattanooga here.

bridge Chattanooga TN

And I hope you are enjoying your weekend wherever you may be.  I am working on some photography around here, and I’ll have a few decorating ideas for you coming up soon.:)

Until next time..signature

Claire @A Preppy Perspective - January 17, 2016 - 6:33 am

Hi Kelly! It seems you enjoyed a very nice trip ! Shopping therapy is the best ! I should definitely include it to my Detox program 😉
Too funny Claire! Yes, we did enjoy our trip, and like you, shopping therapy does me good!

Kim - January 17, 2016 - 7:49 am

Kelly, I just went to Ponce City Market for the first time yesterday with my daughter. It was so crowded, but of course it was a beautiful Saturday and everyone was out. We didn’t go to all the shops since it took forever to just eat lunch, but I hope to go back. We went in West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Athropologie, Frye, and Madewell. I like some of the clothes at Antrho, but they have to be on sale. I too like J.Crew, but we didn’t go in there yesterday. We have driven through Chattanooga numerous times to go to our son’s in Nashville, but have never shopped there. May have to plan that either on the way up or back if I can talk hubby into it.
Isn’t it such a neat building?! I hate that it was so crowded for your visit. It sounds like you hit quite a few shops though. Love that Williams Sonoma there! Definitely make your husband least for lunch…in Chattanooga. I think you will like it, but I will say that Ponce City Market has more to offer than Warehouse Row (at least I think it does. :) )

Kay - January 17, 2016 - 8:07 am

I loved this post! I wish more bloggers would share this kind of shopping fun! Thanks so much — you made my morning!
Thank YOU Kay!

Garden, Home and Party - January 17, 2016 - 10:18 am

What a great shopping destination. I love historic buildings and would need a few days to take in all the architecture, shopping and, of course, dining opportunities! Thanks for the tour, Kelly.

Sherry Myers - January 17, 2016 - 11:15 am

I think I could get lost in those shops. I don’t know if I could just spend a little time in each one. That would be torture!! I’ve been known to look at dishes for hours. What a nice trip. Thank you for sharing it with us. I really enjoyed it. I have traveled through Chattanooga several times and stayed there one weekend during college at my Aunt and Uncle’s home. That was many years ago. I know it has become quite a gem of the South. You certainly proved it!! Great post!

Anita - January 17, 2016 - 11:17 am

The stores are absolutely amazing! I would love to do a little shopping there one day.

Carolyn - January 17, 2016 - 11:42 am

Fun! Lines Orchids looks like my kind of place. Anthropologie is always fun to browse. I have to admit to liking some of their boho looking clothes, though I’d probably never wear them. I have found a top or two, but most of the clothes seem to be designed for sizes 2 to 6. I, too, like looking at their housewares and neat gifty things. They have a new store here (which was controversial – many would prefer to have only local stores and keep the chains out), but I haven’t shopped there yet since moving to the mountains.

Angela - January 17, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Love Chattanooga! Born and raised there! Moved to the Atlanta area in 2005! Miss it!

Teresea - January 17, 2016 - 6:11 pm

I’m actually looking at real estate now in Chattanooga. Hoping to move from Memphis to that area soon. Thanks for the info. - January 17, 2016 - 7:03 pm

What great stores you visited. Love the displays at anthropologie!

mari1017 - January 18, 2016 - 9:42 am

What a fascinating trip to Chattanooga! I’ve never been in that area, and your blog has given me a new appreciation for an area that I never really paid any attention to as far as shopping or eating or touring! Thanks so much – looks like much fun and shopping! God bless your husband who seems to be quite skilled at “killing time” LOL :-) Have a blessed week!!!

Gina - January 18, 2016 - 11:36 am

Looks like a good spot to walk around and get some inspiration or spend lots of dollars! 😉 I loved the old recipe wall! I’ve been wanting to frame an old one for awhile. Guess I need to get on that! :) I have been up to Lookout Mountain and visited Ruby Falls once with two of my sisters-in-law and bro-in-law when we were driving back from the Miss Teen USA in Texas. We had gone to see our niece and since it was a long road trip we stopped at a few interesting spots like this. :) My daughter went to college with the daughter of the owner of Rock City. We called her “Rock City Cindy.” 😉 It is beautiful up on the mountain. Now I want to go to Chattanooga!! :)

Marianne in Mo. - January 18, 2016 - 11:58 am

What a cool place to shop. I love that developers see vision in an old building, instead of putting up another boring mall that becomes nothing more than a ‘tween haven.
I had to wonder how many people stand there and take a photo of that recipe, or copy it down to keep for trying out. Neat wall! I have framed some of my MIL’s hand-written recipes, they are a hoot, because of her unique abbreviations and her tiny handwriting. She also typed some, (thank heaven! ) on my father in laws old typewriter. I have that typewriter, and it has some quirky keys that type heavier. I think it’s from WWII era, as that would have been the time he would have gotten it. I wish I had found out it’s history, but too late now.

I also would be spending an inordinate amount of time drooling over those dishes!
Thanks for the tour!

Kathy - January 18, 2016 - 10:52 pm

That was fun!I enjoy shopping in unique places. I clicked on every store link. I am putting this on the list of places to go when Josie eight days!
8 days wow! I know she is excited. My husband thinks he has 11 more to go unless they offer him some major incentive to stay. Glad you enjoyed the virtual shopping. :)

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - January 22, 2016 - 8:50 pm

i have been to Chattanooga a few times and always go to a great antique mall there…I have taken note of these wonderful places on my next trip!…thanks Kelly!

Travel Talk: Dining in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga TN viewMy husband and I made a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee last October, and  somehow I have missed writing a post on it! (I think Halloween, a party, Thanksgiving, and all things Christmas took over the blog posts during that time.) So today let’s take a look at just the restaurants we sampled on our visit.  We were only there a few days for a conference, but we tried to cram in as much food as we possibly could.:)

On our first morning we headed to a restaurant that had received super high ratings for their breakfast, Bluegrass Grill.  It was located right on Main Street, and it appeared that a good bit of development was being done in the area.  This unusual statue was not far from the restaurant.

dress statue ChattanoogaAnd look at this very creative fence and gate in a nearby parking area.

fence and gate in ChattanoogaHere is the entrance to the restaurant.

Bluegrass Grill Chattanooga TN

Inside, there was a huge mural of the Blue Ridge Mountains,
(and Bluegrass music was playing over the speakers.)

Bluegrass Grill interior Chattanooga TN

The place was super busy, but we were seated at a small table very quickly.  Others who came in after us had quite a wait. (And this was the middle of the week..not a leisurely Saturday morning.)

Bluegrass Grill Chattanooga TN menuThe menu offered any kind of omelet that you could possibly think of!

Bluegrass Grill menu Chattanooga TNMy sweet tooth called for French toast and the bowl of fresh strawberries and bananas,
but my husband had a Denver omelet and their highly recommended grits.

Chattanooga Bluegrass Grill breakfast platesI really liked Bluegrass Grill.  The food was delicious, the service great, and the atmosphere was wonderful.  The little place is tight on space, so you are seated pretty close to other customers.  Next to us was a group of 3 people…probably in their late twenties to early thirties.  They were talking about mission work they had been doing.  (Yes, I was listening in on their conversation.:()  When it came time to pay their bill, the waitress came over and told them, “The customers that just left paid for your bill.”  One of the guys at the table then said, “Wow!  God can bless me like this every day if He wants to!”:) How cute was that?!

Lunch that day was at our hotel, the Marriott, but for dinner that night I was excited we were going to Public House restaurant.  There are many good restaurants from which to choose in Chattanooga, and this one was among the best.

Public House restaurant exteriorsource

Public House is located in Warehouse Row (which I will share with you in the next post:)) and the interiors were done by cke interior design.  The space was very peaceful with board and batten walls, old wood floors, unique lighting, and a good mix of rustic, urban, and new.

Public House restaurant interior Chattanooga


Public House interior ChattanoogaLoved our French style linen napkins with the red stripes!

Public House table setting ChattanoogaAnd now to the most important part…the food!  The menu has very Southern dishes prepared with a fresh take on the ingredients.

Public House menu ChattanoogaI wanted to sample everything…especially all the appetizers!  We decided on the deviled eggs with bacon brittle which were very good.

Public House Chattanooga deviled eggsWhen we visit again, I want to try the appetizer plate that has grilled sourdough bread with pimento cheese and fried dill pickles. Yum!

Public House pimento cheese and fried picklessource

After our appetizers, the waiter brought out this bowl of biscuits and corn muffins.
(Again, very good.)

Public House biscuits ChattanoogaThen our entrees arrived. I had ordered the fried chicken.  On the menu it came with macaroni and cheese, but I am such a lover of beets and goat cheese that I had them substitute it for them.  I would definitely order it all again.:) You can see my husband’s order of shrimp and grits in the background of the photo.  His dish was delicious as well.

Public House Chattanooga fried chickenNow for dessert.  As much as I am a sweet lover, and as awesome as all of their desserts sounded, I just could not hold another bite.:( (I should have ordered the carrot cake to go, and enjoyed it in the hotel with coffee.)  There’s always next time…:)

Public House dessert menu ChattanoogaThe following evening we went back to Warehouse Row to give Tupelo Honey a try for dinner.  They too offer Southern cuisine prepared with an innovative approach. The hanging window decor was unique.

Tupelo Honey ceiling ChattanoogaYou can purchase their jellies, salad dressings, and cookbooks in the restaurant.

Tupelo Honey cabinetMy mother gave me a copy of their most recent cookbook.

Tupelo Honey cafe cookbook

Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains

It has quite a few very unusual takes on Southern dishes – everything from at least 4 versions of pimento cheese to buttermilk cheesecake. Each chapter has a page or two of very interesting writing about life in the Blue Ridge mountains, and there are numerous gorgeous photos of the region.  (I do wish they had included more food photography though.)  The Tupelo Honey people also published another cookbook a few years before this one.  I have not seen it, but I imagine it too has recipes for traditional Southern dishes prepared in unique ways.

Tupelo Honey cookbook

Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen

Okay, now to our meal.:)

 The first thing they bring out after taking your order is a bowl of biscuits with blueberry preserves.  They were good, but I will say the bread at Public House was better.

Tupelo Honey biscuits ChattanoogaI tried their fried chicken.  (I was on a quest to determine where to find the best.:))  They serve it boneless, which is not quite what I want when I order fried chicken, but it was good. I also had their mac n’ cheese and sweet potato fries….

Tupelo Honey fried chicken Chattanoogaand my husband had a salmon dish with a salad and fries.

Tupelo Honey salmon ChattanoogaTo me, the food was tasty, but the whole restaurant just felt like Cracker Barrel had tried to go upscale.  I guess the fact that it is a chain restaurant may have had a bearing on those thoughts.  Regardless, we enjoyed our dinner and our dessert of a shared banana pudding.:)

Tupelo Honey banana pudding ChattanoogaOn our last day in Chattanooga, we stopped for lunch at Foodworks before making our way back home. (You should click on the link if for no other reason than to watch the background video of the restaurant interior on their homepage.) The restaurant is located in a beautifully renovated knitting mill.

Foodworks Chattanooga exterior

Foodworks Chattanooga interior

They offered quite a selection for a lunchtime meal.

Foodworks Chattanooga menuMy husband had their burger…

Foodworks Chattanooga burgerand I had their incredibly delicious chicken picatta.

(Yes, there is chicken swimming in a lemon butter sauce under that large pile of mushrooms, tomatoes, basil leaves, and Parmesan!)

Foodworks Chattanooga chicken picattaThis time I knew to forego the appetizers and save room for dessert.:)

Foodworks Chattanooga dessert menusource

I am not a fan of bread puddings, (It’s a texture thing folks:() but we ordered the coffee toffee one because it had Heath bars in it.  The flavor was good, but like I said, I just don’t care for the texture of bread puddings.  I think I would have liked the “Something Chocolate” dish more.

Foodworks Chattanooga bread puddingAnd with that, our meals in Chattanooga are history.  Next time we are together, I want to show you where we shopped on our trip.  If you are from Chattanooga, or if you have visited, and you know of great places to eat that we missed, (which I am sure there are a zillion in that foodie town!) please leave a comment with your recommendation.  We would love to know for the next time we travel there!

Until next time…


Keith Newberry - January 14, 2016 - 5:07 pm

Enjoyed your blog!!! Shrimp and grits is one of my favorites!! My daughter is getting married in May outside Chattanooga. Her Bridesmaid Luncheon is at Tupelo Honey Cafe and rehearsal dinner is at The Knitting Mill. You picked some good restaurants!!
Thanks so much for reading Keith! Tupelo Honey will be fun for the bridesmaid’s luncheon, and I know the rehearsal dinner at Foodworks at The Knitting Mill will be yummy. Perhaps they will serve shrimp and grits for the dinner! I think we just got lucky with our picks. :)

Laura Newberry - January 14, 2016 - 5:21 pm

Tupelo honey and foodworks are definitely two of my favorite places in Chattanooga! I moved here two years ago and completely fell in love with the city. One of my favorite things about Chattanooga is the amazing food! It’s impossible to pick just one favorite. Another restaurant that I love is called Blue Orleans. It’s very traditional New Orleans Cajun food. AMAZING! Sometimes the service isn’t so great (under staffed) but the food is totally worth it. In walking distance from blue Orleans is where you will find the best hot chocolate you will ever have in your life at Hot Chocolatier. Tony’s is a great Italian restaurant as well. Give these a try next time you are in town!
I really liked Chattanooga when we were there for our short visit! I had not been there since I was a child. Your town does have some VERY good places for food. Thank you so much for the recommendations! My husband likes Cajun food, so I feel sure Blue Orleans is a place we will try on our next visit. And oh my at the hot chocolate!! I would love a cup of that right now! Love Italian too, so Tony’s sounds like a good place as well.
Thanks again Laura!

Louvina - January 14, 2016 - 7:12 pm

Another good one! Truly enjoy the travels and seeing menus and food choices. Haven’t been to that city since I was a child on my first ever vacation at the age of 9! Went to see Rock City on our way to Silver Springs and Daytona Beach. I enjoyed it all so much — may be the reason why I am in FL near the sea today! :)
Thank you Louvina. I went to Chattanooga as a child too…and Rock City too. I forgot we took our boys there as well when they were small. We have a photo here somewhere of them standing beside the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. :) Yes, your love for Daytona Beach started your whole Florida thing!

Garden, Home and Party - January 14, 2016 - 7:47 pm

Oh my gosh, this post has made me so hungry. It’s getting close to dinner time, I wish I had all of the ingredients to make that fried chicken (the first one). Honestly, all of it looked so delicious. I’ve never been to Tennessee, let alone Chattanooga. What fun.
Oh dear..sorry about that Karen! Yes, I wish I could make that fried chicken for dinner too. Every time I make fried chicken, all I make is a big mess! LOL You need to add Chattanooga to your Southern tour. :)

Tricia - January 14, 2016 - 9:05 pm

Hi Kelly…I LOVE eating and dining out is our favourite activity when travelling. The restaurants you tried all sound so good. The chicken piccata looks and sounds absolutely mouth watering. Must look up a recipe, never made it before. The lemon butter got my attention! I kow exactly what you mean about bread pudding, and like you, I would be tempted to try the coffee toffee version, it sounds divine, but the texture! The peanut butter cheesecake would be my choice :)
Those are good activities when traveling Tricia! I have had a lot of variations of the chicken picatta, but that one at Foodworks was one of the best. Glad to know I am not alone on the texture issue with bread pudding. :) I would have loved that peanut butter cheesecake, but unfortunately I have developed a bad allergy to peanuts. :(

Ruth - January 14, 2016 - 9:23 pm

Not surprised it took you more than a year to record your “doin’s” in 2015, because your year was packed about 3 times fuller than that of anyone else I can think of! Thanks for another terrific post and travelogue! You can add Travel Agent to the long list of fallback careers for which you are mightily qualified. :-)
Too funny Ruth! It would be fun to be a travel agent, but I would really want to go on the trips that I plan for others!

Lisa Behrmann - January 14, 2016 - 10:21 pm

My daughter-in-law and I had a wonderful trip to Chattanooga 3 years ago. We were attending a women’s conference at Kay Arthur’s Precept Ministries and we came a few days early to enjoy the city. We had delicious shrimp and grits at Something Frankenstein’s (I forget the whole name) and treated ourselves the next morning to a mummy and creative donut at a place I can’t quite remember the name of, also! I’m a pretty lousy tour guide, but we loved Chattanooga and all the history and would love to go back some day. We live in Washington state, so it’s a major trip!
Yes, a trip back for you would be MAJOR for that distance! We hope to make a trek in the opposite direction this year to visit our son. I do hope you get to return to Chattanooga one day for another fun trip Lisa. :)

Lisa Behrmann - January 14, 2016 - 10:37 pm

I looked up the full names of the restaurants!
Aretha Frankenstein’s
Julie Darling Donuts
Thanks for the names of your recommended restaurants. We will give them a try on our next trip!

Kathy - January 14, 2016 - 11:29 pm

That was fun! I loved it! As I was reading I thought…I bet Kelly would like Tupelo Honey! Next up, Tupelo Honey! The photo of your biscuit did not look as tasty as the one I had at another Tupelo Honey. Interesting that you pointed out the hanging doors because the hanging doors and hanging windows interested us too. I had the fried green tomatoes there. It is funny what we find on menus today…deviled eggs! My mom was before her time! The chicken piccata looked the best to me. Food Works would probably be my favotite. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
You know my tastes well Kathy! Ha! I do think we must have been twins in another life. :) (I love fried green tomatoes and would have ordered them for an appetizer, but I wanted room for dessert that night.) That chicken dish at Foodworks was VERY good.
Have a great weekend!

Chrissy - January 15, 2016 - 8:33 am

Hey Kelly! This is my first time commenting. I love love love your blog. Your home is beautiful and you are an encouragement to me to pay attention to the little details in my home and in my entertaining.

I was born and raised in Chattanooga but moved away in 1984 as a young teenager. I still go back about once a year as I have family there. I have to tell you, when I was growing up there, you didn’t want to go downtown at night, well, even during the day unless you absolutely had to. I even checked out the zoo on my last visit, and I’d never been there as a child. I’m so proud of my hometown now!

I’d say the turnaround started around the time the Tennessee Aquarium was built. What was once an unsafe and depressed area has become vital again, which pleases me immensely. There’s something new to see with every visit. I look forward to seeing your upcoming posts about the shopping – my girls and I love to wander through the knitting mill and check out the antique booths.
I am so glad you jumped in to comment Chrissy! YES, Chattanooga has had a fabulous transformation!! You should be very proud of your hometown. :) My husband and I both commented that it would be a good place to live, and we think our middle child would really love it.
Thank you for your compliments on the blog, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here. Happy Friday!

Gina - January 15, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Oh my, now I am hungry!! All of those restaurants sound and look delicious. We’ve only passed through Chattanooga, but I would love to visit. Now I know where to eat. 😉 Like you, I am not a fan of bread pudding. I want to like it but just don’t. Haha, I “had” to eat it at our Christmas party because one of our guests brought it. 😀 Bring on the shopping!! 😉
Glad to know I am not alone on the texture issue with bread pudding! :(
Hope you get to experience all that Chattanooga has to offer one day Gina!

Benita Roberts - January 15, 2016 - 6:30 pm

Chattanooga is such a wonderful place! We so enjoy visiting there. Your food choices are delicious and now I am starving…LOL. It looks like you had a most wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing some new places for us to check out on our next visit!
Yes it is Benita! I hope you have an opportunity to try out the restaurants on your next trip!

Carolyn - January 15, 2016 - 7:13 pm

Tupelo Honey started here in Asheville, and is always good, but I tend to always get the same things. Their sweet potato pancakes are wonderful, and the recipe is in the first cookbook. My sweet husband often makes them for me on Sunday mornings, baking the sweet potato the night before.
That sounds delicious Carolyn, and your husband sounds like a sweetheart for making them for you!
Thank you for stopping by. :)

Marianne in Mo. - January 15, 2016 - 7:15 pm

Just getting here to the party! Oh my stars, I think I would love to do a food tour there! My mouth was watering the whole time I read.
I love Chicken Picatta, and make it maybe once a month…so easy. I use Ina Garten’s recipe. It isn’t topped like the one you had though, but that sounds easy to copy.
I gave up making fried chicken years ago. I hated cleaning up the splatters all over the kitchen. Tried it once about a year ago, and quickly remembered why I don’t make it! 😉 Now we just pick it up at the supermarket, and it’s delicious because I didn’t have to make it! I once got undercooked fried chicken at a restaurant years ago, so I shy away from it when dining out. Funny how things happen that affect you for years.
Thanks for the fall trip! Dang cold here tonight!
Yes, a food tour is definitely in order for there! Yum to your chicken dish. :)
Bad food experiences will certainly turn you off from dishes (and restaurants!)
VERY cold here as well! Stay warm.

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