The winter winds are beginning to blow here in West Michigan, and it looks like we may have a white Christmas if the forecasts are right. Hopefully, everyone has their last-minute shopping done in case the roads get slick!
We would like to bring you one more extra Holiday Home Tour this week with a visit to the Chen’s home in beautiful Rockford, MI. With Christmas preparations all complete and the decorations carefully displayed throughout their home, the Chen family was kind enough to share their Christmas traditions with us along with a glimpse of their holiday style.
Read on for a visit with the Chens before you turn back to your own last-minute shopping, wrapping, decorating, and cooking!
EBH: What Eastbrook community do you live in?
C: We’ve lived in Rockford for the past 13 years, long before we were 3 kids and 1 dog in. Our last home was in The Rockford Highlands, and when Eastbrook opened up a new phase there, we thought immediately we wanted to build within our current neighborhood.
As we started the process and looked into home plans, we began to realize that although we loved The Rockford Highlands, the lots were not the size we were looking for. The answer to this, quite literally, was in our backyard in the community of Wolven Ridge in Rockford.
EBH: What home plan did you build or buy?
C: We went back and forth on a few options. For us, we had a few must-haves: A great room with a focal wall, a large front porch, a master suite on the first floor, an upstairs loft as well as at least three bedrooms–and a huge storage space for my seasonal decor (really).
After reviewing practically every home brochure, we happily built the Designer Birkshire and moved in April of 2019.
EBH: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
C: For me, the Christmas season starts on November 1st! I LOVE decorating and like to touch as many rooms as possible, which means I have to get started right after Halloween. My 8-year-old daughter gives me a ton of grief for “skipping” Thanksgiving; so I do reserve the Dry Bar space in our kitchen for some turkey decor ;-).
My favorite tradition is actually putting up the Christmas tree. I’ve long given up the dream of a “designer Christmas tree” that matches perfectly back to the decor. We grab every ornament we have, put on a holiday movie in the background, and just go for it!
Beginning 8 years ago with our first daughter’s Christmas, I began buying ornaments specifically for each family member. Each year everyone gets an ornament that ties back to something special from the year (or something they’re really into). I add their name and the date, and it’s so fun to look back on those memories as we decorate the tree.
EBH: How would you describe your Christmas decor style?
C: Well…which room?!? For much of the house, we went with a whimsical style. Shades of pinks, mints, blues, glitter, and gold. Retro reindeer, bottle brush trees, and (DIY) village houses really inspired me this year. I truly get such joy (and a rush!) when putting it all together.
Over the years, I’ve collected items from home stores, thrift stores, the dollar store, and even my friends’ donation box. You never know what you’ll find! I’m a thrifty person at heart, and a lot of my “filler” decor comes from framed holiday cards/gift bags/gift wrap, as well as the occasional faux wrapped present. I have a lot of shelves to fill!
EBH: What are your favorite features in your home?
C: Hands down, the built-ins in our Great Room. They allow me to make the holidays shine in our home! I also love our front porch for the same reason. We spend a lot of time in our Michigan room; it’s great to have that overflow space for entertaining, but also just an awesome place to listen to music and have a drink with my husband.
Most recently, since working from home due to COVID, I’m absolutely loving our flex room! We were using it as a playroom initially, but soon realized I needed a true office space after 8 months at home with no end in sight. I had a great time decorating this space, too!
I could tell you something I love about every single room in this house. It’s an amazing place we get to call home.
EBH: What was your building process/Eastbrook experience like?
C: Since we lived so close by we were able to visit weekly (or more!) to see the progress. I think that made it that much more exciting! You wouldn’t believe how truly thrilling it was to us to walk a framed house in 20-degree weather 🙂
My husband and I have a shared album with over 2,000 photos taken during the build. Which sounds crazy, I know. I’m so happy and proud that we can give this gift to our children (and ourselves) of this beautiful home.
We’d like to thank the Chens for sharing your Christmas Eve with us, and for the glimpse into their holiday traditions and preparations.
We wish you all Peace and Joy for Christmas and hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by those you love this Holiday Season.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all from the entire Eastbrook family!