12 Bloggers of Christmas: Carmel of Our Fifth House

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Carmel is no stranger to hard work and jumping right in with both feet. Although skill and expertise go a long way when it comes to decorating and design, she believes that fearlessness is a vital ingredient in the dish that is interior decorating—served with generous helpings of inspiration and creativity. Every home has its very own personality and for Carmel, this should always be a reflection of the people who live under its roof.

Carmel Phillips

The blogger behind Our Fifth House, Carmel endeavors to infuse fun into her design projects. She is an avid fan of under-an-hour DIY projects; although she also does her fair share of complicated crafts and designs. Through her blog, she aims to bring out the fearlessness in people like herself so that they can find their own style, and the courage to display it for all to see.

Carmel was kind enough to make time for a short interview despite her busy schedule. In the following Q&A, she answers a few questions regarding her holiday decorating style and how she gets inspiration for her design ideas.

BH: What do you love most about blogging? 

Carmel: I love connecting with other creatives and being apart of a community that is always so inspiring and encouraging.

BH: Tell us a little bit more about your decorating style in general. 

Carmel: I don’t really know how to describe my style other than to say that it’s all my own. I think a person’s style is just an extension of who they are and what they love. I tend to gravitate towards a classic, traditional look with a modern twist. I like collecting pieces over time, and I love color and pattern.

BH: How would you describe your holiday decorating style? And how has it evolved through the years?

Carmel: One word—simple. I used to be pretty over-the-top, decking all the halls throughout the house, but over the years I started craving a very simple holiday look. I give myself one day, maybe two, to decorate, and then I sit back and enjoy the season with my family.

BH: What holiday decorating do’s and don’ts can you share with our readers?

Carmel: Do what you love and don’t feel pressured to do any more or less than that. If putting up three trees makes you happy—do it. If you’re doing one tree and nothing else works for you—do that. The Christmas season is about so much more than decorating your home, so don’t let the decorating become a chore or an item on your to-do list. Do it because it brings you joy. Also, you can never go wrong with a little fresh greenery.

BH: Is there a holiday memory that left an impression on you from your childhood or recent years? 

Carmel: Growing up we always ate homemade Christmas cookies while opening presents on Christmas morning, and I looked forward to that even more than the presents.

BH: What is your must-have ornament or piece of Christmas décor, and why? 

Carmel: We received a beautiful nativity scene as a wedding gift, and I love bringing it out every year.

BH: How did you go about choosing your Balsam Hill tree and ornaments? 

Carmel: I knew I wanted a simple, classic look with beautiful, traditional ornaments.

BH: What do you like most about your Balsam Hill tree? How do you plan to decorate your tree? 

Carmel: I love that it looks like a real tree without the hassle and mess. And God bless a pre-lit tree! Stringing lights on a Christmas tree is not for the faint of heart. I’m really loving jewel tones this year so that’s the direction I’m taking.

BH: Are there any holiday traditions that you enjoy doing with your loved ones every year? 

Carmel: We go to the movies as a family on Christmas Eve in our Christmas jammies.

BH: What can we look forward to on your blog this holiday season? Do you have exciting new holiday decor or party ideas? 

Carmel: Our Fifth House will be sharing simple holiday decorating, entertaining, and gift ideas—ideas that anyone can pull off with little effort or expertise.

BH: Can you tell us in a sentence what Christmas is to you?

Carmel: Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and to enjoy time with loved ones.


The photo above is a sneak peek of Carmel’s beautifully decorated Balsam Hill Tree. Visit Our Fifth House to see the rest of her holiday decorations.

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