Kelly Elko believes in life’s simple pleasures and tries to show this in her work. She loves thrift shops, tarnished silver, and anything with a vintage touch. Her mantra: simple projects equals more time for cocktails!
Kelly is a doting mother to beautiful twin girls and a loving wife to an equally loving husband. She makes it a point to spend time with her family—laughing with them like there was no tomorrow. She believes that laughter is the best medicine, and shares her humor with her readers and the people she loves. Her blog Eclectically Vintage is testament to her sense of humor and love for everything vintage, featuring eclectic finds, DIY projects, practical decorating tips, unique crafts, and delicious recipes.
Kelly considers herself a faux Christmas tree girl and has featured one of Balsam Hill’s products—the 36″ Fraser Fir wreath—in her Countdown to Christmas series. I am particularly glad that she loves how realistic our wreaths are, describing them as “I need to touch it to make sure it’s not real” wreaths.
We got in touch with Kelly to get first-hand information on her design philosophy and how her blog has helped hone her design and decorating skills.
BH: How did you come up with the name of your blog? How has blogging changed your life?
Kelly: I love mixing the old and new, the high and low, so the name just fits! I’ve been blogging for three years, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I get to be creative, set my own schedule, and inspire others. What can be better than that?
BH: What are some holiday decorating do’s and don’ts you like to share with your readers?
Kelly: There are no do’s and don’ts. Just do what you love, get creative, and make a cozy home for your family.
BH: How would you describe your holiday decorating style? Are you more inclined to stick with the classics or do you like to experiment?
Kelly: I love to experiment and move things around year after year. It keeps Santa on his toes! Whether I’m hanging stockings or vintage stocking stretchers on the mantel, using a vintage folding star as a tree topper, or making a marshmallow wreath with my kids, one thing always stays the same—decorating our main living room tree with family ornaments collected over the years.
BH: What is your must-have ornament or piece of Christmas decor, and why?
Kelly: Shiny Brite ornaments collected by my father-in-law combined with the ones I’ve found over the years are always on display during the holidays. They are usually hung on our white flocked Christmas tree or displayed in apothecary jars.
BH: Do personal memories play a significant part in how you decorate for the holidays? Would you mind sharing a little bit about a holiday memory that left a great impression on you?
Kelly: Growing up, we had a gingerbread-house cookie jar that sat on the refrigerator all year long. I had to climb up on a chair to get a cookie. That old cookie jar is now in my kitchen, and my girls love putting their homemade cookies inside.
BH: What was your thinking process when you chose your Balsam Hill tree? Did you have a specific type of tree in mind beforehand, or did the tree you ended up choosing just strike your fancy?
Kelly: It was so hard to choose! I love the traditional look of the Fraser Fir and am thrilled that it looks so lifelike. It’s a far cry from my 20-year old tree that finally made its way to the thrift store and, hopefully, to another family that will enjoy it as much as we did.
BH: What do you like most about your Balsam Hill tree? How do you plan to decorate your tree?
Kelly: The tree looks so real, it’s unbelievable! I love the fact that it was pre-lit and a snap to put together. I used to spend hours stringing lights, but this year I can concentrate on more important things like mixing up a mean peppermint martini.
BH: What can we look forward to on your blog this holiday season? Do you have exciting new holiday decor or party ideas?
Kelly: My Christmas house tour is in full swing, and I went all out once again this year with new ideas. I’ve also been sharing simple Christmas projects for the last couple of months to get people in the Christmas spirit. A couple of my favorites were making personalized Santa sacks and a no-sew table runner from upholstery webbing. I’ll be sharing even more of my decked-out house throughout the month.
The no-sew upholstery-webbing table runner is definitely one of my personal favorites from Kelly’s blog. Who knew that those support strips used in making upholstered furniture could be so lovely! I also like how Kelly completes her tree décor with Christmas ornaments inspired by family memories. This is similar to how my sister gives an ornament to each of her sons every year, so that they can take something of sentimental value with them when they leave home.
Spontaneity is what sets Eclectically Vintage apart from similar blogs. Kelly’s original ideas and the manner in which she adds a vintage touch to everything she does is a great source of décor inspiration.