Sea­son of Sim­plic­ity

At the Picket Fence blog­ger Vanessa Hunt keeps her Christ­mas decor a mix of fam­ily fa­vorites, neu­tral new touches and win­try ac­cents that stay up all year long.

Country Sampler - Christmas Decorating - - INSIDE - Pho­tographed by Black­stoneEdge.com. Writ­ten and Styled by Donna Pizzi.

At The Picket Fence blog­ger Vanessa Hunt keeps her Christ­mas decor a mix of fam­ily fa­vorites, neu­tral new touches and win­try ac­cents that stay up all year long.

Tra­di­tions play a cen­tral part in Vanessa and Robb Hunt’s Christ­mas­time ad­ven­tures. First comes the fam­ily out­ing to cut a fresh tree for the for­mal liv­ing room, al­ways topped by an an­gel they bought for their first Christ­mas to­gether 20 years ago. “We saved up as new­ly­weds to buy an an­gel at a de­part­ment store,” says Vanessa, who co-au­thored the book, Life in Sea­son: Cel­e­brate the Mo­ments That Fill Your Heart & Home, with her sis­ter and fel­low At the Picket Fence blog­ger, Heather Pat­ter­son. “I’m al­ways tempted to try a fancier tree top­per, but the an­gel is so sen­ti­men­tal to us, and it is just so true to who we are.”

Those tra­di­tional el­e­ments, in­clud­ing chil­dren Ian and Lau­ren’s child­hood or­na­ments, are in­cor­po­rated into fresh dec­o­rat­ing ideas each Christ­mas. This year, Vanessa chose a neu­tral pal­ette for her decor, us­ing non­sea­sonal, mul­ti­pur­pose items such as wrap­ping pa­per, rib­bons, vin­tage con­tain­ers, stat­u­ary, green­ery and real pa­per­whites to carry out the new look.

As a wife, mother, blog­ger and speaker, Vanessa has a lim­ited amount of dec­o­rat­ing time, so any new plans she de­vises are cho­sen for their ex­pe­di­ency as well as their beauty. Quick put-up and take­down are es­sen­tial, and first pref­er­ence goes to items that can keep the house look­ing sparkly well into the win­ter months—long af­ter the Christ­mas tree, or­na­ments and cook­ies are gone.

Faux gar­lands on the man­tel­pieces, cou­pled with large pinecones for tex­ture and twinkly lights for sparkle, are coun­tered by a mini le­mon cy­press tree and lush poin­set­tias with a hint of color, all of which serve to ex­tend the sea­son and keep things merry.

And no Christ­mas is com­plete with­out the hot co­coa stand at the Hunt house. “My kids both help with that and ask when it’s com­ing out,” Vanessa says. “We keep it stocked all win­ter long for when their friends come over.” At the first sign of spring, the space be­comes a show­case for spring flow­ers and birds’ nests.

BE­LOW: Vanessa, Robb, Lau­ren and Ian Hunt make Christ­mas tree cut­ting a yearly tra­di­tion, this time at Eola Tree Farm in Salem, Ore­gon.

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