Na­tive New Eng­lan­ders dis­cover a bit of East Coast ar­chi­tec­ture in their Wash­ing­ton- state home, where they’ve cre­ated the per­fect back­drop for a real coun­try Christ­mas.

Country Sampler Holiday Homes December 2018 - - Festive Homes - Pho­tographed by BLACKSTONEEDGE.COM. Writ­ten and Styled by DONNA PIZZI.

As dyed-in-the- wool na­tive New Eng­lan­ders trans­planted to the Pa­cific North­west, Kris­ten and Troy Bar­rows say it felt like Christ­mas the day Kris­ten learned of a coun­try shop lo­cated in an au­then­tic New Eng­land–style salt­box tucked into a wooded glen not far from their Bon­ney Lake home. The real gift, though, ar­rived the day Troy con­vinced the orig­i­nal own­ers that if they sold the home to the Bar­rowses (at less than the ask­ing price), their pas­sion for its ar­chi­tec­tural style would en­sure that the legacy would be car­ried on.

When Troy called Kris­ten to say, “By the way, we just bought the salt­box,” she burst into tears. Now, each Christ­mas, Kris­ten cel­e­brates their promised stew­ard­ship by deck­ing the salt­box in­side and out with au­then­tic hol­i­day decor, in­clud­ing many hand­made San­tas and snow­men from lo­cal folk artists.

“Ev­ery year, I try to do things dif­fer­ently from the year be­fore,” Kris­ten says. “Oth­er­wise, I’d get bored!” Case in point: For this hol­i­day sea­son, Kris­ten moved the Christ­mas tree away from its tra­di­tional spot in front of two win­dows and placed it along­side a hand­some dry sink, which also

dou­bles as a hid­den cabi­net for the TV. In the open space be­tween the win­dows, Kris­ten set up a snow­man group­ing atop a small black ta­ble.

Al­though she mixes up her pieces, Kris­ten does stick to the Colo­nial look that she loves. Hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions are sim­ple, such as a long woolen stock­ing filled with greens draped over a lad­der-back chair, or wooden block let­ters that spell out “Be­lieve” on her man­tel, or even the punched-tin star that tops her tree.

A recent culling of decor helped Kris­ten to or­ga­nize and store her fa­vorite Christ­mas items in dec­o­ra­tive boxes that dou­ble as year-round decor. “No one would even know they were

Each Christ­mas, Kris­ten cel­e­brates their promised stew­ard­ship by deck­ing the salt­box in­side and out with au­then­tic hol­i­day decor.

there!” she says. With the re­duced dec­o­ra­tions, Kris­ten is able to fo­cus on the pieces she truly loves and re­ally high­light them. For in­stance, rather than dot her folk- art pieces around the house as usual, she de­cided to group them to­gether in vi­gnettes. The re­sult is al­most that of a care­fully cu­rated hol­i­day show­case.

Out­side, fresh greens and bows add fes­tiv­ity to a light post, fence and even a bike. One

out­door dec­o­ra­tion Kris­ten has no trou­ble do­ing her­self is trim­ming the ex­te­rior win­dows with fresh wreaths—no lad­ders or “Honey Do Lists” needed for this task. Kris­ten sim­ply opens the dou­ble-hung win­dows from in­side and reaches out to place the rib­bon-be­decked wreaths on plas­tic hooks se­curely at­tached to the win­dow frames. No Pa­cific North­west wind­storm will pull these wreaths down!

“Ev­ery year, I try to do things dif­fer­ently from the year be­fore. Oth­er­wise, I’d get bored!”

BE­LOW Em­brace min­i­mal­ism to trans­form your shelves into a strik­ing dis­play area. Limit your items to sim­i­lar shapes and sizes, such as col­or­ful firkins and boxes trimmed with green­ery and Christ­mas ac­cents. A sin­gle poin­set­tia in a round box nearby com­pletes the look.

RIGHT Kris­ten and Troy Bar­rows carry pre­cious cargo—this year’s noble fir Christ­mas tree—on Troy’s 1967 Chevy Mal­ibu.

LEFT The cou­ple’s New Eng­land– style salt­box is all decked out for the hol­i­days with fresh wreaths af­fixed to each win­dow.

ABOVE Dress up year-round cup­board decor with an art­fully placed Santa or two. Feather trees make tidy ta­ble decor, trimmed here with vin­tage glass or­na­ments.

LEFT Bal­ance your decor with strong an­chors such as the Christ­mas tree at right and the over­size star at left. Wreath-adorned win­dows are eye-catch­ing vi­su­als that flank a glow­ing snow­man vi­gnette set on a ta­ble.

RIGHT A sim­ple, or­ganic dis­play of gath­ered pinecones, fresh ever­green sprigs and a wel­com­ing pineap­ple pops against a red-and-white checked run­ner on the black cof­fee ta­ble.

ABOVE This dis­tinc­tive Santa draws the eye to the red­ware-filled cabi­net, thanks to the sim­i­lar tones of the prim­i­tive fab­rics.

ABOVE In the sit­ting room, Kris­ten off­sets her dark fur­nish­ings with a gag­gle of white snow­men in var­i­ous styles, sizes and shapes. Lawrence the dog sports the col­ors to fit right in.

RIGHT Cre­ate a whim­si­cal vi­gnette with a bevy of folk-art char­ac­ters and a themed print atop a pat­terned tex­tile. Place flame­less ta­pers through­out to light the scene.

Carry through a theme in a zigzag fash­ion to draw the eye up and across your decor. Here, a floor can­dle, door-hanger can­dle and vin­tage metal can­dle­hold­ers counter both Santa and snow­man group­ings.

ABOVE Keep your kitchen coun­ters free for cook­ing with sim­ple Christ­mas state­ments—a fa­vorite Santa, a snow lady or a bas­ket full of resin candy canes with fresh greens.

BE­LOW The Colo­nial brick fire­place gets dec­o­rated with both soft ac­cents and an­tique tools. Folk-art San­tas propped in var­i­ous boxes and baskets add height and di­men­sion to the man­tel.

RIGHT A lo­cal fur­ni­ture maker’s dry sink/shelf ties to the barn-red front door. A folk-art rein­deer grazes amidst feather trees. Dashes of black found in the sig­nage, crow, Colo­nial-style lamp shade and dec­o­ra­tive box lids give vis­ual punch to the vi­gnette.

ABOVE Brighten a stair­case corner with con­trast­ing decor such as a table­top tree in a large bas­ket set atop a chair. The vin­tage white wash­board trimmed with red mit­tens pops against a black trencher lean­ing against the wall.

RIGHT These wooden ice skates look like some­one just came in from en­joy­ing some fresh win­ter air on a frozen pond.

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