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A Giveway and a Christmas Tour…What Didn’t Make the Magazine

outdoor Christmas garland and bowsAre you stuffed full of stuffing?  I ate waaaaay too much!  We celebrated Thanksgiving not once, but twice this past week – Thursday with my husband’s family (and about 60 other relatives!) at his parents’ home and Sunday with a dozen members of my family at my parents’ house.  So now it is time to work off some of those calories and officially begin decorating for Christmas.  But first, I want to look back at last year’s decorating for a minute.

foyer Christmas vignette

You may remember we had a little photoshoot with Better Homes and Gardens back in January.  (You can read about it here.)  There were a lot of rooms that made it into the magazine and the online video tours, but there were also a number of spaces that didn’t.  So we are going to take a quick tour through those before jumping into this year’s Christmas decorating.  Let’s start in the foyer.

The crew rearranged some of the accessories on the foyer buffet and included a shot of a few of the rearranged items in the article, but I wanted you to see the sleigh full of holly that they didn’t include.

foyer Christmas arrangement in sleighNo photos were taken of the family room so here is how it looked last winter. (The video guys did like the tree though, and it made it into one of the video tour films 🙂 )

family room for ChristmasThe poor mantel and all its peppermint goodness was neglected by everyone. 🙁

fireplace with Christmas garlandChristmas mantel with jars of peppermintI’m afraid I cannot take you into the kitchen, dining room, or the back porch because those rooms were included in the magazine, but we can wander through some of the bedrooms.  Here are a few vignettes from the boys’ bedroom that weren’t included in the room photography.

desk with baskets

It was fun using the toy vans for Christmas decor – both on the desk…

van with Christmas tree boys bedroom deskand in their bookshelves. 🙂

van with Christmas tree boys bedroom bookshelfOur daughter’s bedroom is featured in the magazine, so we will have to pass it by.  Next stop – the children’s bathroom with its hints of green. (Yes, I said green…a room with no red.  Are you fainting??)

childrens bathroom Christmas decorchildrens bathroom window Christmas decorDon’t worry.  There’s red in the master bath. 🙂

In the beadboard of the cabinet…

master bathroom cabinet Christmas basket

and in the gift box full of holly.
(It had a cut off milk carton holding water inside.)master bathroom cabinet

master bathroom Christmas holly arrangementOur master bedroom is featured on two pages in the magazine and on a couple of the video tours, but there were two vignettes that didn’t make it into either.  First, the desk area beside the bed had a small vignette for Christmas.

master bedroom desk Christmas vignetteAnd secondly, the dresser had a tray of tea (but they did not use it in any of their shots.)

master bedroom Christmas tea

The final bit of decorating I want to share with you was right outside the side door on the porch bench.

cocoa for Santa carrots for the reindeer

Hot cocoa for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. 🙂

And that is all from the Ghost of Christmas Past, so now let’s catch up on some giveaways.  First, the nice folks at Minted emailed me to let me know that they have already contacted the winners of their giveaway.  Congratulations to Dawn, Christy, and Terri!  I hope all of you enjoy spending your $100 at Minted.

If you didn’t win, I have another giveaway for one of you wonderful readers here at Talk of the House.  (This one is just a Christmas gift from me.)  I thought you might enjoy a little Christmas inspiration as we move into the month of December. With that in mind, I am giving away a $50 gift card to use at Target and a copy of each of the magazines that currently feature our home. The BHG issue is the one from the January photoshoot, and the Southern Cottage issue is a reprint of an article from 4 years ago in Cottages and Bungalows, but they have included a number of additional photos this year that were not in the original feature.  I hope this will help to get you in the mood for some Christmas decorating. 🙂

Talk of the House Christmas giveaway

To enter, simply leave a comment on the blog (not a reply to an email delivered one) on any post that publishes between 11/30/15 and 12:00 a.m. EST 12/6/15.  You may enter on more than one post, but please leave only one comment per post. I will do a random drawing after the close of the giveaway and announce the winner in the next post that publishes after the end of the entry period.  To get you started with your comment today, I am leaving you with a question:

What is the first space you decorate when you begin your holiday decorating?
(We started with the outside this year, but I normally begin with our master bedroom.)

Can’t wait to hear your answers!


You might enjoy these posts:

Linda - December 9, 2015 - 7:11 pm

Your home is so pretty. We started this year with the tree. Each year is different. Linda

Bev - December 6, 2015 - 12:05 pm

I am always inspired by your decorations! I usually start outside as we live in Michigan so I want to take advantage of milder days. Lights don’t come on however until Thanksgiving night.

Cathy - December 5, 2015 - 11:56 pm

Your home looks lovely! I just found your blog and am enjoying the tour around!

Eloise Fitzsimmons - December 5, 2015 - 10:45 pm

I love seeing your beautiful home -the red is always so cheery. I start decorating with my entryway. This year I loaded it up with the $.99 white poinsettas I got at Home Depot on Black Friday. Against the brown walls, it’s a winner. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anna Chan - December 5, 2015 - 9:08 pm

I love how you decorate your whole house, I keep the decorations mostly to the living room and kitchen.

Donnamae - December 5, 2015 - 9:00 pm

Wow…look at all these comments! I don’t start in a room…I start with my MIL’s Thomas Kinkade lighted Christmas tree! Then, there are four small wreaths that go on the entertainment center, and two indoor wreaths. I have a red wreath that goes in the kitchen…and then I take a breath, and see how many other things I need to decorate around the house. Thanks for the opportunity! 😉

Nicola - December 5, 2015 - 8:48 pm

I always start decorating in the kitchen, it is where everyone comes in to my house. I have enjoyed looking at your beautiful house in the magazine and on your blog. Thank you for the inspiration.

Cindy - December 5, 2015 - 7:48 pm

We start with the family room first because that is where we spend the most time. Merry Christmas

Peggy - December 5, 2015 - 6:43 pm

I always start Christmas decorating with the fireplace mantel in the den. That is where we are all the time! I would like to get the tree up but that takes my husband’s help and he is not so inclined until mid-December! We have relatives that come to visit over New Years every year so our decorations stay up for a week to 10 days after Christmas.

Julie Earnest - December 5, 2015 - 3:03 pm

We start in the living room for our Christmas decorations. I love to see your seasonal decorations!

Kim @ Vintage Pretties - December 4, 2015 - 10:15 pm

I always decorate the living room first — it is the heart of our home!

Barbara P - December 4, 2015 - 7:52 pm

Hi Kelly, Glad your Thanksgiving was a happy and memorable one! Your photos of your Christmas decorating from last year have given me lots of ideas. Can’t wait to see your beautiful home all dressed for the holidays this year. I’m ALWAYS amazed at how much you accomplish ! (and so amazingly gorgeous too) You are a sweetheart to offer up such a wonderful giveaway! Those two magazines with the pictures of your home are definite KEEPS!!!

Ashley Johnson - December 4, 2015 - 5:43 pm

What a beautiful home and generous giveaway! Merry Christmas!

Kate Hart - December 4, 2015 - 5:22 pm

I start decorating the outside first, because of the weather, then work my way inside.
Love your blog.

Dana - December 4, 2015 - 2:20 pm

I always enjoy your posts, and I partucularly enjoy cozy Christmas decor. We wait until the third Sunday of Advent and begin with our Christmas tree and Nativity, which are our focal points during the Christmas season.

Drucye Cox - December 4, 2015 - 1:21 pm

I start with the front door; I put Santa Claus on it this year. Then I begin decorating the living room, dining room, and kitchen. I love your house and your style. Simple, yet classy. I have enjoyed your blog so much. By the way, I grew up in Warner Robins, GA.

Amy M. - December 4, 2015 - 11:46 am

The Living Room is where we decorate Christmas first, then the kitchen. This year we also added lights to the pine garland bordering the front door. I love Christmas lights.

Teresa W. - December 4, 2015 - 10:43 am

Your home is lovely! Those unexpected touches tucked in really make it extra special. I think my favorite are the silver ornaments hanging in the window. Have a wonderful weekend!

classic•casual•home - December 4, 2015 - 1:20 am

Opps…some typos in my last comment. Also wanted to tell you the vans are adorable.
Mary Ann

classic•casual•home - December 4, 2015 - 1:17 am

I always start with our mantel…I love th vignettes in the boys’ rooms. And the black checked curtains. I was surprised what BH&G left our from our house…like my perfectly “unstyled” loft office. But it was a matter of day light for us. You have such a gorgeous home. Is it too late to win the prize?

Cora - December 4, 2015 - 1:12 am

Lovely decorations . I start with the outside.

Kelli - December 4, 2015 - 12:28 am

We started outside this year since the weather was pretty and my daughter was home to help!

Mary - December 3, 2015 - 11:58 pm

I eagerly await all your house tours. Your house is my fave of all the blogs I read!!! I could so live there!!

SUSAN - December 3, 2015 - 11:22 pm

We decorate our great room first, that’s where we spend most of our time. I always enjoy your post and get a lot of good ideas and tips I can use.

PC - December 3, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Decorated in November since I won’t be home until Christmas Eve. Decorated at work this week

Susan - December 3, 2015 - 10:00 pm

We usually start decorating outside first…..candles in the windows and green garlands and wreaths on the doors. Your house looks lovely as always!

Linda - December 3, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Out outside lights are up. The tree is up but that is it. Gotta get busy.

Debbie - December 3, 2015 - 6:17 pm

I continue to enjoy your posts and love your style! I always start with the mantel for some reason- it is fun to change it up year to year. This year I am displaying my santa collection. Merry Christmas!

N from VA - December 3, 2015 - 5:55 pm

This is my third time trying to post a comment (think my Windows 10 may be blocking this). I am haphazard but this year I started with the front door wreath and my six-year olds bedroom (Charlie Brown Christmas tree, nutcracker, snowglobe).

We got the tree yesterday and will decorate this weekend!

Thanks for the giveaway. Love you blog.

Karen Beck - December 3, 2015 - 4:58 pm

I start Christmas with my outdoor flag, then it’s always the mantel.

Lori - December 3, 2015 - 4:42 pm

I am doing my best to get in the spirit this year. My father passed away at Christmas time, so it takes a bit of extra effort for me to enjoy it. I usually start with pulling out my German glitter script “Merry Christmas” door decoration and hang it on my front door. My daughter helps me by getting the sit about stuff out of the cabinet and on display so that all that is left is the tree and for me to tweak and adjust what has been done.

Kathryn - December 3, 2015 - 4:28 pm

I have no idea. haven’t started yet. sounds crazy but as a United Methodist Pastor I am lucky to get the tree up. However this is my first year of being almost retired. I had purchased the BHG magazine with your home in it. I hope to use some of your decorating ideas. Where did the matching quilts for the bunk beds come from?

Patty - December 3, 2015 - 1:56 pm

Your home always looks lovely and welcoming. It’s clear that it’s filled with love; it comes shining through. For Christmas I always start with the fireplace first because every year I know exactly how I want it to look. Of course that might change one or more times during the decorating process, sometimes ending up completely different than planned. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

Angela W. - December 3, 2015 - 1:53 pm

I always begin with the family room. We keep the Christmas tree in there, which is my staring point for decorating.
Your blog is an outstanding example of the importance of home and family; your love for both shines through in every post. Further, I enjoy your upbeat and positive attitude- you appear to be such a cheery person!

Kathy Nelson - December 3, 2015 - 1:23 pm

I love, love, love your cozy style! I always start Christmas decorating with the bedrooms… Santa sheets I each of the rooms with coordinated trees! Such fun!

Kathy R - December 3, 2015 - 12:14 pm

I love reading your blog…they are all inspiring plus they sparked my desire to see the more of the eastern United States. Where do I start decorating? Actually I start with taking down the thanksgiving and fall quilts and put up the Christmas ones. This year I completed a new pieced quilt for the couch with a table runner using the scraps! Then I go onto my navitity scenes and continue from there.
Thanks for you generous offer! Merry Christmas.

Ann - December 3, 2015 - 11:29 am

I truly enjoy reading your blog! You have a wonderful eye for decorating! Thank for sharing and for the opportunity for this great giveaway. Merry Christmas! 🙂

Jean tovern - December 3, 2015 - 10:49 am

Dear Kelly, I watched the video and now need to go out and find the magazine so I can see the rest! It looks amazing. This year I started in the kitchen and will be Wrapping things up (ha! See what I did there?) By putting the main try in the master bedroom! It’s just the two of us at home now and hopefully the cat will be less tempted as well! 😉

Vicky Hunt - December 2, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Everything looks so festive and absolutley lovely! I love how you use mostly items that aren’t just for Christmas to decorate. You have such a classic style. I normally start decorating in the dining room but it really just depends on what I’m in the mood for. 🙂 I do my main tree last. Thanks so much for the sweet giveaway! What a perfect time of the year to receive a gift card and the magazines are the icing on the cake! Have a lovely Thursday!

Diane - December 2, 2015 - 8:06 pm

Love reading your blog and seeing your beautiful home. I start decorating in the family room. The mantle first, a wreath on the mirror above the fireplace and then wind my way around the room and onto the living room where we put our tree. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Looking forward to seeing your home in the BH&G magazine!

KellyinPA - December 2, 2015 - 1:33 pm

We start with the trees, the one in the dining room goes up before Thanksgiving but since we host it just has lights, no ornaments until the day after. My husband puts up the larger tree in the living room and I decorate it. He did put out the Christmas village for me this year, I think we’ll make that a new tradition;).

Janice Boucher - December 2, 2015 - 12:12 pm

I love your home! We start our decorating in the living room. The mantel is first followed by the seasonal wall shelf

Kaye Ann - December 2, 2015 - 10:00 am

Just a gorgeous home! Love the decor for Christmas. I love the red bathroom. Where are those curtains from in that red bathroom? I know you’ve had them in past pictures. I’m actually getting my house pretty well decorated. This year we are going from Indiana to California to spend Christmas with our daughter so I’m not doing quite as much this year.

Annie - December 2, 2015 - 8:07 am

November 1st we start playing Christmas music….and my daughter decorates her room. Then we start outside with wreaths and garland. I am actually decorating today….love your blog for inspiration and I love the peppermint mantel!

Barbara S. - December 2, 2015 - 7:50 am

Your home is beautiful!! I love your blog and all of your decorating ideas you so generously share with your readers. I start all of my holiday decorating in the kitchen, since that is where I spend most of my time! Merry Christmas to you!

Pam - December 2, 2015 - 7:50 am

I’m pretty addicted to your blog posts! I learn from your eye for beauty, and I’m inspired and challenged by your organization and attention to detail.Home should be our palette for expression!

PEGGY - December 1, 2015 - 10:57 pm

Kelly- You have such style! I find myself returning to your site for Christmas ideas a lot. I pull my Christmas dishes out first.
So short a season to use them.

Lynne - December 1, 2015 - 10:51 pm

I usually start with my mantel. It usually sets the tone for what I do in the rest of the house!

Marianne in Mo. - December 1, 2015 - 9:36 pm

ALWAYS, I start with the tree in the living room. Always afraid I may not get to it if I do anything else. Things have a way of coming up last minute.
Alas, this year, we only have a 2 ft. tall potted fake tree. 🙁 We have stored away most of our things in my daughters basement while we are in an apartment. We sold our house, moved out the w/e before Thanksgiving, and are just getting our dream lot on a lake firmed up so we can build there. Still have to have plans drawn, builder hired, etc. Oh, and we drove to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter on the AF base, since her husband has been deployed. Moved on Friday, unpacked, cleaned the house spotless, signed papers on Tuesday, and left for Texas Wednesday, a 10 hr. drive.
Soon as I got home, I pulled out that sad, shorty tree! But now I want to go dig thru my stuff and find me some more Christmas! Must resist the urge!!
Thanks for giving me some Christmas, I really need it this year! My favorite time of the whole year!

Sue - December 1, 2015 - 8:42 pm

I can’t get enough of your blog! Love,love, love it! Sometimes the email notification wakes me up before my alarm. What a nice start to my day(and extra couple minutes in bed😎) I rushed out to get the Christmas magazine. I must check out the other magazine as well.
I always start with my bathroom then on to my hutch to get me motivated to get the holiday spirit going. The Scentsy scent helps motivate me as well. Merry Christmas everyone! Take time to enjoy the little things, it’s good for your soul, mind and body.

Sandy - December 1, 2015 - 7:48 pm

Kelly, I started in our dining room this year decorating for Christmas. In a corner, I placed a pencil tree with white lights, six different shaped assorted blue bulbs and lots of dried hydrangeas from our yard. I set my dining room table with Winterberry dishes, small blue water glasses from Pier 1, red, green, blue plaid napkins from Marshals. I used a faux evergreen swag with some acorns from Hobby Lobby and placed three red flameless candles among the swag down the center of the table. Today, four of my dearest friends who retired with me from teaching were my guests for a Christmas Brunch. A treasured time to remember.

theresalh - December 1, 2015 - 7:43 pm

My favorite time of year! Love all the blogs decorated for Christmas. It does get you in the mood to decorate.
Everything looks lovely.

Sherrie Feeney - December 1, 2015 - 7:34 pm

I always start with the bathrooms and change it every year! This year is reindeers. Everyone always uses the bathroom at one point and it is always a surprise!

Kathy - December 1, 2015 - 6:02 pm

We started on the outside this year – always a good idea in the midwest when the temps can drop quickly and make the process cold! Unfortunately, we haven’t made much progress on the inside yet. Hoping this will be the weekend to get everything done.

Dawn R. - December 1, 2015 - 6:00 pm

I like to start in the kitchen and since I use red in it everyday it works great for the holidays!
Thanks for the give away.

Laurie - December 1, 2015 - 5:36 pm

I begin decorating in the kitchen by changing out my regular everyday dishes for my Christmas dishes! Looking forward to seeing your home in BHG!

Emily - December 1, 2015 - 5:15 pm

I always start with my mantel in the family room. My husband has given me a collection of German nutcrackers throughout the years, and he can’t wait for me to line them up on the mantel every year. I love shopping at Target and often go in and find items that you have used in your home decorating which inspires me.

Kim Lippard - December 1, 2015 - 5:13 pm

We usually start our decorating in the den with that tree. That’s where the artificial tree is and for some reason it’s somewhat “legal” to do that the day BEFORE Thanksgiving! But as of the Friday AFTER Thanksgiving, its outside first (weather permitting) then the rest of the house as we open a container! The living room tree is last…we always go to the NC mountains (only a 1 hour drive for us!) and pick a fresh tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Love your home and all your holiday ideas!

Garden, Home and Party - December 1, 2015 - 4:43 pm

How wonderful, every room reflects the holiday! I love your style. It’s always a mystery as to what photographs the magazine uses and which ones they pass on. I’m so happy you shared the other rooms with us.
What a fun giveaway. I almost always start with the kitchen when the decorations come out.

Bonnie - December 1, 2015 - 4:11 pm

As usual, I enjoyed walking through your home with you. You have a gift for creating a very welcoming atmosphere. In our home, we usually start with the artificial tree in the dining room. And, we put greenery and bows to match the tree on the chandelier over the table. From there we put out a number of nativities throughout the house, and some ‘memory’ items that ‘it wouldn’t feel like Christmas’ for my children without those. Front porch gets a wreath on the door, greens with lights around the door. The last up is our living room tree, because it’s a living tree, and we’d like it still green on Christmas, and not brown needles (all on the floor) like a Charlie Brown tree.

Belinda - December 1, 2015 - 2:30 pm

I always start in my kitchen for some strange reason. I have done that for years. I guess that is because it is the place I spend the most time. Merry Christmas!

Char - December 1, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Kelly…I actually found you from the video tour of your beautiful home on Better Homes & Gardens. It drew me strait over to your blog..I HAD to see more! Thank you for sharing these other lovely spots!! LOVE the carrots & hot chocolate. Adorable idea! I tend to decorate my mantel first. It is the first thing people see when they walk into my home from the entry. Although you have given me some GREAT decorating idea for my entry table. hmmmm 🙂 Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Ann Crupi - December 1, 2015 - 1:35 pm

I love looking at your decorating ideas. My husband and I just completed decorating the outside of our home over Thanksgiving week-end. He made a twelve strand colored light tree with a star on top in the middle of our front yard!

Peggy M - December 1, 2015 - 1:19 pm

You need to come to my house and help me do what you do. Love your style. Started decorating outside because of the warm weather we had the day after Thanksgiving.

Karen G - December 1, 2015 - 12:31 pm

I just love your style! Your blog is so full of inspiration and fun ideas. We started our decorating with the tree this year.

Shelley - December 1, 2015 - 11:49 am

Is it school teachers are cut from the same cloth or all of the other tendencies that come with the love of RED? Your every detail, down to the smallest one is obvious that it is well thought out. Love your style!

Susan R - December 1, 2015 - 8:03 am

I always start my Christmas decorating I my small den. It’s the first room I enter when bringing all my Christmas decorations from the attic. I love your blog!

Joy Cooper - December 1, 2015 - 7:18 am

I started my Christmas decorating in the dining room off of the kitchen. That way as I was cooking dinner, I could run in and get little things done along the way! Multitasking at it’s best!

Charla - December 1, 2015 - 6:25 am

At least a week before Thanksgiving, I begin our decorating with the mantle. It is a focal point in our living room along with the tree.

Pat - December 1, 2015 - 3:11 am

I love your decorating style, Kelly. I too love red (my favorite color!). I always start my decorating with the front door and then put all my candles in the windows. Nothing says Christmas to me more than simple candles in windows on cold, frosty nights.

Tracy - December 1, 2015 - 12:56 am

I was looking forward to seeing a few pictures of your Christmas photo shoot from January. What a lovely loving home you have created!
When decorating for Christmas I start with the first box I open;)and then the craziness begins!

Katrina - November 30, 2015 - 11:59 pm

We always start with our Christmas tree. This year we bought one for the sun room and one for the living room. Since we still have painting, boxes and lots of unfinished projects I am not getting out lots more. First thing on my list tomorrow is going outside to cut berries and magnolia. I so appreciate that you use a real tree and fresh greens also. I really am not a fan of fake trees or greenery (but know some don’t have a choice if these irritate their allergies). Looks like I’ll be wearing a raincoat for this activity. The only good thing about all this rain is that it inspired me to get cute rainboots for everyone for Christmas. Like Kathy, your tree topped VW buses bring a smile to my face. Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Sue Browne - November 30, 2015 - 11:49 pm

I always start with the outside of the house first as I am always trying to get it done before it gets too cold out. I try to make sure that I get my urns done while the dirt in them is still soft enough to push the pine branches into.
Once I move inside there is never any real order in which I decorate. Its more a matter of just hauling everything from the basement upstairs and then as I open the boxes I know where everything goes. Love the season and going on christmas house tours.

At Rivercrest Cottage - November 30, 2015 - 11:36 pm

your home is always lovely, but it just seems to shine at Christmas time.

Jan Hamilton - November 30, 2015 - 11:25 pm

Your home is more beautiful on the blog than in the magazine. I adore your red and the buffalo checks. The first thing up at our house is the tree. We still use a real one, but am tempted to go artificial. This is in our den – the Blue Room. I’m about blue the way you are about red. So our den is the first room decorated. I love your website, especially the holiday decorating. Merry Christmas!!

Teresa H. Fields - November 30, 2015 - 11:07 pm

I simply enjoy all your posts. I love how you stay true to yourself in all your decorating and not get on the trendy wagon like other blogs. Love the mantle and the peppermints. Simple and sweet.

Linda@limeinthecoconut - November 30, 2015 - 11:04 pm

Beautiful! All of it…..I need a hot cocoa to go! I did the mannequin lady and outside lights. Yay me!!

Laurie - November 30, 2015 - 10:58 pm

First thank you for the chance at the giveaway. The room I decorate first is the kitchen. We all gather here every day so it is first in line. Congratulations on being in the magazines! Love all your red as it is my favorite color in my home too!

Jane - November 30, 2015 - 10:35 pm

I love the peppermint mantel, the green bow with ornaments hanging in your bathroom window and the cute holly gift box. Just a few of my favorites. Every picture is magazine worthy!

Can’t wait to see your feature in BH&G And thanks for a great giveaway!

Jane x

Trudy Boyd - November 30, 2015 - 10:24 pm

I always enjoy your pictures. What a joy to be featured in magazines. When we begin decorating it begins in the family room and kitchen. I am in those rooms most often so I want to enjoy the decorations all month long.

Susan W - November 30, 2015 - 10:08 pm

This year I started decorating outside. Until 2 weeks ago, we had very mild temperatures here in Michigan. The mild days were perfect for stringing lights and I am glad I did it then and not this week since the weather has turned cold. Always enjoy your post Kelly and look forward to reading about all your decorating ideas.

Julie Foy - November 30, 2015 - 9:48 pm

The first place I decorate is my mantel. I have a Santa collection that I display, and of course all the stockings are hung! I also have a small tree on the corner of the fireplace! It’s now my favorite spot in my kitchen and in my house! You always inspire me!

Diane - November 30, 2015 - 9:43 pm

I look forward to reading your posts. They are always so full of ideas and your taste in decorating is “right on”. I always start Christmas decorating in the den and then move to the living room.

Julia Walker - November 30, 2015 - 9:39 pm

Thanks Kelly! Once I get well from this cough, I’ll start decorating the kitchen. We’ll wait for our daughter to get home and then she and her dad will get a tree. A tradition! Candles in the windows, wreaths on the doors & a snowman on the porch bench will just about do it. I hope an elf will come to help me!

Lois - November 30, 2015 - 9:31 pm

Picked up the magazine a few weeks ago-always a delight to see what you’ve been working on! Thanks for sharing with us. We usually start decorating outside first, but mostly it’s whatever anyone is moved to do!

Marie - November 30, 2015 - 9:29 pm

i am a quilter and I like to make seasonal quilts so I usually start by changing out the quilts from fall ones to Christmas ones

Lisa Carhuff - November 30, 2015 - 9:24 pm

Your posts always provide inspiration! Your thoughtfulness to each detail is wonderful! I start decorating the mantel and light fixtures with live clippings from the local home improvement store christmas tree trimming. Free and fragrant!

Debbie w - November 30, 2015 - 9:22 pm

Usually the kitchen table!! Then I go wild!!

Judith - November 30, 2015 - 9:21 pm

I start with the kitchen

Louvina - November 30, 2015 - 9:09 pm

Nice to see all the extras that didn’t make the magazine. Glad to see the red sled with the holly — one of my favorites;) I usually start in the family room decorating the mantel and bookcases. But today I started in the living room and dining room!! I guess whatever moves me!! Loving this time of year but seems like it just flies anymore!!

Kathy - November 30, 2015 - 8:55 pm

I always start Christmas decorating with the tree. This year and last my son and his gf bought, set up, and decorated the live tree. I sort of hid in the wings and listened to their comments. I loved that my son was telling her the story of every ornament…It brought a smile to my face. From the tree we go to Snow Village, the dining room table, the kitchen, and finally the front porch. I think with all of the work it takes to decorate that Christmas should last 8 to 12 weeks! I am still studying your BH&G article. I find that magazine throughout my house so I know that I am not the only one reading and rereading it. Great job, Kelly! I love the way you used the little trees on top of the VW, etc. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

Lynne - November 30, 2015 - 8:06 pm

I usually start with the tree or bakers rack on my sun porch. I just pull a little bit out at a time. I don’t think I would enjoy doing all the decorating in one big sweep. I can’t wait to see all the pictures that you didn’t show today!

Patti - November 30, 2015 - 8:06 pm

For me, it’s not so much “where” I decorate first, but “what”. The first thing out is the manger/Nativity scene. It usually goes in the living room, but no matter what the location, it’s the first thing! Merry Christmas everyone-praying for Peace on Earth.

Lynne - November 30, 2015 - 8:05 pm

Your home is always decorated so beautifully!! Thank you for sharing your home and inspiring so many with your posts! I usually start my Christmas decorating in the kitchen…the center of our home. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

Sunny - November 30, 2015 - 8:02 pm

The very first place I decorate is always the wreath on my front door. That went up today! Then up goes the tree.

Sherry Myers - November 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm

You are such a blessing! I enjoyed seeing the spaces not included in the photo shoots. I can understand why it would be hard to choose what to leave out. I don’t think I could do it if I was in charge. I am looking forward to this year’s tour! We are in full decorating mode, and we always start with the tree in the living room. It’s the largest and takes the longest. It was done before we left for Savannah to celebrate Thanksgiving. Next is the live tree that goes in the dining room. I hope to have that one done and everything else by this weekend. It is a lot of work , but I love it all! Happy decorating, Kelly!

Cyndi - November 30, 2015 - 7:43 pm

I usually start with the mantel. I made the Christmas stockings for our children and my husband has the one his mother made for him. I love seeing them each year.

Dawn - November 30, 2015 - 7:41 pm


We always start with the big tree. It takes a day or two for me just let it breath and fluff back up while I fuss over it and add picks of additional green filler. We have a 12 foot artificial tree and I do all white lights, silver ornaments and precious moments from my childhood.

I love how your daughters bathroom is decorated in silver and green. So classic and elegant. Thanks for sharing. Take care.


Lisa - November 30, 2015 - 7:29 pm

We started right away with the tree!

Amy O'Quinn - November 30, 2015 - 7:00 pm

Love all the inspiring decorating ideas! We usually start with our tree and inside decorating, and then do the outside. But since the weather is so warm right now, I may get my wreaths on the windows and do the front porch first. When we decorate our tree, we always have to be watching Rudolph and drinking hot chocolate (with lots of marshmallows). As you know, it’s a bit warm down here in south GA for hot drinks right now! 🙂
Thanks for sharing!

Pippa - November 30, 2015 - 6:51 pm

The tree is up and decorated. We let it sit for two days with over 800 twinkle lights on it and I loved it so much. But the ornaments are memories that cannot be left off!!! Working on wreaths and mantels right now – and have Christmas music keeping me company and on task. Oh, I love this time of year so much! Hugs from the Rockies to you, Pippa

Linda - November 30, 2015 - 6:45 pm

You are so fun! 🙂 Love your posts! It varies every year, or so it seems, but this year we started outside as my husband was inspired (or didn’t want to be nagged ;-)) to put up our lights! We planted 24 red poinsettias in the front yard for that pop of red! Merry Christmas!

angie - November 30, 2015 - 6:17 pm

I always start with the kitchen/den area. It’s the area we use the most. Thanks for the giveaway!!

Nan, Odessa, DE - November 30, 2015 - 6:02 pm

Lovely, thanks for sharing the unshared parts of your home!
Very kind of you. You gave me a good suggestion for my screened porch. The carrots and chocolate! Everyone enters our home by way of this porch (parking) and it is difficult to decorate because of the wind blowing item over.

We usually set/trim the dining room first, since we live in a cape code and the dining room is central and visible from other areas. This gets us in the mood!

Waiting for the 2015 Christmas tour. Happy days to you and yours

Lisa - November 30, 2015 - 6:00 pm

I love coming to your blog to get some inspiration for decorating throughout the year. Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season!

Cynthia - November 30, 2015 - 5:38 pm

I start with the Christmas tree in our sunroom which has all white lights (some that twinkle) and a snowflake theme and then move to the living room with multi colored lights because that is what I grew up with. I also love decorating the kitchen. Outside is frasier fir wreaths and white pine roping which goes on the porch railing with the larger multi lights also a childhood memory. I just stumbled across your web site thru Pinterest and love it! Merry Christmas to you and your family! - November 30, 2015 - 5:25 pm

Loved seeing all of these beautiful photos! I usually begin Christmas decorating in the living room and then move to the foyer and bathroom areas. Somehow, the living room tree always calls to me first!

Paulette tompkins - November 30, 2015 - 5:23 pm

Yes, I want to win and have you do my house

Mary Anne - November 30, 2015 - 5:16 pm

I love to start my holiday decorating in the kitchen. So after taking down all of my fall decor (yesterday, at the end of the thanksgiving weekend) I added a little red with cookbooks and some candy canes in a glass canister. When i come home from work today, this little bit will motivate me to get going!

Linda - November 30, 2015 - 5:14 pm

We always start outside. First up is lights on the house. Even a small display is a lot of work so we get it up first and go from Thanksgiving weekend to New Years. Next the wreath on the front door, the faux lighted trees flanking the door and a sign of some sort. The back will get some lights and decoration too.

Gina - November 30, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Very pretty. I’m excited to see your decorations this year. I noticed your trim was painted white in the bathroom. Quite a departure from the rest of your home. 😉 Loved the red bead board! What a pop! I started in my kitchen. I changed the dishtowels from fallish ones to red and white striped. I put out a few candy canes in a creamer too. 🙂 Haha, does this count as decorating? 😉 I also tied a red and white striped ribbon to an old key. I think red and white it is this year! 🙂 Thank you for your generosity!!

Kathy P. - November 30, 2015 - 4:18 pm

Started with the outside. I have a wonderful neighbor who always helps me so I start whenever he can do that.

Cheryl - November 30, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Your outdoor garland and wreaths are beautiful. Would you please tell me what kind of ribbon you use? Is it specifically outdoor ribbon or the polyester type from the craft store? Thanks!

ChrisTea - November 30, 2015 - 4:08 pm

The first place I decorate is the front door. I love your home and would love to decorate in your house! haha. Thank you for the chance at the contest.

linda melz - November 30, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your lovely home decorated for the holidays
I love to start decorating first starting the music then doing the kitchen and living room. So enjoy your blog it has so much to inspire Thanks Happy Holiday Season

linda m

Betty - November 30, 2015 - 3:57 pm

As I was putting away Thanksgiving China, etc, I replaced with Christmas dishes, and other favorite things that my family enjoys and expects.

Pat Peele - November 30, 2015 - 3:46 pm

The front door because it is easy. Then on to the inside, 1,2,3 trees. And back outside.Merry Christmas!

Bev - November 30, 2015 - 3:41 pm

I usually start outside as to catch some warm weather in Michigan but i don’t turn my lights on until Thanksgiving night. Then it is usually the antique Christmas tree. Lights from that tree inspire the rest of my decorating.

Charlene - November 30, 2015 - 3:16 pm

It was such a treat to see the “other” areas of your holiday home. I bought the magazine and loved your house feature! Hoping to snag the other magazine in the giveaway! I usually begin decorating our family room. It is the room we live in the most so I like getting it decorated early so we can enjoy it longer! Happy holidays! Can’t wait to see your house this year! It’s always inspiring!

Marilyn Stirrett - November 30, 2015 - 2:59 pm

The outside gets the first attention.

Heather - November 30, 2015 - 2:57 pm

I am always inspired by your posts. I am going to see where I can put touches if Christmas throughout my home!

mari1017 - November 30, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Your home is simply beautiful, Kelly! Love the fresh greens, the reds and greens of Christmas throughout the house. I will say that you made me feel super when I saw your coffee table filled with all the books! I get smack for that all the time, but our great room is the heart of our home, and what better place to not only display all the Christmas books from our childhoods up, but what better way to encourage reading and conversation, with a little chocolate thrown in??? Just love that. Thanks, Kelly!
Oh, the room I begin with is the front outside, or whatever comes out of the boxes first LOL It’s all good and will all fall into place! Since it’s pouring today, I’m doing the inside…

Melanie - November 30, 2015 - 2:36 pm

I decorate the day after Christmas and I always seem to start with the mantel.

sandy - November 30, 2015 - 2:29 pm

I’m so happy that I found your website and Love, Love your home. I’ve started my decorating in the dining room because I used a pinecone theme and will just continue it for Christmas.

Sharon Chapman - November 30, 2015 - 2:27 pm

I always look forward to your blog. It was fun traveling with you on your vacation, taking your son to college, etc. Now your lovely home for the holidays. Thank you for sharing. This year crazy as it sounds I started in the powder room with my Christmas mice from Whistler, BC.

Lanita Anderson - November 30, 2015 - 2:16 pm

Love your Christmas decorations – especially your Christmas foyer! The first place I usually decorate is the mantel and the table in our eat-in kitchen. Looking forward to more Christmas posts….

Grant - November 30, 2015 - 2:14 pm

Once again, Great Job!
You did an excellent job getting me in the Holiday spirit once more. I think that I will start decorating tonight and begin with the mantel in the living room. I will then decorate the dining room, the den and do the front of the house this weekend.
I have always liked the way that you bring the outdoors in with greenery and such.I do the same thing!
Keep up the good work.
Happy Holidays!


Janet Smith - November 30, 2015 - 2:07 pm

So happy that I found your blog I love your style. Looking for a little holiday cheer my husbands father passed away this morning so would love to win a little happiness.

Ann - November 30, 2015 - 2:01 pm


I loved the red sleigh filled with holly in your entryway! And I’m enjoying the BH&G magazine, too. Always look forward to your posts…~Ann

Nancy H - November 30, 2015 - 1:50 pm

Your home is absolutely beautiful and I love all of the pictures!

Darla B - November 30, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Hi Kelly, I always start in the dining room, with setting up my Christmas plates in my china closet, and then place a Christmas table cloth on the dining room table, that always gets me going. 🙂 The dining room seems to be the first room you see as you enter my home, so starting there makes sense. BTW I loved your new décor for the above the garage room, just simply loved it! Thank you for all your inspiration!

LJ - November 30, 2015 - 1:12 pm

Hi Kelly
Thank you for showing these “unpublished photos”–very thoughtful of you and much appreciated. I like the green ribbon bows with ornaments over the window; I’ve not seen that done before–nice idea.
I like to start outside at the front door by hanging an evergreen wreath with a big red bow. Then I add some pots of poinsettias (silk) and a huge thick faux garland with pine cones around the door. This takes only minutes but it inspires me to keep going.

Mary Karol - November 30, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Thanks once again for always sharing your lovely home and ideas throughout the year. This definitely gets me motivated to start MY Christmas decorating. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I always enjoy your blog. Thanks and the best in 2016!

Kay - November 30, 2015 - 12:54 pm

I usually always start in my dining room. Ran into your blog while looking at house plans. Love it!

Bonnie - November 30, 2015 - 12:54 pm

I start in the kitchen because that is where we spend so much of our time ( :!

Pam Jenkins - November 30, 2015 - 12:53 pm

I usually start decorating outside – wreaths on the doors and greenery and ribbon on the mailbox.

Meredith - November 30, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Living in Florida near the Ocean, Christmas decorating is
unlimited. Trees decorated with sea shells are especially lovely. We also decorate outdoor trees with fruit and seeds for the birds. Thank you for your lovely posts.

Vickie White - November 30, 2015 - 12:19 pm

I always start with the mantel in the family room. Your decorations are beautiful, as usual. 🙂

Barb - November 30, 2015 - 12:18 pm

I always start decorating in the living room and dining room. I loved your Peanuts characters table settings. I gotta a rock!

Sue - November 30, 2015 - 12:13 pm

Thanks for sharing the rest of the pictures, It all looks so wonderful Kelly. Can’t wait to see this year’s decor. I almost always start with the front hall staircase. That tired old garland goes up first so I can vacuum the million needles that fall from it. I always wonder how many more years I can use it. But somehow when the lights and bows are on, it always looks great.

Judy Whitmore - November 30, 2015 - 11:48 am

The photos they didn’t use are great, now I can’t wait to see the ones they did
use!! This year I started with my mantel and then filled a door basket with
greens to hang on the front door. Thank you for all your lovely posts.

Carmen - November 30, 2015 - 11:21 am

We always start with the Christmas tree in the living room. While we are decorating the Christmas Tree we decorate the living room. Then we decorate outside.

Cheryl from WV - November 30, 2015 - 11:20 am

Loved the small touches in the boys room with the toy vans/trees. So fun! When our boys were small they collected the little plastic football helmets that came in quarter machines (similar to gumball machines)and I would hang those on small trees in their rooms. Loved those days! I usually start decorating outside with lights so that I can plug them in as soon as Thanksgiving is over. From there, we usually put up the main tree in the living room and then I have fun adding all the little touches to the rest of our home. Thank you for being such a wonderful “neighbor” always willing to share and open your home to all your friends in blog land. Would love to have you over for a cup of Christmas tea and cookies once we finish our decorating!

Teresea - November 30, 2015 - 11:13 am

Your home is so tastefully pull together for Christmas. I always get great ideas from your blog! Happy Holidays to you and yours.

donna - November 30, 2015 - 11:04 am

First off I love your blog! It is one of the very few I subscribe to and the first I look at.
I start off with decorating the tree, which is definitely the biggest job. Once that tree is up and decorated I start with the rest of the house, finishing up with the outside.

Dee - November 30, 2015 - 10:56 am

Just beautiful! I’m trying to get into the mood to decorate, but am not feeling it this year. (Maybe because our weather is warm and most of the fall leaves are still on the trees?) This certainly helps to put me in the mood to get moving.

Jo Anne Hayon - November 30, 2015 - 10:45 am

We started outside because of the weather factor. My husband put the lights up yesterday;-) was in the low40’s but sunny here in the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Sharon - November 30, 2015 - 10:44 am

Really enjoy your blog, mainly because your decorating ideas are doable, and I love red! I always start decorating with the tree. I then go to the dining room and kitchen. From then on it depends on how much steam I have left!

Barb - November 30, 2015 - 10:33 am

Looking forward to your upcoming posts. They definitely put me in the Christmas Spirit. I always start with the mantle. Also, thanks for the great idea of the milk carton with water to keep the plants fresh!

Mary Ellen - November 30, 2015 - 10:31 am

Hi Kelly, My husband brings in the tree and then puts up the outside lights. I usually start decorating the living room but add holiday touches to other areas as I pull things out of storage. It takes a while to get everything in place. Your decor is always so cute and inspiring!

Carolyn - November 30, 2015 - 10:23 am

Wow! Lots of comments. I guess everyone wants to win! Congratulations on being in two magazines! I still wonder how you did it all last year when you’d been fighting off pneumonia, I believe it was. Looks like a monumental effort to me. So charming and Christmas-y. The tree is usually the big focus in my decorating, and I usually start there, though often the wreath on the door goes up first. I don’t start my decorating until December. I feel it’s too early before Thanksgiving, and I usually have at least one of the kids coming home, so I don’t want to be decorating while everyone is visiting. Every year now the holidays are different, with our having moved to the mountains and both boys married (and having to share them with in-laws). Sometimes we go where they are and have Christmas with the grandkids. Even my brother and his family and nieces have moved, so there are no more large family gatherings. Needless to say, not as much motivation to decorate. Last year, our first in the cabin, I don’t think anyone but my husband and I saw our tree. Even our get together with neighbors happened in January after the decorations were down. So, less is more at this stage.

jan spotts - November 30, 2015 - 10:23 am

Love the RED—can always count on you to tweek everything in red—lots of really great ideas.

I start on the front porch and doors as this is the first thing people see—even if I am running behind it looks Christmasy from outside.

Question please—I love your chalk boards everywhere. What and where do you get the markers (?) to do your quotes and messages

Please keep up the ideas—just love them.

Pat - November 30, 2015 - 10:22 am

We always start with the great room. I love all of your ideas.

judy - November 30, 2015 - 10:22 am

Always start with the sun room and work my way out or should it be in the other rooms. love your decorating

Cathy - November 30, 2015 - 10:19 am

This year I started in the kitchen. It’s always
a busy place in our house. Enjoy seeing how
you decorate your home. Such fun!

Doris - November 30, 2015 - 10:16 am

We usually start decorating in the family room. Love your ideas for a cozy, inviting holiday home!

Carolyn M Smith - November 30, 2015 - 10:16 am

I always start with putting my two 6ft, 100 pound, Nutcrackers on the front porch. It just sets the mood for the decorating to start. As always you always inspire not only myself but so many others with your posts.

valerie F - November 30, 2015 - 10:11 am

My Christmas decorating always starts with the outside the day after Thanksgiving. I love your blog. I get so many ideas from you and enjoy your posts so much. Thanks for sharing your ideas! Merry Christmas!

Becky in 'Bama - November 30, 2015 - 10:08 am

OOPS….SIZE not sixe. Weird..

Becky in 'Bama - November 30, 2015 - 10:07 am

For our first year in our “new” (Old) house, I first put up the smallish tree LOADED with Santa decorations – as this tree is 1/2 the sixe of the original tree for all my ornaments. Oh’s still pretty. Thanks for the beautiful, inspiring photos, Kelly.

liz piccione-volger - November 30, 2015 - 10:04 am

We almost always start with the outside and usually the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And that is what we did yesterday. The inside will get begin next weekend. Your home looks wonderful. Thanks for the opportunity to win a Target gift card!

Debi - November 30, 2015 - 10:03 am

Always start with the BIG tree in the family room, it sets the tone for how everything else will be decorated. Then on to my favorite… the kitchen buffet hot chocolate bar. thank you for sharing your home, life and family. Merry Christmas

Helen C - November 30, 2015 - 10:02 am

I decorate in the order items are packed in my tubs. The dining room is always the last as I use the table to put items that need to be packed away until after Christmas.

Cindy Raper - November 30, 2015 - 10:02 am

We usually start in the living room when we decorate the tree.

Kathy Pryor - November 30, 2015 - 9:51 am

Hey Kelly! Love pictures of your home!
I always start with my front door wreath!

Michele - November 30, 2015 - 9:48 am

We usually get our real tree before Thanksgiving but don’t start decorating until the day after thanksgiving. Whatever box I open first is the room I start will so it’s different ever year. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas

Renee W - November 30, 2015 - 9:34 am

Love to see the pictures of you home! I always start with the bedrooms upstairs. I keep their decorations in boxes in the closets. It makes for quick and easy decorating and less trips to the basement to bring up boxes!

Talia - November 30, 2015 - 9:32 am

Kelly ~ your house always has such a warm and welcome feel to it. A beautiful place for sure! I always start in my family room.

Leanna L. - November 30, 2015 - 9:30 am

I love your home. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside. This is the first Christmas in our new home, after 26 in the previous home. I start with the mantel, it’s where I display my favorite Santas.

Julia - November 30, 2015 - 9:30 am

I always start in the kitchen area because I get out my Christmas dishes the day after thanksgiving and begin using them.

TJ Thomas - November 30, 2015 - 9:29 am

Thanks for the giveaway! We always start decorating for the season by placing a candle in each window of our home. The candles set the mood for decorating and give a little more light when darkness descends in the afternoon way up here in Wisconsin!

Paula Jolly - November 30, 2015 - 9:28 am

Kelly, your home is so inviting – I love it!

I always start my Christmas decorating in the kitchen. I love swapping out my everyday dishes with my Christmas pieces. Over the years I collected several different colors & styles… I mix everything & use ALL of it as much as possible. I love each different pattern & try to be creative in my display combinations. I literally walk through stores & tell myself “I do not need anymore holiday serving pieces. I do not need…” – it doesn’t always work; but I do try to only buy what I absolutely love! I am in need of new placemats & napkins this year, so I’m excited to search for something special that will work with my collection.

Looking forward to seeing & reading your posts this month!

Cheri - November 30, 2015 - 9:17 am

I always start inside with the tree.

Kristy - November 30, 2015 - 9:16 am

Inspiring — simple touches that go a long way! I’m ready to get started on my Christmas decorating now.

Bonnie Bryant - November 30, 2015 - 9:15 am

I start with our tree. It all seems easy after that!

Lynn A. - November 30, 2015 - 9:09 am

Started in the kitchen this year. As soon as the Pilgrim family salt and pepper shakers were put away out came Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Can’t wait to see this year’s Christmas decorating.

Anne from Atlanta - November 30, 2015 - 9:04 am

Love, love, love your house and the Christmas decorations! You always have so many clever ideas that I want to steal. I thought the article on your house in the BHG Christmas Ideas was by far the best one! I can’t wait to get the Southern Cottage magazine, too. Can I ask where you got the cute sleigh you filled with holly on the foyer buffet? It is adorable. Thanks for a great post. Oh yes, I start at the front door with a wreath to kick off my decorating. ~Anne

Barb S. - November 30, 2015 - 9:03 am

Love your beautiful home and like, many of your readers, I love all of the details! I start with the tree in our family room and then the mantle on the fireplace, which I like to decorate differently every year. Thanks for all of the lovely pictures and for the giveaway!

Elaine Martin - November 30, 2015 - 9:03 am

I always start my Christmas decorating in the foyer, since it’s the first spot you see, and brimming with Christmas cheer, it puts you in the mood until I get the rest of the house done.

Tracy K - November 30, 2015 - 8:59 am

I love your home and all the details! I generally start with the Family Room as it has the most decorations. The rest of the rooms follow from there.

Donna Pleasant - November 30, 2015 - 8:58 am

Just the inspiration I need! Off to my church to help decorate the sanctuary then back home to start decorating on the outside. At least we can have the illusion of Christmas today😉🎄🎄🎄

Sally Mineer - November 30, 2015 - 8:57 am

I started this year in the family room with the mantel. I love sitting in this room and enjoying the view of the soft lights and ornaments. I love that you open your home and give us such great ideas.

Nan, Odessa, DE - November 30, 2015 - 8:42 am

So generous of you to share what didn’t make the photo shoots.
Thank you for ALL your inspiration. The carrots and hot chocolate work for me. Everyone enters our home thru a screened porch to the back door (near parking) and I never know what to do during the holidays because of the wind. Now I have a center piece. Carrot, a sign, and hot chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!

We begin decorating in the dining room. We live in a 50’s cape code and the dining room is central to all areas. Just having the table decorated gets us in the mood!

Remember the true meaning of Christmas! Happy holidays.

Christine I - November 30, 2015 - 8:42 am

Ohhhh my I can’t stop looking at your photos! New follower here, I’m hooked!
I want tell you how much I love the oak wood chest in your pics. It brings so much warmth to everything around it.

Stephanie - November 30, 2015 - 8:39 am

Love it! You are such an inspiration.

Ann - November 30, 2015 - 8:38 am

I decorate the mantle in the great room first.

Peggy Mossing - November 30, 2015 - 8:37 am

Thanks for sharing your home with us. I start my decorating on the back screened-in porch. In Indiana we don’t get to use the porch too often in the winter but I can see it each day from the living room so it has to look good! Merry Christmas!


Shelley - November 30, 2015 - 8:33 am

You are always such an inspiration!I love visiting with you everyday.

I don’t remember shots of your master bath before…so that was a special treat!

I usually start decorating with the mantel in the living room. I never do the same thing twice…I like using non-traditional mantel decor up there…like a 5′ sled from my childhood…

Merry Christmas!

Jean from Georgia - November 30, 2015 - 8:32 am

This year I started in my dining room. My Merry Christmas dishes by Johnson Brothers were pulled from storage and the table settings began. This dish collection was started for me by my Aunt Caroline on my first Christmas after college, with two place settings, and now I have over 20 plates. My daughter has her collection of almost 30 plates, so we enjoy the different table settings and have lots of fun with our table décor. Next I will start draping the chandelier with greenery and baubles and sit back to enjoy for a day or so before moving on to another area. Today I am headed to a friend’s home who will be sharing a big branch from her southern Magnolia tree and who know where this will lead. Merry Christmas to all!

Nancy B - November 30, 2015 - 8:31 am

I hope you know all the pleasure you bring to your readers, Kelly! Every room says love, family, warmth, and Christmas are here.

My daughter and I love planning how we will decorate her fireplace mantle first–what theme for the year, what colors, what Christmas decor. It’s a time and activity we enjoy together.

Debra - November 30, 2015 - 8:24 am

You always do such a wonderful job at all your decorating. Through the years and yet to today, I always start with the outside. Something about buying my fresh greens, wreath and tree, first helps get one going and in the mood….at least for me. Fresh greens for the urns and front door. The wreath hung on the fence gate to the pool area and a fresh balsam tree for the small deck area to gaze at from the kitchen bay. Now, why did BHG leave out that adorable little tray of cocoa and carrots? I say…. “ADORABLE”.

Mary - November 30, 2015 - 8:12 am

We started decorating outside this year. It was a warm and beautiful afternoon to be outside hanging wreaths!

Wanda Hicks - November 30, 2015 - 8:11 am

I love all your colors and designs which are simple, yet stunning! You also reuse iems and add to decorations that you used years ago. Great idea! I purchased the BHGarden magazine and was so surprised to see your article in it!
I start my decorating in the hallway on a large chest where I set up a Byers Carolers scene. I have me as a schoolteacher caroler and my grandchildren as the Byers toddlers. My husband and my children are also the characters standing in pretend snow. I have our boxer as a figure too! I love the display because it represents my family. Each year I get a new grandchild I have to go hunting for a new Byers character! Merry Christmas everyone.

Sandy in Fort Walton Beach - November 30, 2015 - 8:09 am

I always start with the Christmas tree in the living room and go from there. Your tree in the living room is lovely.

Margaret Elkins - November 30, 2015 - 8:06 am

I try to always start with a clean house. Then the tree, like a made bed, big impact. Love your blog.

Pam - November 30, 2015 - 8:03 am

Our first project is the main tree, but lately I have been obsessed with having a rustic, woodsy tree in our family room. And I am in no hurry to put it away in January, when I just decorate the room with white, fuzzy pillows and snowy accents. I love the attention to detail in your decorating – right down to the tags on the teabags!

Anne in NH - November 30, 2015 - 8:03 am

Always go outside first with lights and wreaths, then inside with everything except the tree. The tree is usually up by the end of the first weekend in Dec. and stays up until around January 5 or so. I could never take it down the day after Christmas! This year we have a dilemma. We leave on Sat. for a week in Europe. What to do about the tree?

Velia - November 30, 2015 - 8:01 am

Kelly, your home is stunning and so welcoming. Regardless of the season your home evokes warmth and comfort. Looking forward to seeing your home decked out for the holidays.

Donna - November 30, 2015 - 8:01 am

I always start my Christmas decorating with the Christmas tree which is in the family room. Your home is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pictures!!

Diva Kreszl - November 30, 2015 - 7:56 am

Love seeing how tasteful your Christmas decor is, stunning! I usually start my decorating in the kitchen and move on from there. I confess I have bits of Christmas tucked into all sorts of places, our guests always enjoy seeing what they can find!

Deborah - November 30, 2015 - 7:54 am

I enjoy your blog so much, especially at Christmas ! Everything is just darling! I usually start decorating my baker’s rack first then continue with the kitchen. Thank you for the wonderful give away !!!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - November 30, 2015 - 7:54 am

I usually start decorating with the front porch. Throwing a wreath on the door and putting the trees into the urns motivates me to get started inside…plus it makes my husband feel guilty enough to put the outside lights on the bushes! We had to take advantage of the warmer temperatures this past weekend…in New Jersey it could snow at anytime! Loved seeing all the beautiful decorations that were left out of the shoot. I guess they couldn’t include everything. I bought the magazine recently and loved paging through it. By the way, I love the idea of the holly in the box with a milk carton for water. I need to do something like that. Enjoy your week!

Marilyn - November 30, 2015 - 7:53 am

Decorating this year began with tying 17 new big red bows to replace the tired ones for the outdoor wreaths. Yesterday, we hung all of the wreaths, and the new bows on wreaths and fence just shine against the backdrop of our dark gray 1880’s Georgia farmhouse. Now for the inside…

Jill - November 30, 2015 - 7:53 am

The house looks beautiful as always Kelly. And to think we will still have this year’s version to see!
Our tree is the first thing to go up in our living room always on the day after Thanksgiving since my husband has the day off. He’s in charge off assembling our big tree and stringing the lights. Usually I putter around in either the living room or kitchen decorating while he does that. This year it was a shelf in the kitchen. That and the tree was enough for one day! The rest will get done this week….hopefully. (p.s. – I love that you got green toothbrushes for the bathroom. Talk about details!)

Lucinda - November 30, 2015 - 7:50 am

I knock the tree out first. To be honest it’s my least favorite thing to decorate. I really enjoy doing the mantle, entry way and the kitchen. Loved your home in the Christmas Ideas issue.

Jennifer - November 30, 2015 - 7:48 am

Love the decorations, but what really got me was the beautiful tub! We always start with the tree which we plan to cut Friday. First Advent Sunday and Christmas music always puts me in the spirit…..

Rosemary - November 30, 2015 - 7:40 am

I meant to say Congratulations to Dawn, Christy and Terri on winning the Minted giveaway!

Stacey Y. - November 30, 2015 - 7:39 am

I mix it up every year with my decorating for Christmas, depending on the weather and the mood! This year, I think I’m going to work on getting the tree up first.

Donna - November 30, 2015 - 7:38 am

Kelly, I always love all of you little touches in each room. I usually start with my Arnett santas and go from there. I spread it through the house a bit in each room. That is how I spend Black Friday decorating instead of shopping!

Sandy in Michigan - November 30, 2015 - 7:38 am

Love everything you post. I start with the deck off my great room. It faces our woods and I enhance it with greens,white lights and vintage country touches.

Rosemary - November 30, 2015 - 7:32 am

Hi Kelly! I’m happy you had a good family Thanksgiving. Really enjoyed this post….I just LOVE the Christmas tree on top of the camper van!and the candy canes on the mantle …actually I love it all:)
Tree usually goes up first here, to be decorated by all of us together! However I start to decorate our open plan kitchen and dining area as that’s the one I seem to spend the most time in! We all do really.So I like it to look bright and festive early on in December.
I realise living in the UK I wouldn’t be able to use the Target voucher but I would be sooo happy to receive the two magazines featuring your home …Perhaps if I should win …fingers crossed 🙂 you could draw again and someone else could win the voucher!
Have a good week.

Mary A - November 30, 2015 - 7:31 am

I normally start in the living room with my tree, but with the really nice warm weather I decided to decorate the front of the house first. The weather was perfect for cleaning the porch and washing the dust from the house! Wreaths and garland up and ready to move on to the tree inside! Looking forward to seeing the magazine.

Karen - November 30, 2015 - 7:27 am

The tree, our Christmas tree is the first thing I decorate!

Gayle Golden - November 30, 2015 - 7:19 am

I always put the tree up in the living room …..first thng. We usually are out looking for a tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
But as this year one of our children could be with us for Thanksgiving but won’t be here for Christmas we decided to decorate the tree the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Jan P - November 30, 2015 - 7:18 am

Love your home, Kelly. You are very talented at putting it all together.
Can’t wait to read the magazines.

karen m - November 30, 2015 - 7:17 am

Everything is so beautifully under stated , so tasteful. I love the red candles and the cupboard with the red bead board. The vw buses. It’s all beautiful. The desk shot..sigh!

I am going to get started today with Christmas decorating. As I put fall to rest.

Colleen - November 30, 2015 - 7:15 am

Going to start decorating in the kitchen then move on to the tree in our living room. My husband put up the outdoor lights yesterday since the weather was mild. Reading your blog is something I always anticipate with great interest. Keep up the good work.

Kathleen - November 30, 2015 - 7:15 am

We put up our little ceramic Christmas village on the top of the piano first. It’s always such a delight when the lights are turned on for the first time each year.

Jane - November 30, 2015 - 7:14 am

I look forward to seeing the magazine

Barbara Hinske - November 30, 2015 - 7:13 am

My husband has all the outside lights up before Thanksgiving and I start on the inside on Black Friday. I store most of my table top decorations on shelves in a walk-in closet, so those come out first and get distributed wherever the mood strikes me. I try not to do the same thing ever year. Your house looks lovely!

Donnie - November 30, 2015 - 7:12 am

Kelly, always inspiring! What a lovely way to start a Monday morning when we’ve had such a nice long weekend and work awaits in a couple of hours!

Pamela - November 30, 2015 - 7:11 am

Lovely photos! And two magazines? Wow. I can only imagine the joy…and butterflies 😉 I usually start with the living room mantel refreshing a 20yr old faux pine garland each year but last year I decided to start with the beautiful nativity we inherited from my mother in law to make Christ the centerpiece of my holiday. Well, it worked out so well adding peace and perspective to my shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating frenzy that I’m making it a tradition. Our family made many trips together from South Florida to Bronners Christmas store in Michigan adding another piece each time to our Fontanini nativity sets. Mom’s was the biggest and prettiest in ceramic and ours was the next size down in resin. The resin set now lives at our daughter’s home. 😀 can’t wait to read/see all the inspiration..

Pattie - November 30, 2015 - 7:00 am

The first thing I do it put up and decorate the tree. Everything else follows, slowly getting the entire house decorated. Love your tours of your home. Beautiful!

Mary Ann - November 30, 2015 - 6:54 am

I normally start in my living room. I was going to start today, Cyber Monday but I am having someone come over to install 2 inch white blinds in my living room and dining room. I already have it in my sun/ computer room ( attached to my living room). I like the look for this 100+ year old house.

Your place always looks adorable.

laura Yadusky - November 30, 2015 - 6:51 am

Lovely, lovely home! I like your vignettes, which my mom has always called “stories”. Reminds me of home! Merry Christmas!

Pat in Georgia - November 30, 2015 - 6:48 am

It is funny that you asked that question. I probably am backwards when it comes to decorating. My whole house, inside and out, is decorated. It depends on which tub I pull out from the Christmas shed where i start. It is like decorating everything at one time.
Thank you for showing us more goodness from the photo shoot. I bought the magazine, lovedi it, and loaned it to several friends who could not find it. I have lost track of who has it. I just hope your wonderful feature is still being passed around. No telling how far it will travel.
I cannot wait to see this year’s decorating! I hope you find it easier to do now that you are enjoying retirement from teaching.

Tina Sneed - November 30, 2015 - 6:36 am

Love all the details!

Anne Boykin - November 30, 2015 - 6:19 am

Hi Kelly, Thanks for the giveaway! I just love seeing pictures of your home, especially decorated for Christmas. I always start with my front door and porch. Happy Holidays!

Tricia - November 30, 2015 - 6:15 am

Hi Kelly. Always such a pleasure wandering through your home. The detail!! I laughed at the green bathroom and saw the green tooth brushes!

I suppose the front deck is usually the first adorned area. We put faux greenery along the deck railing and that is usually done on a mild day early December. From there it is simply a matter of decorating as I clean, the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Jo Marie Gray - November 30, 2015 - 6:11 am

Beautiful pictures…lots if inspiration.
The first place I usually decorate is the living room tree. It is the fancier of our trees. Clear lights, silver and crystal ornaments with little pops of pink. At the top of the tree perches the dove that was on the hood of the car that transported my husband and I on our wedding day.
Yep, it’s already finished…love looking at it in the quiet if the early morning before the day begins.

Julie Johnson - November 30, 2015 - 6:03 am

We always start with our family room, where we decorate our tree and hang up our stockings 🙂

Renee Deese - November 30, 2015 - 6:01 am

Kelly, I always feel so inspired by your post and they are always up-lifting! I love the detail you put into all your seasonal decorations. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday.

Sherry - November 30, 2015 - 5:50 am

I just love your home! such cute ideas! I always start decorating our den first. as we are in it more. Thank you for the give a way opportunity! Merry Christmas you and yours!

Betty - November 30, 2015 - 5:48 am

We started in the dining room this year and then, because the weather was sunny and mild for Wisconsin in December, we decorated outside. The tree is outside waiting to be brought in and decorated.

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