Once again, I am already behind. It seemed that things might be different this year when my family actually found a tree last Saturday and all of the Christmas boxes came down from the attic. Six days later, though, my naked (and sometimes leaning) tree stares out the front window, while some of my posse spent the weekend texting pictures of their trimmed tannenbaums.
If, like me, you’ve yet to adorn your tree, you are in luck. Madeleine Elmer of Fleur de Vie of Houston recently sent some designer tree-trimming tips to share with the posse. Madeleine is one of our favorite floral designers and, along with her sister, aMl, and mother, has taught Ellen and me so much of what we know about working with flowers.
A fixture at Flower Camp, Madeleine’s enthusiasm for floral design is contagious. Fortunately she loves to share her knowledge of all things floral and green, and today’s information could not have come at a better time. After reading her tips below gleaned from her years of designing trees for the Trees of Hope gala auction, I am inspired to change up the haphazard approach that we usually take to getting the ornaments up around here and am actually looking forward to seeing whether I can create a pin-worthy tree for our
Determine Your Holiday Color Scheme
Before you start hanging your ornaments,
look for a key color that is a minor tone in a rug, painting, pillows, upholstery fabric or, if outside, landscaping or exterior house colors and bring it out in your holiday décor. It doesn’t necessarily have to be red and green, and there are so many decorating options that work with contemporary interior design palettes.
Re-combine What You Have
Most people don’t have the time or resources (or patience!) to do a new different holiday theme each year. But you can use your existing Christmas decorations and still get a fresh look and maintain your traditions by just recombining them in a new way and perhaps adding some new elements. Gather ornaments that are similar in style, color or theme and use them for a wreath or small table top tree. (i.e., all the jewel tones or red and white, or all the toy ornaments or a special collection of ornaments made by your children over the years.) Find some wired ribbon, a set of matching ornaments, garland or decorative picks that tie the collection together and voila! My family is very musical so we have a music themed tree on our kitchen island bar.
Use twice as many lights as you think you will need for a really smashing tree and wrap wires around the branches so the wire is not as visible.
1. Use wide wired ribbon and garland and decorative picks [in your holiday color scheme] to unify the disparate elements if you are using a mixture of ornaments . . . that will pull it all together and look good in the room.
2. When using ribbon garland, you can take sections, gather the ends, bind them with wire and wire them on at diagonals to create the impression of ribbon weaving in and out of the tree without all the bulk (or expense, if you are using expensive designer ribbon).
1. Wire your ornaments directly to the branches with green wire or wrap the hanging ribbon around the branch so the finished tree has a dense look rather than having the ornaments hanging down at all different heights.
2. Stagger ornaments at a diagonal to each other rather than in a straight line or on top of each other for a pleasing overall design.
3. For precious glass ornaments that you don’t want to fall off their hanger caps, add hot glue under the round hanger cap to secure the top.
Just like decorating a room,
juxtapose different textures and complementary colors against each other.
Thank you, Madeleine, for giving me permission to approach my tree differently from the mindless way that I have been decorating trees since I was a kid. Armed with these tips, I think that I am ready to get my decorating on. Are you with me? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org a photo of your decorated tree to add to our O Christmas Tree Pinterest board. We would love to see your creativity on full Christmas display.