Is it time for a Christmas tree make-over?

By Nahid Holmes

I received an email last week that gave me a topic idea for this month's article. A friend wrote to me and asked, Nahid, I love all of the great things you have done around my house, but when I began setting up my Christmas tree, I realized it looks completely out of place. How can I spruce up my old tree to keep me updated and look as nice as the rest of my house?

Let me start off by saying there is nothing wrong with traditional Christmas trees. With that said, have some fun this year and try something new. Incorporate some new colors into your tree. I have always enjoyed a big green tree with bright red and gold ornaments, but after so many years, I am ready for a new look.

Colors from opposite sides of the color wheel are pleasing to the eye. Try combining colors like copper and turquoise or eggplant and yellow in your ornaments. A trick I've used in the past is to use over-sized ornaments. Place them deeper into the tree so that the color radiates from the center. In addition to the color, the larger ornaments will add overall volume. Also pay attention to placement. If you find a few great ornaments, you don't have to buy a lot of them. By placing them at the front eye-level, your guests will never know you only have a few.

In addition to playing with different colors this year, add some different textures. Metallic trees are making a comeback. It's not necessary to have an entire tree made of metal, but it is nice to add some silver twig branches or grasses to the sides of your tree. The shine and reflection help add just a little more depth.

If your design is more rustic try something else like berries, sticks or feathers. Throw in a few ostrich or lady amherst feathers to get some additional height. Again, you don't need a lot, but by adding a few of these you can really make your tree interesting.

Another great way to incorporate new colors and textures is with ribbon. It is a great alternative to tinsel and it's easier to clean up. Start at the top and wrap ribbon both back and forth as well as up and down. It's ok to mix a few ribbons.

Finally, don't forget the tree skirt. This is another area to really do something unusual. For many years I have laid out my red velvet tree skirt; this year I did a little upgrade. I took it to my seamstress and had her sew on some crystal beads at the top. Then around the edge I had her attach a dark faux fur border. I think it looks great and the first person that came in and saw it said, WOW! That is so pretty. I just want to go grab it and wear it!

Early in this holiday season, one of my designers came to me and asked if he could do something out of the ordinary. The concept was a Dr. Seuss inspired Christmas tree. At first I was a little reluctant, but after he was finished I was amazed. The colors and textures that he combined were absolutely beautiful. I have been to numerous markets and I have never seen anything as interesting as this tree. I would encourage you to be creative as well. Have some fun and try something new this year!

live  |  shop  |  dine  |  play  |  home  |  magazine  |  calendar  |  about  |  your turn