12/8/10

CHRISTMAS DECOR: GARLANDS, CENTERPIECE, TREE AND NUTCRACKERS



I finished another home today decorating for the holidays and have included photos below!  Betty's house is elegant and tasteful, and the Christmas decorations we added emphasize its beauty without overwhelming.
Her staircase and silly Charlie Brown tree are highlights of her holiday decor.  I wanted to show you step by step how I decorated them!


First a caution:  garland has wire in it and can scratch your finish.  When I'm putting garland on a bannister, I pad it with felt in the closest color to the wood wherever the garland is attached to protect the finish.
 I like to lay the garland on the bannister, weaving it over and back in a random pattern.  I never do symmetrical loops - natural fresh garland would never drape that way and I want to simulate fresh garland, even though for our purposes fresh is impractical.  I don't wrap it around, but I do fasten it to the railing by twisting two of the branches together under the railing (on the felt) - taking care to do that just above one of the spindles so that it doesn't slip downward.
 Adjust until it looks right. I add the ribbon next.  Betty likes to choose a new ribbon color every year.  This year the reds were especially appealing, and they look amazing in her home, as well.  We found this fabulous ribbon at Shinoda Design. 
 I don't wrap ribbon around the garland, I twist it in and out and tuck some behind and change directions until it looks beautiful. 
 I like it to disappear into greenery and reappear.  Use wired ribbon so that it will hold the shape you create.
As you apply the ribbon, remember you are trying to make it look natural, but still showcase its beauty.  This lower bannister took 10 yards of the red ribbon and the upper, when done, was about 5 yds.
Betty and I selected a second color of ribbon from the braiding on the first ribbon.  Together they were breathtaking.  You'd laugh if you followed us around as we shopped, looking for inspiration for this year's look.  We don't have a preconcieved idea, we just go where the ribbon dictates!  We also make a lot of noise, oohing and ahhhing! 
This gold velvet, glittered ribbon is absolutely stunning.  I added some gold accents here on the newel post area to create some beautiful drama, and because - well, on the newell post - you can!
To blend the two ribbons, I allowed the tails of the bow to twist down the post, and up the bannister - entwining into the red ribbon.

I made smaller bows for other areas of the bannister, allowing the tails to entwine with the red ribbon and also added the gold accents.    Betty has such an elegant staircase, that was all that was needed.  We didn't add any other picks or accents.

Meet Betty's little Charle Brown tree.  We found it by default a few years ago when her tree had to be replaced last minute.  It was late in the season and this was the only tree left that wasn't huge.  I assured her I saw it's 'inner beauty'.  Watch its transformation.
This year we had to redo the lights as some were not working when it was pulled out of storage. 
We placed 600 lights on this 6 foot tree.
Using an urn as a stand elevates the tree and creates an elegant look.
 
 Betty and her husband use large rocks to weight it and keep the tree upright. We pack newspaper in around the rocks, cover that with black plastic, and lay green moss on top. It looks elegant and organic at the same time.
 
I use ribbon as garland on the tree, working back and forth about 1/3 of the tree at a time, from top to bottom.  I weave in and out, but keep closer to the trunk than the outer branches - this is a narrow tree and we need the space for the ornaments.

 We add the ornaments next.  Betty has collected beautiful ornaments over the years and this funny little tree is the perfect showcase for them.  I place the large ornaments first, then medium and small - stepping back to view the tree often to make sure they are well balanced.
The finished product.  So how does that little Charlie Brown tree look now?  Not too shabby, eh?



For the tree topper, I used 3 branches of the gold accent pick I used on the bannister.

For the tree topper, I used 3 branches of the gold accent pick I used on the bannister.
 Its hard to believe its the same little tree
Year after year, its still hard to believe that the funny little tree we brought home
turns into this.
On to the other touches in the room.  I used the same velvet ribbon on the bannister for the window wreath,  tucking in a few twigs for an accent -
a theme I repeated in the centerpiece for the dining table.   
 it's hard to believe this was just a pile of greens, twigs and a finial a few hours ago
 the ribbon and beaded ornament are the crowning touch
the container and finial are from TPT Home
 a few more touches... garland and candles on the china cabinet.  And a little surprise gold elephant ornament.  Betty has a collection of these good luck elephants.
 In the family room, I showcase her growing collection of nutcrackers
I attach garland and ribbon to the mantle using 3M Command fasteners.  I have recently become a fan of these clever little hangers.  They remove with no mark or damage to the wall, or in this case mantle. 
Using the fasteners with the metal hooks lets me put the garland on the edge of the mantle,
 leaving room behind for more nutcrackers.

  The ribbon in the family room is a little more casual, yet still elegant, and repeats the red and gold theme.
The beekeeper nutcracker on the coffee table is this year's newest acquisition.
They look especially adorable grouped together - the best way to show off a collection
 The final touch is the front door wreath. 
 The red and gold theme creates a warm welcome.

Beautiful!

Hope you liked it!
I also hope I get my own house decorated soon!

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