Decorating the Main Tree: A Nostalgic Colorado Blue Spruce
I interrupt our next stop on the 2016 Holiday Home Tour to bring you an update on our live Christmas tree. This past Thanksgiving weekend, we loaded ourselves into the old SUV and went to chop a live tree for our main living area. We are very fortunate to live exactly 1.5 miles away from a fantastic family tree farm (Indian Acres Tree Farm in Medford, New Jersey). Although we pay a little more money to buy our live tree this way (as opposed to at a tree lot or Home Depot or Lowes), we really like the adventure and tradition of going to chop a live tree at a tree farm. Beyond that though, you absolutely cannot beat the freshness of a tree that you witness being chopped from the ground and we love supporting local family businesses.
This year we selected a Colorado Blue Spruce. George spotted the tree and as we stood in front of it, we knew there was no reason to go searching for another – this was our tree. I love the Blue Spruces because of the "stalkiness" of the branches and also for the shapes of the tree themselves. An added bonus is the color of the needles, as they have a bit of a blue tone and this tree in particular had gorgeous camel brown stems/branches. Absolutely beautiful. We love adoring the tree that we choose for the season – it is our prize. Buyer beware though, those needles hurt! That said, these branches hold your ornaments quite well.
We even found out that the particular tree farm that we go to offers a very reasonably priced delivery service which includes placing the tree in the stand. So if you feel like you want to go pick a tree at a farm but wouldn’t be able to handle the heavy lifting, you might want to look into something like that.
As for decorating our Colorado Blue Spruce beauty? You’d think that would be the most fun part, right? Honestly, I always feel unhappy with my tree decorating and that I haven’t done the live tree justice. I don’t want to cover it up too much because I want its beauty to shine but then again, I don’t want it to look sad. I came up with a solution to my annual problem this year. Check out what I did.
Our bedroom tree is a little more cohesive than our main tree. For that one, I went with faux greenery and berries to deck out the already snow-tipped and pine-coned artificial tree. (You can see a full tour of our master bedroom by clicking back into the design page.) For our main tree, we wanted something a little less “formulaic” feeling and a little more nostalgic and fun. Yet I still wanted it to blend with the rest of our rustic winter décor. I didn’t have a live tree growing up, George did though and I really love the tradition that we have together now because of that. While our Christmas décor includes lots of little white lights everywhere, our main Christmas tree is the exception – George likes colored lights on the live tree and even though it doesn’t “match” everything else, I love that our live tree has all of those childhood Christmas “feels” and that is what we really went for this year.
To create a focal point, I made a "Merry" and "Christmas" garland using raffia ribbon. I fed the ribbon through slits on the squares I cut containing handwritten letters. I used red diagonally striped brown paper (I actually cut up a Christmas gift bag) and I think this kind of centers the tree and sets that rustic and whimsical feel that I wanted.
One other thing to mention about our main tree is that it literally sits in the middle of our downstairs living area – the center of our home. It is visible from all of our downstairs rooms – the living room, the den, the dining room and the kitchen. This is why I had to wait to let you tour the rest of our home! So while I’m going to show you all of those rooms as we continue our 2016 Holiday Home Tour, I wanted to give you some close-ups and ideas about how we got the look we wanted for our tree.
I love using ornaments with sentimental value on our main tree. Those additions with the colored lights have a bit of a way of transforming you back to childhood. That is exactly what we wanted. One of the best parts of Christmas is the nostalgia. How did I really make the tree the showpiece that I wanted it to be though? Loads and loads of ribbon and beaded garland. By using yards and yards of different types of ribbon, we really embraced the “whimsical” Christmas feel but also tied it into the rest of the house (which you will be able to see in just a little while). White iridescent ribbon, burlap ribbon, and raffia. I had originally wanted to flock our live tree but because of our particular tree’s beautiful colors, I couldn’t do it. I did use a bit of Santa snow here and there to help it blend into our winter wonderland theme, but I didn’t cover the thing like I had planned. You kind of have to go with the flow on this sort of decision. Flocked trees are gorgeous and we have tons of flocked minis everywhere you look in our house. But the big tree, ultimately we decided not to cover it that way. Finally though, to combine that rustic feel that we have throughout the house with a bit of glam, I adorned the tree with layers of beaded garland.
By using ribbons to give the tree a cohesive feel, we also saved a ton of money. Each spool of ribbon was less than $2. Since our tree is a little wide, I used three spools each of the burlap and white iridescent. In total, we used about 8 strands of beaded garland (they were also under $2 per strand). And because you can see our tree from all the angles, we had to go all the way around!
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about our main Christmas tree and how we got the look that we wanted without compromising on style. When we see you again, we will be continuing our 2016 Holiday Home Tour! Remember to follow me on Instagram for daily shots and just a reminder that you can read us in the Apple News format. Until the next time!