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Posts tagged ‘Christmas tree’

My Christmas Wonderland, Part I

As a young boy I was obsessed with Christmas. For me, the sadness of a summer’s ending was tempered by the onset of Christmas. As soon as October came along, I was always chafing at the bit to get into the Christmas shops and to feast my eyes upon every kind of sparkle and glimmer, gems and gold, ostentation and glamour. Since Childhood through to adulthood, Christmas has always provided an excuse to go completely over the top, to indulge in the kind of decadent baroque-style over-excess which may grate in a year-round interior design scheme, but which, for the month of December, is the perfect antidote for the long dark evenings and the onset of Winter, and the perfect excuse to indulge in every whim and fancy.

In a Christmas tree, with a hundred lights reflecting in tinsel and glitter, in foil and metallic shimmer, every possible dimension is a further excuse to sparkle. Decorating a tree for Christmas is like draping a Monarch ready for a coronation. It is a process of such glamour, of such inexorable elegance that I cannot resist giving myself over, body and soul, to the temptations which Christmas decorating provide.

So now the autonomous adult, free from restraint, my Christmas decorational indulgence increases as each year goes on. I embark upon each room and tree as I would an interior design project, sculpting the tree, balancing its colours, reflecting the scheme to its surroundings, and always ensuring that Christmas has shared its sparkle with every corner of my home.

After a weekend of decorating, it’s time to share my decorations with the world. As I’ve erected rather a few trees this year, as well as various accompanying installations, I thought it best that I split this post in two. Up first are my more playful trees, situated in my bedroom and study respectively. These trees reflect childhood fun, through metallic robots and vivid brightly coloured deer, as well as multi-coloured bohemian glamour. Photos can never really capture the sparkle of the lights and the glitter of the decorations as you move past a tree – half the beauty of Christmas decorations, in my view, is the tree’s shimmer in a darkened room – and this is almost impossible to capture well on camera. Nevertheless, hopefully these photos will give you an idea of some of the creative fun I have had with my trees this year.

Oh and don’t forget to check out Part II tomorrow.

Childlike Charm

In the “Orange Office”, a tree bursting with citrus colours tempered with mediterranean sky blue and a deep royal purple. Upon the tree, vividly coloured deer and playful robots provide prominent focus in a scheme otherwise balanced with patterned and monochrome baubles of the four central colours.

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Bohemian vivacity

From the bohemian revolution to burlesque freedom insouciance, the two trees in my bedroom are a panoply of candy pinks, verdant soft mossy greens, and turquoise blue. From nutcrackers for the new millenium, pink feathered burds, shiny opulent peacocks and a great pink translucent butterfly atop the tree, this scheme is like a stroll in a sweet shop, ever sense tantalised by the array of indulgent treats on show.

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A Scandinavian Forest

In amongst the electric pinks of my bo-ho Christmas comes a moment of calm serenity. Upon my chest of drawers, I have created a forest-inspired installation, a little bit of calming traditional white in amongst all the action. On this mini 2ft tree, I have hung traditional white-painted wooden figures, paper bells, little blue birds and, best of all, the miniature “Moomin” mugs made by Finish homeware company Arabia, crafted as special releases for the festive season. Complete with fluffy owls, snowmen and glittery deer, this really is kitsch at its classiest.

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So that’s it for today. Two more trees to share tomorrow. In the meantime, if you want to benefit from my “tips” on how to decorate the best Christmas tree every, see my post which I wrote on The Daily Norm a year ago.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree… (Part 2) My Top 10 Tips for decorating the perfect Tree

Ok, so following on from yesterday’s little exhibition of my Christmas decoration winter wonderland here at The Daily Norm offices, here, just in time for the weekend, are my top-10 fail-proof tips on decorating the perfect Christmas tree.

1. The Tree

Real tree or fake tree? That is the question? It’s a personal choice, but a lot will depend on the house you live in, the kind of theme you are going for with your decorations, and also the degree of control you want over your tree. I live in very modern house, with contemporary interiors. I want my christmas trees to bring festive sparkle into the space, but also to compliment my modern lines. I also want a very controlled, “designed” look. I therefore go for fake trees of varying colours. I love real trees, particularly the smell, but I think they look a lot better in a more traditional home environment. If you have a period property with a big open fireplace and high ceilings, your home is just made for a large bushy tree plucked straight out of the forest. Also keep in mind that real trees, with their floppy branches (which get floppier still as the days go on) are harder to control and are not really for the perfectionists amongst us. They also make a dreadful mess so think about disposal, floor surfaces and so on.

2. The Decorations

Colour co-ordination is the key to success. This is my mantra in life. I think that trees which do not follow some kind of dominant colour theme are difficult to control and can end up looking disorganised and consequently unglamorous. Not that I am adverse to this look. Some people, like my family or Kirsty Allsopp, like a tree to be sentimental, and consequently they bring out old decorations which have been in the family for generations, none of which match each other, but each of which has its own history, more and more being added every year. If you do want to go for a miscellany of decorations, my tip would be to try and pull the tree together with strong tinsel co-ordination (see below). Don’t try and place single-coloured lights on a tree which is going to be full of different decorations – multi-coloured will probably work best.

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How Lavishly Decorated Are Your Branches… (Part 1)

It’s that time of the year again. Dusting off the baubles, fluffing up the squashed tinsel, and finding that the fairy lights have broken, fused, lost a bulb or have become completely tangled requiring three hours of painstaking work to redress the problem. Yep, it’s time to decorate again, to fill our homes with festive cheer, lights dazzling aplenty, glitter sparkling, and a sense of joy reignited after a year of economic depression, rubbish weather, riots, European crises and all that kind of thing…

Now being the artistic chap I am, it will not surprise you that I take great care in decorating the offices of the Daily Norm each year (i.e. my home). I do not restrict my attempt to one tree either. In fact, I have four principal trees, one in each room, each decorated in such colours and style as reflect their interior designed surroundings, along with a variety of smaller trees and Christmas installations to compliment, and ensure that festive joy is spread into every corner of my home. Now everyone knows that Christmas is a time for sharing, so I thought it only appropriate that I feature my very own trees in today’s edition of the Daily Norm. But, since I fancy myself to be something of a skilled tree decorator, I thought I’d also impart with you all my top fail-proof tips for decorating the perfect tree. Follow my guidance and you cannot fail to impress this year, thus helping to extend the Christmas spirit further by making your friends and family alike completely jealous (this being the unfortunate result of their not reading The Daily Norm…) However for all that guidance, you need to wait until tomorrow I’m afraid. For today, let’s take a look at my trees…

My first tree stands in my lounge which follows a strict red/black decorative scheme. Consequently, complimenting its surroundings is my sophisticated black tree, decorated in a tight scheme of silver, red and white baubles with white LED flashing lights, red tinsel and some very lavish Venetian masks and, even better, Parisian sparkly Tour Eiffels to boot. Et voila…

Black tree with venetian masks, Eiffel towers, red, silver and white decorations

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