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“Oh, Christmas Trees!”

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Non-traditional Christmas tree decorating

I finally finished decorating our Christmas tree, the living room and adjoining kitchen. Can I moan and groan tell you I was at it for days?

Christmas tree in gold and silverNot at all. I have a secret. There was almost nothing to do!

How is this possible you ask?

Our traditions have morphed over the years. As our two girls grew up, we did all of the traditional tree decorating – we lovingly used their handmade ornaments and leftovers from my parents’ home. All in green and red. And felt. And tinsel. And colored lights. You know.

Decorating became more chore than delight for me after the girls were on their own. Our home is a ranch with 7-foot ceilings everywhere but in the living room. We have lots of bedrooms and a den. BUT. We have very few surfaces to decorate. No dining room, a non-traditional entry and certainly no stairs. No garage. No basement. Just a ghastly pull-down ladder. You know. Dragging boxes up and down…

Two years ago I was struck by brilliance as I looked through our bedraggled and weary ornament collection. Why not use the dozens of mercury glass balls that normally reside in a giant white bowl in the living room. All. Year. Round.

I swear lightning struck.

And thus began decorating the tree and the rooms with items found around the house. The glass balls live in the old wire baskets on the coffee table and the branch lives in the fireplace during the summer.

Glass balls and silver ornaments with branches

I tied the mercury balls on the tree with jute. The silver garland is my nod to tradition and my parents who are in heaven. The glass tree topper is just pretty, and a star. You will note that stars appear in several places. Including starfish on the rustic mantel.

During the summer I painted two old mirrors left over from my faux finishing studio inventory. Just noticing how much I like seeing the tree reflected there.

Glass balls and silver ornaments with branches

The mirrored stars on the little mantel are more all-year décor. I bought them one Christmas and they never moved.

One trick I really like is adding basic $10 up lights behind the couches and facing the old columns. Now they are going to remain all year!

Uplighting adds easy holiday drama

This year while decorating I had a miserable migraine. I found myself looking in places where no Christmas tree items should ever be stashed. In my misery I had another stroke of genius. I pulled out my three traditional Moroccan wedding blankets purchased during two wonderful painting trips in Marrakech. They made the perfect tree skirt and sofa throws to warm up the pure white slipcovers for the holiday season.

Moroccan wedding blankets

Although the tree is now updated, a bit classier I think, and soft, I had to add a collection of Santas and snowmen to our already-dressed-for-Christmas green Hungarian cabinet.

Hungarian green traditional cabinet

The old gilded mirror and initial are graced with the sweet angel and the kitty book gets a green ornament. Otherwise my collection of odd heads and succulents just remain the same as every day.

Gilded items, odd heads and succulents add interest

The only wreath that is holiday-only is the one I tacked on to the large stenciled painting, another Royal Design Studio Paint + Pattern project this year.

Wreaths are added

What about gifts you say?

Honestly, we have not done much shopping. Steve loves to wait until Christmas Eve and our daughter Mia has a December birthday, so that comes first. I have wrapped a few goodies in burlap sacks tied with glittery tags and real leaves from house plants. I also found some black paper and chartreuse ribbon in my studio that complements the black wall hanging and the black wedding blanket.

What do you think? Too daring? Too non-traditional?

Wrapped gifts in burlap, green ribbon and black paper

The living room faces into our kitchen so it all needs to blend together. This year I installed the gold and silver verre eglamisé pattern (reverse-painted glass) on our kitchen table for another stenciling project, and I truly love how the light dances through it at night. It adds a touch of bling to our ’70s abode.

The kitchen faces the living room

What do you think? Does using your every-day accessories in new ways for the holidays work for you?

For more fabulous Christmas inspiration, check out these blogs!

Create and Babble

Denise Designed

Lazy Mom’s Blog

Blue Willow House

I am Homemaker