To make decorations, start with decor
Decorating trends and colors you see through the year in retail stores, magazines, online and even in friends' and family members' homes are often reflected in the look you see that holiday season, as well.
People tend to gradually mix old and new when decorating for the holidays.
Laurie Kane, owner (with her husband, Joe) of Treetime Christmas Creations, 22102 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington, says trends in holiday decor come and go over the years, just like fashion trends come and go. But most homeowners add to their Christmas collections gradually over the years and buy Christmas items during their travels, for instance, making their Christmastime home and tree almost a living scrapbook of their lives -- or an ode to the tastes and trends of the year.
This year there are four hot Christmas decorating trends, Kane says.
"The first one is a surprising one," she says. "We have been seeing succulents (such as cactuses) included in wedding bouquets and now we are seeing people adding them to Christmas trees and wreaths, too, often with touches of 'frost' on them. In fact, some wreaths are even being made entirely of succulents, while others are mixed with flowers. They are also being added to topiaries, along with other natural elements and ribbon."
Next, we are seeing mixed metals -- particularly brass and gold, mixed with silver and platinum -- on the same ornament and certainly on the same tree. "And some people are also mixing in crystal ornaments for added sophistication and sparkle," Kane says. "People are loving a sophisticated look this year."
Blue is also a hugely popular trend this year, she continues. "Homeowners are now looking to supplement or replace all of that gray they have liked for the past several years and blue is the new color. They are using it in ribbons and ornaments on their trees and also in their overall home decor."
And because the United States tends to follow Europe when it comes to decorating trends, Kane is predicting that the next big color for Christmas trees and for overall home decorating will be purple -- in all shades. It is already being shown in everything from garnet red to deep purple at the European shows.
The fourth hot trend, she reveals, is the adding of lights to everything in the Christmas repertoire, from trees to individual ornaments to tree toppers, wreaths, vases and lanterns.
"New technology has made this easier to do so both designers and homeowners are jumping on the opportunity," Kane says. "They love the atmosphere that can be created by lights. Some are even adding additional lights to their pre-lit trees, trying to make their trees literally glow from within. And color-changing flex-modular LED lights are being placed on both live trees and pre-lit trees."
Varying lengths of battery-operated micro-light strings on timers are a nice addition throughout your home -- for greens on your mantle or staircase or even on indoor or outdoor wreaths, Kane suggests.
Treetime is a great place to stop by and see the yearly holiday colors and trends, as well as to pick up that new have-to-have-it item that you saw in a magazine or online. It is a magical, fantasy Christmas showroom that changes each year in an effort to keep people coming back to see what the staff and owners have done differently, Kane says.
There are additional popular trends that you can use to spice up your traditional tree this year.
"Ribbons in your tree are hot, so we have several designers on hand to make each customer one bow and to teach you how to make them, too. Or you can pay a fee and our designers will make all of them for you," Kane says.
"Our instructors are also happy to teach customers easy tricks to add dimension and a new excitement to their traditional tree by using floral picks or extra lights, along with their traditional ornaments," she continues. "In addition, many customers bring in older pieces like floral or greens arrangements to get help on updating them."
In fact, Treetime has added "quick hit videos" to its website this year. They resemble recipe videos and teach customers how to tie bows, incorporate floral picks into their trees and so forth. They can be found at www.treetime.com.
Keep in mind that Christmas decor is generally not confined to the interior of someone's home. It usually begins outdoors and is visible to those walking or driving past.
Kane says it is now popular for berries and floral items to be added to outdoor greens -- both fresh and faux. That goes for wreaths, garlands and even potted greens. The micro-lights, berries and faux floral items can be stored with faux greens for future use, or they can be removed at the end of the season and saved to be placed in next year's fresh greens.
For more current information about holiday decorating trends, call Treetime Christmas Creations at (847) 527-8880 or visit www.treetime.com. To find a schedule of Treetime's holiday decorating classes, visit www.treetime.com/showroom-events-calendar.