Holiday decorating expert can refresh your look
Beloved ornaments and holiday decor, accumulated over the years, are comforting touchstones when the holidays roll around. But even for those who long for tradition, adding new items to your holiday decor each year is exciting and important.
Consequently, people tend to gradually mix old and new when decorating for the holiday season.
While trends in holiday decor come and go over the years, most homeowners add to their Christmas collections gradually, said Laurie Kane, owner (with her husband, Joe) of Treetime Christmas Creations, 22102 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington.
Homeowners who have more than one tree generally allow their main tree to become a living scrapbook of their lives (where they have traveled and what they have done) and other trees within the home end up as odes to the tastes and trends of the year -- or to their particular hobbies, avocations or collections (like snowmen, Santas and so forth).
This year there are several hot Christmas decorating trends reflected at Treetime Christmas Creations, Kane said.
"The first one is the Midnight tree featuring a mixture of midnight blue, platinum and crystal elements, sparkling jewelry-style ornaments, glitter, gold leaves, ribbons and floral picks. Platinum is kind of a mix between silver and gold, so it is not at all harsh," she said.
Next, is a look displayed on Treetime's "rustic glam" O Tannenbaum tree that features rustic brown elements, as well as a fun mix of crystals and pine cones.
The Modern Farmhouse tree (ala Joanna Gaines) features a popular home decorating trend and features a green tree festooned with birch branches and gray, white and beige ornaments and ribbons. Potted branches also surround the tree.
"The Snowman tree is a perennial favorite. We have lots of snowmen collectors and people looking for transitional decor like them because you can leave them out until Valentine's Day. Many people like to have fun decorations around their home during a dark and cold time of year," Kane said.
Two other fun trees are the brightly colored, whimsical Santa's Toy Shop Tree (which looks just as you would expect) and the Mrs. Claus' Kitchen Tree, which is decorated in gingerbread cookies, macaroons, cookie sheets, coffee cups, candy and rolling pins.
"And then there is the strikingly attractive and sophisticated Botanical Tree which can actually be left up year-round. It is decorated with a bouquet of winter flowers in whites, reds and greens, as well as holly and boxwood elements," she said. "We also create wreaths and garlands using this look, too. It gives your home a real fresh feeling and is perfect in more formal spaces like living rooms, dining rooms and even three-season rooms."
Small, tabletop trees are another hot trend and an easy way to bring an element of the holidays to a room like a bedroom or a study. You can even use one or two on your dining room buffet, Kane said.
"New battery technology has made it easier to bring touches of holiday lights to places like mantels, centerpieces, tree toppers and even porch pots," Kane explained. "Homeowners 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 which fade, flash, twinkle and change colors 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 -- with greens on your mantel or staircase or even on indoor or outdoor wreaths, Kane said.
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 said.
They have also added a Design Studio this year where designers can make custom bows, garlands and so forth for customers or you can take a class to learn how to do it yourself.
"During classes our instructors are always 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 continued. "In addition, many customers bring in older pieces like floral or greens arrangements to get help on updating them."
Kane said that employees can also help homeowners add berries and floral items to their 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.
Upcoming events at Treetime
• Today, Nov. 17: Christmas Tree Makeover, 2 to 3 p.m. (free)
• Saturday, Nov. 23: A Festive Entryway, 2 to 2:30 p.m.; and Christmas Tree Setup Tricks, 2:30 to 3 p.m. (both free)
• Sunday, Dec. 8: Pet Photos event, noon to 4 p.m., $10 donation to benefit "A Heart for Animals" charity
For more information about holiday decorating trends, call Treetime Christmas Creations at (847) 527-8880 or visit www.treetime.com.