Our Christmas decorating program ‘Trees with Ease‘ is in full swing and I know many of you will be pulling out your Christmas decorations this weekend so I want to share some tips to help you organize and prioritize. These tips were published in Rutland Magazine and you can view the original article HERE.
1. Use More Lights and Ornaments: Most people have too few lights and ornaments. Oosman’s rule of thumb is to use 100 lights per foot and 20 ornaments per foot. A six-foot tree would thus, need six strands of lights (assuming each strand has 100 lights each) and 120 ornaments.
To compensate for the lack of ornaments, she often relies on wired ribbon to fill out the tree. “I wind it along the trunk and pull it onto the exterior. It creates a great wow factor and is fairly inexpensive,” she said.
2. Mix Artificial and Live elements: The holiday season may seem short, but when dealing with live trees and wreaths that dry out quickly, it may be too long to rely solely on these elements when decorating. Oosman recommends mixing in artificial greens, garlands and sugar cones for added longevity.
3. Create a Focal Point: Most homeowners add to their own stress by trying to decorate “every nook and cranny and it’s just too much,” said Oosman. To simplify, she suggests decorating a focal point in each room such as the sideboard in the dining room, the staircase in the foyer, or the mantel in the living room. “It will take less time to decorate and create a much more appealing environment,” she said.
4. Blend Ornaments: Everyone has decorations that have sentimental meaning – ornaments that the kids brought home from school, for example. To blend in that red, white, and blue ornament made by little Johnny with more traditional elements, Oosman suggests tucking it in close to the trunk and placing the more uniform ornaments on the exterior.
This allows that special ornament a place and also creates added dimension and a focal point from all vantage points around the tree.
5. Edit Your Collection: While that moth-eaten elf may have hung on the tree for years, it might have seen its day. Oosman suggests sorting through decorations and giving away some of the older ones. She likens it to “Christmas in July” when retail stores sort through and discard their excess inventory. “Throw away the broken ornaments and divide items that you don’t need (or want) to your children and grandchildren. It means you have less to store and you won’t have to feel guilty about not putting something on display,” she said.
6. Have Fun: The holidays don’t last long, and Oosman suggests taking advantage of this fact. “This is the time to do something kitschy or use a color you wouldn’t ordinarily use such as teal or bright lime green. It’s temporary, fun and festive and you can take it down when the holidays end, no harm done,” she said.
7. Create Ambience: Decorating for the holidays is about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. One way to achieve this is by putting household lights on dimmers. “It’s fairly inexpensive, the dimmers can be picked up at the local hardware store and it creates a cozy ambience,” Oosman offered.