Are you dreaming of a White Christmas but live where the white stuff outside is sand, not snow? Paul Miller AIFD of Fort Lauderdale—aka ‘Mr. Christmas’ to his close friends—shares his gift for creating cool looks in warm places.
Paul shared these great Christmas tree photos and decorating ideas with us. Try these six tree-trimming tips to help your clients find traditional Christmas joy in nontraditional spaces.
Create new traditions
Paul creates new traditions by “taking collections of ornaments, old and new, and blending them all together for a fresh yet nostalgic look.” As a result, his joyous red Christmas tree shown here adds visual energy to a room with a peaceful view.
When using a bold color on the tree, repeat that color in room accents such as pillows, accessories and fresh flowers.
2. Celebrate the shapes and colors of daily life
Accenting coastal views may seem like a strange approach for holiday décor, but repeating the shapes and colors of your surroundings is a way of celebrating daily life.
Paul suggests incorporating your personal items into décor. “I am inspired by memories of past Christmas Holidays. Thinking of life experiences and places I have lived and traveled helps me blend all those elements into the holiday décor of our home.”
3. Add interesting details
White seashells can be just as beautiful as white snowflakes in holiday decor. Add flourish to traditional trees with feathers. Use eye-catching ribbon to establish a theme. Replace the tree stand and skirt with a large basket, bucket or urn as the holder. Add strategically placed lighting to accent areas where guests gather.
Fragrance triggers memory; use it to help dress a faux tree. Bring back the woodsy fragrance of live trees by tucking fragrant boughs of fresh greens into the tree. OASIS™ Bind Wire
(Green) can help to secure the branches in place.
Inspired by interesting places, the OASIS Destination Collection
has decorative accents that can help take your decor in a new direction. Experiment with OASIS Floral Mesh
for an industrial edge. Add a bit of Old World charm with OASIS Cotton Lace
or use OASIS Natural Bark Wrap
for a rustic-modern touch.
4. Have fun with holiday trees
Whether your client chooses the live presence of a fresh tree or the convenience of a faux tree, focus on making it the center of attention.
Blend different styles, shapes, sizes and colors of Christmas trees throughout a home. Sparse twig branches filled with colorful oversized ornaments can add a bit of whimsy to a room. Maybe Charlie Brown was on to something!
If you’re not a fan of the Charlie Brown tree’s bare branches, give your fresh tree a little TLC to get up to six weeks of life. Recut the bottom of the stump and stand the tree in fresh water overnight to hydrate. Add Floralife CRYSTAL CLEAR® Flower Food
to the water reservoir to keep the tree fresh longer.
5. Do the math before installation
Like Paul, I have basics I follow to organize the decorating of a tree.
Use 100 lights per for foot of tree
. As a safety precaution, use no more than three strands of lights per electrical socket. Divide the tree in three visual sections. After lighting each section, turn the lights on and adjust unlighted holes.
Use two or three types of garland
to encircle, hang or drape on the tree. Aim for thirty plus ornaments in each two-foot section of tree. Use oversized ornaments to fill large holes in the tree, medium-sized to hang on branches and smaller ones to fill in open spaces. Finish with special heirloom, one-of-a-kind or unique ornaments that express the tree’s theme.
6. Start with the lights
Lighting the tree is the first step. Use tree lights of the same wattage to prevent power surges. Choose a color of wire strand that matches the color of your tree so the wires will visually disappear. Test reused lights before placing them on the tree.
Start stringing the lights at the top of the tree trunk and work your way down so that the last electrical cords will come out the bottom of the branches.
If you are using lights with connecting ends, begin with the connection end up and the electrical plug available to connect the next strand of lights. The last plug will be available for the electrical socket. For convenience, place the tree lights on a timer.
Weave lights in and out of the limb from tree trunk to branch tip and back to trunk again. Layer lights atop the branch, encircle the tip and go back to center from under the limb. Move to the next layer of tree limbs. This brings the light into the center of the tree and adds depth.
Paul’s advice to florists
Like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes, florists can get overwhelmed with holiday work they miss the holiday joy of creating their own decor.
Paul suggests florists design their own décor early before beginning the work of decorating for others. “I love having people over during the holidays, but we just get so busy. I want to get the decorations up ahead of time so I will be able to enjoy the season.”
What ideas can you share for finding traditional Christmas joy in nontraditional places?