Christmas tree design is more than just the tree itself—it’s bringing a whole room together to create a beautiful and cohesive home for the holidays. Though it sounds great in theory, it can be difficult to think beyond whether all of the lights will work when you plug them in.
See how she creates such a seamless and stunning room in harmony with her Christmas tree design.
That’s why we reached out to Holly Jolley, who previously helped us explore the world of tablescapes, to see how she creates such a seamless and stunning room in harmony with her Christmas tree design. With a few of her tricks up your sleeve, you’re sure to have your own winter wonderland in no time.
Matching is key, and it’s best to select a color palette in advance.
“I always try to match the decor colors of the room that I’m putting the tree in. My home in Washington has golden yellows, kind of butter colors, and blacks, so all my ornaments match everything in the living room area. Then, my presents and wrapping paper have to match the tree,” Jolley said.
“In my Utah home, I have a ton of blue, so the first year, I did blues and silvers and greens. I mixed the colors that were in the room and added creams, ivory and silver grays into the tree.”
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Jolley explained the importance of picking your theme, investing in it and using it for years to come to create beautiful home design with small alterations to the Christmas tree. Plus, if you have multiple trees like she does, you can place them in different rooms than you did the previous year. Basically, you’re playing musical furniture, musical trees and musical elements.
“I bought a bunch of ornaments maybe ten years ago, and I still use the same ones. You can add ribbon into the tree each year if you want to change it up a little bit. Every year, I try to use the same ornaments, but I switch them out and change the trees around,” she said. “Everything looks like new. No one would ever know that I didn’t go out and buy a whole new set of Christmas stuff.”
Another simple but effective trick to matching your Christmas tree design? Utilizing throw blankets. For instance, if your ornament color theme involves greens, ivories and silvers, you can buy green and ivory throw blankets and add some green pillows (and when the holidays are over, you still have cozy blankets!). Then, you carry those same colors throughout the rest of the home, and everything becomes beautifully cohesive.
There are many DIY hacks to extend the color theme or change it all together. Jolley explained how easy it is to paint ornaments if you’re looking for adding something different to your Christmas tree design without having to buy a new set. Another trick is to put leftover ornaments of the same colors into bowls placed around your home, and, if you have open shelves in your kitchen, to display corresponding colors of dishes.
It’s also important to match tissue, gift bags and wrapping paper accordingly. Jolley laughed about how she has designated wrapping paper for the year, and her kids know that presents in any other paper have to go elsewhere.
In addition to strategically utilizing and changing certain ornament colors, there’s also a specific way that Jolley places ornaments on her tree—and it’s one of her best Christmas tree design tips.
“One of my most asked questions is how I put the ornaments on the tree. I don’t hang them. I wire them up. Instead of putting a hook through, I cut out a 4 or 5-inch piece of green crafting wire, then I put it through the top of the ornament and twist it. When I put it on the tree, I wrap the wire around the tree branch and twist it again,” she said. “
One of my most asked questions is how I put the ornaments on the tree. I don't hang them. I wire them up.
For the ornaments with strings or loops, I put it over the tree just like you were to hang it, then I wrap the whole ornament over and around the branch a couple of times so that it’s not dangling from the tree. It looks like it’s attached to the tree branch.”
Now, what about the fireplace? To decorate a fireplace mantel to work in tandem with everything else, including your Christmas tree design, start with an inexpensive, basic green garland and some command strips to keep it steady. Jolley, after previously watching 8 hours of work fall to the floor, transitioned to wiring the display into the wall to hold up her heavy decor. Depending on the weight of your garland and the material of your mantle, this can vary.
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Next, wrap lights around the garland and stuff it with anything from artificial blueberries to cedar and eucalyptus branches. When it comes to the stockings, Jolley feels that the best method is to wrap pieces of the base garland through the loops. This creates unity between the garland and additional decor, similar to the ornament wiring for the Christmas tree design.
“I have this little reindeer slay that’s on the coffee table, and I’ve added some greenery, some of the berries and some of the ornaments in there. I’ll take a tray and throw the ornaments on, then I’ll take some of the same greenery that I used in the tree and on the mantle and put it in a vase,” she said. “You can add small touches throughout your house. I’ll take the same color of ribbon and tie around my barstools with the same ribbon that I used in the tree. Sometimes I’ll do the same at my staircase. I try to carry everything over so that there’s continuity.”
Happy holidays, and happy decorating! For more holiday inspiration and tips, check out Holly Jolley’s blog.