My So-Called Tree: Decorationtimez!

21 December 2011

Dear My Christmas Tree,

Remember that one year I was gone for most of December so I didn’t decorate you until, like, two days before Christmas? Yeah, me neither. This year I found inspiration from the tree Emily designed on the Secrets From A Stylist Holiday Episode (If you haven’t seen it yet you are really cheating yourself. Watch here). The color palette for the show was greens, blues, and aquas. Which happen to be my favorite colors (Coincidence? I don’ think so!). Luckily, you can put pretty much any color on a silver tree because it’s a neutral color. For the most part, I decided to go cheapsiez with the ornaments, so I shopped first at the dollar store. People often underestimate how many ornaments they’ll need for their tree so Emily and I have devised a good formula. Buy four times as many ornaments as you think you’ll need. Then, just as you’re about to check out, double the amount of ornaments you have so that in the end you actually have eight times as many ornaments as you think you need. Just remember, what you “think” you need is wrong and will make zero impact on your tree. It’s always a good idea to overdo it so you’re tree doesn’t look empty and sad. Just FYI, this is what you can get for $30 at a dollar store (all those ornaments plus the little silver trees plus a snowflake tree topper):

In addition to the dollar store ornaments, I made dot ornaments using craft paper and wire ornament hooks. (Sidenote: it would have been way easier if I had a circle cutter, instead I just traced a water glass and cut these by hand. Which took, like, forevz!).

All the felt ornaments are West Elm.

Because I didn’t have a green tree, I thought it would be good to bring in some green felt. The felt ornaments added a lot more interest and warmth to a tree that was looking far too sparkly, graphic, and cold without them.

These pretty hand-blown glass ornaments are also West Elm.

The “icicle” ornaments were made by cutting craft paper and curling it around a pencil. I like them because they look like streamers. Which reminds me of parties. Which reminds me of fun. Which reminds me of the meaning of life.

I decided to fill the space beneath the tree with my two favorite things: books and plants. The Alice Waters book was a Christmas gift from my friend Misako, who loves fantasizing about California with me. As you probably know, I only accept Christmas gifts that match my Christmas tree. Please plan accordingly.

I added a pantone green box to punch up the green.

And finally, my Christmas tree was done! Yay! Now I can enjoy it for 5 hours before I leave town for the holidays. Oops.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


16 Comment

  1. Orlando! I heart your tree! It’s absolutely marvy. 🙂 And idea where I can get a fabulous tinsel tree? I know yours is vintage…

    Merry Christmas and safe travels!

    – m

  2. Jonathan says:

    I lurve the green and blue color combo. It was popular when I was a baby and for some reason I have vivid images of tinsel garlands, fabrics, and ornaments in rich metallic blue green patterns still engrained in my memory. I’ve been glad to see it en vogue again. Beautiful tree. Too bad you can’t enjoy it! Merry Christmakwaanakah!

  3. Megan says:

    Love the decorations, and that glass/brass terrarium is amazing!

  4. Allen says:

    Great job. You’re the bestest.

  5. Love. So much.

  6. Dear Orlando, I have several West Elm ornaments as well, sitting in a West Elm bag in my closet inside unopened boxes, not ornamenting a damn thing. Lastly, I have used my Amex many times this holiday season only to make purchases unrelated to the holidays themselves. Christmas!

  7. Dear Orlando, I very much like your pretty tree. From, Brian.

  8. mj says:

    Such a beautiful tree to celebrate the holidays…alone. Merry Christmas!!

  9. Catherine Soria says:

    Amazing how green and blue can look fabulous so many different ways!

  10. Amanda says:

    Omg. I fucking love you.

  11. Michael says:

    Beautiful tree; love the colors! Also love the gray color on the wall behind. Do you remember what it’s called?

  12. Heather M says:


  13. Jonica Moore says:

    It’s awesome! Just like you. Love your blog and your dollhouse. 🙂

  14. Lauren says:

    You just made a Jewish girl want a silver Christmas tree, but don’t tell my non-Jewish husband.

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  16. Lucia says:

    Christmas tree that reminds me of the 70s when the trees were few branches but very bright. I love it.

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