I’ll have a Blue Christmas Part 2

In Part 1, I shared how I established the theme and decorated the Dining room. To carry the theme of Blue, Gold, and Angels to the rest of the house, I start in the Great room. I adorn the fireplace mantel similarly to the Dining room, but with some variations. A small canvas of the Holy Family harkens back to the large art canvas over the Dining room fireplace and re-establishes the religious theme. Gold Angel candleholders flank the mercury glass Lantern and a small mercury box, again filled with ornament and floral treasures. The crystal embellished votives are the same, as are the garland and ornaments, but the stocking colors are reversed. Due to the white wall, I use blue glitter florals I sourced from Decorator’s Warehouse. The simple floral statements work here with the Christmas tree nearby. Two large blue flocked Vickerman ornaments finish the look.

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Great Room Fireplace Mantel

The main focus in this room is the Christmas Tree. I wanted a dramatic floral tree topper to echo the Dining room arrangements. I start by adding 3 brown lighted branches to the top of the tree. This will give light to the floral arrangement that will extend beyond the top of the prelit tree. I secure the gold glitter Bethlehem star and then start filling in with gold floral stems. I then make a ring of the blue poppy floral stems as the base of a floral crown. The blue hanging foxglove stems dangle down from here. Blue glitter floral sprays (same as used on the mantel) angle up from the poppy stems, to give a better color impact and to offset the gold florals and Bethlehem star.

TIP: Use lighted branches when finishing the top of a tree with a floral arrangement. I have them in brown for the green tree and white for the flocked tree.

I also want to continue the extensive use of ribbon. Using ribbon as a garland not only gives movement and dimension to the tree decor, it also helps to fill in a lot of space! Here I use 4″ wired gold sequin embellished ribbon (D. Stevens) with 4″ wired blue velvet ribbon (Greenery Market) behind. I add gathered loops in various places and bend the ribbon through and around the tree branches. I try to have the look of an angled spiral around the tree. Depending on the length of each roll, it may not necessarily continue all the way around the back side of the tree. I use soft garden tie wire (I also use pipe cleaners) to attach and secure the ribbon in place. I place one floral poinsettia stem at these anchored locations on the ribbon garland. I then use gold beaded garland tape (Raz garland) to randomly curl in and around the wide ribbons to give even more movement and dimension . Although the tree is not technically symetrical, I do try to place the remaining poinsettias to create balance and similar spacing around the tree. To help with the overall fullness and balance, instead of only spiraling ribbon around the tree, I make triple loops or half bows to go behind the poinsettias not on the ribbon garland. Over the years I have grown my ribbon inventory. I try really hard not to cut the expensive ribbons to keep my options open for future use, but here I had no choice but to cut the ribbon. I used 5ft pieces of both a gold and blue ribbon to make 3 loops to back the poinsettias. I use pipe cleaners or floral wire to tighten and attach. Once the ribbon is in place, I pull the blue ribbon out to be visible and fluff and squish until I like the look. I do the same on the garland. This will go on throughout the decorating process.

Now for the ornaments. Remembering my theme is angels, gold and blue, I gather everything together. I have a large selection of gold ornaments from collecting over the years, but I need dramatic blue ornaments for this theme. I source the blue Vickerman ornaments from a few different online vendors. For this 10′ tree, I used 4 extra large, 3 large flocked, 12 medium, and 9 small flocked blue ornaments. I had the following angels with instruments: 4 large, 5 medium, and 10 small. I normally like to have odd numbers of each ornament (remember the rule of three), but sometimes due to breakage or availability, that may not be possible. I start by spreading all the blue around the tree, then the angels, remembering main viewing sight lines and to have balance without perfect symmetry. I have about 9 small cherubs I save to place later after the spaces fill in.

I decided that I needed to tie blue satin ribbon bows to the large blue ornaments to add more romanticism and repeat what I started in the dining room and on the mantels. Next, I start to hang all my various gold ornaments. I have a mixture of shapes, sizes, finishes, quality and quantities. I like that they don’t all match – it is eclectic, which to me brings a lot of added interest. Most of these ornaments are actually resin or shatterproof (a nice way of saying plastic. Here is a nice example). Put together with a few glass ornaments and the other quality elements like the ribbon and floral, the final result is elevated. I like a full tree with no bare spots, so I place ornaments at different depths along the branches. I start with the nice or unique ornaments and spread them around. (I think about the glass finial ornaments that will be on the outside edges, but I do not place them until the ladder work is finished to avoid breakage and heartbreak.) Once that phase is done, I start to fill in with the various gold balls. Then, I sit and stand from various positions to see if there are any bare spots that need to be addressed. I now place the cherub ornaments I held back earlier.

The next phase is placing the ornament spinners around the tree. I usually hang mirrored balls on the spinners to bring sparkle, movement, and interest to an otherwise static decor. Then I place the fragile ornaments and the outermost layer of icicles or long hanging ornaments. This may mean moving a few things around to make it all balanced. That’s the great thing about not making the tree perfectly symmetrical, there is no right or wrong! I then place the blue velvet tree skirt around the base of the tree. The final step is to hide the mickey 4 piece ornaments (black iconic mickey head, red shorts, white glove hand, gold shoe) . We make a lot of family memories at Disney World, so I started this hide and seek tradition quite a few years ago. It is a little fun for everyone who visits!

After I thought I was done, I decided I needed a little something more for the garland. I had amber gem drop ornaments that I opted not to use on the tree, so I used those to add a little sparkle in both the Great room and Dining room. I draped them on the mantel garland, in the mercury boxes, and around a few votives here and there.

The final look:

Tip: Consider changing the pillows on your furniture to match your theme color. And always have your present wrappings coordinate as well!

The finished Christmas Tree

The decorating for Christmas is different every year and every theme, but it always brings me joy. Now that the work is all done, it is time to enjoy the decor by inviting friends and family over to celebrate the season!

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