For each of us our Christmas trees are a reflection of our individual tastes and imaginations, but with each tree that I designed I looked for a inspiration story or a theme that would inspire some holiday magic in others.
Karin Lidbeck Brent
Trees and gifts are decorated with thought and care. Ornaments that have been collected over the years are brought out and everyone oooh’s and aaaah’s when they remember a Christmas past that had been celebrated with joy. One minute we hold an ornament from baby’s first Christmas, the next an ornament given by a grandmother who once enriched many a Christmas, but who is no longer with us. Christmas tree and any treasured holiday decorations have become a chronicle of our lives.
Our contributor, Karin Lidbeck, magazine stylist extraordinaire, works her magic on the pages we read in Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Traditional Home magazines (to name a few). She inspires us to create new traditions, make a new keepsake and add new.
Karin has styled and designed over 75 Christmas articles in the last 16 years. She starts shooting in November and finishes up in March – all for the following year’s articles. She has designed and decorated doors, trees, table settings and full homes from top to bottom.
When Karin decorates for a shoot, she thinks about the ornaments, trees skirts, tree toppers, garlands and gift and every single minute detail. Her job is to put a twist on the old while still keeping it traditional and to make the entire ‘look’ feel united.
Thanks to Karin, we have added many classic styles and traditions into our Christmas decorations – ones that we have grown to love and have adopted as our own.
Karen shares her top 10 rules for decorating for this very special time of the year.
10 Top Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
- The best trees are the ones that ‘fit’ the size of the room – not too big, not too small
- If you don’t have the space, select a small table top tree. If you do have the space, you can put up more than one tree!
- Buy good quality ribbon (or save it from the gifts you receive!) and tie bows of varying sizes to place on the boughs
- Stringing cranberries and popcorn for garlands is a wonderful project in which to engage the children and you’ll be creating a great memory with them at the same time
- Thinly slice apples and oranges and dry on cookie sheets in an 80° oven for the day. Add a thin red ribbon and hang on the tree! (your house will smell yummy, too!)
- Tinsel is making a comeback – add it on a couple of strands at at time for an enchanting affect. You can either laden the entire tree or do a few strands on the tips of the branches
- Use a roll of ribbon or two as a garland. Drape it loosely and twist and turn it as you place it around the tree
- Gifts under the tree are part of the decoration! Pick a theme and color and stay with it for all the gifts you wrap this year!
- Tree Skirt ideas; a large square of burlap, an old quilt or shawl or decorate a large square of felt with goodies from the craft store or edge it with a ribbon, a garland of bells or other garlands you might like
- When you travel and come across a Christmas tree shop or ornament, but one. Eventually you will have a tree filled with the memories of your life
Here are some of Karin’s favorite trees that she has styled over the years.
Photography by Michael Partenio
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