I have a Christmas tree confession to make. Last year I was inspired to do a very simple, minimalist tree in our living room and only added a few white poinsettias and large snowy pinecones on the tree. In my head, it was going to look like this amazing Scandinavian beauty, but instead the tree turned out looking bare and boring and cheap. I should have known better than to try doing this look on our very old tree that has definitely seen better days, but needless to say I was pretty disappointed in the way it turned out and barely included it in any pictures I shared last year. I know that how our tree looks is far from the most important thing during Christmas and we are our own worst critics, but it’s something I get so excited to do each year, and last year was a let down for sure.
This year I definitely wanted to redeem myself, and I am so excited to be part of the 12 Bloggers of Christmas with Balsam Hill with my beautiful new tree!
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When I started looking at new trees, this Sanibel Spruce immediately caught my eye. I originally had my heart set on trying a flocked tree, but this beauty looked so realistic and had the perfect coloring, which instantly won me over. The branches are more sparse, leaving plenty of room for beautiful ornaments, and the very lifelike needles are more of a soft sage green color than the traditional dark green. I’ve always heard that Balsam Hill is the gold standard of Christmas trees, and now I understand why. My tree arrived perfectly packaged with easy instructions and even included a case for the tree stand, gloves to wear while fluffing the tree, and a bag to store the entire tree in. In my opinion, if you’re going to spend money on an artificial tree that you’ll use year after year, you definitely want to invest in something high quality, and I’m convinced now that Balsam Hill is just that!
This gorgeous spruce is so much more my style, and I honestly debated on leaving it almost natural when I first put it up and fluffed the branches because of how lovely it is. But then I started opening up boxes of beautiful bulbs and snowflake ornaments and rolls of ribbon and changed my mind again. I couldn’t wait to dress my new tree up!
The tree decorating “recipe” I used this year went like this…
First, I strung clear lights on the tree. I wanted to get this tree prelit, but the size I needed only had unlit available at that time, which wasn’t a big deal because I had plenty of light strands from our previous tree. I try to add as many lights as I can without being able to see all the wires, and tucking them deeper into the branches is a great way to hide them.
Next I added ribbon cascading down, which adds beautiful texture and movement on the tree. The ribbon I used this year had gorgeous details and cut-outs, and I might even add some white ribbon along side it next year for even more softness. I find it way easier to do the ribbon before any ornaments are on, that way you can get the ribbon placed where you like. I just hooked the ribbon on a branch near the top and tucked it in between branches moving side to side as I went down the tree. I just love the way the ribbon bows out and makes everything look more dimensional.
Then I added the ornaments, starting with the largest bulbs and placing them evenly around the tree. After the largest ornaments were set, I filled in the gaps with smaller ornaments until the tree looked full but not cluttered.
The last few years I started adding picks to my trees, and I love the added texture and fullness and detail they give. And there are so many different pick options you can use… pinecones, flowers, berries, or even just extra greenery. I just stick them in between branches wherever there is an opening, and you can either push them all the way in the tree to look more like ornaments or leave them hanging far out to have a really dramatic effect.
Last, I used something new on the tree to add just a little bit of extra light and sparkle, and I am so in love with these little battery operated candles that clip on the branches! They came with a remote that allows you to change the light from warm white, cool white, flickering, or multi color, and you can even change the brightness from high to low. These little lights really stand out, and I think they would be absolutely beautiful on a bare tree flickering by themselves. I may have to try that somewhere next year!
Here are the specific items I used:
I don’t always do a fancy tree topper because I’m usually a “less is more” girl when it comes to decorating, but I loved that this antique snowflake topper matches my snowflake ornaments. And to finish off the whole look, I picked up a gorgeous new tree skirt with cream fabric, fringe details and little sequins scattered throughout.
I am so happy with how the tree turned out this year, and I feel like I definitely redeemed myself from last year. Even though it is completely neutral, the tree has just enough of texture and pattern and detail and elegance to make it perfect for our little farmhouse. There is nothing better than sitting in the living room at night with all the lights off except for the tree and enjoying this beautiful season together as a family.
I hope you feel inspired now as you begin putting up your own tree for the holidays, and there is plenty more inspiration to be found from these amazing bloggers who are joining me in the 12 Bloggers of Christmas with Balsam Hill. Check back each day through November 26th to see a new blogger add their tree to the tour, and you can also enter Balsam Hill’s daily giveaways – details here.