Decorating a Christmas tree can be a wonderful expression of personal taste, family memories, treasured keepsakes, and general nostalgia. Each year we relish in our time, unpacking each and every ornament, reliving the memories surrounded by its purchase. Although we don't have a "theme" tree per say, we decorate our tree with hand painted glass ornaments, a red berry garland, and this year, an red and tartan bow topper. It can be easy to slip into the same general look year after year, so this year, I set out to get inspiration for different Christmas tree themes and unique methods of tree decor. 

Several weeks ago we made a trip out to Lucketts, Virginia, one of my absolute favorite local destinations for treasure hunting. We hadn't realized it, but we lucked into their 2013 Holiday Open House.

If you've never been out to the Old Lucketts Store, it actually consists of several different old homes and buildings and a large outdoor area all configured in a manner to display the goods and styles of local decorators and dealers. For example, the blogger, Miss Mustard Seed, is one of their dealers in the main house.

The Design House is a different house on the property that's only open a limited amount of time each month. This section's purpose is to highlight the more of a themed design aesthetic within individual rooms configured more similarly to a house, whereas the other buildings are arranged more like your typical antique store.

During the Holiday Open House, The Design House was set up as a Christmas wonderland, with themed trees in every room. We stopped to admire the many different tree decor styles on display in The Design House, as well as a few in the main store. Luckily we had our camera on hand to snap a few pictures so we can share the amazing creativity and themed inspiration with you.  

For starters, the eclectic mix of outdoor inspired decorations and snow covered branches makes this tree look like it belongs in a cottage. The wild topper and thick ribbon spiraled around the tree definitely gives a weight to the tree that wouldn't otherwise be there.

Moving on to the next tree, with its small white owls, snow covered branches, white flowers, and white ribbon simply says "winter" to me. It's a cool and refreshing presentation. I don't often think of using such a stark palette this time of year, but I love the look.

As one of the few trees that I'd say was more "traditionally" decorated, this tree's mix of ornaments still adhered to a color and texture theme. Handmade ornaments, soft items, and items with soft edges adorned this smaller tree, and it reminded me of many of the trees I knew as a child.

Next up is a gold and white themed tree. I really liked this unexpected cool metallic and snowman themed tree's style. The ribbons, additional branches, manner in which the light glows through the white and gold, and shiny gold balls reflecting the light transformed it into a completely unexpected holiday accessory. 

If Lulu had a vote, we think this tree would be her favorite. This owl, squirrel, deer, and other nature covered tree really caught our eye. Alex also was a big fan of this tree because of the inclusion of the owls. I just don't get it, he's obsessed with owls this Christmas. 

Well, Alex's obsession stretches beyond owls actually, it's animals in general. That's why he was also pretty psyched when he realized there were a few Alpacas in the parking lot he could pet.

Okay, back to our tree review. This over the top red and white tree matched the paint on the walls and styles of the items in the room. I felt like I had walked into a candy cane when I walked through the door. With all of its varying height, textures, ribbons, and haphazardly placed "crazy guys" (as we like to call it), this tree was packed to the gills. It's definitely not your typical Christmas tree style, but is totally unique in its presentation.

Looking for more of an outdoor hobby style? This gardening themed tree is adorned with watering cans, a white picket fence, and the more earthy textures associated with burlap. It even has a few birds hanging out on its branches. 

The final tree I wanted to mention is this overstuffed tree. This has been a major shift in the approach to tree decorating over the years. As people move away from individually placed ornaments, and more to filling all of the voids and spaces between branches, this is a style we are seeing more and more of, and I really like it. Placing color coordinated accessories and branches, choosing a color theme, using unexpected natural looking items (like the large flowers), and then wrapping the tree with thick, heavily textured and coordinated ribbons and bows gives a very inviting and warm feeling. In this case, traditional red and green cover the tree and it appears the tree simply couldn't hold another ornament.

I have to admit that I'm totally blown away by the creativity shown by these tree decorating divas. Adorning a garden themed tree with a miniature picket fence is genius, and not something I would have thought of in a million years. Although I may not be recreating these looks in our home this year, it gives me plenty to think about until next December, when it comes time to trim the tree once again. Maybe the small tree we put up in our sun porch for the home tour this year will make an annual appearance, and I can really get creative in that room while maintaining our traditional tree in the living room.

What is your favorite look from the photos above? Did you decorate your tree with a theme this year? What's the most unexpected thing you've ever seen on the limbs of a Christmas tree? Perhaps an ornament gifted to you that just didn't work with your aesthetic? We may have a NASCAR ornament or two that stays in the ornament box year after year, despite Alex's best efforts to display them.

Comments 5


12/11/2012 at 2:21 PM
Although you gave beautiful descriptions of all of the trees, I'm not really a fan of the "overstuffed" look. They just seem so complicated. I much preferred the two beautiful trees in your house, but I think you need to throw caution to the wind and hang one of Alex's Nascar ornaments on your sun porch tree.
Did Alex put you up to this? ;-)

Personally I love the overstuffed look, but we don't have the storage space to house all that decor for the other 11 months of the year!
12/12/2012 at 11:56 PM
There would be revolt if everyone's traditional favorite ornaments weren't on the tree!
LOL! I know exactly what you mean, Pat. I even get cranky when someone else hangs my favorite ornaments on the tree! :-)
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