Welcome guests with a topiary spiral dwarf Alberta spruce, which adds contrasting curves to the straight lines of a front door. Because of the slow growth rate, dwarf Alberta spruce usually only needs minimal pruning. Do it once a year (if needed) in spring after new growth is appearing. Use sharp pruners and remove only as much as necessary. Spiral and other topiary forms need more consistent pruning than the Christmas tree shapes.
'Give a nod to the season without being too over the top," says planner Resha Zazueta, of Something To Celebrate. "Florals with a hint of holiday coloring, sprigs of mistletoe, and a hot chocolate bar bring a lovely wintry feel without turning a wedding into a Christmas party.” Flowers: White roses, deep red calla lilies, deep red chrysanthemums, white hydrangeas, blush peonies, red amaranthus, white hydrangeas, white larkspur, white wax flowers, dusty miller, white tallow berries, greenery. Floral design: Blooming Gallery.
Have fun mixing and matching every day decor with your holiday items for a seamless look. Choose items that reflect your current decorating scheme. A holiday stocking trimmed in gold will complement an existing table or bar cart. Add unconventional pieces like a modern peacock feather wreath for a new take on traditional Christmas decorations. Design by Cassandra LaValle. Photo courtesy of Sawaya Photography
The Colorado Blue Spruce is one of the most iconic evergreens associated with holiday decorating. Commonly raised for sale as a Christmas tree, the Colorado Blue Spruce must have full sunlight to thrive, and also requires a great deal of watering. For use as a small potted accent, be sure to add a hole along the bottom of a pot for proper drainage. It’s also recommended to lay a sponge directly over the drainage hole to help hold moisture.
Well-presented gifts are sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Represent the excitement of the holidays right outside your front door with a wooden gift-box sculpture. Pick up several wooden boxes from the craft store, then paint them with latex paint in your desired holiday color scheme. Cluster them together with screws or small clamps, then dress them up with ribbon. Add a picture hanger to the back, then place it on an outside wall or door.
HGTV fan Cathe Holden reused vintage thread spools to create a one-of-a-kind holiday advent calendar in her home. On each spool she added a numbered wrap with a special note or a clue to a hidden gift. Cathe, a passionate crafter and designer, displayed her Christmas countdown on a vintage, modified spool holder. Cathe also suggests creating individual, numbered spool ornaments for the tree, or stringing the entire set together to create an advent calendar garland.
Dress up the dinner table with a sparkling and unique advent calendar centerpiece. Jessica Wilcox of Modern Moments Designs used a vintage chicken-wire cloche dome of gifts and Christmas tags to represent the 25-day countdown. Add small, wrapped presents, decorative ornaments and ribbons underneath the dome. Each day, let the kids remove a tag and open a present. With each gift and tag removed, simply replace with the next consecutive number.
Whether grown in its natural shape or prunted into a Christmas tree-like pyramid, aromatic rosemary makes a delightful holiday plant. While it's indoors, give your rosemary a sunny window and regular waterings. You can transplant rosemary into the garden, but before you do, give it a week or so in a sheltered spot to help it transition from your home to natural sunlight, wind and temperatures. Rosemary grown in the garden takes full sun.
Add a sweet and colorful touch to any holiday mantel with a festive mitten advent calendar garland. Layla Palmer used a variety of toddler-sized mittens in traditional Christmas hues and printed out 24 numbers small enough to tuck into each mitten. To add extra holiday cheer, she added a sweet sentiment below each number. String the mittens on a long strand of twine and start counting down.
One spot in the house that's often neglected when decorating for the holidays is the kitchen. Why not add just a few Christmas touches to make it look and feel more welcoming? Hang the same wreaths used in other rooms on the kitchen windows to keep the look cohesive. Add red dish towels, red napkins and stock your cookie jars with treats for guests to take the festive feel a step further.
Birch logs can be used for many different upcycled purposes, including on a Christmas trees as ornaments. Cut birch logs into 1/4-inch discs, then use a drill bit to add a 1/4-inch hole along the top. Next, trace shapes onto acetate and cut them out with a precision knife. Add the silhouette acetate to the birch log with double-sided tape or hot glue, then create a hanger by looping ribbon or twine through the hole.
Available in orange, pink, bicolors, salmon, purple or yellow, calla lilies are easy to grow houseplants. White callas are lovely in Christmas-red containers, and stay in bloom a long time. They're tropicals, so wait until all frost has passed if you want to transplant them into your garden. They'll thrive in a sunny spot in slightly moist, organic-rich soil, but will require repotting and bringing indoors before the first fall frost. If you prefer, you can let the bulbs go dormant and store them in a cool, dry, dark place until you're ready to replant next spring.
Evergreen Norfolk Island Pines aren't just fun houseplants; they also make great Christmas trees. Their after-holiday care is no different from their daily care. Give these tropicals high humidity and protect them from drafts. They prefer bright light, such as from a south-facing window, and should be watered when the top of the soil starts to feel dry. Don't keep them too wet or let them dry out completely. Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer in spring and summer, following label directions.
After Christmas, those once festively adorned spaces on tables and in bookshelves may feel empty. Warm up the winter months with hints of natural greenery, especially in shades and textures that differ from traditional holiday hues. “Greens are a soft accent for the house,” says Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs in South Carolina. Here, she used reindeer moss that is preserved to give it that chartreuse color, but you can also forage items, such as magnolia leaves, from your own yard.
Living christmas trees can be planted outdoors after the holidays. For best results, keep the tree inside for the shortest time possible. If you live where the ground freezes, go ahead and dig a hole for it in your garden or landscape, and cover the hole with boards for safety, until you’re ready to plant. First move the tree into a sheltered location a week or so, to help ease the transition from your home. Then, after you plant it, keep it well mulched and watered, especially for the first year or two. This variety is 'Fat Albert', a Colorado Blue Spruce.