Design Hints

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Nicki Leathers admits to displaying 62 Christmas trees of various shapes and sizes throughout her approximately 2,500-square-foot Sigourney, Iowa, home last year. “What is more Christmassy than a Christmas tree?” she asks. “We love them and feel like it gives the perfect Christmas touch to each room,” she says. “My mom also loves Christmas trees; growing up, we had at least one (or more) in each room of the house, so I just carried on that tradition with my own family.” She details five ideas for trimming multiple trees with ease.
Oh, Christmas Tree!

1. Embrace simplicity. Take your cues from each space. Sometimes less is more, especially in a room that already has a lot going on in terms of everyday decor. “We leave some [trees] plain with no lights, some with clear lights only, some simply decorated, and a few that are decked out from top to bottom,” she shares.
2. Stay focused. Make decorated trees your focal points in each room, and keep other decorations low-key. “We use only clear lights throughout the home, which gives a more cohesive look, with the exception of our family room,” Nicki notes.
3. Single out a showstopper. Identify one tree that will serve as the star attraction. In Nicki’s house, the 9-foot tree in the family room is where they place wrapped gifts and gather to exchange them. (Packages under trees in other rooms are empty and just for display.) Adorned with clear and colored lights and gobs of ornaments, it’s the family favorite. “The boys love the colors,” she says.
4. Go faux. Consider selecting mainly faux firs. In addition to being everlasting, they come in such a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors and styles that you can find examples to fit nearly any space or container. Nicki limits her trees to artificial because it gives her flexibility and allows her to usher in the season as time and energy allow. If you love a fresh pine, make that your focal tree.
5. Dream up a theme. Let the function and decor of each room and the personality of those who use it guide you to select a theme for some of your trees, from a gingerbread cookie delight in a kitchen to a literary-inspired tree in a library. Store the adornments by motif for easy assembly the following year.

Written by Khristi Zimmeth
Photographed and Styled by Gridley + Graves