Light Up Your Holidays

Make Your Tree Magic

Fab Ballard

Whatever your style, up your tree game with some simple decorating tricks.

To begin, Beverly Fowler, owner of Sage Market + Design in Newburyport, Massachusetts, suggests losing the tree skirt and adding instant style by placing your tree and its stand inside a large vessel or basket. She also says, “I love the look of trees on top of tables—and not just small trees; full-sized Christmas trees look amazing.” Her favorite trick is to layer the lights on a tree, starting at the top. “Get way inside the tree as well as outside with your lights. It really shows the depth of the tree. I even wrap the trunk. It takes more time and you’ll need more lights, but the impact is incredible.”

Petite Lanterns
Ballard Designs |

Fab StarryStringLights

Romantic Mantel

Wire fairy lights can be romantic, elegant, and playful. When buying holiday lights, Fowler suggests creating consistency by using either warm golden or cool silver bulbs. “Otherwise, it can confuse the eye and it won’t look right.” She likes wrapping lights around white birch logs as well as weaving them into fresh greens. “Make sure to match the cord color to your design so that it will disappear. Also look for branches with interesting texture; cones or pods will add a lot to your display.” She encourages decorators not to be timid. “I’ll even wire some succulents in with my greens. It adds texture and also a surprise. Don’t be afraid to use elements that aren’t classically thought of as holiday décor.”

Starry String Lights, Amber
Restoration Hardware |

Fab Terrainpindot2

Light up the Night

Long winter nights can be made brighter by adding lights both inside and out. Looking through a window to the view of glowing lanterns or garden structures wrapped in tiny lights can bring a sense of well-being and warmth to your home. Fowler says, “We love big lanterns inside and outside. We fill them with fresh greens and use battery-operated lights, which can be on a remote control or timer.” She also suggests bringing the outside in. “For a country garden look or antique Christmas look, we bring in trellises and garden spheres. Also, groupings of large plants wrapped in lights and placed in beautiful pots can cheer up any space.”

Pin Dot Lights
Terrain |

Fab RAZ branches

Beautiful Branches

While the scent of fresh-cut greens is intoxicating, the ease and convenience of pre-lit branches cannot be denied. To get the best of both worlds, Fowler suggests mixing the two. “Grab some clippers and head out to the backyard for some live greens, then combine them with pre-lit branches.” If you have an annual familial struggle over white versus colored lights, or holiday kitsch versus refined and restrained elegance, Fowler has found a solution. “Do two trees. If you have young children, let them do their own and go totally over the top with blinking colored lights and piled-on ornaments. Then do another tree that is simpler and more sophisticated with just a few special and elegant things on it.”

Lighted Branches with Snowy Pinecones
RAZ Imports |

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