You might wonder why my banner changed from butterflies and flowers to a zebra and a little deer.
Down at the farm these little guys live and are an attraction at Christmas time for the kids. In fact, the deer are a huge draw. Next post I will show the animals.
In my own decorating, I use a lot of zebra, and at Christmas, a lot of deer. Here they browse the backyard, but notice the boxwood, safe and sound. LOL. One thing to notice in this image is how the boxwood and arbs form the structure of the garden, giving it presence and interest in winter, but I digress. Another post on that one.
Wish I had the real thing…NOT.
So having zebra and deer on the brain, it was not a huge jump to the banner. I also painted the zebra in my living room.
The Christmas decor this year really does not coordinate with my living room decor, which is much more refined and a little more earthy, elegant.
Have you had enough zebra and deer yet? I do have more…
The images above are the living room decor. Both trees are pre-lit artificial and are decorated with ornaments made from bark, feathers and pine cones. The mantle is three artificial wreaths all nested inside one another. Draping the mantle are natural greens of pine and Canaan Fir (from my real tree in the dining room). Birds, ducks and bird nests are throughout.
His name should have been Scream Cheez, because as I am typing, he is letting me know I should be letting him out of his cage.
Noisy little bugger.
The mantle display will be good for a couple of weeks if I keep the fireplace cold. I can always replace or add fresh greens. I have had it up for a week now and these images were taken today. The pine is still fresh and green. The sap has sealed off the ends and kept the water retained. It helped too that I had them outside before bringing in. They were in the garage for a week and a half.
I have many Santas, but only the more natural looking Santas have made an appearance this year. The one below is handmade and painted from a gourd by a local artist. After all, what is Christmas without Santa?
One thing to notice is my tree placement. The trees are all narrow and fit the space allotted very nicely. My living room is only eleven feet wide and has two large windows, a double french door to the hall, a large archway to the dining room and two single French doors to my office. I have kept circulation open and sensible. Always a first thought for an architect. In addition, I float the furniture, maximizing my design and visual interest in the space. You will see the space planning when I show the dining room Christmas decor.
The trees are festooned with poinsettia, berries and pine cones. I am not a huge fan of red, but there is a bit of red in my oriental carpet. This was not what the decor was to be this year, it just happened by accident somewhat. I had planned all along to do a natural theme with a real tabletop Spruce. Then I went to a charity event that had us drop tickets in baskets to win various floral arrangements. And I won…
a little bark covered Gilbert replica. It is made with red poinsettia and red Amaryllis. So red it became. The ironic part is that I was planning to use ornaments I collected last year made from bark.
This deer head mount is made of birch bark. The ornaments below are ‘sugared’.
I only had enough for the tabletop sized tree, but since poinsettia was never part of the mix, and having them from last year’s tree, I decided not to fight my newly won arrangement. I will show the trees from last year soon. They are somewhat different with butterflies instead of animals.
These deer ornaments are made of paper, but resemble bark. The bark ducks are not tree ornaments, but I have used them as such.
So, contrary to my very organized and planned nature, I just sort of winged it to develop a design. It is like when I go to a client’s home and am required to use their ornaments rather than starting from scratch.
I was my own client. No time to plan, no budget to buy, so just design from the cuff with only one item as my starting point.
I used the poinsettia balls and red glass balls from last year. I left out the glitter and kept the berries. But what I did to really change it up from last year was make a skirt of poinsettia and burlap. Again, not planned, just decided it fit the tree and coordinated well with my rustic ornaments.
I probably should have staged this image of the burlap to show it at its best. The cats seem to like it and have made it a nesting area. But the trick here is, the burlap is ‘stuffed’ with newspaper to add plumpness and form. Had the cats not messed up my very nicely stuffed burlap, the image would have been better. They have also made pulling off the poinsettia a sport.
Note to self, next year make decorations cat proof. The real tree is also getting ravaged, see it below at the end of this post. The sneaky felines are batting down the curly willow and find the crunchy hydrangea too hard to ignore.
I hope you liked my impromptu design as it is very much different from last year’s white and gold theme room.
Here is a photo of the dining room tree, unlighted, that was requested by Carol in a comment on my previous post, My Tree al Naturale. I am not a good photographer like Carol, so please excuse the images. I did not use the flash and I did use a tripod, so two brownie points for me, the impatient photographer.
The soffit above has down lights that were installed just for my two artificial Christmas trees and I did have them on at the time of shooting today. Still daylight from the window is quite distracting. I could have fixed this in Photoshop, my photography crutch application.
The mums still have a lot of color. I thought they would fade since they were not completely dried. I still have decorating on this tree to go because I have not yet pulled the room together yet. Once I do the centerpiece and the buffet, I will post the completed space. What I started with the tree will guide my design throughout the space.
I took another photo of the tree tonight. I guess this is a better time to shoot it with its lights off. Well, stop back and I will have the dining room complete.
But by then, I may be down by two cats!