imageDO Follow the Trends with Trepidation 

Fear the farm animals! This year it’s all about Ole McDonald and his barn yard beasts. Buzz words for this year’s trends include Americana, folksy, and homespun. It’s all about geese and country hearts, and we are moving dangerously fast toward powder blue making a come back.

imageDON’T Break the Bank on Burlap

I’m not saying don’t add any pig ornaments to your tree. What I am saying is don’t go out and buy 24 owls, 10 sheep, and 20 yards of burlap. Remember what Mama said: Everything in moderation.


DO Invest in Quality

I’ll tell you what I do. The year peacocks were all the rage, I didn’t run out and buy a hundred peacock feathers and stick ’em in the tree. I found one peacock centerpiece that was beautifully crafted. Although it wasn’t an ornament, or even a tree topper, I set the beautiful bird—who for the record is 5ft long from beak to tail— in the top of the branches, nestled him in and let his tail trail down the side.


DON’T Fill your Tree Just to Fill It

When Ruthann and I were first married and we barely had two nickels to rub together, we decided to buy the best we could afford every year on Christmas decorations. That first year, we bought six beautifully beaded ornaments. Six. Fast forward fifteen years and now we have a tree full of stunning ornaments, each with a story that we tell while we hang them. This time has become one of our favorite traditions.


DO Choose Neutrals as Your Color Base

We started with all harvest gold colors. That way, when trends came, we could add a touch of cerelian blue here, a splash of torquoise there. Often, the trending colors offer a counterpoint to the gold. Now, we aren’t stuck with a load of ornaments we don’t know what to do with.


DON’T Be Afraid of Thinking Outside the Box

If the buccolic life of gardening is the rage, shove a shovel or a rake in that tree! One year, I stuck a french horn in among the piney branches! Stick a stuffed animal in there or a wicker basket. Get creative! This year, since we are celebrating homespun homemaking, use a wooden planter box instead of a tree stand.


DON’T Strangle Your Tree

When placing your ribbon on the tree, don’t wrap it around the tree in concentric circles. It’ll just look like your tree is being slowly strangled. Start at the top and weave the ribbon in a zig-zag pattern alternating attaching it close to the trunk and then at the tips of the branches.


DO Have a Happy Christmas

It’s supposedly the most wonderful time of the year, so make the most of it by avoiding the pitfalls of obsessive consumption and focus on quality goods and even more quality memories. Happy holidays from this Nashville interior designer!


This post has been brought to you complements of moi and a little thing I like to call #RedemptiveDesign.

-Eric Ross