Charlene Roberts of Charlene's Colony of Shops in Halls shared her Christmas flair with residents attending the last event of the 2012 calendar year. Roberts' presentation offered strategies on how to make the most out of what you already have on hand, showcase your favorite pieces, and add more drama to your holiday displays.
"I am a Christmas-crazy person," said Roberts. "I love it, love it, love it. I want to show you how to have a pretty tree without spending a lot of money."
The talented decorator suggested residents let their Christmas trees reflect their personalities by showcasing their favorite items within the branches. In a recent home tour, Roberts showcased a tree adorned with costume jewelry and another boasting her favorite blue-and-white china.
"Be creative," said Roberts. "Think about what is special to you. Create your own special Christmas tree using the things you love."
As styles change each season, Roberts encouraged residents not to purchase a new tree each year. Instead, decorators may update their Christmas tree with inexpensive floral picks. Adding a unique touch is easy with styles ranging from the natural look of snow-covered branches to stylized versions bright with color or glitter. By adding picks, the decorator can update the look of a tree at minimal expense.
Old wreathes, garland and swags can be used as a base for new arrangements throughout the rest of the home in the same way. Lights, fresh greens or decorative picks can be tucked in between the branches of the old greenery to update the look. Ribbon and ornaments can also be used to personalize the style.
Another Roberts technique is foregoing traditional ornament hangars for floral wire. Using wire allows ornaments to be placed securely at any location on trees or garland.
"That ornament needs to go where you want it to go," said Roberts.
Ornaments gathered in threes offer an alternative look without an additional purchase, as well. Hanging an heirloom ornament from a decorative pick draws attention to a favorite piece.
"The more lights you have, the less ornaments and ribbons you will need," said Roberts. "Never have more than three strands of lights connected into each other. So, run your extension cord up the center of your tree, plug your lights into it and you will have a beautiful tree."
Roberts extended the life of a purchased wire-edged ribbon by cutting the fabric into pieces and looping it through the tree to look like one continuous ribbon. Layering coordinating fabrics also adds depth and another layer of texture to the tree.
For mantels, Roberts suggests cutting up garland to create the most effect for a fraction of the cost. A wider board, painted to match the existing mantel may also be added to create room for larger accessories like groups of candlesticks or urns of greenery.
"Last year, anything I would call 'whimsical' was the best seller in my store. Anything fun or funky," said Roberts. "Mercury, vintage and crystal are my biggest sellers this year. These items can be used year-round. So raid your china closet. Decorate with things you've never thought of decorating with before."
Incorporating sentimental items into your Christmas display offers more than just an interesting arrangement.
"(Using your favorite items) will bring you joy every time you look over that way," said Roberts. "Put a little Christmas over there, on the kitchen counter, or in a place that you don't usually decorate. You'll get happy with a little sparkle and not much effort."
While Charlene's Colony of Shops offers the perfect gift, the latest Christmas decorating trends, and strategies to spotlight family heirlooms this time of year, the design staff also offers free personalized services.
Residents with decorating questions may take a photo of their room and email it to Rachel@charlenes.net.
"Just take a photo from the doorway like I am looking into your room," said Roberts. "Then, call us and set up an appointment. We will start a file on you. We will work up a plan with paint colors, fabrics and ideas about furniture placement. There is no obligation. This is a free service. We just want you to be happy with your space."
The next Healthy Woman event, "Hula Hoopin' for a Healthy Heart" will take place at the Lannom Center from 5:30-7 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Registration for this first event of 2013 is available online at http://www.dyersburgregionalmc.com/Healt...