When you see the words, ‘colors of Christmas,’ you probably think of those two workhorses, red and green, with maybe a bit of white thrown into the mix. But you don’t have to rely on the same colors, or even the same pairing, year after year. Why not think of another, complementary pairing this year? Blue and silver, or blue and white, can be your holiday allies, with every bit of gusto as red and green.
And another thought for you: you can change things up further by adding elements of Christmas that those of us of a certain age will recall and understand fully. Like a shiny aluminum tree bearing branches of identical ornaments, lit by that rotating color wheel we knew so well as children.
Set your tree up, and use balls of the same circumference and color. The one design truism for aluminum trees is that their shimmer is only to be punctuated by balls of the same hue. No contrasts, no mix of shapes and sizes. Uniformity is the watchword for this design.
Step back and look around the tree. You can bring in elements overhead, like these giant snowflakes suspended above. These cutout shapes often contain small-wattage lights as well, so you can add to the glow this way.
Check out areas surrounding your tree to find places for your color scheme. I left the stacks of books on the tables, but then ornamented each stack with silver tree toppers. Underscores my main color, and also provides a bit of variation on it.
And since we’re delving into our Christmas past, why not find those plastic sets of candelabra for the windowsill? Remember the serene glow they gave? I just switched out the red flames for blue.
You can create a nice feel with only a few elements, and also capture a bit of nostalgia by adding the final bit; the rotating color wheel that casts simple colored shadows on your tree. It will infuse more color, if you feel you need a bit more. A word to the wise, however: You might be able to rescue your tree and identical balls from the attic, where they’ve lain for many years, but you might want to buy a new wheel. These rotating plastic plates wore out quickly, or developed a catch, so they may not rotate well all these years later.
And having said that, you might want to purchase all new nostalgic-feeling tree and decorations. You can buy good-looking things online that are exact replicas of what we knew so long ago. The idea here is simple. It’s both personal and pure, which means it’s the truest expression of the season. Our lives are complicated enough without having to drag in many, many things for the holiday. Sometimes, an unexpected pairing of colors, an element or two from our shared past, and a bit of minor decorating above and around it can make the best use of the holiday and your time.
Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.