Last year (2009) was the first year I've put a Christmas tree in the dining room. See, I have this empty corner, where I think it's just crying out to have a tall, slim-line Christmas tree there. It would be so pretty, you know, with luxurious ribbon and delicate gold ornaments. I could theme it from year to year with various food-related themes - "vineyard" one year, "sugar plums" one year, and so on. Lovely idea, yes?
The problem with this plan is that I already do a 12' live tree, a 9' artificial tree, and a 4' table top tree in other parts of the house. And one year we had a 6' artificial tree in the basement too. So the idea of, first, purchasing another tree, and then, second, decorating another tree was not appealing. Well, it was kind of appealing in theory, but in practice it was unrealistic.
So I struck a compromise. I found a 3' pre-lit table top tree on sale at Walmart for $20. Score! And then I put it on an old round accent table in the sad, empty corner. Once I decorated it to match the chandelier, the room was now beginning to really feel festive!
The tree was pretty simple to decorate.
I made quite a few lengths of ribbon with looped heads and V-cut tails - again, reminding me of little tadpoles swimming all over the tree. I tucked these into wavy shapes, putting them diagonally spiraling downward around the tree. I saw this ribbon idea in a catalog advertisement, and wanted to try it out. I think it worked pretty well - and was a nice change from my typical "wind the ribbon all around the tree" trick.
Then I put in the sugared fruit floral picks and whole fruits. I tried to spread them evenly around, making sure not to clump all the same colors in one spot, etc. Lastly, I added in some green and gold ball ornaments and other sparklies.
I used a simple gold star topper, and then added a tree skirt that I had used in previous years. The tree skirt doesn't really match the rest of the theme, but it had to do, as it was what I had on hand. If I repeat this theme, I'll see if I can scrounge up some other solution for the tree skirt that is a better match.
For the table centerpiece, I used a very simple arrangement of a gold velvet table runner (folded up onto itself because it was too long for what I wanted), a green artificial wreath, more sugared fruit floral picks, and a hurricane vase with gold candle inside. I added a gold beaded votive candle on either side and called it done.
The final touch for the room was the addition of small sugared fruit wreaths on the glass doors of the hutch. These wreaths were actually the original inspiration for this entire room. I bought them three years ago, on an After Christmas sale, and then over the following years was able to find matching items to complete the rest of the room. They are hard to see, unfortunately, in this photo. They are simply a grapevine wreath with the fruits on picks. I added the sheer ribbons.
Taken all together, the dining room turned out pretty much like I'd hoped... though I can still picture a tall slim tree in that corner instead of the little one. (sigh) Oh well, maybe some day!