Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

The Balsam Hill Traveler: Celebrating Christmas in Sun-kissed Sonoma

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Much like an artist’s masterpiece, Sonoma County features a rich blend of colors bursting with life. The vast sun-kissed plains and magnificent evergreen forests are further highlighted by the vibrancy of the cerulean ocean coasts. This famed California valley – referred to as the birthplace of the California Wine Industry – has long offered an excellent sanctuary for people who seek a relaxing and invigorating holiday.

Sonoma Valley

In our ongoing series on Christmas trees, the Balsam Hill Traveler comes home to the warmth and splendor of the California coast. Join us as we indulge in the natural beauty of Sonoma, one of the places that inspired our artisan trees.

The Sun-kissed Shores of the Sonoma Coast

As one of the coastal regions of California, part of the county of Sonoma occupies an interesting area in the Golden State landscape. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Sonoma and Mayacamas mountain ranges, Sonoma is located on rich and fertile ground with mild climate and much sunshine.

Sonoma Coast
Sonoma Plantation Home

These favorable qualities make the county one of the most suitable places for wine-making, similar to the adjacent Napa Valley. In fact, around 60,000 acres of Sonoma are dedicated to 370 wineries and vineyards, which in turn produce some of the best wines in the world.

Inland to the Sonoma Valley

Another feature that Sonoma shares with fellow West Coast states is its distinctive winters without snow. California’s sunny climate dominates the valley, making it extremely rare for any snowfall except in the higher elevations on and around the Mayacamas Mountains.

A Field of Christmas Lights

Although some may view Sonoma’s snowless winters as a disadvantage for celebrating the Christmas holidays, it does have its advantages. Christmas lights and festivals in the area bring a great celebration. The temperate air is perfect for putting up lights without freezing your hands.

The Elegant Spanish Colonial Revival Houses of Sonoma City

To reflect the warmer atmosphere in the valley, houses in Sonoma County are designed in styles similar to Europe’s Mediterranean villas. One popular design is the great Spanish Colonial Revival.

Sonoma City

Initiated by architects Carleton Winslow and Bertram Goodhue, Spanish Colonial Revival designs combine elements from Spanish Baroque, Moorish Revival, Mexican Churrigueresque, and Spanish Colonial architecture. It was conceptualized to be the dominant style in California.

Spanish Colonial

Spanish Colonial Revival houses are marked by the extensive use of stucco (smooth plaster) wall and chimney finishes. They also feature flat clay tile roofs and unique terracotta wall accents. Interiors usually display heavily carved wooden furniture, plush carpets, and ornate wrought-iron chandeliers to create a cozy and relaxing ambiance, especially during the holidays.

California’s Magnificent Redwoods

Sonoma County is also famous as the home of California’s magnificent redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). These colossal trees, which can grow up to hundreds of feet in height, thrive in the vast landscapes of the valley. Most of the well-known redwoods are found in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. These include the Parson Jones Tree, which is the tallest redwood in the reserve, the Colonel Armstrong Tree, which is the oldest of the trees, and the Icicle Tree, which displays an unusually shaped burl.

Redwoods

Considered one of the state’s most precious natural wonders, California redwoods are admired for their majestic beauty. While their massive size makes it difficult for redwoods to become ideal live Christmas trees, some artificial holiday trees have been designed to mimic the likeness and elegance of the real redwood tree.

Balsam Hill’s Napa Christmas® Artificial Christmas Trees

Infuse your holiday home with the artistry and brilliance of Balsam Hill’s premier Napa Christmas® Artificial Christmas Trees. Crafted with our True Needle™ technology, this collection of artisan holiday trees is designed to add the natural charm of California’s lush forests to your space. You can also recreate the sweet fragrance of fresh Christmas trees with our scented ornaments.

Napa Christmas® Artificial Christmas Trees

For a holiday tradition reminiscent of Christmas on the West Coast, adorn your home with our Sonoma Slim Pencil Tree from our Napa Christmas Signature Collection. You can also choose from our popular Silverado Slim™, BH Noble Fir®, and California Baby Redwood® to complement the warmth of your holiday home. An ideal centerpiece for any type of home design, our Balsam Hill Napa Christmas artificial trees highlights the same sophisticated appeal of Northern California.

About the Author
Dagmar Obert is a designer with over two decades of experience transforming homes into spaces that reflect comfort and elegance. Her sophisticated style emanates from her love of color, forms, and textures. From her choice of fabric to her selection of accent pieces, Dagmar pulls together the look of a room to deliver a statement of class. Surrounded by family and friends, Dagmar takes delight in turning her own home into a venue where wonderful occasions are made more memorable. Her how-to guides and inspiration articles on decorating and entertaining provide readers with unique ways to create the perfect setting for life’s cherished moments.
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