Author Archives: Dagmar Obert

About Dagmar Obert

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.

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

How to Clean your Christmas Tree for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Choosing an artificial Christmas tree has its advantages. However, there are precautions to ensure that your tree retains its beauty. Artificial trees are much easier to maintain, but you still have to clean them before and after use. Depending on how and where they are stored, they can accumulate dust and mold. The same goes for your ornaments and light strings. In this post, we’re going to discuss what you need to do to make sure your tree is ready for the holiday season.

Thinking Out of the Box

  1. Before taking your tree out of the box, determine a good location where you can clean it. This location should have ample space and lighting.
  2. Place a large plastic sheet or cloth on the floor.
  3. Carefully take the tree, or each section of the tree, out of the box.
  4. Set up the tree as you clean so that everything is kept in place.
  5. Spread out the branches. The sheet will catch any or all debris as you clean your tree.

Eliminating Dust and Debris

  1. Ensure that your tree won’t topple or fall over while you assemble it. Make sure you can support the tree with one hand. You will need your other hand to operate the vacuum cleaner.
  2. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to carefully vacuum the tree’s needles and in between its branches.
  3. Remember to change the bag on your vacuum cleaner. Ensure that the filter is clean to avoid spreading fine dust from your tree into the air.
  4. Use the upholstery bristle brush that came with your vacuum cleaner. Test the vacuum cleaner first at an area at the base of the tree to see if its power is just right. If it is too strong, you will need to find another attachment or a lower-powered vacuum cleaner.
  5. Vacuum from top to bottom. Keep the cleaner an inch away from the tree to avoid damage.

Soap, Rinse, Repeat

  1. Fill a bucket with a mix of warm water and mild dish soap. If your tree came pre-lit, unplug the strings before proceeding to the next step.
  2. Get a dishtowel. Dip it into soapy water. Make sure that the dishtowel is not soaking wet. Use it to wipe away dust and debris left after vacuuming.
  3. Wipe the tree’s trunk and individual branches, working your way from top to bottom. Wipe carefully so you don’t damage the tree.
  4. After vacuuming and wiping the tree down, carefully pick up the dusty sheet by folding its corners toward the center. Allow the tree to dry.
  5. Start your Christmas decorating with family and loved ones as soon as the tree is dry.

Preparing for the holidays means taking your favorite Christmas tree and ensuring that they are ready to be displayed for family and guests. With these tips, you’ll have a worry-free and beautiful holiday season with your loved ones.

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

My Balsam Hill Home: The Spirit of New York’s Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park offers an inspiring visage of greens and blooms in complete harmony with Manhattan’s impressive structures. Rich in history, the exclusive park has become a time-honored gem for the neighborhood and its surrounding streets and sidewalks, making it a privilege for anyone to be able to enjoy its splendor. Capture the beauty of New York’s Gramercy Park in your home with Balsam Hill’s picturesque ornament collection.

Setting Up the Canvas

Aspen Estate Fir

A lifelike tree like the Aspen Estate Fir™ is a fine backdrop for decorations as radiant as the Gramercy Park ornaments. Showcasing 100% True Needle tips, this tree features forest-green needles and detailed branches that suggest high quality craftsmanship, highlighting the sophistication of the decorating theme.

Paying Tribute to Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park Ornaments by Balsam Hill

Balsam Hill’s exclusive 30-piece Gramercy Park ornament set features a variety of finials, balls, crowns, teardrops and birds. Painted in glorious gold and bronze, the tree ornaments are decorated with micro-beading, crystal and laser-cut glitter to give your tree the sparkle it needs. Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

My Balsam Hill Home: Stunning Artificial Christmas Trees for Your Holiday Celebration

Balsam Hill's Best Christmas Trees

Finding the perfect tree for the holidays can be challenging, but once you find the ideal piece that complements your holiday décor theme, the rewards are nothing short of incredible. From simple and traditional to extravagant and extraordinary, the Christmas tree, the focal point of your holiday theme, is the key to a memorable culmination of the year. This post highlights some of Balsam Hill’s best trees and explains their unique beauty and special features.

BH Noble Fir™

With its exceptional grayish green foliage, the BH Noble Fir™ is one of the most renowned Christmas tree styles in America. Native to the Northwest and Northern California, this artificial Christmas tree has become a nationwide favorite due to its meticulously crafted branches and True Needle™ tips. Our exclusive True Needle™ technology ensures that the BH Noble Fir™ matches the shape, texture cativating and color of nature’s superb Abies procera.

The BH Noble Fir™ comes pre-lit with several lighting options you can choose. With our exclusive Easy Plug™ design, our trees ensure easy and no-fuss assembly. You can choose the Color+Clear™ option, which allows you to light up your tree with clear lights, multicolor lights, or both.  Read This Entry

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant


Dear Dagmar,

We just moved into a new home, which has a really gorgeous patio and a roomy outdoor space. I was thinking of inviting my friends over to celebrate our recent move and celebrate the lovely season. Can you tell me what things I should consider if I want to host an outdoor party in autumn?



Dear Michelle,

First, I would like to congratulate you on the new home. I am sure you are both excited about setting up the space that your family will enjoy over the coming years. Trying to get everything in order is daunting. Having friends over to celebrate your new space might just be a great way to relieve stress.

Fall is a festive season on its own. I have recently been saddened by summer’s end, and since I just came from one of the busiest summers I have ever had, I began to miss those extended daylight hours.

Hosting an outdoor party is one way to make up for summer’s disappearance. This way you can extend the outdoor activities and have a sense of community before winter. It is also a great way to bring people together before the holiday rush. To throw a great autumn party, here are things you need to help accommodate your guests in the changes brought by the season.

1. Coziness of outdoor temperature

An outdoor fireplace is a great way to extend the use of your outdoor spaces throughout the year. It can also make the cold months and that cabin fever feeling seem shorter. This addition serves three purposes: it provides warmth in your patio or garden, it serves as a wonderful focal point and, finally, it adds a decorative element to the landscape.

Heirloom Copper Fire Pit by Balsam Hill

The Heirloom Copper Fire Pit from Balsam Hill is an outdoor fireplace you can set up wherever you want. When rested on its die-cast aluminum base, it doubles as an elegant accent that draws everyone’s attention. Rust-proof and light for easy setup, the fire pit is crafted to last a lifetime.

Read This Entry