Tag Archives: holidays

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Choosing a Location for Your Holiday Tree (or Trees)

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Picking the best location for your holidays trees can take up a lot of time, especially if you’re feeling undecided. I’ve experienced this problem a few times myself! I’ve learned how to choose the best spots to make sure that all the hard work (and hours!) spent decorating won’t go to waste.

Aspen Christmas Signature Collection

Aspen Christmas Signature Collection


  1. Most Visibility: Why not place your holiday tree in the room your family gathers in the most? It could be the den, the living room or the dining room. Your family will definitely enjoy seeing it every day, especially on Christmas day!
  2. Most Convenient: It’s practical to place your holiday trees near electrical outlets to ensure that you won’t have a hard time plugging in your lights. Locations near electrical outlets may be high traffic areas, so consider using smaller artificial trees for these areas.
  3. Indoors and Outdoors: If you’ve got a house with a big yard or porch, consider placing some holiday trees outside. This adds to the festive atmosphere, especially if you’re planning to have lots of parties over the holidays! If you’re staying in a smaller place like a condominium or studio apartment, you can always place your trees indoors. They’ll still look wonderful and you can still go crazy decorating the trees however you like!


  1. Avoid Lighting Switches: If possible, avoid placing holiday trees near light switches since people might accidentally knock down the decorations when they switch the lights on and off.
  2. Avoid Blocking Entryways or Closets: Avoid placing your holiday trees in areas where they could be blocking entryways or closets. Not only will you have a hard time moving around, but you’ll probably end up knocking down the decorations or even the trees themselves!

I hope these tips will help lessen your stress and increase the fun during the holidays. Happy decorating!


Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Creative Ways to Use Pine Cones and Other Natural Objects in Your Home Décor

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Pinecones and other natural objects are fun yet inexpensive decorations you can use in all sorts of ways. Buy them from a craft store, or better still, gather some right from your yard for a nice way to spend a fall afternoon!

Pine cones: Gather pine cones and paint them in traditional autumnal colors like gold, red and orange. Turn them into holiday décor, table centerpieces or tree ornaments. You can also use them as natural accents in any wreath or garland.

  1. Pine cone wreaths: Spruce up your holiday wreaths with recently dropped pine cones.  Attach clean, dry pine cones with some hot glue and you’ve got yourself a lovely pine cone wreath. You can also check out our Autumn Harvest Holiday Wreath, one of our timeless pieces.
  2. Pine cone garlands: Liven up your garlands with some strategically placed pine cones. They’re so easy to do! Using some hot glue, attach the pine cones in clusters; complement them with red berries and dried leaves.
  3. Pine cone table centerpieces: Make the most out of your empty baskets by filling them with pine cones. For variety, use pine cones in different sizes! If these aren’t readily available, you can get our big pine cone kit (which already comes packed with thirty medium cones and twenty large cones).
  4. Pine cone ornaments:  Add a charming, natural accent to your artificial tree by making some pine cone ornaments. Just spray paint them in gold and add some holly and traditional ribbon.
  5. Pine cone Christmas Trees:  Easy and cute! Spray paint pine cones in green, attach them with floral picks to cone-shaped foam, and then place it in a flowerpot.  Dust them with a little glitter and voila!

Other natural objects: There’s so much you can do with Nature’s bounty. Besides using pine cones, there are other natural objects to use in home décor.

  1. Flowers: This Thanksgiving, make your own floral arrangements by drying some flowers and dusting them with gold glitter. For Halloween, you can use bouquets of fresh pumpkin flowers.
  2. Fruit: Buy fruits in season, like apples and oranges, and place them in nice wooden bowls. You can use these as centerpieces for your dining table.
  3. Gourds: What would Halloween be without pumpkins? Place small pumpkins around your trees or garlands for that uniquely Halloween feel. (We know, pumpkins are fruits!)
  4. Natural fiber: Use rugs and tapestries made from jute, organic cotton or hemp and in fall colors like gold, red or orange for a festive Fall touch.
  5. Stone: Use candleholders or fountains made from stone. You can also gather up some pebbles and use them as decorative accents on your mantelpiece.
  6. Metal: Use wall decorations and lamps made from copper and iron.

Try flexing your creative muscles by making these decorations with your own unique twist. Happy decorating!

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Eco-friendly Holiday Decorating Strategies

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There are so many ways for us to treat the environment well while keeping the Christmas spirit alive. I’ve developed some eco-friendly holiday decorating strategies over the years and they haven’t failed me yet! I’m sharing some of these strategies so that we can all have a wonderful, green Christmas this year (and maybe get a reward from Santa Claus!).


  1. Incorporate Natural Objects: Use pine cones, berries, evergreens or fruits in season as decorative accents or table centerpieces. You can paint them or add glitter to match your wreaths, garlands or Christmas tree decorations.
  2. Use Cloth Napkins: Add a touch of Old World sophistication by using cloth napkins for the dinner table. Buy these in traditional holiday colors and tie them with some twine. Not only is it a classy look, but you can reuse them every year!
  3. Use Burlap Bags: Stylish and eco-friendly, you can buy burlap bags at a local store. Use burlap bags to cover your Christmas tree stands or as gift wrappers and candleholders.
  4. Reuse Old Greeting Cards: Don’t throw away those greeting cards from last year! Make some lovely place cards by snipping off the front page of your old greeting cards. Decorate them with some gold ink and use some pretty ribbon to attach them to small potted plants. These will look beautiful on your table and can even double as party favors!
  5. Choose LED lights: How about using LED lights for your Christmas trees? They last twice as long and are ninety percent more efficient than traditional bulbs. If you’d like some options, you can check out our Multicolor LED or Candlelight LED light strings.
  6. Reuse Old Greeting Cards: Don’t throw away those greeting cards from last year! Make some lovely place cards by snipping off the front page of your old greeting cards. Decorate them with some gold ink and use some pretty ribbon to attach them to small potted plants. These will look beautiful on your table and can even double as party favors.
  7. Reuse Gift Wrapping Paper and Ribbons: Ever wondered what you should do with old gift wrapping paper and ribbons? Try using them to wrap presents (just make sure to remove any old tags!).

These holiday decorating strategies are eco-friendly, economical and you’ll be breathing new life into those beautiful materials (you’re totally hitting three birds with one stone!). Happy decorating!

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Preparing to Fall Back: Outdoor Lighting Plans for Darker Evenings (Preparing for Daylight Savings)

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Daylight savings time will come to an end in November. The evenings will be colder and darker. Brr! Don’t worry though, I’ve put together a list of the best winter lighting options for this year.


Take a look:

  1. Outdoor Pendant Lights: Outdoor pendant lights in classic silhouettes and matte white, black or bronze finishes grew popular this year. To add a romantic touch, hang these outdoor pendants lights from trees in a technique called moonlighting.
  2. Outdoor Sconces: Trendy and sophisticated, hang outdoor sconces in deep metal tones in front of entranceways. Perfect for Winter, they’ll work well with a vintage or antique look. To add your own unique touch, use some beads or crystals as decorative accents!
  3. Outdoor Track Lighting: Outdoor track lights are good options for lighting up your porch, patio or gazebo. Choose outdoor track lighting with LED bulbs, since these are brighter and last a lot longer than traditional incandescent bulbs (they’re eco-friendly too!).
  4. Recessed Outdoor Lights: Use recessed outdoor lights to illuminate pathways, stairs or exterior walls. To highlight garden fountains and statues, install recessed outdoor lights at ground level and pointed them upwards in a technique called uplighting.

One final tip: For a more festive touch for the season, decorate your entryway with pre-lit wreaths and pre-lit topiaries. Although it’s nearing the end of 2011, it’s never too late to update your look. Happy decorating!