Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Decorating with Dagmar: Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice

Last November, I, along with Judy Keosaksith and other members of Balsam Hill’s Design Team, had the distinct pleasure of decorating the stage for the North Carolina stop of the Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice show.

Skaters during rehearsal

Skaters during rehearsal

This is an annual event organized by Disson Skating in partnership with Pandora, an internationally renowned Danish jewelry company. The show combines holiday melodies and classic hits with performances from some of our favorite Olympic skaters and U.S. champions.

It was our first time to decorate an entire stage, so it was an exciting design challenge we just couldn’t pass up. Read on for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at our preparations for this very special event.

Front and Center

This live skating is known for dazzling numbers from celebrity artists and beloved skaters, and so we needed to come up with a set that would provide the perfect backdrop to these stellar performances, while staying true to Balsam Hill’s signature elegant look. The lighting designer had provided us a general plan, with a basic requirement that the color palette be on the neutral side, for colored lights to reflect properly. We decided to add a few special touches to reflect the warmth and sophistication of our brand.

Globe lights being laid out

Globe lights being laid out

For the Christmas trees, we used Balsam Hill’s realistic Frosted Fraser Narrow Fir trees. Initially, I thought that the flocking was too understated to make a difference, but the snowy True Needle PE foliage registered wonderfully on camera, and we had ourselves the charming little winter forest we envisioned.

Nutcracker soldier beside frosted Christmas tree

Nutcracker soldier stands guard beside a Frosted Fraser tree

Balsam Hill’s stalwart life-sized LED Jeweled Musical Nutcracker lent color and whimsy to the stage, making it a lovely addition to the scene.

The Backdrop

Carefully positioning our Globe Café String Lights

Carefully positioning our Globe Café String Lights

Originally, we had planned to use our LED star lights as part of the backdrop, but found that their lights didn’t translate well on camera. Luckily, our Globe Café String Lights worked beautifully!

Wide shot of stage

A beautiful show of lights

The lighting technician onsite helped us set up the lights to achieve a wave-like effect. He then put together a sequence of colored spotlights that made the décor look like they were changing color throughout the show.

Alternating strands of lights and crystals

Alternating strands of lights and crystals

Aside from our globe lights, we had delicate snowflakes and finials from our Red, White and Sparkle ornament set, which alternated between the string lights for the backdrop. We also used the Large Silver Beads garland for added visual detail and interest. These items were chosen for their size and ability to reflect light in a striking way.

Accents were cleverly positioned to mimic snowflakes

Accents were cleverly positioned to mimic snowflakes

Our first thought was to hang each ornament individually, creating clusters of varying heights, but chose to hang 5-7 pieces per rope. They were cleverly positioned along the rope with a foot of distance between ornaments, with the ropes hanging 2 to 3 feet apart to give the impression of snowflakes against the background.

The Christmas Display

A colorful and festive Christmas display

A colorful and festive Christmas display

Slightly off-center to the stage, we set up a delightful Christmas display. Its purpose was to have something for the camera to focus on while panning or zooming on the band. We displayed our Animated Grand Jubilee Carousel on a swath of vibrant red velvet which helped make it stand out.

Dressing up the tree for display

Dressing up the tree for display

Alongside this was our Vermont White Spruce tree which we adorned with cheery pieces from our Mistletoe and Holly Ornament Set. Other embellishments were the shimmering Iced Glitter Twig Picks, and luxurious Red Velvet Ribbon with Jewel Trim.

American rock band Train and skaters rehearsing their number

American rock band Train onstage during rehearsal

Both the show and the décor were a resounding success! Through the combined efforts of the Balsam Hill team and the onsite staff, we were able to put together this beautiful stage over the course of three days. It was wonderful meeting the skaters and the production team, and we’re looking forward to working with everyone again. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the many people who welcomed us and helped us out, making this a fun and fulfilling experience.

Make sure to visit Balsam Hill to see more of our wide selection of holiday décor products.

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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