Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Victorian Aluminum Christmas Tree

Approaching our first holiday season here at Knickerbocker Style & Design we should probably warn you we’re absolutely crazy for Christmas. After all what time of year inspires more creativity and imagination in home decor than the holidays? As far as we’re concerned anytime after the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away is fair game to start stringing lights and trimming trees, so to get in the spirit we thought we’d kick off the season with a look back at last year’s decorations.

A Victorian styled aluminum Christmas tree might sound crazy but that’s exactly why this lavishly trimmed vintage sparkler is our favorite of last years trees. There’s something so over the top about a tree made entirely of tinsel yet when these glistening beauties first debuted over fifty years ago the fashion was to decorate them very simply with just a few ornaments for a modern Space Age look. Solid red or blue were the popular color choices but we’ve gone for a more sophisticated color scheme of wintery white with pale blues and light greens making for an icy effect against the silvery boughs.

Since the whole idea of a tinsel tree is over the top to begin with we decided to go all out and trim ours in the spirit of Victorian excess complete with beaded garlands and masses of blown glass ornaments. Instead of cumbersome light strands these aluminum trees were accompanied by a rotating color wheel which bathed the reflective silver needles in a kaleidoscope of colors seen here close up. Click HERE to see how we trim the tree for such a full effect!

The actual Victorians may not have had aluminum trees to trim but they did fashion their own ingenious artificial Christmas trees from dyed goose feathers entwined on wire branches. Here we’ve filled a white goose feather tree with a collection of European blown-glass ornaments ranging from original antiques and vintage baubles to contemporary versions by Christopher Radko and Waterford. The treetop Santa from Spode was charmingly designed as a replica of the tree topper on the company’s ever-popular Christmas Tree china pattern.

You can see we have a penchant for tabletop trees, as they take up virtually no floor space, are safely out of reach of pets and small children, and can fit just about anywhere. The sight of a tabletop tree trimmed by Queen Victoria and her family widely popularized the German custom of decorating an evergreen at Christmas. This fresh cut tree adorned with antiques baubles and seashells gathered on Nantucket is topped by a starfish and covered with a halo of gold French bullion; a fine slinky-like wire trim that creates a shimmering net to compliment the nautical theme.

Not to neglect the other yuletide trimmings here is a large holiday wreath festooned with flocked pinecones, dried-hydrangea, glittered glass baubles, metallic berries, and a flurry of white butterflies. We hope you enjoyed our eclectic holiday decor and check back soon for a look at this year's along with a closer look at how we trim an aluminum tree for a such a lavish final result.

All decorations, styling, and photos by KS&D.
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