Archive of ‘Home Decor’ category

How to Arrange your Pillows

Pillows are one of my favorite accent accessories. They can take a dull room and make it new again without breaking the bank.  Since they aren’t a big ticket item you can even change them out seasonally by color and texture without your spouse putting up too much fuss.  If you get really nice inserts you can get to the point where you are just changing out the covers.

These pillows really elevate the bedding to a whole new level.

At one point, I had so many decorative pillows that I bought a commercial pillow rack.  It is awesome and if you are a designer or just have a lot of pillows I highly recommend it for organization and a space saver.  If I remember correctly I think I got it off of Amazon.

I like to use the “guest of honor” pillow to get inspiration for the rest of the room.  I can then go and find paint colors, rugs, décor, art work etc…. A “guest of honor” pillow is one that is your more expensive pillow. It is just FABULOUS and probably cost too much. I have seen some really amazing ones in leather, animal skin, velvet and some amazing patterns. Then you can fill in with solids or other patterns that compliment that pillow on a less expensive scale.  However, those pillows are just as important to the design.

Choose a "guest of honor pillow" to take center stage.

Think about your groupings and where you place your pillows.  Are they indoor or outdoor pillows?  If you are putting pillows outside, make sure they are pillows that are made for outside.  However, just a tip, I still try to bring my pillows in, especially if it is going to rain. You could store them in a little container or a shed.

If you are using pillows outside make sure they are made of outdoor fabric.

Think about the function of the pillows. Are you using them for decoration only or are people using them as actual pillows to watch a movie or hang out?  You wouldn’t want to put pillows with sequins on them if people were going to lay their head on them.

Knowing the function of the room is important in selecting the pillows.

When I’m trying to match up colors and sizes on my couch, beds etc… I purchase a lot of options and then try different combinations and see what works best.  Sometimes I get it right the first time.  Sometimes I have to take a bunch of items back and try again.  I think it’s better to try a bunch of selections than to settle with something you don’t like.

Hopefully this was helpful.  Nobody gets everything right the first go around every single time.  There are too many variables in design that play a big part in the final product.  You have to play around and see what you like. I find I like the end result better when I do it this way.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Preparing your Backyard for Summer

Summer is almost here.  The weather is staying more consistent so at least we know what to wear now.  We’ve been working in the yard every weekend to prepare the backyard for summer.  I love this time of year because I can style my backyard as an extension of the house. Here are my top 5 things you can do to transform your yard from winter to summer in no time.

Five Tips To Get Your Backyard Summer Ready

Trim back your hedges and put down mulch.  Nothing looks better than newly trimmed hedges and fresh mulch.  You will want to go through and spray the weeds a couple days before you put down the mulch.   If you’re pressed for time source this out and work on the other details since this is such a big job.

Trimming your hedges and putting down mulch will help spruce up your yard.

Plant flowers in pots and the flowerbeds. This is what makes your yard really come together.  It is also a great way to bring color into your yard.  Think about what accent colors you’re going for and utilize flowers to accomplish that goal.  Consult a landscaper if you’re doing a big yard for the first time so you make sure you’re creating an uniform look.  Also a landscaper has knowledge about what plants do well in shade and sunny areas as well as how big they grow.

Putting flowers in pots will help complete your outdoor porch area.

Putting flowers in pots will help complete your outdoor porch area.

Spray wash pollen off everything. The Hampton Roads area is one of the worst for seasonal allergies.  I always wait until at least mid May and then we go through with our power washer and spray off all that yellow pollen.  It just gets everywhere.  I want to make sure it’s gone before I put out my cushions, pillows, and other decor.

Set up to open the pool.  If you use a company to do your pool opening call them in early April and set it up for a late May opening. If your company is like ours, they start getting booked come April.  I don’t like to open it until all the pollen is gone.  We did that once and had a big mess on our hands.  Also, we like to have our mulch down before we open our pool.  We made the mistake of opening the pool one time before we put mulch down and there was mulch floating for weeks. Coordinate all your dates and it will go a lot smoother.

Set up your pool opening after all the spring pollen is gone.

Style your backyard with the pretty stuff.  This is my favorite part.  Styling the furniture is what I’ve been waiting to do.  Doing the hard parts make it all worth while when I get to put out my cushions, pillows, rugs, towels, linens, and outdoor dishes. These accessories really pull in the colors you used in flowers and make your look complete.  Remember to try to coordinate all your accessories so you have a complete look.

Style your backyard as an extension to your indoor living space.

If you planned well, your outdoor living will be an extension of your indoor spaces.  Think of all that extra square footage.  We love entertaining and being in our outdoor spaces. I hope these tips were helpful.  My big outdoor kitchen reveal and summer home tours are coming in early June so come back for those.  Please leave a comment below telling me how you prepare your yard for the summer.  Maybe you have a garden or a she shed that you prepare this time of year. Also, follow me on social media so we can stay caught up.  I post frequently on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Desk Organized

I am still in the middle of my spring cleaning and I am feeling pretty good about my progress so far. I know before too long I’m going to have to add outdoor chores to my list and once that begins these extra projects of mine will be null and void.  About a year ago, I redid my office and I just love that space.  It’s a really beautiful pink and I love sitting in there for hours and letting my creativity flow. I will have to do a reveal soon. Let’s talk about how to keep your desk organized so you work smarter not harder.

How to organize your desk to be more efficient and productive at work. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

  1. Go paperless. If going paperless just isn’t going to happen, break down your papers in groups. File keepsakes, pay bills, and shred all others.
  2. Have cute organizers for little items.  There are so many cute containers now that are inexpensive.  Use those in your theme color for paper clips, erasers, Post-it, etc…
  3. Put things you don’t use daily in decorative boxes.  I love Sugar Paper LA boxes.  You can also find beautiful ones at Michaels and Home Goods.
  4. Have a bulletin board with all your inspiration pictures.  My mood board is right above my desk and it really reflects my style and branding for my blog.  It helps keep me focused and if I need a little Inspiration I can take a peek for ideas.
  5. Make it functional. Some offices double as guest rooms so you need to make sure you decorate so the room accomplishes both goals.
  6. Storage is key.  What storage items can help you get things off your desk?  Maybe a file cabinet, shelves, baskets, and a closet.
  7. What kind of desk do you need? When purchasing your desk you may want to think about what your needs are. Are you going to need drawers or display shelves?
  8. Get a comfortable chair.  The chair is just as important as the desk.  You will be spending lots of hours here. Pick something that will give you support and is comfortable.
  9. Hide the cords.  If you have a computer or desk lamp you want to have a plan for hiding the cords.  You can decide this as you decide where to place your desk.
  10. Try to hide office printers and trash cans if you can.  If you can take these bulky items and hide them than your office will make more of a statement.

How to organize your desk to be more efficient and productive at work. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I would love to hear some of the things you guys do to keep your offices ready for optimum productivity.  Also, what do your offices look like right now?  Do you work from home or in a traditional setting?  Please leave a comment below and share this with a friend.  Let’s be friends.  If you want to see more decor and fun content, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Let’s Spring Clean

March is here and you know what that means.  It’s time to go through your house and spring clean.  I actually started this early this year as I had a lot of stuff  “junk” that I needed to clean up, donate, or sell. When you live in a house for more than 5 years I feel like you really start to accumulate way too much stuff.  So let’s spring clean and figure out where to begin.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Here are some tips for starting your spring cleaning. You don't have to have huge blocks of time to get results.

 

Start off with a big project to get you going – I began in August when my daughter left for college.  When she left, my son decided he was taking her room (which is a second master suite) and she would move into one of the smaller rooms.  This meant we would be packing up two of the rooms in the house and switching them.  So we went through everything.  All the clothes, closet items, and everything in both rooms.  This was a huge job, but we had a goal and a purpose so it made it a little easier to deal with.  My son was happy with his room once it was put back together. My daughter was not as happy with her smaller room, but she was very happy to be off at college. With one major project marked off my list, I was feeling pretty productive and ready to keep going on my list.

Set aside a “working weekend” for the whole family. You can get so much more done with 4 or 5 people than you can by yourself.  Every 6 weeks or a time frame of your choice, set aside a “working weekend.” Let the family members know at the beginning of the week that this weekend you will set aside a certain amount of time on Saturday and Sunday to work on the the house clearing out clutter. Have a list planned ahead of time for them to do on their own and some things to do with the group as a whole. They need to have both kinds of tasks so that you don’t have to guide them at every tasks so you can get some work done too.  Things will go a lot smoother that way.

Continue to declutter as you have time.  Choose smaller tasks to do on your busier days.  Cleaning out a junk drawer or your pantry are all things that need to be done.  Sometimes these tasks may take as little as 15 minutes.  You can choose to do these things on days where you don’t have big blocks of time to set aside, but you still want to get something accomplished.  All of it needs to get done so use your time wisely.

Make sure items get out of the house immediately. Once you have sorted your items as donation, trash, or sell make sure you take them to the appropriate place right away.  You have worked so hard to declutter, you don’t want the boxes to stick around taking up room in your house.  What a great feeling to get all of this out of your house.  What a big difference this will make.

Have a list with your “big picture” goals.  What areas do you want to tackle?  Make sure you are working in your spare time to get to all the areas you can in a timely manner.  Use your bigger blocks of time for the larger projects and do smaller projects as time allows.

I hope you are having some nice spring weather in your area and you are getting motivated to tackle some projects that have been on your mind for too long.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

How to Start a Decorating Project

Spring is almost here and I have a ton of projects I want to tackle. How do you start a decorating project from scratch?  There are several things I like to do when I’m starting a design project.  Sticking to these steps keeps me from making costly mistakes.  Learning from experience, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes.

Starting a decorating project can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it on your own.  Here are some tips on how to start a decorating project.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

  1. Are you doing it on your own or hiring a professional? This is important to think about right from the beginning. If it’s a smaller project and you think you can do it on your own than great.  But if the project involves structural changes, you might want to hire a professional to oversee the changes you are making.  I’m sure it will be money well spent.
  2. Decide on a budget. Coming up with a budget is very important.  Deciding how much you will spend will decide all the other decisions, so this is a huge step.  Think about it wisely and don’t rush this step.  Get your spouse involved.  How much can you comfortably afford without breaking the bank?
  3. Look at your current room and assess the situation.  Ask yourself some important questions to get a feel for what you like and don’t like.  What do you like? What do you dislike? Can you keep anything?  Do you see any inspiration?
  4. Make a mood board, Pinterest board, or photo file of things you like. From the pictures you gathered see what similarities are repeated. This will help you start to see a pattern of things you like.  It may also show you what you dislike in your current room. Give yourself plenty of time in this stage so you have time to find things you like.  This step is very important in the the creative process so spend adequate time here finding what you like and dislike.  It will make the process go a lot smoother.
  5. Create a wish list.  Creating a wish list can help your designer narrow down the things that are Important to you.  You may not get everything on your list, but you can start to see what items are needs and what are wants.
  6. Do you have a focal inspiration piece?  Having a focal piece like art work, a pillow, or a rug will help you with your color selection.  This is very important.  This usually comes to you during your mood board and exploration stage.  If you find a piece you’re in love with your designer can select your paint color around the colors in your inspiration piece.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

I hope you found some helpful tips on how to start a design project.  Whether you do it on your own or hire a professional, I’m sure your project will turn out great.  Take your time in the planning stage and spend time finding out what you really like so your vision can easily translate in your design.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

Decorating Trends for 2018

We’re well into 2018.  Are you used to saying and writing that now?  I thought I would share some of the decor trends for 2018.  Some things carry over for years and some only last for a year or two.  I feel like bigger things like kitchens go in phases of like 7-10 years and smaller things like accessories for your living room change every couple of years.  Thank goodness because I don’t know many people that can give their kitchen a facelift every couple of years. Here are some decorating trends for 2018.  Did you guess some of them?

Decorating Trends for 2018

PINKS, FLORALS, and FEMININE TOUCHES Pantone’s color of the year in 2015 was Rose Quartz which was a blush pink.  It came in and never left.  I think it is here to stay.  That blush color has become so common that it is considered a neutral now. Men need to get comfortable with pink and feminine touches in their homes.  Done subtly it can be just beautiful.  Putting feminine touches like fresh flowers and candles in a room can soften it up and make your home look lived in without looking too frilly.  Nobody does pink better than Summer Adams.  You can check out her pink office reveal here.

Adding pinks and florals to a room can give it the feminine touch it needs. You can never go wrong using fresh flowers.

MIXED METALS– There are so many reasons why mixing metals is still so popular. It is affordable, creates drama, and gives off an elegant vibe in your home. I think the most important element is it gives a cohesive look, without looking like you just ordered a matching set of furniture from a catalog. Also, if furniture doesn’t have to match now, you can replace items and update your room one piece at a time without having the cost of replacing all the pieces at once.  That is a win-win for everyone. Interior design can take a page out of fashion’s handbook.  If pieces blend well together and you like them then go with it.  Your room is a reflection of your style.  Be confident in your choices and it will turn out beautifully. You can see in the picture below that I have gold accessories, a mercury glass lamp, and the picture frame is an antiqued silver.

I love the use of mixed metals in this black, white and grey guest bedroom. The picture frame, accessories, and lamp all look like a cohesive grouping.

TWO TONED KITCHENS– White kitchens are still popular so don’t freak out.  However, we are starting to see multi-color cabinets and counter tops in kitchens.  My kitchen actually has cream colored cabinets on the bottom and then the darker cabinets at the top.  I also have a solid counter top and brown and white one. If you wait long enough everything comes back in style. Since the white kitchens are so popular and grays are still in style, these colors are being used in the cabinetry and counter tops. I personally love this look.  A great example is Dear Lillie’s kitchen.  I have always loved her style.  You can check out her kitchen here.

LIGHTING– Lighting is such an important part of a room.  Of course if you have a natural light  source available in your room than that is your best bet.  However, some people don’t always have that and changing that is difficult and costly.  So using chandeliers, lamps, and recessed lighting can play a big part in how you light your room.  Chandeliers have become so popular recently.  There is such a wide range to choose from now.  Of course there were aways the glamorous ones, but now there are the rustic ones, craftsman style, farmhouse, and industrial masculine lights. I’m sure if you look hard enough you will find the perfect lighting for your new build or your makeover. The best place I’ve learned about lighting is in Rebecca Robeson’s design sessions.  She is an interior designer in California,  She has a Youtube channel, but she does design sessions once a month.  She did one on lighting that was amazing. Check her out for more information.

GALLERY WALLS– Aren’t we glad gallery walls are still popular?  You can display your family  pictures or your art in planned groupings on your wall. There are so many things on Pinterest about gallery walls that I’m not going to repeat it here.  For a good reference on gallery wall configurations check out this post.

I hope you are crushing on some of these trends for 2018 because they may hang around for a little while.  Which ones are you currently using and which ones might you use in the near future?  I would love to know.  Leave me a comment below and let me know if you have any projects coming up.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Winter Bedroom Essentials with Crane and Canopy

I can’t believe we are already into February.  Where I live, we have almost tripled the amount of snow we got last year.  I don’t think spring weather is coming anytime soon so figuring out how to make my bedroom a little warmer and cozier is top on my list.

I personally like to spend time in my bedroom. I strive for a luxurious look while getting that cozy, comfortable feeling as well. Your bedroom isn’t just another room. It’s where you relax, renew, and rejuvenate for the next day.  That is where Crane and Canopy enters.  They are a charming, luxurious bedding company that offers speciality bedding and bath at affordable prices. Here are a couple of my favorite sets that Crane and Canopy offer.

The Vienna Soft White Duvet Cover and Shams from Crane and Canopy- www.yourstrulyjenn.comVienna Soft White Duvet Cover and Shams

The Montgomery Duvet Cover and Shams by Crane and Canopy- www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Montgomery Cobalt Blue Duvet Cover and Shams

Crane and Canopy has such great options to choose from.  Their sheet sets come with an option to purchase without a top sheet.  My son is a very squirmy sleeper and would often throw blankets off the bed. To have the option to buy sheet sets without a top sheet is amazing. That works much better for my son. Their duvets come with interior corner ties and hidden zipper closures. Their towels are even cool. There is an unique loop for convenient post-use hanging.  All of these details matter when you’re going for the perfect look.


The Linden Black Border Duvet Cover and Shams from Crane and Canopy- www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Linden Black Border Duvet Cover and Shams

I tend to spend more time in my room in the winter. I like to use a heavier duvet and luxurious throw cover.  The one I use in the winter is the Linden Black Border Duvet Cover from Crane and Canopy. We let our dog sleep with us so we wash it often.  It cleans up beautifully and has stayed this beautiful white color for two years without looking dingy.  I also have the Coral Pacific Duvet cover pictured below.  I will share more about this one later in the year.

The Pacific Coral Duvet Cover and Shams from Crane and Canopy- www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Ways to Make Your Room Cozier For Winter

I also like to layer my bedding in the winter with extra warm blankets in case we get cold.  Who am I kidding? I really mean if I get cold.  My husband always has a fan on and I’m always wrapped in the extra blankets.  I also like to keep baskets of blankets and pillows in the room in case our kids want to hang out and watch tv with us.

Crane and Canopy Bedding -styling by Jenn Ely from Yours Truly Jenn Blog

Adding texture to the room also makes the room feel cozier.  There are several ways you can add texture to a bedroom. Some of my favorite ways are to add rugs, curtains, and lots of big, soft pillows. Doing these things can immediately warm up a room.

Crane and Canopy Bedding - Styled by Jenn Ely from Yours Truly Jenn Blog

Try styling your bed in multiple ways to see what looks best. Using Crane and Canopy bedding and some of their mixed decor pieces to add texture will give you a more cohesive and custom look.

If you have space, create a cozy sitting area. Sometimes you want to be in your room to unwind, but you’re not ready to go to bed.  This area is the perfect spot to read, work on bills, or check some emails before going to bed.  Your sitting area should be another focal point of the room, but should be its own little space off to the side. It should not be a place to just collect your clothes or bags from your day.  Keep it nice and it will add an extra calming element to your room.

Create a comfortable sitting area in your bedroom. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Finish off the room with final details by adding some family photos to make it feel personalized. You can also add a few feminine touches like fresh flowers, a candle etc… You can also hide any unattractive items in decorative boxes for easy storage. This will make your room beautiful and cozy while keeping it practical as well.

Crane and Canopy bedding styled by Jenn Ely from Yours Truly Jenn Blog

I hope you have found several tips to make your room a little cozier in the winter months.  Check out Crane and Canopy and let me know what you think.  Leave me a comment below telling me what makes your room special.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Best Posts of 2017

I hope you had an amazing Christmas and are looking forward to New Year’s Eve.  I really can’t believe it is over. It feels like you do so much to get ready and then it comes and goes so quickly.  I think it is worth it though to see how happy it makes my family.  I love doing the best posts of the year because I get all geeky and analyze all my data to find your fave posts of 2017.

I get kind of sad when I start to take all the Christmas decor down.  Does that happen to any of you?  I just enjoy turning the lights on every morning and that magical feeling at Christmas time.  BUT, I guess it is nice to get your home back in order to prepare yourself for the new year ahead. So let’s get started and check out 5 of your faves for 2017 and one all time fave.

Plaid Burberry Holiday House Tour
Your fave post for the best posts of 2017. - yourstrulyjenn.com

Your fave posts this year is a Christmas one of course.  The Plaid Burberry Holiday House Tour was my fave as well because it was the first house tour of 2017.  These always tend to do well with you guys. I’m so glad you liked it as much as I did.

Decorating Trends 2017
Decorating Trends 2017- yourstrulyjenn.com

 

Your second fave was an e- design I did for the Pantone color of the year, showing decor trends for 2017. I love doing e-designs and I’m sure I will do another one for 2018 as well so keep watching for that.

Holiday FAQ

Holiday FAQ Best posts of 2017- yourstrulyjenn.com

Up next is the FAQ.  I had received a lot of buzz in person and on social media so I did a holiday FAQ.  I guess you guys liked it because it made the top 5 list this year.  You can always comment on the bottom of these posts or leave me questions as well and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

How to Deal With December without Going Crazy

How to Deal with December without going Crazy Best of 2017- yourstrulyjenn.com

I’m so glad this post made the top 5 because I think it is so important to try and make December as stress free for the mommas as possible.  You guys do so much for your families that it really does get to be a stressful time. I wanted you to know you are appreciated and I know the effort it takes to pull off an amazing Christmas.

How to Fake A Clean House
How to Fake a Clean House best of 2017- yourstrulyjenn.com

The last post to make it on the list is How to Fake a Clean house.  I think this one is so popular because we all want tips on how to clean up “quickly” for guests and how to make the house look presentable in a hurry no matter what the reason is.

This next post is your fave of all time.  It has the most views of any post.  It’s the Holiday Home Tour of 2015. Yes, you guys love you some Christmas and I think it’s great because those are my speciality.  Heck, I wish I could do Christmas content year round, but then you might leave and never come back because you think I’m crazy.

Holiday Home Tour 2015

Holiday Home Tour 2015- Best posts of 2017- yourstrulyjenn.com

I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane and will come back for the projects I have going on in 2018.  I wish you all the best in the new year and have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve.

Top 3 Christmas Tips That are Game Changers

I have been married for 22 years and have been collecting Christmas decor way before I was married.  I have learned some tips over the years that have really come in handy.  In this post I’m going to share my top 3 Christmas tips that were game changers in my Christmas decorating.  I think you will really benefit from doing these things in your home as well.

Save everything including, pieces of scrap ribbon from year to year. yourstrulyjenn.com

Save Everything

Once I started saving everything it really helped.  I save every piece of ribbon I cut.  I try to keep everything organized.  You may have your own system for how things are organized in your home.  You can check out some of my organizational tips here and more will be coming in January.  I wised up about 2 years ago after getting so frustrated with my attic.  I had so much holiday stuff and decor that I was buying duplicates because I wasn’t able to see what I had anymore. I found a clever way to display the majority of my stuff. Pictures of my attic will be coming in January.

Other things I keep are pieces of my artificial tree and garland that fall off as I’m fluffing it.  I used to just chuck it right in the trash.  Then I found myself buying these exact pieces and picks from Michaels to use in vignettes and holiday trays when I could easily be using the extra pieces that fall out of my arrangements. You never know when you just need one or two of something to make it perfect.  This could mean holly pieces, leaves, berries, pinecones, pieces of fruit, etc….

I try to save ribbon, berries, pinecones and anything else I can think of to use in various decor for Christmas. yourstrulyjenn.com

Ribbon Changes Everything

If you don’t have the money to change your ornaments every year, but you want a different look, I would highly suggest investing in ribbon.  You can think about your theme ahead of time and find some great ribbon on sale.  Right after Christmas you can find designer ribbon on sale at Dillard’s and Macys, and then of course craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and other floral stores.  I invest in neutral colored ornaments like mercury glass, silver, gold, clear, and white then I change out ribbon and I have a completely different look every year.   The goal is to think of using the stuff you have and shop your home first.  Then if you want to go out and purchase a couple nice things to add to your collection every year you will end up with beautiful holiday decor over time.  Just remember it is not something that happens overnight.  I have been married for 22 years and am still enjoying putting together new Christmas themes.

Coastal Christmas tree done in gorgeous blue, green and natural elements. yourstrulyjenn.com

I got this ribbon from Dillard’s at the end of the year sale.  I’ve used it in this coastal themed tree, a peacock tree, and a blue and pink angel tree as well.  Just let your creativity run wild.  You can recycle your supplies to use them in many different ways.  I used to store my ornaments by the tree I was going to use them on.  Then I started storing them by color. This gave me the freedom to change how I was grouping my colors and create new combinations in ways I had never even thought of before.

You Can Alter Things From Their Original State

This one is HUGE.  It took me so long before I realized it was “ok” to alter things.  For example, this year I bought a bundle of greenery from Michaels.  At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to use it for, but I thought it was interesting and it might come in handy.  It is literally one of my favorite pieces I used in my tree this year. It was the exact texture I was looking for to pull off the softness in my white tree pictured below. However, I would never have used it as the bundle it came in on a Christmas tree.  It was bulky and would have looked horrible.  I’m so glad I didn’t pass it up due to not being able to see past it in the bunch it was sold in.  I have never once regretted a decision to cut a ribbon or pull a pear off an arrangement to use in another place.  Go with your gut.  You know what your decorating needs are and in all honesty, most pieces can be wired back in or glued.

Lots of texture was used to create the elegant look of this tree. yourstrulyjenn.com

Hopefully these tricks and tips will help you this year when you’re thinking about your decorating.  Look for great sales and continue to collect quality pieces over time.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

The Best Way to Decorate Your Tree Step-By-Step

Creating a Christmas tree that you love is easier than you think.  It is a labor of love, but you can create one that looks just like the professional trees you see in magazines and on tv shows. You can achieve this look by layering your tree with lots of different textures, ornaments, and ribbon.  I will break this tree down as I decorate to show you the steps I take in decorating my trees.  My trees may look different every year, but the process is always the same.


 Breaking down the steps to decorating this gorgeous Burberry Plaid tree. yourstrulyjenn.com

Start by taking all your boxes out of storage.  You need to be able to see everything you have in order to decorate at your best.  This step is very important. Don’t skip it.

Bring all your Christmas stuff out of storage before you start decorating. yourstrulyjenn.com

I’m lucky to have a walk in attic that gives me quite a lot of storage space.  If you don’t have that space you could use your garage, a closet, a storage locker, or shed if you need more room.  Lay out all your ornaments, sprays, and picks so you can see what you have.

Spread out your ornaments and floral supplies so you can see everything as you decorate. yourstrulyjenn.com

Now it is time to actually put your tree together (if you’re using an artificial one.)  My husband is allergic to real trees so this is what we use. I actually like them, because you can put them up any time you’re ready and they can be manipulated very easily.

Now it's time to put your tree together. yourstrulyjenn.com

Fluffing your tree before you put the ornaments on is the step I hate the most.  I would definitely advise you to wear a long sleeve shirt while doing this.  I learned the hard way. Stringing lights and fluffing trees in short sleeves can leave cuts on your hands and arms for weeks.Adding lights and a stomper make your tree go the extra mile. Yourstrulyjenn.com

If you buy a tree without lights then you need to add them at this point. You usually need 100 lights per foot.  For example, if you have a 9 foot tree, you need 900 lights.  Make sure you buy lights that have a cord that is the same color as your tree.  For example, if you have a green tree then the cord needs to be green.  If you have a flocked tree then your cord should be white.  Also, cut the tags off the cords.  You don’t want those showing through your tree after all the hard work you put in. I felt like my tree didn’t have enough lights so I added a string of lights around the tree and then I put twinkling lights down the center to give it a hint of sparkle for that wow factor.

I make a bag every year of much have supplies. yourstrulyjenn.com

At the end of the season I put away my most used supplies in a bag or box and put that at the top of all my stuff.  I usually include my wire cutters, different colored wire, ornament hooks, scissors, tape, and a couple different pens.

Put the tree topper on before your ornaments. yourstrulyjenn.com

If you use a tree topper I attach it or create it before I start putting anything on the tree.  It usually requires me to be on a ladder so I don’t want things falling off the tree as I’m trying to manipulate the top to get my topper on.

Put your large picks and floral items in before the ornaments. yourstrulyjenn.com

If you are going to add picks and florals to your tree, you need to put those items in next. They are large items that fill in your tree.  They are space fillers and they change the shape of your tree dramatically.  You do not want to try to put these in after you add your delicate glass ornaments. I usually put all the fillers near each other to make a bigger impact.  On this 7 1/2 foot tree you can see that I used 2 types of snowy picks.  I put approximately 20 large snowy picks on the front of my tree.  I do decorate the back of my trees, but not to the extent as the front. I add more picks as final fill ins when I do my vignettes in a later stage.

Now it is time to add the ornaments to the tree. yourstrulyjenn.comNow it is time to add your ornaments. I usually put the bigger ornaments on the bottom with the medium in the middle and the smaller ones on top. You can create depth and add drama by putting ornaments from the inside out.  There are several different ways to add ornaments to a tree. You can add by doing one color at a time to disperse them evenly.  You can group them in sets of 3 to do cluster groupings. You can decorate by creating lots of vignettes all over your tree. This is why setting out all your ornaments in an earlier stage comes in handy so you can see everything.

Create small vignettes all over your tree that you keep repeating until the tree is decorated how you want it. yourstrulyjenn.com

At this stage I like to create small vignettes in 36″ sections around my tree to make it look symmetrical.  It is also a good way to spread your items out instead of using them all in the same area.  It gives you a much more unified look. At this point I like to use a variety of ornaments and use the rest of my picks and berry sprigs.  Some people put ribbon on in the beginning stages, but I like to add it on in the end.

Burberry Plaid Holiday Home Tour - yourstrulyjenn.com

  Try these steps when decorating your tree. I think they will help you achieve the look you’re going for.  I always end up changing things as I get further into the process.  Stepping back and looking at different angles will help you see if there are any spots you missed or if anything needs to be changed.  At the end I always style the bottom even if it is just some ornaments or packages on the skirt.

I hope these tips were helpful in showing you the process of how I do my tree during each stage. I would love to see your trees on Facebook and Instagram.  Please tag me if you share so I can see how wonderful they look.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

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