Whenever I visit a holiday tree festival where top designers deck the halls (and trees), I come away feeling as dull as a bureaucrat from Buffalo.
I arrive feeling confident in my holiday decorating skills. I know to layer on the white lights, stick with a unified color scheme, and add seasonal bling in the right places. But I leave feeling decoratively deflated. .
My visit to the 26th annual Festival of Trees, at the Orlando Museum of Art, proved no exception. Now I get that this is a modern art museum, so designers have creative license to do the unexpected. They did not disappoint.
Used to be my goal was to have a tree that looked like a department store tree. However, the trees at this festival are to department store trees what department store trees are to Charlie's Brown's tree.
They are exponentially extraordinary, and raise the art of tree decorating to the level of angels we have heard on high. Here's a sampling:
•A tree made of stacked apple-green Tupperware bowls. The designer graduated the bowls' sizes — large bowls at the base, smaller bowls on up — to build the tree, then added hot pink ornaments.
•The candy cane trees were a perfectly peppermint couple. One red tree (a refreshing change from green) was dressed in all white and mint-blue ornaments; its slightly smaller partner was a white tree decked with all red and mint-blue bulbs.
•The Recycle Tree was made of cut up water bottles, curled into ringlets, spray painted colors of the rainbow, and sprinkled with glitter. The tree skirt was a mesh of glitter-painted, connected bottle caps.
•A tree in the shape of the Eiffel Tower garnished with Parisian-themed ornaments, and a faux French poodle.
Feel dull yet?
For those who just want to throw in the tree skirt (and some cash) and get a great tree, they can take away a designer tree. The ones at this festival ranged from $400 for a small tree to $4,000, which included shrink-wrapping the tree and delivery to your home.)