For Emily and Michael Layson, owners of the Wooden Door, a 15-year dream to own a furniture store became a reality this year when their Goodman Road location opened its doors. With an eye for interior design and an average of four to five trees in the Layson house every year, Emily's expertise in holiday décor came in handy this holiday season when the Laysons hosted several trim-a-tree parties throughout November to get local residents in the spirit.
Click Magazine: What goes into your trim-a-tree parties?
Emily Layson: Everybody is interested in making their tree look like it does in a magazine or on television. The trim-a-tree parties were small, about 20 people. We have hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and I do demonstrations of how to apply the ribbon to a tree, how to place the topper, where to put your ornaments around the tree, things like that.
CM: Which works best: a real trees or a fake tree?
EL: It’s definitely a personal preference. Fake trees are easy to work with as far as ribbons and tying things in because the wires in the branches help to stabilize things. You have a much tougher battle trying to decorate a real tree. I personally love a real tree, though. The look is worth the effort. I have one in my house.
CM: What’s the perfect size for a tree?
EL: It really depends on the home and the ceiling height. I find that 7 to 9 foot trees would probably be a good average perfect-size tree. Obviously, you’ll want a little bit bigger of a tree for a larger room. I’ve had some elderly people come to me with concerns about getting their trees up this year, and I always recommend these table-topper trees. They’re 3 to 4 feet tall and still allow for a lot of decorative possibilities. That way, you can still get those special, meaningful ornaments out every year. Placing it on a table gives it a little more height, so you can still have a nice-sized Christmas tree without breaking your back.
Oh! Christmas Tree
Tannenbaum tips from Emily and Michael Layson
Story by Casey Hilder | Photography by Katie Frassinelli
& Casey Hilder
CM: What are some of the more eclectic kinds of Christmas trees?
EL: Well, you have your Douglas fir, they’re not as flush and full-looking. They seem to look better with fewer ornaments. I personally like to see the branches on my tree — you can go a little too wild with ribbon and really smother the tree! Another recent trend is the flocked tree, which a lot of people seem to like right now. Those are the kind with the light layer of paint that resembles fresh snow. It definitely gives a more outdoorsy, woodsy feel to it.
CM: What’s something most people overlook when it comes to ornament placement?
EL: At least three different sizes should be on any tree: really big, medium and small. Everything doesn’t go on the outside, you know. You generally want to use your bigger ornaments on the inside branches to kind of fill some gaps and holes. This gives the tree a more three-dimensional look.
CM: Is there a particular brand of ornaments that you really like?
EL: I really like Raz, it’s a classic brand that’s been around for years. It’s good quality stuff. I carry Melrose brand myself. But I’m not too partial to any one brand — I’ll buy ornaments from Wal-Mart if I think they’re cute, especially for some of the filler ornaments.
CM: How should ribbon be wrapped around the tree?
EL: Mesh has been a huge trend in recent years, but ribbon is truly more traditional and classic. More people have kind of been going back to that look recently. Like ornaments, you really need three different styles of ribbon: a wider ribbon and two smaller ones, but they need to have completely different patterns on them.
CM: What’s your favorite tree topper?
EL: For a lot of people, it’s a personal preference — you can make almost anything look beautiful with a little effort. The big thing right now is to make it look a little more like a floral arrangement using picks. You can mix your ribbon in there and use the picks to hold it in place toward the top. But I wouldn’t throw out the angels and stars — they’re very traditional and can work, too.
CM: What about the tree skirt?
EL: It’s probably the very last thing you do, but it’s very important. It gives that finishing touch and really completes the tree. Another big trend that I’ve seen at market is wooden boxes or aluminum frontends of old tractors being used to hold the tree in place. So instead of a skirt, you have a nice little twist on it. I was hoping to do that this year, but it takes room.
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