December 10, 2014

Treetopia Design Council 2014: Katrina Sullivan of Chic Little House

Posted by Treetopia in Decorating Ideas for Every Christmas Tree | The Latest from Treetopia

Discover the many wonderful ways to make your Christmas tree look as gorgeous as can be with Treetopia’s Design Council 2014. We’ve asked some of the country’s best design bloggers to decorate their favorite Treetopia Christmas tree and we hope the results will inspire you to create a fabulous holiday masterpiece of your own.

Having won a Treetopia Oh Christmas Tree in a blogger giveaway last year, Katrina of Chic Little House is no stranger to the stylish appeal of our artificial Christmas trees. As part of this year’s Design Council, Katrina indulged her long-time love for snow-covered trees by decorating our Frosty Flocked Christmas Tree. Check out her recent blog post and you’ll see how elegantly her Christmas tree echoes the green palette of her home décor.

Treetopia flocked Christmas tree with clear lights and green ornaments

Photo courtesy of Katrina Sullivan



Trimming the tree as a family is a precious tradition for Katrina. Together they adorned their tree with Christmas balls in gold, chartreuse, and various shades of green. Katrina included glittery star ornaments for extra sparkle, and paper snowflakes to complement the tree’s cool, wintry look.

Close-up of sparkling star ornaments and paper snowflakes

Photos courtesy of Katrina Sullivan

Katrina shares valuable holiday decorating tips with us in this fun and informative interview.

TT: What do you consider the most basic rule in holiday decorating? (“Think colorful”? “Stick to your budget”? “Screw the rules”?)

KS: Holiday decorating is a time to dream up magical creations for your home and try out new twists on traditional color schemes.

TT: Where (places, movies, or books) do you find inspiration for your holiday themes?

KS: I find my holiday inspirations from Christmas movies, magazines, and Pinterest.

TT: How about unlikely sources of holiday design inspiration?

KS: I’m a huge coffee drinker and get lots of inspiration from Starbucks’ holiday décor. They have an artful way of decorating that feels festive and not stuffy.

TT: What’s the first step in your decorating process? Do you have any decorating “rituals” you can’t go without?

KS: My husband and I love getting our kids involved in the process of decorating the tree. We’ll put a holiday movie on, and I’ll make cookies and hot cocoa to enjoy.

TT: When do you put up and take down your Christmas tree?

KS: We typically put up our Christmas tree up the weekend of Thanksgiving. However, this year we decided to start putting our Christmas tree up early in mid-November. Our youngest is three years old and is starting to understand Christmas time, which warms my heart. We want to celebrate longer this year and not feel rushed over Thanksgiving weekend. We usually take the Christmas tree down the weekend after New Year’s.

TT: What are your top do’s and don’ts when decorating your Christmas tree?

KS: I love when Christmas trees are festive, filled with memories, homemade ornaments, etc. My top don’t it an overstuffed Christmas tree with too much going on, too many ornaments, too much garland or ribbon. Breathing room on a tree is pretty!

TT: Which Christmas decoration/s do you splurge on?

KS: We like to mix up our Christmas décor almost every year which makes it my little splurge each holiday season. It’s fun to go big with color one year and then the next, have an all-white Christmas tree.

TT: On the other hand, what would be the best decorations to DIY?

KS: DIY ornaments are so much fun; you can buy clear unbreakable ornaments from a craft store and transform it with paint and glitter.A little imagination can go a long way. I also love ornament wreaths, which can be made with a foam wreath and lots of various ornaments in several sizes hot glued to the foam wreath. Another fun DIY to make is a DIY Advent Calendar. It’s not only fun to make but it’s also a fun way to help kids countdown Christmas.

TT: What is your most cherished Christmas ornament? (Family heirloom?Most sentimental value?)

KS: The gingerbread star ornament my oldest son made when he was in kindergarten. The ornament has a picture of him inside, I just love that ornament.

TT: What room or specific area of the home do you find most challenging to decorate for the holidays? Can you give us any tips on how you go about decorating this specific area?

KS: I always find the kitchen a challenge to decorate and usually leave it blank. This year, I’ve had a change of heart and plan to add a wreath in our kitchen and hang it in our window, and add a bowl filled with ornaments.

TT: How do you dress up your dinner table for Christmas Eve?

KS: To dress up our Christmas table, I use holiday linens, place candles and fresh greenery on the table. I also like getting creative with place cards and either DIY my own with pinecones or fresh fruit or a cookie with a name attached.

TT: How do you store your holiday decorations to keep them looking pristine year after year?

KS: We store or Christmas ornaments and décor in clear plastic containers.

TT: What’s your most favorite thing about the holiday season?

KS: There is so much to love about the holiday season! I enjoy baking treats that I’ve been pining for all year. Decorating our home and making it feel magical for our kids. I love having friends and family over to watch holiday movies and drink hot cocoa. Most of all, I love how warm and cozy our house feels during Christmas and I love sharing that feeling with family and friends.

TT: What is your favorite holiday memory? (Childhood or recent)

KS: A few weeks ago, while shopping for Christmas ornaments with my 3 year old, he saw all the Christmas décor and asked “What’s that?” I told him Christmas, and now whenever he sees ornaments, reindeer, or Santa he yells ”istmas”. It’sso cute!!

TT: What is the best decorating advice you’ve ever received?

KS: Incorporate your kids in the decorating process.

TT: Since California is known for its lack of seasons, is there anything you do with your decor around the holidays to make it feel a bit more wintry?

KS: Since we have zero seasons in California, I like to dress the outside of our home with lots of garlands hanging from our front door and wreaths! The garland and wreaths help add a wintery feel to our home. I’m also excited because this year,our Christmas tree from Treetopia is flocked and it’s going to give that perfect wintery feel in our home.

TT: Which holiday DIY project are you most proud of and why? Was there one that was surprisingly challenging?

KS: My favorite holiday DIY project is making a Christmas wreath using a grapevine wreath and adding lots of various leafs and berries and spray painting it a shimmery silver.

TT: What is your definition of a “home?” What part does decor play in transforming a house into a home?

KS: When I look around our little ranch home, I feel it tells the story of my family and the life we are creating here. It’s the small touches of my family life, whether it’s framing family pictures for a gallery wall, sewing curtains and pillows, or planting our first garden in early summer and watching our vegetables grown over time and using those same veggies in the kitchen. All those memories help create a special feeling of home for me.

Keep an eye for our next Design Council 2014 blog post for more fabulous ideas on how to transform your Treetopia Christmas tree into a stunning showpiece for your holiday home.

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