07 December 2012

Creating a Scandinavian Christmas Tree

If you've been following along with {Home-ology}, you know that our Christmas design this year is an interpretation of a Scandi winter - bright whites, reflective surfaces, and touches of nature - all being created with a clean, minimalist approach. However, when it came to the tree, keeping to the theme wasn't so easy.  You see, we live in the deep south. And in our region, those beautifully natural Nordic evergreens just aren't readily available!

Our search ensued for something similar to these beauties:
scandinavian christmas tree
alt for damern
Sparse with lots of horizontal branches. I was after an evergreen that looked as if it had been plucked from the forest floor - perfectly imperfect.

I searched all through the Boy Scouts' tree lot but could only find morbidly rotund Frasier firs. All so perfect, just not perfect for me. Then, just as I was about to settle for something less than ideal, the awesome hubs led me to his glorious find.
selecting a christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.com
Yep. This awkward fella was just what I was after - tall, skinny, & a bit misshapen! Yay!!! But wait, it has a white tag on it & that tag wasn't in the list of price selections. Perhaps, due to it's unusually tall size, it was much more pricey than their normal offerings? I had to know - after all, it was exactly what I was looking for.

"Why is this the only one with a white tag?" I asked the kind gentleman. "Oh, that one is a flawed tree. Make me an offer on it." "Umm, how 'bout $35?" (it was for a good cause, after all)

"Sold" he tells us as he climbs his ladder to take it down. Man oh man, who knew my dream tree was a Charlie Brown? And home we go with our sweet, sweet find.

As soon as we returned home, the tree was cut to size, placed it in its stand. And since I was creating a Scandinavian look, the entire tree/stand was placed into an old metal feed bucket. It fit like a glove (yay again!).
creating a scandinavian christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.com As if tall, skinny, & awkward wasn't enough for me, I immediately began to denude the tree even further by removing much of its growth. Like trees growing naturally in the forest, I wanted to expose the trunk as much as possible. I wanted to open up the trees branches so that the light could pass through and did so by trimming away as many vertical + overlapping branches as I was comfortable with.

If you decide to try this (which you should), don't be nervous about totally denuding the tree.  Remember, Scandinavian trees are trees that grow under the forest canopy - spindly & asymmetrical - as they reach for the sunlight.  It's okay if it isn't perfect - in fact, it's even better!

This was my end result.
a scandinavian style christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.com
I love how the light shines through the tree showing off its silhouette.
christmas tree clippings in bucket via homeologymodernvintage.com
And look at all the clippings I have left to use.  I'll make wreaths and evergreen bouquets from these.
metal bucket as base for christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.comTo hide the interior, I loosely wrapped burlap around the tree stand inside - allowing some of the burlap to peek out from the top.
metal bucket & burlap create a christmas tree stand via homeologymodernvintage.comThe tree was then given a very light dose of white lights (I only used one strand on this tree), then the decorating began.  (Remember bright whites, warm natural elements, & reflective surfaces.)
pottery barn knockoff monogram ornament via homeologymodernvintage.com
These monogram ornaments are my Pottery Barn knock-offs from two years ago. I love them and they were super easy to make. This is the first year I was actually able to use them, and I just love how they look. Mine spells out "Happy Holidays."
bird ornament on tree via homeologymodernvintage.com

ornaments on a scandinavian christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.com
Woodland birds and pine cones, along with traditional candles, are placed on the branch tips.
traditional scandinavian spider ornament on christmas tree via homeologymodernvintage.com
My collection of vintage spider ornaments (a European tradition) was the perfect addition.  Then, to top it all off, icicle tinsel is strategically placed on the tips of the branches (a Sarah tradition).
nordic-style christmas tree using a fir via homeologymodernvintage.com
And here she is.
nordic-style christmas tree using a fir via homeologymodernvintage.com
It's exactly what I had envisioned.
scandinavian christmas via homeologymodernvintage.comWelcome to our Christmas home.

I absolutely love the casual feel this particular design evokes. It's not formal, not stuffy; it's not over-the-top. It's elegance in its simplest form and is totally me. I've taken this look from the front door, all through the house, and have even scattered it all around the property.

If you'd like to look back from the beginning of my holiday decorating, click through to my front entryway, the foyer here and here, and the mantle. And if you just happen to love the antler wreath on my front door as much as I, you will find a simple tutorial here
Here's to a relaxed holiday season and most of all a very Merry Christmas!





  1. love it! it would pass for a Finnish tree:-)

    1. pia, if it passes your approval, i feel i've accomplished my goal!

  2. Your tree (and your whole house) is just beautiful. I can't believe it was from the rejects. Now I have to go watch Charlie Browns Christmas.

  3. Hi, Sarah

    Now that is a grand tree. I love the simpleness and elegant you created. It's lovely. Thank you also for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate very much. Have a lovely Thursday!



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