Every year we Americans spend monster amounts of money decorating our homes for Christmas ranging from magnificent old trees magically transformed into lighted silhouettes of white twinkle lights outside to the ubiquitous sparkling Christmas trees, poinsettias, garlands, and stockings hung on fireplaces. Often however much of this decor is centered in the living room which isn't a daily throughway and the decor ends up being visited instead of encountered on a daily basis.
Years ago I began decorating chandeliers in clients' dining rooms and kitchens for the holidays and found them to be a unique, refreshing and yet utterly practical way to transform a dining room or kitchen. The height and placement of a chandelier is already in a perfect visual plane and when it is festooned with ornaments, garlands, and greenery alongs its lights, it literally commands center stage of the room.
This year, instead of snowflakes, pine cones or fir evergreens which manynative Angeleno have never even seen, I was determined to use locally sourced, indigenous material that we, the drought stricken, sun drenched Angelenos, can relate to.
All I had to do was don sunglasses, sunscreen and clippers and walk the neighborhood.
First, of course, Bougainvillea, the queen of California color. Originally from So. America, these tough thorny vines are at the heart of the taunt "our colors are better than your colors", that west coast gardeners hurl at their east coast counterparts right around this time of year.
Next Toyon, which is a California native which birds love to feast on and provide us some traditional red color for the holidays. I removed some leaves to give the branches a more ethereal feel.
I also cut some Satsuma Mandarins for their fruity ornaments and leaves to provide some classic greenery and texture as well as succulents and orange hyacinth.
I knew the ornaments would reflect at night with the lights on, but was even more pleasantly surprised how the llglass ornaments glowed and the sparkles caught the natural light during the day.
Battery powered dew drop lights are the greatest Christmas innovation since snow! and made the chandelier look celestial when the bulbs weren't on.
I love the way this chandelier design came out and can't wait for February to start my Valentines Chandelier.