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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Decorating My Christmas Tree (And a Special Giveaway)

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I could hardly wait to decorate my new home for the holidays.

My first step? Decorating the tree. I spent this past weekend unpacking dozens of boxes filled with my collection of ornaments from Macy's, Martha by Mail, the Home Depot, and Grandin Road.

My trees were a new acquisition -- three Martha Stewart Gold Tinsel Trees from Grandin Road. These trees are astonishingly beautiful -- more stunning than I could have imagined them.

I suspect I will be the envy of everyone with an artificial tree. In fact, I am sure I will convert some real tree fans.

My process is a little labor intensive. First, I unpack all of the ornaments, cover my living-room sofas with protective sheets, and then lay out all of the ornaments so that I can design each tree (as if I were designing a room).

I decided to document the process. I hope you enjoy coming along with me as I decorate my Christmas trees.

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My Christmas trees, from Grandin Road, are boxed up.

1 My Christmas trees, from Grandin Road, are boxed up.

The tree branches in the box.

2 The tree branches in the box.

Taking apart the box of the Christmas tree and laying out the branches.

3 Taking apart the box of the Christmas tree and laying out the branches.

Here is the space where I will be placing all of my trees.

4 Here is the space where I will be placing all of my trees.

The first tree has been put together but no ornaments have been added.

5 The first tree has been put together but no ornaments have been added.

The second tree has been put together!

6 The second tree has been put together!

The three trees are built and now I am testing the lights.

7 The three trees are built and now I am testing the lights.

Two trees are light!

8 Two trees are light!

All three trees are put together and the lights are working!

9 All three trees are put together and the lights are working!

The trees light up my living room -- now it is time to start decorating them!

10 The trees light up my living room -- now it is time to start decorating them!

Several boxes and storage containers filled with decorations and ornaments are lining my hallway.

11 Several boxes and storage containers filled with decorations and ornaments are lining my hallway.

The Grandin Road Christmas trees are stacked.

12 The Grandin Road Christmas trees are stacked.

The polar bears in that box will be part of the decorations below my tree and on top of my Christmas tree skirt.

13 The polar bears in that box will be part of the decorations below my tree and on top of my Christmas tree skirt.

Here are the trees the next day.

14 Here are the trees the next day.

The trees from Grandin Road are the Martha Stewart Gold Tinsel tree.

15 The trees from Grandin Road are the Martha Stewart Gold Tinsel tree.

My friend's dog, Watts, is ready to help me lay out my decorations for the tree.

16 My friend's dog, Watts, is ready to help me lay out my decorations for the tree.

Watts is curious and interested in what is inside the containers.

17 Watts is curious and interested in what is inside the containers.

I love these gorgeous ornamental acorns.

18 I love these gorgeous ornamental acorns.

I layed out all of my decorations before placing them on the tree, this way I was able to stay organized.

19 I layed out all of my decorations before placing them on the tree, this way I was able to stay organized.

I covered my couch and chairs with sheets to protect them from the massive amount of glitter on the ornaments.

20 I covered my couch and chairs with sheets to protect them from the massive amount of glitter on the ornaments.

Hmmmm, where should these go?

21 Hmmmm, where should these go?

The ornament parade is growing.

22 The ornament parade is growing.

Some of my ornaments I have had for many years.

23 Some of my ornaments I have had for many years.

Many ornaments came from Grandin Road -- the same company where my trees came from.

24 Many ornaments came from Grandin Road -- the same company where my trees came from.

Other ornaments I decorate my Christmas trees with come from Home Depot, Macy's and Martha By Mail.

25 Other ornaments I decorate my Christmas trees with come from Home Depot, Macy's and Martha By Mail.

Home Editor Anthony Santelli put together a holiday greenery kit for me to help me assemble my tree and decorations.

26 Home Editor Anthony Santelli put together a holiday greenery kit for me to help me assemble my tree and decorations.

I used some thin gage wire to help with my decorating.

27 I used some thin gage wire to help with my decorating.

I sort my ornaments by color as I do most things in my life.

28 I sort my ornaments by color as I do most things in my life.

A closer look at all of the Christmas balls used to decorate my trees.

29 A closer look at all of the Christmas balls used to decorate my trees.

At the end of my sofa are a couple of Christmas ball wreaths.

30 At the end of my sofa are a couple of Christmas ball wreaths.

Bubble wrap is so important.

31 Bubble wrap is so important.

And the ornaments and decorations keep coming.

32 And the ornaments and decorations keep coming.

A few friends stopped by for dinner.

33 A few friends stopped by for dinner.

And Watts joined us at the dining room table.

34 And Watts joined us at the dining room table.

We ate sushi for dinner.

35 We ate sushi for dinner.

Great food and drink to sustain me through the decorating process.

36 Great food and drink to sustain me through the decorating process.

Some of my ornaments are more unusual... bees for Christmas?

37 Some of my ornaments are more unusual... bees for Christmas?

Here is a collection of my holiday wreaths.

38 Here is a collection of my holiday wreaths.

I ran out of sofas so I needed to use my coffee table as well.

39 I ran out of sofas so I needed to use my coffee table as well.

These icicles are so delicate and beautiful.

40 These icicles are so delicate and beautiful.

You can never have too much silver as far as I'm concerned.

41 You can never have too much silver as far as I'm concerned.

Doesn't this look like glittered fettucini?

42 Doesn't this look like glittered fettucini?

A classic Christmas tree ornament.

43 A classic Christmas tree ornament.

Some different varieties of snowflakes.

44 Some different varieties of snowflakes.

A close-up of the stars.

45 A close-up of the stars.

Some smaller and more delicate icicles, Christmas balls, snowflakes, and bumble bees.

46 Some smaller and more delicate icicles, Christmas balls, snowflakes, and bumble bees.

At last the trees are decorated... but I am not done yet.

47 At last the trees are decorated... but I am not done yet.

Next I have invited some Grandin Road polar bear decorations.

48 Next I have invited some Grandin Road polar bear decorations.

Aren't they cute?

49 Aren't they cute?

This one is getting a closer look.

50 This one is getting a closer look.

Grandin Road sells these polar bears that are in many different poses.

51 Grandin Road sells these polar bears that are in many different poses.

The next day I realized I needed some tree skirts.

52 The next day I realized I needed some tree skirts.

Now it looks like the bears are resting on a glacier.

53 Now it looks like the bears are resting on a glacier.

Editorial Assistant Yvette Gonzales created these pretty skirts.

54 Editorial Assistant Yvette Gonzales created these pretty skirts.

A close-up photo of a glittered pinecone ornament.

55 A close-up photo of a glittered pinecone ornament.

All of the light in my apartment does wonders for the glittered ornaments.

56 All of the light in my apartment does wonders for the glittered ornaments.

The completed trees with the Hudson River behind them.

57 The completed trees with the Hudson River behind them.

I am so happy with the finished trees.

58 I am so happy with the finished trees.

I love the mixture of shape and color.

59 I love the mixture of shape and color.

Finally my sofa and coffee table are cleared of ornaments.

60 Finally my sofa and coffee table are cleared of ornaments.

A polar bear peaking through the Christmas Trees.

61 A polar bear peaking through the Christmas Trees.

We can't wait for Christmas!

62 We can't wait for Christmas!

Be sure to check back later this afternoon for details on how to win your own Martha Stewart Tinsel Tabletop Tree (below) from Grandin Road.

Kevin_Sharkey_Tinsel_Tabletop_Tree_Giveaway

For more inspiration on decorating trees, learn Martha's tips as she decorates hers for the holidays.

Martha's Faux Christmas Trees

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Comments (19)

  • I decorated mine last weekend. But mine is so sad compared to yours :D

  • I had to call someone over to my laptop to check out Watts. What a good looking dog!

  • I'll bet the pictures (although gorgeous) don't do it justice if seen in person.
    Brilliant location for three trees.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Love the polar bears!!

  • Your trees are beautiful! You sure do have a lot of ornaments.

  • So pretty! Good things come in threes! I definitely need more ornaments. Where do you keep them all?

  • ok. had to comment. where do u keep all of those boxes? i know ur aparmtment is HUGE but how much does storage costs. love the ocd three tree thing

  • Love the tree! Here's to wishing and hoping, planning and dreaming.

  • I think that has to be one of the prettiest trees i have seen in a long time

  • The trees are gorgeous! We decorated our tree this year with our two-year old little girl, so I can really appreciate all of the work that you put into yours. I missed putting up anything breakable!

  • Omg! I love love love Martha and I DVR it and all the shows that air on hallmark. My trees have been up since thanksgiving weekend. Your trees are beautiful.

  • I would so love this lovely little sparkly tree. It would fit perfectly in the bed and breakfast I am staying at through the holidays. I won't be able to share the day with my family as I need to work and I don't have the transportation to get to my daughters house in AL. I don't mind spending th eolidays alone so much as at least I have my kitties here with me ( however they are banished to the basement because some of the guests may have allergies). But we don't have a tree nor can I afford one as this year has been pretty tough. I love the significance of the tree in that it represents hope and it's eternal glow!
    Happy holidays to everyone!

  • The amount of work you've done is tremendous and to such a wonderful result! Great job.

  • kevin , I am a huge fan of your work and martha, however, I am not loving the placement of the three trees , it looks very odd , and not very well balanced.. I would have put them throughout the apartment . It just looks strange to me, sorry

  • I loved your decorated tree. I love to decorate for the holidays but because I am disabled , it is hard.

  • love the smaller tree with extra loved ones in our home now, 2 4 month old puppies and a large granddog that am sitting it will be great

  • Beautiful tree! We are decorating ours today.

  • Great Job! Polar bears are the finishing touch. I am wild for Watts too. Happy Holidays!

  • Your comment about several boxes waiting in the hall should be several DOZEN boxes waiting in the hall.... where do you keep these boxes Jan - Nov ?

    Laying out the ornaments before putting them on the tree might be a way to get ALL the ornaments out each year. Usually get the tree full of decorations before I get to the last box.

    But the real light bulb moment here is..... I can put up three trees - even though I don't have the Hudson to frame them - and go from there. Christmas 2011 can't come soon enough.

    Dashing through the house......

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