Contemporary Christmas Tree How-To

The "Haute Holiday" designer shows us how to create our own contemporary Christmas tree

How To Make Your Own Modern Christmas Tree à la The Bridge House:
Things you’ll need:

  • 1 Live Tree  (for the Bridge House I used a Chinese dogwood, but any leafless tree with long, pliable branches would work)
  • 1 Plastic Bin or Bucket  (for the tree to sit in – this will be covered with a skirt so any type is okay)
  • Approx. 6 strands of white mini-lights on white frosted cords (it’s important the cords are white as well)
  • Approx. 12-16 strands of faux white flowers on 12′ garland (note the flowers should be on a garland so it’s easy to wrap the branches)
  • Scissors
  • Clear plastic twine or string


1. Find a live tree at your local nursery that will fit the height of your room. Keep in mind the overall height of the tree includes the root ball. Ask the nursery about the best way to care for the tree indoors over the holiday season so it can be planted after the holidays. Also buy your plastic bin to hold the tree (and protect your carpet or wood floors).

2. At home, trim off any small branches to simplify the shape of the tree. Don’t try to make it look "perfect" or "symmetrical" – the beauty is in the natural shape of the tree – every one is different!

3. After you’ve trimmed a bit, start wrapping the strands of lights around each and every branch. For best results, start at the very ends of the tallest branches and work your way down the tree. You’ll find the branches have natural nubs to wrap the cords around to keep them secure, but be sure to keep the lights "tight" to the branches, occasionally tying the lights to the branch with the clear twine or string (you will not see this once the tree is finished). Try to keep where the plugs connect around the "center" of the tree so you don’t see them so much. Again, don’t worry about wrapping the tree completely perfect; the beauty is seeing some of the branches peeking through.

4. Test all the lights to make sure they work before you move on to Step 5.

5. Using the same method as you did with the lights, take the flower garland and wrap around each and every branch. In this case, for best results, start at the center of the tree, wrap up the branch and then back down so each branch is wrapped twice with flowers, to get a nice amount of coverage. Again, don’t worry about covering every square inch of the tree perfectly, but do make sure the flowers adequately cover the branches and the lights.

6. Cover the bin holding the tree with a sheet or skirt, add gifts, turn on the lights and enjoy the holiday!