note: you are going to have to take a bit of a leap of faith and trust us on this post- the fakedy-fake-fake maison21 tree (the post's subject), really is quite pretty, but the photos we took of it are not. we didn't anticipate the problems of taking photos of something white and back-lit, and at night, so our photos don't quite live up to the premise of the post. maison21 is but a humble decorator, not a professional photographer, so please accept our apologies and use your imagination to photoshop the fug photos into something a little more fabulous.
maison21 recently posted about his love of fake christmas trees, the faker the better, so we thought we'd share our current favorite fake with you, just in case some you feel like taking the plunge and faking it this year.
several years ago, maison21 found himself seriously unprepared for the holidays- in a fit of redecorating pique, he got rid of most of the maison21 atelier's furniture several months before xmas, thinking he would work a new look in time for the holidays. but of course the season arrived much faster than anticipated (as it always does), and m21 found himself both over-budget and under-decorated, with a long scheduled holiday cocktail party in honor of a friend's birthday looming near. a dramatic holiday decorating intervention was needed to draw attention away from the somewhat unfinished state of affairs, so we high-tailed it to our local discount stores to see what we could transform with a little sissy magic and a limited amount of cash.
first stop was the world's most dilapidated kmart store at third and fairfax, where we stepped over piles of trash and discarded merchandise to purchase a 7 foot white wire pre-lit lawn decor xmas tree on sale for 30 bucks. since our fake wire skeleton of a tree was white, we wanted to stick to that theme but the martha stewart white ornaments we thought would look great, were 8 bucks for a box of six, and since we would need hundreds for the tree, we had to move on to a cheaper source.
so on to the .99 cents only store, which made the junky kmart look all upscale and pretty. unfortunately they didn't have any white ornaments at all, so we decided to broaden the scope of our all white theme and bought up every box of no-color ornaments they had- pearl, cream, gunmetal, silver, shiny, matte, frosted or clear- we didn't care as long as they weren't colorful.
even though we bought out the stock of silver ornaments from the .99 cent store (about $25.00 dollars worth), we still didn't have nearly enough for the tree, so we proceeded to the next rung down on the discount store ladder, the big lots store in hollywood, whose idea of retail merchandising is to pile mounds of debris about 10 feet high in the store and let shoppers dig through them in the hopes of finding something that isn't broken or entirely ruined. well, low and behold, in those mounds, they had boxes of assorted mixed white, silver and clear ornaments, 3 for $2.00! even though many of the ornaments in the boxes were already broken, at that price, i didn't care and i bought them out too (roughly another $20.00). (i also picked up a rather fabulous door mat with a greek key border btw, for $3.00- just goes to show that there is good stuff everywhere, even at the dreaded big lots, you just have to keep your eyes open!)
the final item purchased was a splurge in comparison: $25, for the glitter starburst topper from crate and barrel (i've seen them knocked off at discounters since, for much, much less). i also added an $8 "dimma" switch from ikea, because being intended for the outdoors, the tree was bright enough blind, and if you've read my older posts, you know i am a firm believer in the dimmest of lighting.
tree and ornaments cost about about a hundred bucks total (far less that the price of a single artificial tree, even at the kmart ) and i thought the end results were quite pretty. the guests at the cocktail party all seemed to love it as well, and a version of the the same tree later even turned up in the windows of a well-known decorator's los angeles store! (i'm not sayin' they stolded my idea or nothin'- it was all store-bought, i didn't actually make it or anything, and great minds do think alike after all, but still, the gift of a pretty needlepoint pillow or a pottery horse would not have gone unappreciated by maison21).
this will be my 4th year working this tree, and i've said every year that it will be my last, but after putting it up this year, i've fallen in love with it all over again. let us know what you think- pretty fake? or pretty fugly? (and remember, please be kind- the photos are dreadful, and the fact that i was too tired to move the really, really heavy marble table it's perched on doesn't help matters either).