Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Chinoiserie Christmas

Matthew Monroe Bees - House Beautiful

 In his Charleston home, this interior designer places his Christmas tree in a blue and white Chinese fish bowl. He says it leaves more room for presents and elevates the tree making it look more grand. OK you smart people, this looks to be a cut tree and tree stands tend to have larger bases with wider legs. I would love to know how he secured the tree. 


Here's a cute idea by Amanda Lindroth - she has decorated her wicker pagodas (this is her Charleston store) with miniature red Christmas ornaments. I would love to hear ideas from you on how you combine Christmas and Chinoiserie in your home. 

Amanda Lindroth


30 comments:

  1. Growing up, we never used tree stands. We used a huge pot and filled it with dirt, sand, and pebbles.

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    1. Was that unique to your family or was that a regional thing? How did you water it? Didn’t it tip over pretty easily? I’ve just never heard of doing this And am curious.

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    2. I recall my mother adding water to the large pot every few days. As far as tipping over, there was never a problem. Not sure if it was a regional thing or just a family thing. I think the trick is to have a really deep large pot, or in this case, chinoiserie fish bowl.

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    3. I never heard of this either. Interesting.

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  2. My mom also used large pots. We had live trees and she would replant them after Christmas. My parents now have a small pine forest in their yard at their home in west Texas !

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    1. There you go, there's every possibility this is a live tree with the rootball nestled down into the bowl. If it isn't a live tree, then I'd pull this off putting rocks in the bowl to weight the bottom, stand the tree just so, then tie a couple of strategically placed "guy wires" made of clear fishing line positioned at mid-trunk, and upper trunk, pulled through screw-in eye screws screwed into the wall/trim behind the tree, and knotted tightly. Then again, one must remember this photo is a carefully-staged photo shoot for publication, it only needed to be perfect for 10 seconds!

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    3. I would think the rootball would be too large if it were a live tree of that size. But rocks and wires would definitely be the most secure if it is a cut tree.

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  3. Yes, someone please share how I can secure our artificial tree in a Chinese fishbowl.....because, like you, I am struggling to figure out how to secure it. I would hate to see broken ornaments all over the floor....

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    1. Yes, I would need to feel very confident that it was completely safe.

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  4. Don't know what he used but if it were me, I would have used 1-2 pounds of dirt placed in multiple baggies (the kind you get in grocery store for fruit and veggies) and I would pack those around the tree. Then when the time came to dismantle it, all you would have to do is get the baggies out instead trying to move the heavy, dirt packed fishbowl out.

    For some reason, there's a bit of a disconnect for me between the fishbowl base and the Christmas tree as shown...perhaps if the Christmas tree ornaments were more of a Chinoiserie type, nor just blue and white but some wicker or something that ties in better. More like how Tina on Enchanted Home decorates her trees. (in today's blog, for example)

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    1. I love the collected ornament old fashion tree! With the blue and white urn.

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    2. I think the baggies with dirt would be too light. Rocks would be better. Not a fan of the Enchanted Home tree at all. I love a collected over time look - hers looks like at a hotel or store. Not a fan. I adore the Matthew Bees.

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  5. For example, I would imagine this tree in the above fishbowl:
    https://enchantedhome.com/blog/2020/11/25/quick-hello-amazing-readers-customers/

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  6. I have a friend who always gets very large trees-she secures it by putting a eyehook in the wall or woodwork behind the tree and wires it to the wall.

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    1. Yes, but a guard wire is an added precaution; it doesn't take the place of a stand.

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  7. The tree is stunning.. Now I am obsessed on how to pull this off.. tracked him down on Instagram and a number of people have asked the same question .. Hopefully he will answer! Thank you so much for posting this picture!

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    1. I have read that rocks work (and add water), not to use sand or soil because the tree won't take up water. It still makes me nervous.

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  8. I don’t think it’s a really tree! Very good artificial one.
    I bought my artificial tree in 1990 from at a wholesale floral district before prelit trees and it looks very real.
    I bought an urn from Frontgate many years ago that is a Christmas tree stand.
    Before that I made a stand using a plastic bucket, metal pole large enough in diameter to accommodate the tree pole, then poured plaster of paris around the pipe, taping the pipe in the middle of the bucket. The bucket could then be lifted into a urn of your choice.
    Of course this doesn’t work for a real tree since you can’t water it.
    Someone may have made an insert out of wood that fits at the top of the urn opening and then screwed the tree to it. You would probably need something on the very bottom to hold that part of the tree in place. That would allow you to water the tree.
    If the tree is very tall you definitely need at least one support higher up. I have an eye hook screwed into the top of the window trim and tie the tree to this so it is vertically stable.
    Hope you find something that works for you!🎄


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  9. We always have a real cut tree and it usually stands in a metal bucket. It needs to have stones and sand to steady it and hold the tree in place, and it needs to have water added to keep the tree alive and the needles from falling. In Australia, that means a daily water, but the tree will last from the 1st of December through to the 6th January when we take it down. We also tie fishing line to the tree at the top and attach it to the wall as a guy rope to prevent the tree from falling. Sometimes more than one guy wire is needed.

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    1. I think these ideas would work with the fish bowl. Thanks.

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  10. Wow. I’m overwhelmed reading what you all do for your trees! We just get a real one, put it in the plastic bucket (my husband and I being irritable with each other as he tries to secure it with the screws as I hold it up) then we decorate it and water it All. The. Time. Children are teens so they no longer pull it over and no cats right now to topple things and the dog is disinterested - so I feel we’re pretty lucky. But that’s all I can handle. You all are a very impressive group with the trouble you go to!

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  11. I love #chinoiseriechristmas. I have made a couple of different style Chinoiserie ornaments (they are on my IG) to incorporate on trees and wreaths to add that Chinoiserie touch. I put small trees, poinsettias and magnolia leaves in my blue and white porcelain containers. I feel like it's a pretty easy combo - my mother's family is from Charleston so there was always lots of blue and white chinoiserie incorporated into Christmas decor!

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    1. I love Charleston style - a lot like Alexandria.

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  12. To secure the artificial tree. First find a bucket which fits in your cache pot. Then get a piece of pvc piping larger than the stem of the tree. Put the pvc piping in the middle of the bucket and fill the bucket with cement. When dry, put the bucket in the cache pot and the tree in the pvc piping.

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    1. Excellent Idea here :) Just found this - as was doing research and planning to put one of my artificial trees this year in a Blue/White Fish Bowl that I have. I'm excited now :) THANKS

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