Christmas Tree Alternatives

Normally I don’t put up a Christmas tree for myself, but this year, for some reason, I’ve become sentimental and am craving the smell of fresh pine. Oddly enough, however, all I keep coming across are great tree alternatives! Here are my favourites:

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Plywood

This plywood tree by Australia’s Büro North has a mid-century modern style that would be perfect for someone who prefers a minimal Christmas look (usually me). In the real vs. fake tree debate — in Canada at least — a real tree is more environmentally sound than a faux version, according to Ontario’s Forestry Association. (Check out their Facebook page.) But this plywood version is non-toxic, flat-packed, and can be used year after year. You can get them in North America through Modernica. In Canada, fresh Christmas trees grow on farms that continuously replace what they harvest with new seedlings. The forests sustain wildlife habitats, and discarded trees are mulched and used in municipal parks in the spring.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Chalkboard

I love this idea from my work buddy Joel Bray. This is a shot taken of his vignette — the final version appeared in the November 2010 issue and on Online TV. He rolled some canvas fabric (complete with raw edges) on a piece of dowel, painted it with black chalkboard paint and then outlined a Christmas tree with chalk. The chunky sisal rug, sheepskin ottoman and woven chair by Canadian designer Shawn Place (at Hollace Cluny) complete the simple Scandinavian look — totally timeless.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives White

This isn’t a holiday set up, but a single tall branch like this could easily achieve that minimal, wintry, Scandinavian vibe as well.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Birch

I’ve had this beautiful image from photographer Sarah Hogan in my files since last year. If I wasn’t set on a real tree, this is what I would do! It’s simple and a little quirky — birch twigs with mismatched ornaments.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Lights

One day, when I live in a beachy climate, I’ll string white lights in a tree shape like this.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Ladder

In an industrial space, a ladder in place of a tree could look really cool.

Photo Blog Christmas Tree Alternatives Pendant Lights

And not that you should ever have an alternative to mistletoe, but this metal pendant lamp for $128 from Vagabond Vintage is pretty neat!

For more innovative holiday decorating, learn how to make DIY ornaments, sconces and gift tags.

Photo credits:
2. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Angus Fergusson
3. Remodelista, photography by Kelly Ishikawa of SBX Creative
4. Sarah Hogan
5. Living Etc
6. Architect Lines
7. Vagabond Vintage

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