Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas from Emily A. Clark

Posted by: on November 13th, 2012 | 14 Comments
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Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Tree decorating with live succulents


In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.

When dreaming up bloggers we’re dying to work with, Emily Clark was at the top of our list. Not only does she have fantastic taste and DIY prowess, but we’ve also been checking in on her Emily A. Clark blog for years! Emily graciously agreed to join our Holiday Style Challenge and design a festive Christmas tree just for us! Read on for her very clever and unusual Christmas tree decorating ideas inspired by a visit to a Home Depot garden center. 

Although we made the decision to convert our dining room into a home office earlier this year, I thought it would be fun to transform it back to a space for entertaining during the holiday season. So, we brought the dining chairs out of storage and set up the Christmas tree to create a festive spot to share with friends.


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Tree decorating with live succulents


We set up our Martha Stewart Paley Pine Christmas tree right by the front door. I’ve never had a pre-lit tree before, but I’m officially a convert. It’s such a relief to skip the hassle of untangling lights and get right to the pretty stuff. This year, I decided to keep the color palette simple and sophisticated by layering several shades of green.


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Green Christmas ornaments

Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Decorating the Christmas tree


Once we hung the ornaments, I headed to The Home Depot for inspiration and found it in the garden center. I love to mix in fresh with artificial when decorating for Christmas. Instead of traditional holiday greens, I bought several varieties of succulents. My favorite are these known as “flapjacks.”


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Attach succulents to a florist pick with florist tape

Secure succulents to the tree


I simply cut them at the root and inserted a florist pick (reinforced with florist tape) so that I could place them within the tree branches. (Succulents are great because they require such little care. They will easily last throughout the holiday season.)


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Tree branches as a tree topper


Instead of a traditional tree topper, I collected branches from our yard and sprayed them with fake snow.


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Gifts wrapped with brown craft paper and fabric bows


And, of course, no tree is complete without gifts. Keeping things simple, I wrapped all of the presents in craft paper and cut up a leftover fabric remnant for pretty ties.


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Hang a wreath over a bookcase

Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Hang a wreath over a bookcase


A wall of bookcases serves as the backdrop for our dining table, so I hung the Martha Stewart Living Woodlands wreath in the center with a simple stick-on hook.


Christmas tree decorating ideas from Emily Clark | Fill lanterns with succulents and natural elements rather than the standard pillar candles


Carrying on the theme of the tree, I added a few succulents — along with more sprayed branches and pinecones from our yard — to the wreath and to our table.


Christmas tree decorating ideas with Emily Clark


Simple, festive and ready for holiday guests!

To see more holiday style around our house, visit my blog, Emily A. Clark: design. simplified.

See more of Emily’s woodland-inspired Christmas decorations on her blog.

Emily is a wife, mom of five and author of the blog Emily A. Clark: design. simplified. She writes about the never-ending adventure of making her house a home and shares affordable and achievable decorating ideas for real people. Thank you, Emily, for your inspiring Christmas tree decorating ideas. 

To decorate her Christmas tree, Emily used the following items:

Get more Christmas decorating ideas from our Holiday Crafts, Ideas, and Inspiration board on Pinterest. And take a look at the other great Christmas decorating ideas in our Holiday Edition of the Style Challenge series here on The Home Depot blog.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Emily received a selection of Christmas decorations from The Home Depot, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Emily expressed are her own.

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  1. [...] a lovely home office. And, if you think this image is gorgeous, you should see how Emily got her office space all decked out for our Holiday Style [...]

  2. [...] From left to right, top to bottom – 1: via Merriment Blog | 2: via Country Living | 3: via At Home Arkansas | 4: by Emily A. Clark via The Apron [...]

  3. [...] love the way our guest blogger Emily of Emily A. Clark: design. simplified. styled a wreath on her bookshelf to create an eclectic, layered [...]

  4. [...] her nature-inspired Christmas tree, Emily of the blog Emily A. Clark attached succulents to floral picks with floral tape, and tucked [...]

  5. sherry hart says:

    Beautiful job Emily!!! Love the succulents especially….

  6. Shirley says:

    I love the look of the tall thin tree and I agree prelite is the way to go.

  7. Rachel says:

    Emily… I would NEVER have thought to use succulents! GREAT idea. Love it.

  8. carmel says:

    This is stunning! Love the addition of the succulents!

  9. It looks beautiful, Emily! I love how you added the succulents on the tree and throughout the room, cute idea. :)

  10. Emily’s creations are always gorgeous and so attainable. Love the creativity of adding in the succulents! I’ve enjoyed this series from some of my favorite bloggers.

  11. lorraine says:

    Beautiful. I like the “understated” look that still says Christmas!

  12. Thanks, you all! And, Caroline, thanks to you and your team at the Home Depot for including me in the Holiday Challenge. It was lots of fun!

  13. Beautiful Emily! I love how you mixed in the living natural elements to the tree and added the snow covered branches. Super creative and looks fabulous! Nicely done :)

  14. Emily, it looks great! And what an inspiring and festive spot to get some blogging done! Love the stripes under the tree!