From the December/January 2016 Issue:

Trimming Tips

    Photos by: Wing Wong |

Tired of your usual trimming strategy but afraid to tempt tradition? The winners of a tabletop tree-trimming competition sponsored by the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and Design NJ provide some creative options to consider.

Anna Maria Mannarino, allied member ASID
Mannarino Designs Inc.

Holmdel, NJ 07733

Venetian Ball
“The Venetian tree evokes the drama, elegance and beauty of a Venetian ball. It’s adorned with Venetian masks, mini chandeliers, ribbons of musical notes, beaded strands of amber crystals and crystal-embellished silk acanthus leaves. The tree is accented with gold, copper and red elements reminiscent of the Old World charm of the Piazza St. Marco. To complete the vignette, the table is dressed in rich-colored silks, gold chargers, additional authentic hand-held masks and ornamented wrapped presents. An oversized mask hangs on the door, and a velvet-costumed form stands nearby. This setting was created at the beautiful Villa at Mountain Lakes.”

Heather McManus, associate member ASID
Artistry Interiors LLC

Kinnelon, NJ

Demolition Derby
“When clients Melissa and John Yannuzzi asked me to decorate their home for Christmas, I was inspired to create a small tree for their home office that honored their business: the Yannuzzi Group in Kinnelon, which specializes in demolition and recycling. I surprised them with a small tree adorned with miniature demolition trucks . I purchased the replicas at toy stores, mixed the scale for interest and attached them with floral wire. Then I added traditional ornaments in the company’s trademark blue to complete the look.”

Diane Boyer, professional member ASID
Diane Boyer Interiors

Verona, NJ

Cheery Chairs
“What’s more fitting in an interior design studio than a tree adorned with miniature chairs? I started collecting these tiny chairs about 30 years ago to intersperse with other ornaments. But thanks to colleagues and friends, my collection has grown to cover an entire tree, one even larger than this tabletop version! Red fabric printed with antique gold chairs was a serendipitous find—perfect at the base of the tree.”

Valerie Mangan, allied member ASID
Porter Design Co.

Fair Haven, NJ 07704

Cookie Delights
“I merged cutting-edge technology with the traditional feel of homemade baking by commissioning custom gingerbread “cookies” made with a 3-D printer. They feature our family’s monogram and symbols of our varied interests, including reading, dancing, photography, running and Minecraft. Modern technology and imagery, done simply in gingerbread and royal icing, create a very personal family tribute.”

Claudia Panizza, allied member ASID
CP Design

Kenilworth, NJ 07033

A Nativity Tradition
“While I was growing up in South America, my mother used to tell me about my grandmother, who would put together a Nativity scene so big it would take up the whole room. On each side she would place a tree hung with lanterns to shed light on the beautiful scene. Nativity scenes were an important part of my holiday celebration and décor, and that was my inspiration for this tree. I chose ornaments that represent the Holy Family, shepherds, villagers, animals and angels. I wrapped the base of the tree in burlap and wove burlap ribbon through the tree to represent the hay where Jesus was born and added a beautiful angel at the top. My Nativity-inspired tree stands beside my own Nativity scene, following in the footsteps of my grandmother.”

Jennifer Vreeland McDermott, allied member ASID
JV Design LLC

12 East Bay View Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

From the Kitchen
“This tabletop tree is decked out in my collection of 1940s and ’50s kitchen utensils. I added homespun touches such as popcorn garlands and crisp gingham ribbons. This little tree, tucked in the corner of my kitchen countertop, introduces the Christmas spirit without getting in the way.”

Terri Fiori, allied member ASID
Fiori Interior Design

Wyckoff, NJ

Taking Flight
“We decorate a small, live tree with a different theme each holiday season. Last year we decided to use silver, gold and metallic wallpaper samples that I had in my studio and taught ourselves how to make origami cranes (thank you, YouTube!). In Japan the crane is referred to as the “bird of happiness”; it has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times. According to tradition, if you fold 1,000 origami cranes, your wish will come true.”

Lori Jacobsen, allied member ASID
The Repurposed Home

Montville, NJ 07045

Cookie Cutters & More
“The tree is new but is decorated with vintage and antique cookie cutters, mini pastry tart pans and teaspoons. When I came upon these items at the Coxsackie Antique Center in upstate New York, it just seemed logical to me to put them on a tree. A little strange, but true. That also explains the concept behind The Repurposed Home.”