For Better Holiday Decor, Ask the Experts

There are two common types of holiday home decorators: those who rush through it right after Thanksgiving and those who truly savor the experience.

Darlene Wagge is definitely the latter. Every year, she sets up as many as 17 Christmas trees in her house. The sales associate is in good company at Treetime, a Lake Barrington store that specializes in high-quality Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, custom floral displays and holiday decor. The 30,000-square-foot showroom also boasts a selection of Halloween and Thanksgiving decor to complement.

“We only focus on this. We’re not selling other things,” says owner Laurie Kane. “We dream and think about Christmas all year. So, we think about it a lot.”

For anyone who wants to do Christmas better, smarter or more over-the-top, this place is full of ideas – and passionate team members who are full of advice.

When it comes to picking out a tree, options abound. Treetime’s experts ask a few pointed questions and guide shoppers through their options: spacious types for ornaments, tight branches for a minimal look, pre-lit trees, needles in traditional or preformed styles.

“Design-wise, we’ll even teach them how to lay out their tree with ornaments, and we’ll play with ideas to fit their style. We’ll spend quality time with the customer,” Wagge says. “There are times I’ll spend an hour with someone to help them see the possibilities.”

Over in the floral studio, designer Casi Nickolas makes regular videos she shares on social media. By assembling a few items from the store – maybe some branches, some ribbon, lights and a flower pot – she creates custom arrangements like magic. She can even help DIY crafters to assemble their own.

The possibilities for better Christmas decor are endless. All one needs to do is ask for some guidance.

“We really want to help people to be successful,” says Kane. “Our goal is to bring great products to you, and we believe the only way to make you successful in your decorating is to share really good information.”

Treetime is located at 22102 N. Pepper Road, in Lake Barrington, (847) 527-8880.