"green" christmas

vintage owls purchased from thrift shops become a unified collection
with white paint! birch wood re-used from year to year for display.

recycled birch bark makes festive trees.

use a branch instead of cutting a tree [this one had fallen in the back yard]

paper whites planted in vintage milk glass purchased from thrift shops
make a great impact [you can re-plant the bulbs outside for next year]

old lamps turned into candle holders
[cut the cords and paint for your color theme]
we chose ginger jar shapes but you could use any shape/style you like

embroidery hoops get a new life by turning them into a graphic art
display [we used old scraps of wallpaper, remnant fabric, newspaper and
some funky old owls painted black]

vintage chair re-upholstered, vintage cuckoo clocks painted white to
compliment our colors

this amazing citroen car is surrounded by wood slices cut into 2" thick rounds
from a fallen tree [we used the smaller ones to prop up owls and give
height to candle holders inside]

this year we went green which to us means
using what we've got, recycling, re-purposing and re-doing.
the items purchased were chosen for their sustainability and
eco friendliness we felt good shopping at thrift shops that
support the community in many ways from women and
children of domestic abuse to the homeless, the money spent
goes to help those people in need. have fun and keep an open
mind you may be surprised at the outcome!

here are a few ideas for a greener christmas. . .

•this year after the holidays have your tree picked up to be made into mulch [check your local
boy scouts]

•decorate your tree with berries, cookies and popcorn strings that you can later feed to the birds
or compost

be green now sells seed paper ornaments, which grow into cilantro, you can even use them as gift tags. the company plants a tree with each tag sale

•use recycled paper for gift wrapping holiday cards and even for printing pictures here is a great article we found with lots of ideas wrap-sody in green
here's another great resource for recycled paper products whimsy press

•use LED christmas lights they use 80-90 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs

•look for handmade gifts that are not mass produced [better for the environment and the receiver]


  1. Hi--I just saw your house on the home tour yesterday and I absolutely loved it! And now to find out that you thrifted and repurposed is even better. It is so great to discover that Sacramento has a creative, modern design studio--I had no idea!

  2. Hi guys! I am so glad you posted some pictures of the home tour. I had really wanted to go, but couldn't squeeze it in this weekend. I love your design and love the green theme. Not only is it helpful for the earth, but when money is tight, it gives people wonderful ideas to still be festive.
    Thanks and Happy Holidays!
    Katie Denham

  3. Team Arbogast, you folks have outdone yourselves. Again. You never fail to surprise me, or to inspire.

    Your white (yet green) christmas home is so full of charm and whimsy, all with details that won't break the bank. Who would have thought of creating fabulous candlesticks with old lamp? Or turn nostalgic owls into a study of post-modern chutzpah? Or re-using tree branches to celebrate the spirit of Christmas present?

    There is so many ideas to choose from, I hardly know where to start! And the best present? The fact that you gave much thought in regards to the environment that there is little negative impact.

    Using recycled materials with such a fresh pepperminty twist, is truly something to celebrate. Seasons Greetings!

  4. Team Arbogast you folks have done it. Again. You never fail to surprise me, or inspire.

    The home is full of charm and whimsy,and looks so homey and inviting. Who would have thought of making candlesticks out of old lamps, or of turning a stodgy owl collection into a celebration of post-modern chutzpah? There are so many ideas to choose from, I don't know where to begin. And all without breaking the breaking the bank.

    I love the fresh pepperminty twist of your "green" Christmas. Clearly you gave much thought in making less impact on the environment. That is truly something to celebrate. Seasons Greetings!

  5. You guys are so creative! What happened to your design studio in Old Sac btw? I went by the other day and it was closed??