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Show off a designer tree in your home this holiday season

By Jessica Rodrigo
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.

Rhonda Pakebusch fixes a ribbon as she shows off her favorite decorations on her “frou-frou tree” at her store, Rendezvous, in Cuero. Pakebusch said that it’s important to let decorations be your own design and to “design for yourself and your family, with heart.”

Decorating tips

•  Use sticks or feathers to add height to trees

• Ribbons or burlap can add an elegant or warm feel to trees

•  Look for green and red ornaments to create a traditional theme

• Find pine cones or twigs and cover them in gold paint or glitter for a touch of glimmer

Nowadays, almost anything can be turned into a decoration, whether it be something for your mantle or an ornament to hang on your Christmas tree.

For Rhonda Pakebusch, owner of Rendezvous in Cuero, that might mean using burlap to add texture or feathers to add height.

She opened the store nearly 25 years ago and each year Pakebusch and her team of employees decorate trees with various themes from the most recent trends, including owls, glitter, feathers and twigs, to traditional themes with Santa Claus.

In some homes, she said, families may decorate several trees throughout the home.

"Kid-friendly trees are very in, and masculine trees," she said. "There is always room for a masculine tree because a lot of families have a lot of men in them."

With all the Eagle Ford Shale activity in Cuero, she said, masculine trees will be very popular this year. She decorates the trees with warm colors, deer sheds and even some shotgun shell lights.

"I've seen it all," Pakebusch said. "The manly trees are always one of our most popular trees."

Rendezvous displays what she calls a "frou-frou" tree, which includes all things feminine from glitter to ribbon and silver.

Her favorite part of decorating the trees is her trademark piece.

"A crescendo at the top of the tree should be full of feathers, sticks, twigs to give it the shazam," she said.

Her crescendos can add a few inches to a few feet to a tree, sometimes making them up to 13 feet tall.

Decorations have been moving back toward more earthy, warm tones and textures, she said.

Another popular accent piece for her trees is burlap, which adds contrasting texture.

"Owls, this year, are also a trend," she said.

Bobby Long, owner of Shop The World in Victoria, agreed.

Long, who co-owns the store in Victoria and in Rockport with his brother Thomas, has been in the business of home furnishings for 35 years. He said they turn the store into a holiday haven where customers can find everything they need to decorate for the holidays.

Throughout the store, Long said, they have several trees, each with its own style and theme. So it would be no surprise to see owls nestled in a tree or atop a mantle or table.

"There's been a big surge in the rustic look," he said. "You'll see pheasant feathers, that's a big thing, and vintage ornaments and warm colors."

Despite being a few hundred miles away from leading designer cities, including Austin and Houston, Pakebusch is always trying to stay in stride with current styles or even make her own.

"I love to see something start off plain and see the finished product. I love the reactions of people; that's the pure joy of it. It gives me goose bumps."

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