The Real Cost of a Designer-Decorated Holiday

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2012-12-13T14:54:24Z

Photograph by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

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The Christmas Tree

A Tokyo jeweler is selling a nearly 8-foot-tall tree made completely of gold for $4.3 million. Less spendy option: Brandon Branch, Paula Deen's assistant and designer, cuts up sea green and pale blue hydrangea bushes, dries them and places them into two of her three Frasier firs. Kathleen Neave says for a designer look, the tree should fit with the home's decor. In one case, that meant creating a tree adorned in burgundy and gold. How about a tree that is fashionably unmatching? "I guess it could be monotone," says Neave. "Low-key people like non-frilly things." They would also be unlikely to turn to decorators. Cheaper: Cut your own tree ($60 at a Chicago tree farm).

$2,000: Average cost to lease an artificial, decorated tree about 10-feet tall -- Neave Outdoor Solutions Group