America’s Largest Home gets ready for Christmas at Biltmore 2021
Christmas by the numbers
For America’s largest home, Christmas decorations must be scaled to the maximum to transform a home of this magnitude into the magical, sparkling experience that awaits guests year after year. Here are facts about the decor that is in store for Christmas at Biltmore 2021.
• Biltmore’s floral displays team will design and hand-decorate 62 Christmas trees for Biltmore House for the 2021 celebration.
• The largest tree inside Biltmore House is a fresh, 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. The smallest is a table top tree found in the Moreland bedroom.
• It takes around 50 Biltmore staff members to carry in, raise and secure the tree into place in the Banquet Hall.
• A lit 55-foot-tall Norway spruce encircled by 36 other illuminated evergreens decorates the front lawn of Biltmore House for Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
• A total of 45 additional decorated Christmas trees are located at other estate venues, including the Winery, The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Antler Hill Village and our restaurants. Poinsettias in a variety of colors fill the Conservatory throughout the Christmas season.
Lights and candles
• There are around 45,000 lights and 250 candles inside Biltmore House. 135,000 LED and mini lights are found around the estate.
• 55,296 lights illuminate the front lawn tree, with 33,280 more on the surrounding trees and shrubs. Uplighting illuminates the poplar trees lining the front lawn.
• 250 luminaries line the driveway and Esplanade in front of Biltmore House.
• Biltmore staff members place and light the luminaries each day at dusk to prepare for guests arriving for Candlelight Christmas Evenings tours. They come back to extinguish them at the end of the night.
• 500 ornaments and 500 LED Edison bulb-style electric lights and an abundance of gift boxes decorate the Banquet Hall tree.
• There are 13,870 ornaments used on the other trees inside Biltmore House, and that many again around the estate to add sparkle and seasonal interest.
• Between seasons, the ornaments are housed in a large warehouse, where they are sorted, labeled, and stored in hundreds of boxes.
Poinsettias and other blooming plants
• More than 1,200 traditional poinsettias are found in the Christmas displays around the estate.
• There are 175 poinsettias in Biltmore House which are refreshed and replaced mid-season.
• Seasonal plants include around 963 amaryllis, Christmas cactus, bromeliads, orchids, peace lilies, cyclamen, begonias, and kalanchoe and potted green plants.
• We place 200 fresh wreaths and sprays along with 90 faux pieces around the estate during the season.
• Wreaths are made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir, ornamented with golden arborvitae, holly, or other natural materials such as twigs and cones. Artificial bases are decorated with ornaments, berries, faux flowers and ribbon.
Garlands and Swags
• We cut fresh evergreens on the property every week and create hand-made swags to decorate the Grand Staircase in Biltmore House.
• The swags are replaced weekly to maintain a fresh look and fragrance for our guests.
• All combined, around 1,000 feet of fresh and faux garlands is used in Biltmore House, and around 1,200 feet in other areas.
Ribbons and Bows
• We use 9,130 yards of ribbon to create hand-tied bows for Biltmore House and the estate.
• We use everything from narrow cording to 8-inch-wide ribbon. We decorate with velvets, metallics, satins, burlap, and printed cottons.
• It takes 10 yards of ribbon to create the festive red bows worn each year by the marble lions at the front door of Biltmore House.
• The amount of ribbon required to make a tree-topper bow for the 16-foot tall Christmas trees in the Library is 15 yards.
• Any ribbon that is used year to year is starched and ironed so that it is wrinkle free and perfect!
• We have 10 full-time floral designers and 5 part-time floral staff members.
• Multiple departments across the estate help the floral team decorate Biltmore each year.
• Thank you to everyone in Engineering, Housekeeping, Museum Services, Horticulture, Guest Services, Security, and Events for helping us create this magical experience for our guests!