LuxDeco has shared ten bitesize steps for a show-stopping tree with the aid of Leatham, artistic director of Paris’ Four Seasons George V and Los Angeles’ Beverly Hills hotels.
1. Decide when to put up your Christmas tree
One of the most enchanting aspects of Christmas is decorating the tree. Set a date in your diary to savour and enjoy the anticipation. This will give you something to look forward to. Make it the focus of the day, filling the hours with festive cookery, Christmas card writing, and watching a Christmas movie. This is an activity that should not be rushed, otherwise you will not get the most out of it.
Many people question when they should put up their Christmas tree, and the answer is that it is totally up to you. Just make sure you have fun while doing it!
2. Determine where to place your tree
Some households have a clearl location for their Christmas tree, but this isn’t always the case. The size of your tree will play a big role in your decision. You’ll need to think about four things:
- Ceiling height – to determine how tall your tree can be.
- Other furniture in the room – so you know how broad the branches can stretch out or if you’ll need to move anything out of the way.
- Traffic – you won’t want your tree in the main thoroughfare of your home so that it becomes a nuisance.
- Stage presence – identify the ideal spot for it to shine and for you to be able to see and appreciate your Christmas tree every day that it’s up.
3. Choose your Christmas tree
It’s all about your preference: bushy or sparse, wide or skinny, real or artificial. If you go for a real tree, you’ll most likely have a few options, such as:
- Norway spruce – the most classic in the UK since it’s grown here,
- Nordmann fir – more expensive but retains its needles far better,
- Blue spruce – a prickly variety with silvery-blue hued needles,
- Serbian spruce – akin to the Norway variety but with less needle drop.
When it comes to artificial trees, there are even more options, including coloured types, bare branch designs that appear more like a tree without leaves, and, of course, the traditional Christmas tree style.
If you’re not sure whether a genuine or artificial tree is right for you, consider if you want a traditional tree. If you answered yes, think about if you’d want one that doesn’t have dropping needles and that you can use year after year. If not, you can start looking through the several faux designs available. Just keep in mind that if you choose anything that is influenced by a current trend, it will have a shorter lifespan.
4. Select a theme for your Christmas tree
If you’re unsure of how to decorate a real Christmas tree, start by deciding on a theme for your tree that you’ll be glad to carry through to the rest of your home’s holiday decor.
Jeff recommends monochromatic Christmas baubles. “I always suggest that people use two different types,” he says. ” If you’re going to choose a colour that’s kind of crazy – like hot pink – then maybe choose another clear glass ornament. I think the days of really mixed together Christmas trees are kind of over and people are, as they are with their flowers, using more monochromatic ornaments that go together on the tree.”
5. Add your Christmas tree lights
Jeff says: “The first thing I ever learned when I started doing trees almost 30 years ago is instead of just laying the lights on the branches; you wrap the lights around every branch. It’s more effort but makes a huge difference. You usually use twice as many lights, but it’s worth it in the end because it makes for a more beautiful tree. When it comes to lights, there can never be too many!”
6. Add a garland or tinsel
Garlands or ribbons will add another layer of texture and decoration to your tree, making it appear more robust. You may use thin beaded strands, wire strands embellished with delicate fir cones or stars, and even denser green garlands on mantels and table tops in your tree’s scheme.
If you’re confused on how to use ribbon other than tied as bows, utilize a long length ribbon and treat it as a continuous garland. Drape ribbons from branch to branch or hang them loosely throughout the tree. Always start at the top of the tree with garlands and work your way down, pausing to check the spacing from time to time.
7. Hang baubles and ornaments
To keep your tree from losing its direction, adhere to your colour scheme and don’t use just one kind or size of Christmas tree decoration.
“Use different sized baubles so that when you look at your tree, it’s interesting. Maybe start with a 5cm, then an 8cm. Even if your baubles are the same colour, using different sizes adds a little something different,” suggests Jeff.
The amount you use will also be determined by the size of your decorations. Although some individuals like their tree to be busier than others, there is no rule. Regardless of your style, make sure that the ornaments are evenly distributed around the tree rather than being concentrated on one side. Some should be tucked into the recesses of the branches, while others should be hanging from the front.
If you have older decorations that don’t go with your new style, put them somewhere else in the house. Jeff advises that “if you’re wanting to use an heirloom ornament and they don’t particularly go with your tree, sometimes what I’ve done is put special family ornaments in a garland”.
8. Choose a Christmas tree topper
Traditionally, it’s either a star or an angel — two ageless and worthy contenders that can provide a stunning celestial presence to the scene.
Find an angel with Renaissance-style clothing, such as flowing robes, halos, and jewel tones, for a more classic look. Alternatively, an antiqued mirror star topper might be used. New contemporary interpretations, such as LED star silhouettes or burnished copper angel figures, are also available.
Use a cluster of them atop your tree for a striking finish if you’re using seasonal flower selections.
9. Add an optional tree skirt
Jeff advises making this a veritable feature in your tree’s theme by finding a beautiful textile or even an arrangement of decorative vases. He comments: “Be creative. I always feel that a decorative base is a beautiful touch before all the gifts are around it. In the past, I’ve used big vases filled with the same type of Christmas tree balls at the bottom. It really finishes your tree.”
10. Enjoy the festivities
All that’s left to do is to get your Christmas shopping done, get everything wrapped and under the tree, and enjoy seeing the twinkle of your Christmas tree lights through the window as you get home every day.
SEE MORE: THE PERFECT PRE-CHRISTMAS PAMPER ROUTINE