Decorating and Designing the Christmas Tree
Christmas is a magical time of year and in my opinion, the Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of it all. I couldn’t wait to decorate the tree when I was a child.
I remember that one year, we got to decorate the tree twice. Our first tree dropped all of its needles only one week into the holiday season. So, we had to take all of the decorations down, buy and redecorate a new tree. I loved every minute of it.
My grandmother had a friend who had two Christmas trees each year and to me that was awesome. I thought she must be rich to have two trees! Now all these years later, I realize it doesn’t have anything to do with money. It’s about having the time, as I now have anywhere from three to five trees each year.
Over the years, I have come up with some ways to make each tree look “designer.” Everyone can follow these tips and have a great looking tree without spending tons of money or buying expensive ornaments. Here’s how.
- Start with the tree. I love a fresh cut tree; I love the smell and everything about it. But I also love the convenience of an artificial tree. So it’s up to you and your preference, but make sure you get a tree that will fit into your house. If you have to move furniture, make sure you have somewhere for the extra furniture to go!
- Lights! Even if you have an artificial tree, add more lights. I love Christmas lights and they help to brighten up these darker months. Add a few strings of a novelty light to the tree on top of the normal white or multi-colored lights. This year on top the white lights, I have added strings of larger red LED lights so that we can choose to have either a bright white and red tree or just a subdued red tree. In the past, I have added flickering candle lights and strings of large snowflake lights. To recap: add more lights!!
- Ribbon. If you plan to have ribbon on your tree, put it on before you add the ornaments. If you wait until later in the process, your tree will look like you are just stringing the ribbon around to tie up your tree. Start at the top and work your way down in a gradual spiral. I find a standard tree takes four to five spools of ribbon. While working your way down, work the ribbon into the tree and back out so that the ribbon adds depth and dimension to the tree.
- Stick ‘em up! A great way to get that designer look is to add “sticks” of things. Most craft-stores or places that sell ornaments have a variety of things that you can stick into the tree that make for a fuller, more dramatic tree. I have added sticks of floral berries, icicle strands, branches of different leaves, large antique snowflakes, or even just fresh willow branches from the floral department at the grocery store.
- Ornaments. Start with your more expensive or meaningful ornaments and place them around the tree in the key spots, the good branches and most visible areas. Next, add in the lesser important ornaments as filler. Remember, you can insert the ornaments into the tree, you don’t need to just have them at the outer edge. A key here is to add depth and interest. Stores like Target and IKEA are great places to shop for the more affordable filler ornaments.
- Here is my last tip — and it’s really where you need to begin when decorating your tree. Pick a color palette. This will give your tree a designer look every time! If you choose a palette and stick to it, you will have a tree that will look amazing. I have many many ornaments that I have bought all around the world and I also have plenty of filler ornaments. I pack them away each year sorted by color so that I can just pull out the colors I want the following year. Last year, our main tree was blue, green and silver, but this year I have a candy cane theme of red and silver. I have two trees at my Shaun Myrick Design Studio: one is a white tree with green ornaments and the other tree is decorated in only gold and bronze. You’ll find that having a color palette is more pleasing to the eye, much more so that having incorporating every color of the rainbow on the tree.
I hope these tips will help you decorate your tree in a stylish, designer way.
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