Take the stress out of decorating your Xmas tree and save your time, money and sanity with these top tips

But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Save time, money and your sanity with interior designer FAYE ROBINSON-HEY’s guide to sprucing up your seasonal centrepiece.

Spruce it up

It may sound obvious, but make sure you fluff your branches up if you are going for a faux tree. Taking a little extra time to properly arrange the branches will make a big difference.

Tree looking a little worn out and bare? Add some extra oomph by using faux florals. Some white roses or oversized florals look extra pretty on a more neutral tree – or add crimson red roses for a full-on festive look.

Alternatively, this method works great with faux berry branches or botanical stems. And, once the party season is over, you can re-use your artificial blooms by popping them in a vase for all year round.

Tinsel the town

Tinsel still has a place on a traditional tree. The first rule is to put the lights on first and then add tinsel or garlands before the rest of the decorations.

Ditch the brash reds and golds and instead complement your tree with deep blues and greens. It’s a great way of filling out the tree. Alternatively, you could use beads to create a garland that shimmers. Beads will not dominate a tree but can add some shape.

For something a bit different you could add a white pom pom garland that looks like snowballs, or add ribbon and tie in bows at the end of the branches.

However, if you’re going for a minimalist or Scandi style fir, steer clear of the tinsel and garlands all together.

Light it up

The warmth and colour of lights can make a huge difference.  Coloured lights can look quite nostalgic so are great kitsch trees. Cool white can give off a blue hue and look a little cold but do suit modern trees.

Warm white can appear a little yellow and are great for traditional trees but will clash with silvery decorations. Neutral lights achieve a good balance, giving an overall white look. The lights should always be the first step after erecting the tree.

One method is to hang them vertically down the tree, starting at the top going down to the bottom, moving to the side and then going up and down again.

Personally, I favour the more traditional method of hanging them in a garland fashion starting at the top and intertwining them between the branches until you reach the bottom.

Reflect yourself

Your tree should reflect your personality. A few sentimental, quirky or treasured baubles can give your pine the finishing touches it needs.

There are lots of ways you can make your tree stand out from the crowd.  Add some oversized peacock or glittered feathers to the centre of your tree or use faux bird decorations which clip to the branches for a ‘tweet’ look.

Or get your novelty fix with fun baubles like this Santa cam or sausage dog from Wilkos, or a parrot or racoon from Paperchase.  You can also get personal by hanging a miniature framed family picture.

Don’t be afraid to reflect your own individual style. It is your tree and collecting trinkets over the years makes yours unique to you and your family.


Reach for the stars

Traditional stars or angels are the perfect topper for your tree. But there are lots of alternatives on the high street if you want to steer clear of the traditional look.

From llamas to lovehearts or this North Post Express mail box from X there is a whole host of toppers on the market. Try choosing a topper that compliments your chosen tree style.

You could even consider a personalised topper which is a great way to crown your unique creation.

Whatever you go for, make sure it is not too heavy and has proper fixings – the top branches of the tree can usually be a little flimsy.

Deck it out

Avoid bare branches by building your baubles from the inside of the tree and working outwards. Choose a base colour and use plain baubles in this shade first.  Once the plainer baubles are evenly allocated you can add a bit more sparkle.

Put larger decorations closer to the centre of the tree and smaller ones towards the ends of branches to create more depth.

A few super shiny trinkets around the centre will catch the light from the fairy lights and twinkle. More decorative baubles work well in odd numbers so just add one or a set of three or five.

Even if you are having single colour minimalist tree use various finishes and shades, mixing metallic with matte and deeper tones with frosted ones.

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