Is there a more exciting Christmas makeup ritual than decorating the tree? It’s probably the most nostalgic moment leading up to the big day – the time when the carols sing, the presents appear and the whole family gathers to revel in the festive spirit. As wonderful as the atmosphere is, have you ever put the finishing touches by putting the star on the tree, only to take a step back and realize your Christmas tree just doesn’t look right?
Before we continue, let me point out that we know what the true meaning of Christmas is. The perfection of the appearance of the tree is not in the foreground. However, there are some common Christmas decorating mistakes that many of us make whether we are aware of them or not that can be easily fixed.
But why should we care? “The tree is so often the centerpiece of our Christmas celebrations, so making sure it’s expertly decorated is often a top priority for households,” explains Jennifer Derry, interior design expert at Christmas decorations shop Balsam Hill. “With that in mind, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when decorating to ensure your tree looks like it was decorated by a professional.”
To ensure your tree is the worthy heart of the home this Christmas Day, we’ve rounded up the best advice from interior designers to help you avoid the seven most common mistakes when decorating Christmas trees.
Lilith is an expert in following news and trends in the interior design world. She commits to sharing articles to help readers embrace new trends and keep up to date with changing styles to keep up with the seasons. Just before Christmas, she spoke to Christmas stylists to learn about the most common Christmas tree decorating mistakes and how to avoid them
1. The wrong size tree
For some of us, choosing the perfect Christmas tree has become as much of a ritual as decorating it. As tempting as it may be to choose the biggest, fluffiest tree you can find, make sure it’s the right shape and height for your space. The same applies to artificial trees.
The idea behind it is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a large living room, you need a large tree to look proportionate to the room size and really make an impact. For renters or those living in apartments, opt for a small Christmas tree. More specifically, you should leave at least a foot between the top of your tree and the ceiling to avoid bending your branches and making the space look too small.
2. The wrong number of bullets
If you’re like my mom when it comes to bauble decorating, you won’t be able to resist using all the ones you own (after all, they only come out once a year – they deserve to have their moment, right? ).
Thing is, if you have a particularly large collection of orbs, using each one will clutter up your tree. “While the number of baubles needed varies by tree and decoration, an even coverage – be it maximum or minimal – of baubles is important for a balanced look,” says Jennifer, interior design expert at Balsam Hill (opens in new tab).
She adds: “At Balsam Hill we have our own decoration calculator (opens in new tab) to help you calculate exactly how many balls you need for your tree, but in general a 6 foot full form tree will need about 135 balls for standard coverage.’ Christmas Tree World also has another free bauble calculator (opens in new tab) You can use online.
If you find you have a surplus of baubles after you’ve finished decorating the tree, why not try a bauble arch?
3. The size of the decorations
In addition to perfecting the right amount of baubles, the size of your decoration also matters. In general, you should have a variety of different sized baubles to keep your Christmas tree from looking too uniform and two-dimensional.
“Your decoration goes perfectly with your tree,” notes Jennifer. “It goes without saying that the larger your baubles, the less you need to cover your tree, but including decorations of different sizes will always be more interesting to the eye. Also, extra large balls can look out of proportion on a small tree.”
When choosing different sized decorations, it’s a good idea to consider texture as well. As Alysha Alli, Interior Manager at Redrow (opens in new tab)says: ‘New points of interest can be added by using different textiles and materials such as velvet, faux fur, colored paper and felt.”
4. A lack of a subject
Just as a cultivated sense of style pays dividends to the rest of your home, so does your tree. If you pay special attention to themed decoration when decorating your tree, the results will pay off.
“Mixing genres leads to a mishmash of decorations (and not in a cheesy and cool way),” warns James Mellan-Matulewicz, creative director and designer at Bobbi Beck (opens in new tab). “There are many new themes to consider this year, including Great Gatsby-inspired art deco and vibrant festival lights. Even if you go all out with the multicolored festival theme, it can still look curated and classy if you stick to it closely. Adding a few Scandi-chic icicles completely throws off the theme.
However, James is quick to point out that tinsel or foil pennants should be avoided as they are outdated and not very eco-friendly. “A subtle nod to nostalgia is all it takes to keep it classy,” he adds.
When it comes to a topic, be experimental and choose something personal for you. If the rest of your home has a neutral color scheme, that could mean an understated Scandinavian Christmas decoration. “Forget the overly color-coordinated traditional Christmas tree, next-level personalization is what will really make your tree stand out,” says Alysha. “For those looking to start fresh this year, whimsical woodland moods with fall colors, dusty finishes for a frosty silver and white scheme, or using romantic plum and metallic accents for a dark glam theme are popular Christmas tree trends this year. “
5. Not spreading decorations evenly across the tree
Do you only hang your decorations from the outermost branches of your tree? Then it could be because it lacks dimension. Make sure to put lots of decorations deep into the innermost branches to add depth.
“A top tip is to divide your tree into three sections and then divide your decorations accordingly,” says Jennifer. “Start decorating from the top and work your way down to the middle and then the bottom section of your tree. This way you can ensure that each section is evenly covered and you don’t run out before you hit the bottom!’
She continues, “Start with your largest decorations and place them deeper into the foliage. Then build smaller balls around these larger pieces, moving towards the tips of the branches. This helps create a layered look with more depth than hanging all your baubles from the ends of branches.
6. Forgot a topper
It may be the last decoration, but it certainly isn’t last – the tree top! “Don’t forget to add a stylish finishing touch to your decor,” says Jennifer. “One should not feel attached to the traditional star or angel; Feel free to change up your topper as your theme requires! You can easily create one-of-a-kind paper or card toppers that can then be recycled when you feel you no longer need them for future Christmases.’
7. Not prioritizing sustainability
It’s 2022, which means there’s no excuse to throw away cheap, non-recyclable Christmas tree decorations this year. Time to live more sustainably when it comes to your Christmas decorations.
“No matter how wild you go about decorating, choosing sustainable options will always make things more sophisticated,” says James. “Wooden tree ornaments, paper garlands and reusable crackers are on sale this year. Going for a more eco-friendly Christmas theme shows thoughtfulness that is always classy and very much on trend. No matter how cheesy you end up getting, your sustainability efforts will make it palatable.’