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8 Steps to Achieving the Designer Christmas Tree Look

Updated: Feb 22

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. From hot chocolate on a snowy day to shopping for gifts, there’s nothing we don’t love about December. Especially when it comes to decorating for the holidays! And the focal point of every home at Christmas-time is the tree, which is why we put together all of our favorite tips for decorating your Christmas tree like a professional!

Decorating a tree doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. We typically tend to go in this order: lights, garland, ornaments, topper, skirt, presents! A tip prior to decorating: invest in a high-quality artificial tree (if you choose to go the artificial route!) You want a tree that will be durable and last through the year. Opt for a more traditional tree that won’t go out of style in a few years and preferably a pre-lit tree (this can make the decorating process so much easier!)

Step 1: Fluff your branches.

Fluffing the branches of your tree can help it look fuller and more natural. Fan out each branch as much as possible and bends branches to fill in spaces.

Step 2: Move on to the lights.

If your tree isn’t pre-lit, we recommend adding lights that are 100 bulbs per 2 ft of Christmas tree. For a 6 ft tree, this is 300 bulbs, etc. The nearest plug should be the starting point for your string of lights. Then wrap the lights around the base of the tree and upward around the nearest branches. When weaving, position a bulb under a branch and the next bulb over the branch and so on so forth.

Step 3: Add in ribbons or garland.

When adding in garland, start from the top of the tree and slowly increase the amount of garland as you work your way down the branches. We typically use two strands of garland for every vertical foot of the tree. Thin garland looks best when hung branch to branch, while ribbon looks best when wrapped more loosely around the tree. You can use one type of ribbon or pair ribbons of different textures and shapes to elevate your tree’s aesthetic.

Step 4: Ornaments!

We recommend buying your ornaments in threes, sixes, and/or twelves to create a balanced look. Choose ornaments that contrast each other, but are cohesive. Add the same ornaments on a tree in a Z shape and follow suit with different ornaments in the other direction. Cluster your different ornaments in groups of 3. Hang your ornaments close to the center of the tree to give it more depth.

Step 5: Time for tree picks.

Tree picks can come in many forms: branches, berries, twigs, oh my! Add picks into open spaces in your tree to create a fuller look. Be sure to purchase picks with bendable stems.

Step 6: Top your tree.

To achieve that professional look for your Christmas tree, add a tree topper. Choose one that fits your theme and is the right size (you don’t want it to take over your tree!) A tree-topper can be a simple star or a giant bow, you can even make your own!

Step 7: Finish off with a tree skirt.

A tree skirt is the finishing touch to your tree, and is a detail that is often overlooked. Tree skirts can be a beautiful addition to your design but are also functional in that they cover the legs of your tree or keep pine needles off of your floor. A tree skirt can also balance out a tree with a large topper. This year, we’re also seeing woven baskets and tree collars! It really just depends on your preference. We like to use a jute tree skirt to add a natural and earthy feel to our tree.

A few other tips:

Design around a theme! A professional looking tree will have a central look that ties all the different elements together.

Invest in holiday decor pieces that are timeless and cohesive to each other. This way you aren’t splurging on new holiday decor every year, but simply adding to your collection.

We're excited to see how everyone's trees turn out. We would love to see any pictures of how you've decorated your home for the holiday, or if you have any Christmas tree decorating tips, leave them in the comments below!

Happy Holidays from Renew Home Staging and Design!

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