Tips for Prettier Christmas Trees

DecoratingNov04_Colorful Holiday decorated living room
Want a designer look for your holiday tree? Browse our best tips for better Christmas tree decor that you can easily do yourself!

Tip #1: Let the Room Be Your Guide

Place your tree in the center of the holiday action for friends and family to enjoy (even if that's in the dining room), and let the room you choose inspire the decorations. Here, a glass finial topper coordinates with the crystal chandelier and glassware on the table, while the tree's regal color scheme mirrors the icy blue buffet in the corner.

Tip #2: Consider Different Tree Styles

Showcase your favorite ornaments with a spruce that has lots of space between branches, allowing decorations to steal the show. Adding light layers of faux snow to the tree boosts the room's forest-inspired feel.

Tip #3: Get Crafty

Saving money on ornaments doesn't mean sacrificing glamour, plus it's fun to do a little holiday DIY. Create a one-of-a-kind star tree topper by covering inexpensive kraft paper with gold leaf. Matching handmade holly ornaments garnish the branches alongside other metallic baubles.

When red and green have run their course, look to a fresh color scheme for Christmas inspiration. This pretty combination of turquoise, white, and metallic offers a sophisticated take on the season that still has Santa'€™s stamp of approval.

Tip #4: Employ Nontraditional Colors

Watch how to decorate a tree with turquoise, white, and metallic hues, perfect for a room with an existing pastel color scheme.

Tip #5: Stay True to Your Personal Style

Dress a tree in trinkets to reflect the style of your home. For a costal-inspired space, hang embellished monograms, starfish, and seashell ornaments on the branches. Using a mix of blue and coral wrapping papers reinforces the laid-back vibe.

Tip #6: Mix Old and New

A combination of pink vintage ornaments in varying sizes and store-bought white dove decorations create a whimsical feel. Compared to a traditional star or angel, an over-the-top bow complements the tree’s teal-and-pink color palette flawlessly.

Tip #7: Decorate with Memories

Show off your favorite Christmas memories by using mini clothespins to attach old photos to the branches of a small tree. To make the photos cohesive, use ones with a black-and-white finish. Small black paper tags with handwritten messages and sayings add even more personalization. Watch the video for more tips on how to personalize your Christmas tree designs.

Tip #8: Remember Less Can Be More

Let a fir’s natural beauty steal the spotlight with minimal and timeless decorations like twinkly Christmas lights and gold, glass, and silver baubles -- no tree topper needed.

Tip #9: Take Risks

Ornaments don't have to match perfectly to look flawless. Bright, bold, and colorful baubles of all shapes and sizes work well together when you follow an overarching theme, like only using saturated hues.  A simpler garland and topper keep the tree from looking busy.

Tip #10: Make It Monochromatic

Do you love one color? Go for it with a monochromatic tree. One-color Christmas tree designs work their magic with shape and texture. Just be sure to vary the size of the decorations as well as mix shiny and matte finishes for maximum impact.

Tip #11: Think Overscale

Try this technique that most home decorators miss: Use overscale ornaments. The large silver balls and stars have a huge impact, and you won't need as many (about a dozen for an average-size tree) as you would with regular-size ones. Bonus: The overall effect is stunning.

Tip #12: Personalize It

Add the names of family and friends to purchased chalkboard labels, and press them into place on painted ornaments to add a personal touch to the tree. The bold black color pairs well with metallic golds and sparkling whites to give your tree a designer look.

Tip #13: Think Fancy Forest

Break-resistant ball ornaments, soft feathered friends, and ribbons reminiscent of birch bark create a stunning tree that also happens to be kid-friendly. Keeping the colors of the ornaments and trimmings neutral creates an elegant look that's right at home in even the busiest part of the house.

Tip #14: Vary the Size

Ornaments in one color and style get a designer look by varying the sizes (small, medium, and large) and by choosing a unique matte-luster finish rather than a standard shiny gloss. Slim ribbon garlands crisscross horizontally across the tree, while dozens of glass icicles add a vertical element.

Tip #15: Factor in Flowers

Silk flowers are a lovely way to add a softer texture to a tree. Choose large blooms or add sprays of smaller blooms nestled into branches. Or wire a silk flower to a handful of artificial leaves or wheat for a surprising decoration that's a pure designer touch.

Tip #16: Make It Sparkle

Glittering garlands, sparkling ornaments, and light-catching baubles create a tree worthy of center stage. By keeping the colors of the trimmings contained to gold, white, and clear, your tree will look fancy and still be easy to decorate.

Tip #17: Decorate with Mini Trees

Small, festive flourishes throughout the house can create an undercurrent of holiday that will add cheer to your every day. Place a sapling (or a branch trimmed from the base of your tree) in a vintage urn and water as needed for simple Christmas elegance.

Tip #18: Nod to Nature

More is more on this nature-inspired tree, where oversize pinecones, red berries, branches, and jute combine to make an elegant holiday statement. Enhance the look with clear string lights and presents wrapped in classic kraft paper with crisp red ribbons.

Tip #19: Fill In with Floral Sprays

Fill gaps between branches with floral fillers such as silk flower sprays, leaf bunches, or a DIY nosegay as shown here. We used a base of artificial leaves, silver berries, and green ornaments, then wired and tied it with sheer ribbon. Plan to make at least 24 of these decorations for an 8-foot tree.

Tip #20: Remember to Repeat

Repeat one type of ornament so it creates a color, shape, or theme through a tree. These red decorations help unite the other one-of-a-kind ornaments. We recommend buying two to four dozen of a main theme element (like these red balls). Various sizes, shapes, or finishes of such an element will add even more flair.

You'll smile when you see the toy that makes up this Christmas garland. Perfect for a kid's tree!

Tip #21: Be Playful

We're sharing our favorite DIY garland to make for a kid-friendly tree.

Tip #22: Color Your World

Designers create Christmas tree designs using colors and themes that relate to the room where the tree is displayed. Repeat your room's hues and motifs using ribbons, wrapping paper, garlands, and ornaments to harmonize with or complement what you already have.

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