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These pro tips work for any home’s style. Whether you are into traditional colour schemes or prefer a more luxe look, there’s no right or wrong.

Last-minute Christmas tree decorating tips
by: Phyllis Stylianou

Have you ever suffered from a serious case of Christmas tree envy? You check out the gorgeous images on Pinterest, look at the professionally decorated trees in shops and on TV shows and swear that this year you can copy their look. Of course, it’s always a disaster.

But no more! Kerena Berry of Designbx and Justine Stedman of Vault Interiors were kind enough to spare some time to share their pro tips to create a Christmas tree that will be the envy of all.

This guide works for any style whether you opt for the traditional red, green and gold scheme, or a coastal blue and silver theme. For something different in terms of colour, try bleached timber ornaments paired with muted grey or pastel, which work equally well with garlands or decorative items. For a more luxe look, consider burnt coppers and sage greens with a hint of gold. Remember, there’s no right or wrong; it’s what you love and fits with your home’s style.

So, if you haven’t already decorated your Christmas tree, let’s get decorating!

Tip #1: Make sure the lights (rather than the wires) are the main feature when illuminating your Christmas tree.

Add lights and tinsel to your tree

  • Kerena prefers to start with the lights, while Justine puts tinsel first. Either way, lights and tinsel are the first two items on the tree. “This is the first and most intricate part of the decorating process,” Kerena says. “Most lights have green or white wiring, so be sure to select a colour that blends with the colour of your tree, making sure the lights (rather than the wires) are the feature. Your cord and power pack should sit safely on the floor.

    “If you’re up for a little wow factor, mix your lighting styles. Try standard white-bulbed LED lights as your base then add strands of globe lights which are often larger, round and coloured. That should provide a little extra punch!”

    Justine recommends layering the fairy lights, making sure they sit both near the spine of the tree and the outer branches also. “This provides the tree with a full 3D effect,” she says. When it comes to tinsel or garlands, Justine prefers to place them towards the spine of the tree. “I wrap it from the top down – making each circle of tinsel a little larger to reflect the width of the tree at any given point.”

    Kerena agrees. “Start with your bulkiest strands (most likely your textured tinsel) and work your way down to your thinnest strands. Make sure you cover each tier of branch and, as you layer, swap from light to dark colours to be sure the tones are even across the tree.”

Tip #2: Place large ornaments in the most visible areas of the tree, then move on to medium and then smaller pieces.

Then come the ornaments

  • These are often the most precious and sentimental items, Kerena says. “The golden rule is to grade your ornaments into three piles: large, medium and small. Start with your largest ornaments and place them in the most visible areas of the tree. Once you’ve dotted these evenly around the tree, start with your medium and then work down to your small ornaments.

    “Often after this there are still some little gaps so a great filler is buying ribbon in colours that work with your palette and tie bows around the branches where you have holes. An important tip is to add a few extra decorations to the base. We often forget to bend down and fill this area.”

    Justine says her trick is to start with a base of metallic ornaments in various shades (rose gold, silver, gold, bronze). “Then you can add an accent colour (as with styling a room). This year I’ve enjoyed pairing metallic with soft pink and white ornaments. In previous years, I have done the same with red and green, and blue and white.

    “I think the scale, texture and chosen combination of ornaments is what makes a beautiful tree,” she explains. “I love ornaments with a bit of intrigue, baubles with glitter inside or small figurines. I like different shapes too, like cones, round, teardrop ornaments. In regards to scaling, I love a few over scale baubles on a tree. It breaks up the pattern and if you pay attention to the trees they have in shopping centres, they often apply this idea.”

Many thanks to Kerena and Justine for taking time out during such a busy season to chat with us.

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