Decorating a Christmas tree takes a little more thought than simply rehashing the same old ornaments  year after year.

While I'm all for tradition and using favourite heirloom decorations, I like to keep things fresh by editing my collection and adding new items each year.

I like to blend my tree with my house interior. A Christmas tree should be fun and make a statement, but a tasteful tree that harmonises with the interior of your home is often best.

Here are some tips that I follow when decorating Christmas trees. 


Before you start to add decorations, you must first light up your tree.

Create a beautiful glow with the following tips on stringing lights on a Christmas tree.

•   For every foot, average 100 lights. So if you have a six-foot tree, you’ll probably need 600 lights. 

•   Before you start, plug in the lights to checks if all the bulbs are working. Leave them on while you work to see them easily as  you position them on the tree.

•   Starting at the bottom, string your lights around and through the tree in a random fashion. Try to avoid any obvious pattern or spiral; you want the lights to look natural. Place some lights deeper into the branches and place some closer to the front to create depth. 

•   A “dead zone” of lights occurs when you connect one string of lights to another. Hide any unsightly connections by pushing them deep into the branches. 

•   If your lights aren’t hanging exactly where you want them, wrap some fine floral wire around the cord and branch to hold it in place. Bend the loose ends of the wire towards the back of the tree out of sight and out of reach.

•   If you have a real tree with a branch that’s drooping or unattractive, simply remove it by clipping it from behind with a pair of florist shears. Use florist wire, again, to manoeuvre other branches into even positions.


Before you even start thinking about placing ornaments on the tree, lay out what you have and take stock. There may be some that you can replace to update the theme of this year's tree. Once you've condensed your collection and started decorating, make sure you keep stepping back to look at your work. 

I always work with ornaments in colours that blend with my interior. Obviously for me this means, nuetral monochromatic chocolate and cream tones. 

If I were to add a colour it would be a colour that already exists in my home, possibly a deep antique red or gold. 


When it comes to decorating the tree I often use this formula:

“For every foot of tree there should be 10 ornaments. Within each foot there should be five basic ornaments, three accent ornaments and two theme ornaments. The basic ornaments complement the overall theme in colour but are basic in shape. The accent ornaments are basic shapes that go with the theme. And finally, the theme ornaments can be more decorative.”

Your tree decorations, as with all the other elements, i.e. table setting gifts and wreathes should work together.  Repeat the same colours, texture and styles that you have used in other areas of your home. If you have no stand out elements to work with, create a theme that works with what you have and continue it through all your decorative treatments.

I also like using existing ornamental pieces from my interior, such as cut crystal decanters or rusty urns, combined with my Christmas decorations to help blend everything in with my interior for a tasteful result.

Here are some trees and decorations that I find inspirational in recent years...