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How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Like a Pro

Take your Tannenbaum up a notch with these tips for top-tier ornamentation.



If you really want to bring your decorating up a notch this year, choose a theme for your Christmas tree. This is not to say you have to throw everything out and start over—those treasured ornaments can become keepsakes over the years. Pull out the decorations you have and see what you can work with.

A great way to decorate a tree is to choose a theme based on a color palette. You'll probably notice you already have a favorite color running through your collection. Eliminate the ornaments that don't work; not everything has to make it to the tree each year. Narrowing down your colors to two or three hues really helps to create a cohesive look.

If you get a good collection of one color, then it's easy to mix things up and pair it with a new color the following year. For instance, red and white can transform to red and gold the next year; red and silver the year after that.

If you're not wild about a color theme, choose something more broad: a woodland tree with pinecones and forest creatures; a snowy theme with snowflakes, icicles, and frosted ornaments; a winter-sports theme with skis, snowshoes, and ice skates; a whimsical theme with Santa, snowmen, and candy canes. There are oh-so-many possibilities!

Incorporate decorative picks into your tree. These branches of pinecones, berries, and frosted evergreens are not just for vases. Adding them to a tree is an easy way to add lots of texture and variation among your ornaments. They can also be used to create a tree topper if you don't have one.

Start with your largest ornaments. It's easier to find space for the biggest pieces first, rather than trying to shove them in later. If you are decorating an artificial tree, you have the advantage of positioning the branches however you like. If you're decorating a fresh-cut tree, you'll find natural spaces that best display your large ornaments. Large pieces help to create focal points, or resting places for the eye. For example, envision a lovely woodland-themed tree that incorporates long birch sticks and large pinecones. These unexpected items make for a very unique look.

Work from the interior to the exterior of the tree. Your ornaments shouldn't all be hanging on the front of the tree. Tucking some of them in a bit really helps to add some dimension. Save your finials and icicles (and other treasured pieces) for the very end so they have plenty of room to hang and get prime viewing spots.

Remember, spacing is key. Step back periodically and take a look from a distance so you can make sure everything is evenly distributed. Happy Trimming!

Maggie Erickson is the store manager at Ski Country Antiques & Home, a shop that specializes in one-of-a-kind antiques from northern Europe as well as new home décor items. View their profile or contact Maggie at 303-670-8726. 

Content for this article provided by Ski Country Antiques & Home.

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