Nothing quite screams holiday cheer in a space quite like a well-decorated Christmas tree with a bunch of presents (or display boxes) placed under and twinkling lights hung around the branches. Whether it's the classic red and green bits and bobs with yellow lights, or the niche tree with unique decor like beer caps or crochet ornaments - a Christmas tree is just the star of every holiday show, and thus deserves a lot of planning and attention.
Starting from figuring out a theme (are you sticking to the traditional colors and style or are you tired of the classic and want something fresh?) to hanging that final ornament that will tie everything together, here are five steps to decorate your best-looking Christmas tree yet (and a bunch of fresh ideas that may inspire you to follow or even create your own aesthetic!)
What's the theme?
If you sought out an article like this one, chances are you already have a theme for your Christmas tree in mind. If not, well you better start thinking about one now - there's only less than 3 weeks left before Christmas Day!
Question is, how do you even pick a theme, especially when there are so many out there? A rule of thumb would be to go for whatever is aesthetically pleasing for you; that can mean anything between minimalist neutrals and boho maximalist. You can also base your theme on things that interest you or items you find beautiful. For example, my mom love elephants so for our tree last year, she went all out and purchased fluffy elephant ornaments and ribbon with elephant print. Of course, you can always go for themes that tickle your fancy or make sense in your current lifestyle. A rustic tree is perfect for your equally-rustic cabin where you spend the last weeks of December at as a family. A nautical-themed tree is a perfect way to build excitement in your household over a holiday trip by the sea.
Remember, the best Christmas tree is a tree that you like! The holidays is a time to celebrate your loved ones and personal interests, so don't be afraid to decorate your tree in any way you want to.
Start with your color palette.
Once you've decided on a theme for your decor, you're going to want to start with choosing the right colors to base your decor on. The classic red-green-gold combo is unmatched and perfect for classic-style trees, but the beauty of going for a theme is that you can play around with whatever colors suit the theme best!
For example, a nautical theme may beg for blues, whites, and Breton stripes rather than reds, greens, and shimmer. A candy wonderland tree demands all the bright colors of the rainbow, reminiscent of the colorful candy packaging that attracts kids of all ages.
If you're thinking of decorating your tree based on your favorite character like Hello Kitty, focus on the repeating colors that the character uses, in this case pinks and whites. And if you've decided on a random theme like elephants (like my mom!) or your favorite TV show, well you're in luck - because you get to choose whatever colors you want to work with! Just make sure to stick to no more than 4 colors to make everything look cohesive.
Have you considered changing up the actual tree?
Color choices and tree ornaments are not the only way to implement a theme in your Christmas garb - sometimes switching up the tree to suit your theme can create the biggest impact in your decor. Of course, everybody loves the pine Christmas tree - whether from real pine or a plastic version - but have you considered going for a different color? If you're the type to go for faux trees, you have more flexibility when it comes to the trees you can use. A stark white tree will work wonders in a minimally-styled space, while pink leaves are a necessity in a candy whimsical wonderland theme.
Trees can also come in non-tree form, believe it or not. What I mean is you can have a Christmas "tree" made entirely of LED lights, or a tree-shaped wall decor that's made of twigs and kitchen twine. These innovative alternatives - specifically the wall implements - are extremely attractive to tiny house dwellers who may not have the floor space to place a 7-foot tree.
Time to decorate!
You've laid out the foundation with your theme of choice, your color arsenal, and your one-of-a-kind tree. What's next? Well, decorate, of course!
Stick to your color palette when choosing your ornaments to make sure they all match, especially if you want to utilize different styles and types of ornaments. For example, you may opt to layer ribbon and tulle atop your Christmas balls, personalized ornaments, and stars. The best way to make sure your tree doesn't look and feel cluttered is by sticking to a few colors that can guarantee visual cohesion (remember what I said about a maximum of 4!)
That said, don't be afraid to mix and match and layer your tree with different styles and baubles. Create texture using different ornament shapes and sizes, and sprinkle a few personal touches like Instax photos of your family and friends hung around like a clothesline, or handmade ornaments your kids crafted when they were little for art class.
Don't forget to match the rest of your decor.
Now that your tree is decked out and ready to be at the background of every holiday photo, it's time to make sure you don't neglect the rest of your space. A well-decorated tree is one thing, but why not expend that same energy on your stairs or your buffet table? Make your home postcard-worthy by implementing the same theme, using similar colors, and designing the rest of your living space with what you've already used on your magical tree. So if you're thinking of an elephant-themed tree, get ready to bring out those elephant figurines and line them up your TV console or your entryway. Colors are a great cohesive tool so pick the colors you love to work with and would love to see in all corners of your home.