Design expert reveals what NOT to do when decorating your Christmas tree this year – and urges against ‘cheap baubles’ and garish fairy lights
- When it comes to creating a lavish Christmas tree, there are some rules to follow
- An expert has revealed you need to ditch an excess of tinsel and garish lights
- Other tips include replacing hooks on ornaments and going easy on colour
When it comes to decorating the Christmas tree, there can be a fine line between festive and frightening.
So, to help your tree stand out for all the right reasons this year, Australian home design expert Carlene Duffy has revealed the basic rules you need to know – and the decorating pitfalls to avoid.
Rules include the importance of going easy on tinsel and why you should ‘curate’ colours so your tree doesn’t veer into looking overdone or garish.
1. Too much tinsel
If you want to create a Christmas tree which is still stylish but slightly more understated, use less tinsel or opt for tinsel alternatives
Three chic alternatives to tinsel:
Tie ribbon bows onto branches using Christmas-themed colours.
Thread coloured fabric pompoms onto string and wind this around the tree.
Paper bunting also works well as an alternative and some outlets like Target and Spotlight have Christmas-themed versions.
Adding tinsel to the Christmas tree can make for a pretty finishing touch, however, it pays not to go overboard.
According to Carlene Duffy, the idea when decorating is to create a tree that makes a statement but one that doesn’t dominate the living space.
‘The problem with tinsel is that it tends to be attention-seeking and makes the process of carefully curating your ornaments almost futile,’ she said.
She advises tinsel fans to either use the decoration very sparingly or go entirely tinsel-free as a way of allowing other ornaments ‘to shine’.
2. Take it easy with colour
If you are wanting to wow, it pays to create a tree that is slightly more understated, an effect that can be produced by curating colour.
Carlene said ahead of decorating your tree, take some time to decide on your colour theme.
This may be a traditional palette like red and green or a selection of favourite pastel hues for a ‘modern take’ on tradition
3. Avoid using cheap hooks
Avoid the problem of Christmas baubles falling from the tree by replacing string hooks with wire and ‘moulding’ to the branches
While Christmas decorations can be inexpensive to buy, the problem can be is they come with fabric hooks meaning the baubles regularly fall from the tree.
To avoid this, Carlene suggests replacing these types of hooks with wire so you can ‘mould’ decorations onto branches.
‘You’ll be glad you did when curious little hands notice they have a whole new bunch of ‘toys’ to play with and start grabbing any decoration in reach,’ she said.
4. Avoid the use of garish lights
While coloured lights add special festive touch, the decoration can easily veer into looking slightly garish
When it comes to adding lights to the tree, you are either a fan of bright flashing lights or prefer a more demure look.
On the one hand, bright lights add a festive touch like no other, on the other, the decoration can look dated and slightly garish.
If you want to play it safe without sacrificing that special glow, layer on strings of lights, including lights you might not consider ‘Christmassy’.
Target is offering a box set of 10 paper lantern string lights that would look ideal for an affordable $15.
5. Say no to cheap plastic baubles
So many retailers offer cheap Christmas decorations, however, these generally don’t last and if knocked onto the ground tend to chip or break.
Carlene said there is no need to splash extra cash on buying expensive baubles, although if you want these to last consider those made from fabric or a material that’s more hardy.
‘Tree decorations can now be found well beyond the supermarket variety with homewares retailers supplying a wide range of ornaments to their house-proud clientele,’ she said.