There are two types of people in this world: those who decorate before Thanksgiving, and those who prefer to wait it out until after the last piece of leftover turkey has been eaten on Black Friday. We’re in the first camp. Although we love all that November brings, it’s just too hard to wait to deck the halls when you’re in the business of interiors and have been prepping for the holidays all year. Plus, this year, Thanksgiving is a week later than usual, so we’re only further justifying our need for ringing in the season as soon as possible.
If you’re waiting until December 1st, you can still benefit from gathering as much inspiration as possible, so when the countdown begins, and the sleigh bells ring, you don’t have to think twice about where to put your garlands or style your holiday shelving.
Today, we’re sharing our best tips on how to decorate the star of the seasonal show: the tree. There are countless guides out there for how to decorate a Christmas tree, but this year, we wanted to shed some light on a more minimal, effortless approach that we’ve been moving towards with our holiday decor. We sat down with our styling team to talk about everything from practicality, to the aesthetics of tree decor and gathered our best tips from years of decorating our own.
Without further ado, here are our favorite tree-trimming tips:
1. Balance is key
While it may seem like an obvious suggestion, balancing a tree can be difficult, when the decor is out of balance, something's just off. We've been there, and while balancing decor is important for practical reasons (hello, toppling tree) it's just as crucial for aesthetic purposes. The most common mistake we've made is putting all of our favorite pieces front and center, and disregarding the back or sides of the tree that may not be as visible. While this is tempting, it almost always causes the need to work backward and re-do.
Try balancing not only the shapes and sizes of your ornaments but the textures as well. This year, we're juxtaposing decorations of all different styles with added elements of velvet, birch, or classic, antique metallic finishes in brass and silver.
Our lead stylist Kristine Metcalf, suggests that adding glass or opaque ornaments into the mix not only brings variety, but allows the tree to show through, creating the illusion of negative space while still filling it in.
2. Consider the bottom
It's easy to get carried away when decorating without thinking about how you live in your space. When it comes to the tree, be mindful of what's at the bottom if you have little ones or pets and opt for lighter, less breakable decor on the lower branches. To create a cohesive aesthetic and even more function, update your tree collar to an eye-catching yet subtle woven or wicker style.
3. Step back often
This staple styling rule doesn't just apply to coffee tables and shelving; it's just as important when you're decorating your tree! Be sure to step back each time you add a new layer and look at the tree from all different angles to identify what needs to be added or taken away before you get too far in.
4. Don't fret about a theme.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again; Christmas decor doesn't have to be over the top! In fact, we prefer a more simple, classic look that can be recycled throughout the years sustainably. If you are just starting to build your ornament collection, don't fret about shopping around a theme. Instead, collect pieces you love that complement each other well. If you're like us and you have what seems like endless boxes of ornaments, choose your favorites and start there. It's okay if they don't "go together," it might even be more interesting, you never know until you try!
When it comes to collectors ornaments, sometimes we dedicate a smaller tree in a more playful area of the home, such as a kids' room or media room to house them. This way, they don't get lost in a bigger, more beautiful tree, and they have room to shine on their own. Plus, it's fun to see them all together on their own to visualize how your style has transitioned over the years.
5. Put extra ornaments to use!
So you have a box full of ornaments you couldn't fit on your tree this year. What now? Before you crowd your branches to hang them or push them away into storage, consider using intentionally as added decor to the rest of your home! Our styling team loves using strands of beads meant for the tree in a bowl, draped over books, hung across doorways, or used in jars as an alternative for storing candy. Even ornament balls can be displayed in a bowl on the coffee table or console for a unique textural element.
Watch our video on our tree decor this year: