Design tips to nail an amazing Christmas tree

Whether you've got a real or an artificial one, decorating the Christmas tree signals the official start of the festive season in your home.

If you have grand designs of a stunning tree with full branches, filled with decorations, you'll need to get the styling part just right.

We asked Australia's favourite homemaker, Chyka Keebaugh, for her tips on perfecting the art of the Christmas tree.

Precision prep

Chyka says that before you begin to put up your tree, getting out the right tools will help you to stay organised. 

"If you have lights from a previous year, make sure they aren’t tangled. You will also need to sort your power board and extension cord beforehand," she says.

Tree TLC

"Make sure you always fluff out the ends of the tree, so that it looks full," advises Chyka.

"Remeber, they've been packed away for a year so they need a little TLC. This is where you need to spend the most time," she says.

Choose a theme

You can opt for the classic Christmas palette of green and red for your decorations, or you can choose to decorate your tree to match your home. Whichever way you go, stick to two to three colours, to avoid it looking messy.

You can also style your tree to match your home decor, Chyka says.

"For example, if you have blue tones, try things like navy, aqua and silver decorations to highlight your room and make it look like a complete story. 

"Take that theme through to the wreath, wrapping and table decorations, so everything looks considered," she advises.

Consider the viewpoints

Place your tree in the area you desire, and consider how much of it is on show. This will help to determine how you choose to place your decorations.

"If you see half or a 360-degree view of the tree, keep standing back and looking at what you’re doing while you're going so you can make everything even," says Chyka.

Light it up

Put your lights on first and turn them on so you can see where they’re going.

"Start at the top, pushing the lights more towards the trunk so they aren’t sitting at the front," explains Chyka. "This will help them to illuminate the decorations in front.

The art of the bauble

Then, hang the baubles of one colour group on the tree at a time. This will help you achieve balance. Size and shape does matter!

"The heavier the ball, the closer you need to go into the tree," says Chyka. "If the string isn’t enough, you can get bags of metal clips with longer, stronger string from the $2 variety shops that will strengthen your decorations and help them to hang at the right height."

Finish off with a base

The stands of the artificial trees have the potential to ruin your gorgeous aesthetic, so consider a tree skirt or cover.

"You can get wicker basket covers or tin... you might even want to make one of your own from fabric from the material shop," offers Chyka.

Enjoy the moment

"Think of decorating the tree as fun, not a job," says Chyka. "Everyone’s so busy at this time of year, we don’t get to do these things as a family - so it’s nice to make it a celebration."

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