Pick and Decorate a Designer Tree

Have you always wanted your holiday tree to look as beautiful as the ones you see in stores or designer spaces? Like anything professional, choosing and decorating a tree well is a matter of following certain steps. Here are a few tips to make your tree as lovely as you want.

Tree choice: Choose a tree which has the proportions and branches to stand up to a wealth of decorations. In Arizona, the most common live holiday trees are Douglas and Noble. Douglas firs have many branches, but they can only support the lightest of ornaments. Also, they are dense, which means that all of your lights and decorations need to be on the surface. If you want to create drama, choose a Noble fir, like the second tree on the left with the pink tag on it in the photo above. This variety of tree can support heavier ornaments and allows you to see into the tree itself, providing the opportunity to layer decorations.

Lights: There are two common errors with lights: not enough and the wrong placement. To really make a tree shine, figure on about 100 lights per foot. That’s three to four times more lights than most people use, but the difference is dramatic. Next, place the lights toward the middle of the tree, not at the ends of the branches. Don’t run them in a line. Instead, place the light strings in random patterns on and between the insides of each branch. With lights set up like this, they will appear and disappear as people walk around the tree, and the brilliance will showcase the rest of the decorations.

Garlands: These are optional, but be generous with your choices. Often today, you will see designers use large pieces of artificial foliage or feathers instead of garlands. Notice how this choice works well with the tree on the right.

Ornaments: Think in terms of balance. Put larger ornaments toward the bottom and smaller ones at the top. Distribute colors and types of ornaments evenly.

Tree skirt: Instead of a standard round tree skirt, consider a length of fabric such as a white to resemble snow or dark velvet such as the one used on this tree. Just tuck the raw edges underneath and drape the fabric gracefully.

Throughout your decorating efforts, step back regularly to check the full effect. This may take more time than a standard approach, but the extra effort is worth it in the end.

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