HINTS AND TIPS ON HOW TO DRESS A CHRISTMAS TREE by Clifton Nurseries
1. Lights on first, otherwise your delicate and possibly breakable decorations will get knocked to the floor as you wind wires and cables around the branches.
2. Matt baubles can give the impression of making a tree look bigger: mix matt and shiny baubles to create a fuller effect. Place the shiny baubles at the back of the branches, closer to the trunk and the matt baubles on the tips of the branches as they do not reflect the light and the eye is held to the bauble for longer. (Image: Mollie & Fred)
3. Choose your colours according to your room: position is everything. If your tree is going to stand in a slightly darker area (e.g. not right beside a window) choose lighter, brighter decorations. Go for golds, silver/white combinations, reds or pinks that will stand out against the colour of the branches.. there are some terrific burnt orange shades available which are gorgeous mixed with reds. In a lighter, larger room, be bold with darker colours – purple is always popular, blue works here and you can create some really striking trees with a mixture of black and glass. (Silver and mauve pine cones from Pale & Interesting)
4. Be ruthless with old decorations: we’ve all got old favourites that are brought out year after year, but if bits are missing or they look shabby and tatty, it really is time to throw them out if you want to create a tree with a ‘wow’ factor. (Wooden decorations from Emily Readett Bayley)
5. Lavish or lean: if you’re going for the lavish, luxury look, pile on as many decorations as possible but keep them co-ordinated. A full, piled-up tree looks really effective – the secret is to go for no more than two sizes of bauble or two styles at once. If going for a leaner, more contemporary minimalist tree, less is more but make it big, otherwise the tree will just look unfinished. For example, use glass decorations in larger sizes and less of them, rather than a mass of small glass baubles which will have no real definition and just get lost . (Vintage baubles from Elemental)
6. Decorating on a budget: apart from making your own, the easiest and most cost effective decoration is ribbon, tied in big bows at the end of the branches. Fruit and spices are also very pretty and affordable; for example, bind three or four walnuts with wire then thread some dried cranberries to them and fix to the tree – or paint the nuts first. Buy the cheapest Satsumas you can find, cut into slices round the middle to reveal the segments and bake them slowly in the oven to create a colourful, natural effect when draped along the branches. (Paper angels from Hen & Hammock)
For traditional Christmas wreaths and trees (from 3ft to 14ft, or even larger to order) as well as a huge selection of decorations and gifts, Clifton Nurseries is a one-stop shop. 5a Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH www.clifton.co.uk