Deck the halls this Christmas

Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Once upon a time, the only stress involved in decorating the Christmas tree was unearthing the bauble collection, untangling the tinsel – and trying to stop the children ruining the effect with their cotton wool and toilet roll creations!

That last bit might sound a bit Scrooge-esque, but nowadays, it’s no longer enough for a tree to be simply plonked in a corner of the living room and randomly hung with mismatched or inherited ornaments.

It’s increasingly seen as necessary to dress and style this festive focal point to within an inch of its life, and ensure it complements room decor, rather than garishly jarring with it, even if it is only on display for a few weeks.

“I don’t see decorating the tree as being something sentimental that we – the family – do together,” says designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, voicing the view of many decor devotees, who take their trees very seriously.

“When it comes to the way things look, it’s the way I want it!”

Our modern forensic focus on festive decor is reflected in the huge and growing choice of seasonal themes. There are trees galore, whether real or artificial, with the latter often so lifelike, you could swear you can smell the pine. Contemporary versions range from super-slim, silver or natural wood creations, bare of foliage and a world away from anything an old-school Santa might recognise.

Here are some looks to choose from, with a guide for easily creating each… Adding cardboard kiddie craft entirely optional!

Wonder of white

A white frosted tree with glass and white baubles will stun with its simplicity.

“Icy, neutral tones for tree and home decorations are perfect for creating a chic chalet-style Christmas,” says Jane Bailess, assistant buyer for seasonal events at John Lewis.

“Pine cone baubles and ivy garlands bring a natural element to the home, while intricate decorations in mint and white, embellished with soft white feathers and beaded pearls, are perfect for a subtle yet glamorous twist on the traditional Alpine look.”

Tree: A frosted Grasmere Adjustable Snowy Pine Tree, from £69.99, could have been plucked from a snow-covered forest, and some of their light strings would make it sparkle. 160 Bright White LED String Lights, £19.99, and enhance the starry-night feel with their 10 Paper Star String Lights, £19.99.

Treats: Look no further than , which has perfect White Matte Baubles, £6 each, while John Lewis Croft Collection Frosted Glass Baubles, £10 for set of six, would also be ideal for this pristine look.

Woodland fantasy

A charming down-in-the-woods look will delight children and adults alike.

“A nature theme is one of our strongest styles this season,” says Emily Killen, seasonal buyer at House of Fraser.

“This rustic colour palette, with brown decorations featuring wild creatures, will create an idyllic festive, rural landscape. This will appeal to those who want a homespun but on-trend look.”

Tree: ‘s Linea 6ft Meribel Pine Tree, currently reduced to £129.50 from £185, would make the perfect perch for a forest glade gathering of pine cone, owl, and deer baubles.

Treats: House of Fraser’s Linea range also has suitable treasures, including a Large Wooden Acorn Decoration, £8, and a Barn Owl Decoration, £7.

Traditional trend

A traditional setting is easy to create – just keep the colour scheme to green and red, and enliven with fashionable tartan touches.

“This look conjures up treasured memories of Christmases past, with its warm, cheery colours and vintage inspiration,” says Joanne Caulkett, M&S online style and living home editor.

“Stick to classic materials, such as wood and glass, then add accents of white and bold red, plus winter foliage to bring a hint of nature indoors. Add a magical touch with a light-up ornament and twinkly tree lights.”

Tree: A bushy 6ft Country Spruce Christmas Tree, £140, , would make a grand statement. The Red Orb Decorations, £5 each, and Red Vintage Heart Decorations, £2 each, would look beautiful nestling among its branches.

Treats: There’s no shortage of glowing red baubles in stores such as , which has a Red Teardrop Glass Bauble, £3.49.

Copyright Press Association 2014

Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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