Whilst I embrace the idea of the whole family participating in choosing the Christmas tree, and decorating it all together by the glow of the open fire; the reality in our house is very different!
I see the Christmas tree as an extension of our homes Interior décor, why would I leave the decisions in terms of colour scheme and decoration to a seven year old?
Not very festive I know, however, having followed a career in Interior Design for over fifteen years, I have a reputation to consider! I do try and decorate the tree whilst the children are otherwise engaged, or take the view that I should allow them a small amount of input, I can always reposition their bauble once they have left the room!
By way of compensation, the children each have their own Christmas tree in their own bedrooms, far safer, away from public view where they can express their individuality to their hearts content!
For those of you who take the whole business of decoration as seriously as I do, here’s how I go about decorating our tree.
Initially I would suggest deciding on a colour scheme, ideally an extension of your existing interior scheme or possibly something that contrasts well with it. There are no hard and fast rules, sometimes it is nice to incorporate the latest ‘fashion shades’ but not if it is going to ‘fight’ with everything else you have.
Christmas is a time for tradition (apart from external interference on the decoration front) the classic combinations of red and gold, black and gold, black and silver are always firm favourites. Just as in an interior scheme, if you opt to use more than 2 colours, then the proportions of those colours should be varied. For example if you choose, red, something like the rich red of our Oscuro Allure Roller blinds, Oscuro Midnight and brand new Oscuro Golden Toffee Roller blind fabric; then you would want perhaps 60% red, 25% gold and 15% black.
Having decided on your colour scheme, accumulate your decorations from a variety of sources, so that they are not all the same, adding interest to the finished result.
Think outside the box, it is possible to utilize materials as garlands from non-related sources, as Christmas decorations. For example floristry ribbons, rolls of organza as well as the usual tinsel have been used in our house previously, or even builders hessian tape when I was going through my contemporary rustic phase!
In terms of illumination, you should have plenty of lights on the tree. As a guide there should be roughly 100 mini lights per foot of tree. The lights should go on before any other decoration, taking care to distribute them evenly through the branches. I opt for white lights, but as long as lights of a single colour are used, the effect remains sophisticated.
Following the lighting, should be the garland, this should overlay the lighting cable where possible. For something different try using the garlands vertically rather than horizontally. If you are using ribbon, twist it as you move downwards with it, starting from the top.
Next lay out the baubles you have in terms of colour and size. The larger baubles should be used at the bottom of the tree, with smaller ones closer to the top. You may like to cluster the baubles or distribute them evenly.
If you would like to try something completely different, then having baubles of the same colour in varying shades creates a great effect if you fade the baubles from the lightest version of the colour at the top to the darkest version at the bottom. An example of this colour fade can be seen within our new collection of Controliss blackout Roller blinds; from the deepest Oscuro Artisan, through Country Tweed, Yellow Ochre, Acorn, Sunburst and Pyramid to the lightest Golden Toffee!
A cost effective way to create impact, is to wire 3 or 5 smaller, less expensive baubles together (odd numbers work best). Loop some fuse wire, or floristry wire through the existing loops of the baubles, at different heights to create a cluster effect.
On occasion I have not used any baubles at all, but have made oversized bows with metallic floristry ribbon and graduated the sizes from top to bottom. Inserting metallic spray painted wicker decorations within a theme, be it bells, angels, reindeer or even shoes, can also work well.
Once the tree is beautifully decorated, the colour scheme can be extended to your gift-wrap and ribbons for a totally designer look. A few years ago, I wrapped all of the presents in brown paper, and colour coded them according to recipient with different coloured ribbons!
A step too far you may think, but Christmas is about fun after all, so express yourself and create your own designer Christmas tree.
If you are really lucky you might just find a beautiful Controliss remote control blind under the Tree for you!