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Whether you choose to shop around for a real tree each year or invest in one that you can re-use, we have the best guide in how to dress your Christmas tree.

For your home, Christmas is one of those times that you get to share the styling of your home. There is something so special and magical about a beautifully dressed tree in a cosy, low-lit room. Especially when it is surrounded by beautiful things.

There is definitely an art to dressing the tree. Even before you get to the tinsel or no tinsel debate.

How to dress your christmas tree

Shape the tree

Before you start to dress your christmas tree, make sure you get it into shape. If your tree has been sitting in your loft for 11 months then it will need a plump up of the branches. Pull them into shape and give them a brush with your hands.

For real trees, you will want to get the shears out to give the branches a quick trim after you’ve got it back from the store. Giving it a trim will bring a bit of uniformity to nature and make it easier to hang your ornaments. While you can’t manipulate the branches as you can with a synthetic tree, you can get it looking at its best with a bit of time and care.

Shaping the tree is one of those foundation tasks, like sanding walls, you don’t notice unless you didn’t do it.

dress christmas tree

Selecting your theme

Deciding on your theme early on will help you add a bit of quality control to the tree dressing. This is especially true if you have little helpers. Selecting a colour each year will keep your tree looking stylish and fresh. One neutral colour twinned with a contrasting one works the best. Think cream and red, not red and green.

Your theme does not need to limit itself to colour. You can make a statement by dressing your christmas tree with a nautical theme or go north to the frozen fjords for a scandi-look. We like a bit of glam on our tree so will sometimes opt for elegant opulence. Or have been known to bring in our country-chic style and include lots of natural materials.

Add the lights

Whether you are a delicate soft white light fan or a flashing neon enthusiast, you need to drape your lights around your tree first. Start at the top and work your way down in a zig-zag fashion.

You need to work towards the front of the branch tips and place the light bulb over one branch then under the next.

Add ornament variety

For a tree that is pleasing to the eye, you will want to avoid too much uniformity. Select all the ornaments and decorations that fit in with your chosen theme.

Here you want to think beyond the standard bauble. Select baubles of three different sizes. They should complement each other, even if they don’t necessarily match or come from the same set.

Go beyond baubles and consider how other materials can dress your tree. Bows and ribbons within the colour-scheme work well. As do accent pieces, which you might not always associate with tree-dressing.

You want to spread these out at even intervals. Take your time in arranging them.

Top tip: lay them out in a pattern on your floor in front of the tree first to see how they work together in the space you have. Then create repeating style patterns around the tree.


Start hanging from the top of the tree and then work your way down.

Select your tree topper

If your house is anything like Chez DesRes then every family member has a preference on tree topper. Angel, fairy, or star make sure it fits your theme and is in proportion with your tree. Bendy trees may be amusing for a few minutes but all your hard work will be wasted if you have a top-heavy tree that falls on the cat.

Grab a sherry and put on some Christmas songs

Congratulations! Your hard work was worth it for a stylish Christmas tree and the first arguments of the season avoided. You deserve a drink, a mince pie and a nice sit down to admire your work.

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