Donning your favourite festive harbour and putting up decorations is, in our opinion, one of the most exciting parts of the festive season. Whether you go all out or keep it subtle, there is a universal recipe for dressing your Christmas tree which, if you follow it, will give you a perfect result every time. We caught up with the talented Danielle (Stylist) and Dani (Head Buyer) at Cox & Cox to get top tips and tricks from the pros.
“Y ou might want to pull together a bit of a theme when buying decorations, to make sure that everything works together beautifully. We find that sticking to just a couple of colours is the best way forward; if working with a traditional theme, stick to red, green and cream and add in felt mice for a whimsical touch, or go Scandi with white, grey and pink. Our New Neutral look has a lovely, soft aesthetic and features only natural tones, meaning that you can easily incorporate homemade decorations, pompoms and found treasures such as driftwood, twigs and foliage. Now’s the perfect time to ditch the tinsel, too – why not tie ribbons from your colour theme to your branches, or get crafting with the kids and thread popcorn or cotton wool on string to make simple, pretty garlands?
Your journey to a perfectly dressed Christmas tree begins with the tree itself. If you’re going real, choose a type of tree with minimal shedding – a Nordmann Fir, for instance – and make sure that it’s as symmetrical as possible. We’ve been completely won over by how fantastic faux trees can be, though – they’re safe, long-lasting and you can use them year after year. If choosing an artificial style, look for the highest number of tips for the fullest effect possible, and consider a pre-lit tree – it will save you untangling the lights and the effect is beautiful, giving an evenly distributed sparkle. Alternative trees are a great option for compact spaces and a more minimal look.
Find the perfect place for your tree, with enough space against the wall to avoid crumpled branches and awkward light placement, and you’re ready to go:
01. Place your tree ring over the base.
We always use a ring to cover our stand, as they provide a prettier backdrop for your gifts.
02. Assemble your artificial tree.
Fluffing each section as you go. It’s important not to rush this part – fluffing each branch will make a huge difference to your finished look. If your tree is pre-lit, don’t forget to connect the lights as you add each layer.
03. Get the structure right first.
Spread each frond in an upwards fan shape, layer by layer, starting at the bottom. The aim is to fill any gaps and create a lovely, symmetrical shape.
04. If using string lights, test them first.
There’s nothing more annoying than painstakingly applying them, only to find that they don’t work! Make sure that you have enough lights to reach the top of your tree – you may need a couple of sets.
05. Wind the lights around your tree from left to right.
Starting at the bottom of the tree and just covering the front two thirds (depending on the position of your tree). If your tree is displayed in, for instance, a bay window, you will need to surround the whole tree, and perhaps add an extra set of lights.
06. Where to position lights on the branches?
We always think that lights look much better pushed back a little from the front of the branches, around 10cm.
“Why not tie ribbons from your colour theme to your branches, or get crafting with the kids and thread popcorn or cotton wool on string to make simple, pretty garlands?”
Danielle (Stylist) and Dani (Head Buyer), Cox & Cox
07. We like to add our tree topper at this point.
It’s much easier to do it now as you have to lean into the tree. It doesn’t have to be a star or an angel; you could tie on a wide ribbon or wire your favourite decoration.
08. If you are using a garland to dress your tree, now is the time to add it.
We love garlands, as they are a great way to fill any gaps and add fullness. Depending on the length, we would suggest three to four pieces.
09. Now for the really fun part – the baubles.
We like to follow a theme or colour palette, choosing five or six different styles in a variety of shapes and sizes. A combination of flat and 3D in glass and wood works best, in our experience.
10. Start with one type of bauble and spread it evenly over the tree.
Make sure that you put some deeper into the branches to give depth.
11. Repeat this with each bauble.
Stick with one style at a time, making sure you don’t put too many of the same bauble next to one another.
12. Finally, coordinate your wrap with your decorations.
We love to add interest by displaying presents in baskets, adding a wreath and garland to the surrounding area and introducing an animal friend or two for a whimsical touch.
So there you have it, our guide to dressing your tree for Christmas and creating the perfect centerpiece for your festive décor. Dani & Danielle x”
Thanks so much ladies, fantastic tips to take the stress out of Christmas tree dressing. Do you want to win your Christmas wish list worth £3,000 at Cox & Cox and Joules? There’s still time to enter our competition to make Christmas extra special this year. We’re giving away three spending sprees: 1st prize: £3000; 2nd prize: £2000; 3rd prize: £1000. Simply follow the link below to enter. Good luck! T&Cs apply. Closes 3rd Dec 2018.