Interiors: It’s all in the decoration

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No Christmas would be the same without piles of presents under the tree, but the tired old decorations may need some TLC. Gabrielle Fagan suggests four modern ways to trim your tree.

If you thought dressing the Christmas tree was just a run-of-the-mill seasonal ritual, think again - there’s a host of decor styles to choose from.

Naturally, you can simply untangle the tinsel and randomly pop on an unco-ordinated collection of cherished decorations gathered over the years - but you’d be missing the opportunity to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.

Jane Bailess, assistant buyer for decorative accessories at John Lewis, says: “Generally, people are putting much more time and thought into creating a ‘look’ for their tree which will often echo the style of their home.

“The key themes this season, such as gold, red and white, silver and white, can be followed exclusively or combined to great effect.

“For instance, classic red decorations can be interpreted traditionally on a green tree or you could add white baubles for a more Skandi style. These are especially striking if displayed on a snow-flocked tree.

“Gold and silver always evoke a feeling of restrained luxury, and evoke a shimmering glittering effect. You can choose glass decorations in a palette of pure silver mixed with white or opt for antique gold and bronze baubles which look dramatic on a black tree.”

We’re so fond of trees as a focal point for the celebrations that many homes now even boast two trees, says Bailess.

“Our simple, contemporary style paper trees are hugely popular and people are often choosing them as a second tree perhaps for a hall, dining area or even the garden. They’ll have their main tree in the living room,” she says.

John Lewis’s paper tree selection starts from £45 for a 4ft Prelit Glitter Paper Tree. It’s new Snowy Paper trees are suitable for outdoor use, from £50 for a 4ft one.

“Paper trees are also ideal for smaller spaces as they don’t take up so much room, and people enjoy experimenting with themes. Our latest is a Japanese style with Eastern-look baubles featuring traditional Lucky Cats and Japanese dolls,” says Bailess.

So there’s no need to get your tinsel in a tangle, or despair of your decorations this season. Simply choose a look to suit your style then sit back and wait for the seasonal compliments.


Indulge in the most romantic style for a tree with a sprinkling of winter white, either a snow-dusted tree or a display of pure white and silver baubles.

“This evokes the winter wonderland scene which we all dream of waking up to on Christmas Day,” says Bailess.

“It keys in to the popular Skandi-style which has a simple, cosy feel and is also subtle and elegant. If you want to personalise, add hand-made decorations such as white knitted pieces.”

TIP: If you’re using an artificial tree, take time to spread the branches out when you unpack it and ensure the core of the tree is seen as little as possible.

TREE SMART: White baubles contrast well on a green tree and Tesco’s Western Pine tree, £39.94, is a beauty. Alternatively, choose a 6ft Luxury Woodland tree with artificial snow, £125, Marks & Spencer.

BAUBLE-LICIOUS: Paperchase’s bauble selection includes a Ho Ho Ho glass bauble filled with fake snow, £2.50; a White Feather Peacock, £10, available in selected Paperchase stores.

John Lewis’s collection of white and silver features a white and silver matte snowflake bauble, £3, and snow-capped shiny silver bauble, £3.


Metallics are already adding glamour to interiors this year and a gold gilded tree and decorations will make a glittering statement.

“This is a richly opulent look for a tree and the sheen and lustre of gold adds warmth and richness to a setting,” says Bailess.

“It shouldn’t look sparse so use more decorations in gold and bronze rather than less and a generous amount of lights to conjure a magical effect.”

TIP: Start from the bottom of the tree when arranging lights and slowly work up to the top, taking them in a spiral effect.

TREE SMART: House of Fraser’s Pied A Terre 6ft gold glitter tipped tree, £150. For drama, contrast gold decorations with a John Lewis Black Flocked tree, £50 for a 4ft one and £140 for an 8ft tree.

BAUBLE-LICIOUS: Decadence fabric covered ornate gold bauble, £7.50, and gold decadence encrusted rose clip, £6.50 for two, both from the Linea range, House of Fraser.

Theatre jewel bauble, £2.50, and Gold Criss Cross bauble, £4, John Lewis.


If you adore all things festive, a green tree with bright splashes of that traditional seasonal colour - red - is irresistible.

“You can opt for jolly festive symbols such as Santas and snowmen for a nostalgic look harking back to Christmas past, when tree decor was less stylised,” says Bailess.

“Or, if you want to give a crisper more modern, Skandi feel interspersed with white baubles and wooden decorations. Red, green and white is one of the most versatile colour combinations and means new decorations can easily be added year after year.”

TIP: Arrange one matching set of baubles at a time so you end up with a well-spaced out display and allow each style to star.

TREE SMART: Tesco Finest 6ft Windsor Fir Tree, available online, £25.

BAUBLE-LICIOUS: Set of two Robin and Fir Tree Baubles, in white or red, a pair £8.75, Berry Red. A Jolly Santa head glass bauble, £4.50, John Lewis. A set of 12 Mini Red & White Jingle Bells, £5.99, The Contemporary Home.

Celebrate a child’s first Christmas with a Baby’s First Christmas Bauble, £12.50, which can be personalised with a name, from Wow Thank You.


Blending natural hand-crafted touches with rich greens, deep reds and furry woodland creatures and birds make this one of the most charming and on-trend styles.

“This is a mix of traditional and a Lapland-feel,” says Bailess.

“Vintage-style baubles and the rustic look of wooden or felt decorations will blend well. There’s huge popularity for animals and birds, particularly stags and robins this year, and this look keys into that brilliantly.”

TIP: Following a colour theme will always ensure a successful effect. Choose one colour or two, such as red and white or red and green. Theme bauble styles, such as collections of miniature birds or reindeers.

TREE SMART: Heal’s Majestic Noel Pine Christmas tree, 6ft, £120.

BAUBLE-LICIOUS: Tartan Stag damask decoupage baubles, set of four, £6, Paperchase; Frosty Robins, set of four on clips, £8, House of Fraser; Robin Bauble, £1.99, The Contemporary Home; Christmas Fox decoration, £7.50, Pedlars.