Decoration and Lighting Tips to Transform Your Home This Christmas

The decorations

There's nothing more exciting than finally transforming your home with Christmas decorations. If you're like us, an entire weekend gets dedicated to this mammoth task. From finding the ideal tree, to ensuring that its decorations are millimetre perfect and that your outdoor lights are the most spectacular on the street, there is great pleasure to be found in the finished result of your labours.

Being in the party business, there are no varieties of festive decorations that we haven't seen and tried. So, we thought we'd share some of our well researched expertise with you, to help you transform your house this Christmas. Here are our essential tips.

Artificial Christmas Trees

There are numerous benefits to opting for an artificial Christmas tree this year. We all know that finding the right size and shape of real tree can be a nightmare, but with an artificial tree this problem is a thing of the past. They come in a variety of sizes from miniature to large, so that you can find the perfect one for your space.

Even better, they will always be attractively and evenly shaped, so that you don't end up with the wonky look that's so common with real trees. They also won't steadily shed their pine needles, so that you can get on with enjoying Christmas rather than constantly getting the hoover out.

Many traditionalists prefer to purchase real trees as they feel that they look more 'authentically' Christmassy. However, the quality of artificial trees is now often superb, and you can buy varieties that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

For those who are less worried about a traditional Christmas, artificial trees give you endless options when it comes to the look of your tree. With a variety of colours and designs available, as well as the option to buy one with in-built lights, you can find exactly what you want and save yourself a lot of hassle.

Our Top Tip

To get the most natural look possible, before assembling your artificial tree give the branches a good 'fluff' to animate the needles, and straighten them if they have become bent in the box. This will give the tree a nice 'full' and even look.

Tree Lighting

With so many different lighting options available these days, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose for your tree. From battery operated to LED, twinkle lights, and short and long - the list is endless.

So, how do you get the right ones? The first thing to decide upon is the type of lights you want. Traditional incandescent lights are the most common variety, and come in a number of sizes and colours. However, we recommend buying LED lights, as whilst they are slightly pricier, they don't produce heat and are flameproof, fireproof, and totally safe to put on your tree.

Something that many people forget to consider is the colour of the wire of their lights. Try to match this with the colour of your tree, so that the wire blends in and isn't visible.

To get the most impressive look, start at the base of the trunk and work your way up the tree, wrapping lights around every major branch, and moving from the trunk to the tip of the branches. The idea is that the lights spread out with the tree's branches, so that it appears to be lit from the inside.

Our Top Tip

Not having enough lighting on the tree is the most common mistake people make, and the easiest way to make it look lack-lustre. For every vertical foot of tree, you should use a strand of 100 lights.

Outdoor Lighting

Making sure your outdoor lighting is top notch is essential if you're going to impress the neighbours. The most important thing to check when you're purchasing lights to go outside is that they are properly designed for outdoor use. Indoor lights aren't sufficiently waterproof or insulated, so they won't last long in the garden!

It's also a good idea to use outdoor power points rather than trailing cables through windows, and to avoid putting any lights near metal.

If you're new to outdoor lighting, it's best to opt for lots of subtle lights, rather than the massively bright, excessively flashing variety. Sparkling lights wound around entrance pillars and bird baths, or trailed along walls and fences can look particularly attractive. A few strings of old fashioned, coloured bulb lights, strategically placed, is great for a traditional feel.

Our Top Tip

Use a sturdy ladder and ask someone to hold it steady if you're hanging lights higher up. When it comes to the roof, stick to putting lights on the eaves, gables, and the edges. If you want to put lights on the roof itself, hire a professional lighting company.

Tree Decorations

Ah the Christmas tree, the centrepiece of anyone's festive decorations – so it's important that it looks good! When it comes to baubles and tinsel there are a few simple tips to follow.

Baubles

For effective Christmas tree decoration, choose a selection of simple baubles in Christmassy colours such as gold and red, to function as a background upon which you can put more stand out ornaments. You should space these out evenly around the tree, making sure that they are slightly closer to the inner branches.

Then, showcase your favourite ornaments by hanging them in prime positions, and spread larger ornaments evenly around the tree, filling in the gaps between your smaller background ornaments.

Our Top Tip

Nothing looks more effective crowning a tree than a sparkly star!

Tinsel

Use a couple of different types of tinsel from plain to fancy, and alternately drape them around the tree. Don't do this too tightly – they should hang loosely between branches.

Our Top Tip

Start at the top of the tree, and slowly increase the amount of tinsel in each 'drape' as you move down the branches.

Selecting and putting up your Christmas decorations is the most exciting time in the festive period. By following these simple tips you can ensure that your decorations look their absolute best.

Have our tips been helpful? Can you think of any to add? Let us know.

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