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Sprucing up the tree

Belfast - 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.

Local African inspired Christmas decorations from Wild Thing Africa in the Red Shed at the V&A Waterfront. Pictures: Candice ChaplinLocal African inspired Christmas decorations from Wild Thing Africa in the Red Shed at the V&A Waterfront. Pictures: Candice ChaplinLocal African inspired Christmas decorations from Wild Thing Africa in the Red Shed at the V&A Waterfront. Pictures: Candice ChaplinWoolworths has a wide variety of trimmings from assorted hand painted baubles, berry LED lights to  whimsical fat fairies  to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.Woolworths has a wide variety of trimmings from assorted hand painted baubles, berry LED lights to  whimsical fat fairies  to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.Woolworths has a wide variety of trimmings from assorted hand painted baubles, berry LED lights to  whimsical fat fairies  to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.Woolworths has a wide variety of trimmings from assorted hand painted baubles, berry LED lights to  whimsical fat fairies  to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.Woolworths has a wide variety of trimmings from assorted hand painted baubles, berry LED lights to  whimsical fat fairies  to make the tree the star of the seasonal show.

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

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

Scandinavian design, characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality, is popular among interior designers and features on blogs and pinterest this year.

“For instance, classic red decorations can be interpreted traditionally on a green tree or you could add white baubles for a more trendy Scandi style.

“Gold and silver always evoke a feeling of restrained luxury, and 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.

“People are even choosing a second tree for a hall, dining area or the garden. They’ll have their main tree in the living room,” she says.

Some people enjoy experimenting with themes, for example a Japanese style with eastern-looking baubles featuring traditional Lucky Cats and Japanese dolls, says Bailess.

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 some dream of waking up to on Christmas Day,” says Bailess.

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

White baubles contrast well on a green tree. Choose from a collection of white and silver matte snowflake baubles and snow-capped shiny silver baubles.

GOLDEN GLAMOUR

Metallics add 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.”

FESTIVE FUN

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 Scandi feel, [add some] white baubles and wooden decorations.”

Celebrate a child’s first Christmas with baby’s first Christmas bauble, which can be personalised with the baby’s name.

NATURE TRAIL

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

“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.” – Belfast Telegraph

MAKING DECORATIONS

Making Christmas decorations need not be complicated and expensive.

The Crazy Store visual merchandiser, Desire Breytenbach, says many of their basic Christmas products can easily be transformed.

“This is also a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained during the school holidays without breaking the bank,” said Breytenbach.

Here are some tips:

- Weekend Argus

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