Can you believe it is time to decorate for Christmas again already, hooray!
Christmas is made up of many wonderful moments and one of my favourites is decorating the tree.
For the last few years I have longed to have a tree in the bay window of our living room at Christmas. For various reasons (room needed redecorating, family concerned about not being able to see the TV etc!) I have had to compromise and put the tree up in the back room.
However this year, with the living room floor newly varnished, the walls freshly painted and (finally!) some smart window dressings, the time has come to add a lovely Christmas tree in our angled bay window (sorry if it affects your viewing of the world cup, guys!)
The beauty of placing your tree in a window is that it can be enjoyed from different angles, inside and out. It also requires decorating a bit differently, as we have to think about the whole 360 degrees – so you may need some extra decorations for your tree.
Choosing the size of your Christmas tree
The tree’s proportions have to suit the bay window to make a statement. When you have a bay, whether curved, square or angled, there’s a little extra space to play with which is useful. Instead of opting for a slim one or pushing it up against a wall or in a corner, a bay allows you to accommodate a wider, bushier tree.
Think about the height of your windows. The tree looks good if it reaches the top of the window panes, or at least three quarters of the way. A short tree can look stunted, however you can always place it on a small table to elevate it. Don’t forget a tree topper will add a little more height.
If you need to update your tree this year Very has a wonderful selection to suit all different homes. I knew that our regular 6′ tree would not work as well in our bay, so I chose the realistic looking Helsinki pre-lit 7′ Christmas tree from Very. Now that it is up, it is even better than I imagined. That extra foot makes such a difference! The tree looks just the right proportions for the window – a 6′ tree would not have had the same impact or balance. I am really happy with the size, shape and also the natural look of its branches.
Real or artificial
Everyone has their own preference; mine is an artificial tree – I know it is cute going to pick a Christmas tree with the family, but it’s a faff getting it home and I’m not a fan of the falling pine needles. I always feel that a real tree is hard to dispose of after Christmas too, unless you bought one growing in a pot.
Another thing worth considering is that the environmental impact of an artificial tree is actually better than a real tree if you use it for five years so it can be a good investment. I find decorating an artificial tree is easier too – you don’t even have to hang all the ornaments, some can be nestled into the branches as they tend to stay put better.
The importance of fluffing the branches
The first thing you must do with your tree before decorating is to fluff the branches, especially artificial ones. After all, the tree has been stuffed in a box so needs its branches teasing and fanning out to make them look nice and full. This can take a good twenty or thirty minutes to do properly. If your tree comes in two or three separate parts, it is a good idea to start fluffing the base out before you add the middle and top sections. Some trees are more scratchy than others so you may like to use a pair of gloves to protect your hands.
Pre-lit is preferable
Another advantage of an artificial tree is that it can be pre-lit. I wouldn’t ever want to go back to detangling lights and trying to evenly drape them – life is too short for that! Pre-lit trees have the lights nicely distributed all the way around and there are no loose cables hanging from the branches. As well as looking neater, they are less hassle and a huge timesaver.
When you switch the lights on, even before decorations go on, a good tree will shine and look amazing. I actually love the undressed look like this – just beautiful in its simplicity.
Decorating your tree
There are loads of ornaments, wreaths and other decorations on the Very website to transform your home this festive season. These beautiful navy glass baubles have such a luxe look, with their touches of gold and they come in a box of 6 with tinsel too.
My tip is to start with the tree topper first – although the finishing touch, it’s hard to put on top without disturbing the other branches. I love that this star tree topper lights up for extra sparkle!
The back of the tree can’t be neglected in a bay window, which is why a large box of affordable yet glamorous baubles make good space fillers to distribute all around.
Then some luxury or more eye-catching ornaments, like these glam sequin baubles, can be the stars of the show! Heavier decorations are best nestled deeper into the branches, with lighter ones hanging from the tips. Larger baubles usually go around the bottom of the tree, then can get smaller as you move up to the top.
If your tree looks a bit thin, you can add extra stems of faux pine needles or berries – they are quite cheap to buy and can really improve the look of your tree. Tinsel is another good filler, whether bold and kitsch or subtle and muted. Wooden bead garlands are popular for a natural, Scandi look to the tree.
You could also get creative and add some DIY decorations for a more sustainable Christmas – these are my recently upcycled baubles using paint and a gold wax called ‘Rub n buff’ plus some nice ribbon to hang…
Dried orange slices, cinammon sticks and simple ribbon bows are great to keep with the sustainable theme.
Even if you don’t have a bay window, a tree can look beautiful up against any window. If space is an issue, why not opt for a stunning starburst twig tree. They are so magical looking but more compact. This one from Very can be displayed indoors or out.
You can also go to town on the outdoor decor… Why not make more of a feature of the front door to welcome friends and family. A stunning wreath takes up no room at all but adds so much charm, character and a festive feeling!
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