WHETHER you opt for a natural or an artificial tree, choosing decorations that tie in with a theme and reflect the rest of your decor adds to the beauty of your Christmas interiors.
Decide first where your tree will be sited both for impact and practicality. If yours is a natural tree, try to keep it away from heat sources and remember to keep it watered to help prevent needle drop. Consider using miniature trees (natural or artificial) for festive table top decorations.
Stick to one main theme for a co-ordinated look. For a nostalgic feel, nothing beats traditional red, green and gold. Cool silvers and whites evoke a Nordic look, while soft neutrals and tartans suit a natural scheme. This year expect to see lots of glowing colours – rich purples, orange and pink set off with gold and copper – with busy retro and tartan-patterned bows.
Pick up inspiration from the way department stores achieve their seasonal look. Scaled down to suit the size of your home, these can create a stunning scheme.
If you are using miniature trees for table decoration, keep the colour scheme simple and complementary to the rest of your table setting, and avoid fussy dressings which will detract from your festive meals.
To set off your tree, choose an appropriate style of lights. Be generous with the number but offset your energy use by choosing an environmentally friendly design which uses less electricity.
• Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our website for design services, courses and workshops. Start a new career as a Homestyle Advisor or learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design course (07765 057 409, thebordersdesignhouse.co.uk)