Christmas tree decorations: Top tips

Time to deck up your home with our expert’s advice on how to make your tree look its best

‘Tis indeed the season to be jolly and with Christmas just around the corner, the trees and decorations have started to appear in people’s homes, shopping malls and store fronts. But if you’re not sure how to decorate your tree, we have some help at hand.

Rima Dardenne, founder of Irony Home, a Dubai-based lifestyle and accessories store, believes that a decorated tree has a magical quality. At a workshop held in The Dubai Mall store on December 6, she revealed some secret tips and techniques to brighten up your tree.

She said: “Make sure that you have enough lights on the tree. If you don’t, the tree looks dead. That’s the number one factor in creating a beautiful Christmas tree.”

She goes on to state that you need 100 lights per vertical foot of the tree. So, if your tree is 2.1-metres tall, you will need 700 lights.

The second factor that she emphasises is decorating your tree in order.

She said: “First you put the lights, then the garlands, followed by some bigger pieces and finally the ornaments.”

In her opinion, there is no right number of ornaments. However, if using a fresh tree, go easy on it. Also, for a better look, the garlands should be vertical and not wrapped around the tree.

She said: “All trees are beautiful regardless of if they have a lot or a little. It depends on how you put the ornaments and the colour themes [you use]. A tree is a reflection of your personality. It doesn’t have to be a typical angel or star on the top. If your kid is into Barbies, you can stick one on top. Put everything on there that you can, but nicely.”

She suggests hanging the ornaments on the tip of a branch. If it doesn’t hang straight, twist it around the tip.

Her biggest pet peeve is when people put their trees in the corner of a room and only decorate one side. She refers to it as “incomplete”.

She said: “I suggest if you cannot afford to buy a lot of ornaments in one year, buy a few very nice pieces that are a little bit more expensive and then buy fillers.”


Lights are the first things to put on the tree.

Choose faceted glass bulbs for maximum illumination.

When using twinkle lights, layer the strands.

For every vertical foot of the tree, use a strand of 100 lights.

Start at the base of the tree and string lights around the trunk and branches.

Start with the garlands at the top of the tree.

Mix different garlands to add personality to the tree.

For every vertical foot of the tree, use about two strands of garland.

Thick garlands should be loosely wrapped.

Thin garlands should be swaged from branch to branch.

Use a variety of shapes for ornaments.

Use about 40 ornaments per vertical foot of the tree.

Start by hanging the most important ornaments, then add fillers.

Space ornaments evenly.


Don’t skimp on the lights.

Don’t cinch the garland around the tree too tightly.

Avoid using similar garlands to prevent a busy look.

Don’t use too many of the same ornaments. Mix it up.

Don’t clump same-colour ornaments together.


To see how to best decorate your tree, visit


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