Gatehouse No. 1

The Christmas tree is the heart of the home during the holidays. And while almost everyone has a Christmas tree, the variety of shapes, sizes, colors, ornaments and styles is endless. Forest green or flocked? Minimalist or mega-volume? Are pink trees blasphemous or fun and festive?

We asked the professionals from Osmond Designs and Gatehouse No. 1 for their 13 tippy top tips on trimming the tree.

1. Making merry your own

“I love for the tree to reflect you and your home,” says Heather Osmond of Osmond Designs. “Pick personal things that don’t apply to everyone. I love family photos on trees.”

2. Light it right

“Lighting makes a huge difference in your tree, and the new technology in lighting is amazing,” says Stephanie Holdaway from Gatehouse No. 1. “Newer lights don’t tangle and have a gorgeous twinkling look.” If your budget only allows for one or two new things, updated lighting should be at the top of the list, Stephanie says.

3. Scale prevails

“Scale is important when deciding what type of tree you need,” says Heather. “Many people have narrow spaces for their tree, and a slender tree works great for that.” It’s also important to consider the style of your home. “You wouldn’t want a formal tree in your home if you have a farmhouse style,” she says.

4. Nurture naturals

Matte white and natural looking materials are huge. “Whether it is a painted pine cone, a faux fur or greenery sprays, we saw a lot of the organic look this year,” Stephanie says. “Velvet is trending in fashion, and we see that translated through the use of muted jewel tones,” she explains. Using ornaments and accessories with rich color but soft texture is a way to incorporate this look. After attending market in January each year, Stephanie and her team hand pick items from large retailers and small artisans alike to bring the perfect mix to the store showroom. Free classes show how to utilize these materials. Follow @gatehouseno1 on Instagram to get all the details.

5. Little by little

Most people can’t afford to completely overhaul their tree each year. “If you update 10 to 15 percent of your ornaments and tree decor each year, you make things feel fresh without spending a lot,” Heather says. “Ribbon is an inexpensive way to give your tree a new look.”

6. Rock the flock

If you favor a real tree, Rachel Folkman from Gatehouse No. 1 suggests using less ornaments and focusing on lighting. Another tip is to flock your real tree. “Flocking keeps the moisture and freshness in the tree,” she says. “It also shows off your ornaments and accessories better.”

7. Time it right

If you like to decorate for the holidays on the early side, a faux tree is your friend. “Artificial trees can be manipulated easily to support the items placed inside,” Rachel explains. To make your faux tree look more realistic, add layers of greenery picks and berry sprigs.

Osmond Designs

8. Perfect your placement

“Place larger ornaments near the base of the tree and get smaller as you go up,” Heather says. “It’s all about creating depth.” For more specific design direction, attend a class at Osmond Designs on everything from mantle decorating to dining table centerpieces, and all of them include live music! Follow @osmonddesignsfurniture on Instagram for all the details.

9. Family first

“For me, Christmas is all about family and kids,” Heather says. “So as much as I love to create a picture-perfect beautiful tree, it’s important for my tree to be relatable to my family.” Heather suggests doing multiple trees if you want to have an elegant tree as well as a traditional tree with homespun ornaments.

10. Winter whimsy

“We do a lot of champagne pink trees with touches of hot pink,” Rachel says. Other clients favor whimsical trees, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss with funky twirls and swirls. For these types of trees, the trend is moving from candy-themed to a more natural interpretation with felt garlands and yarn. “We love doing unique trees,” Rachel says. “At the same, we have clients who see a pink tree and say it doesn’t feel like Christmas, and we totally get that.”

11. Topping it off

The designers at Gatehouse like to think of the tree topper as the party hat of your Christmas tree. And one of the lesser-known tricks to making the top of your tree shine is to add dimension and fullness with sprays and picks. Increasing the volume near the top of the tree will frame your topper nicely and give your tree beautiful dimension.

12. Rejoice in the remix

Instead of tossing a broken or outdated ornament, repurpose it in another area of your home. “I love taking glass bowls and filling them with older ornaments,” Rachel says. “It makes room for you to add in new items on the tree.”

13. From musty to must-see

“Hand-me-down trees and ornaments are great,” Heather says. “But look at each individual item and decide if you like it and how you want to use it. Be choosy about what you incorporate.”

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