Deck your halls with boughs of holly, baubles and sparkly tinsel
THERE'S something about decorating the Christmas tree that can bring out the best or worst in us.
If you're a décor diva you may allow the children to hang the baubles but, be honest, once they're in bed you probably sneakily rearrange them into a more stylish display.
Alternatively, you may insist on hanging up those toilet roll fairies and snowmen while your teens cringe with embarrassment and yearn for you to splurge on a new set of supermarket decorations.
And while every family has its own idea of what makes the perfectly decorated tree – a riot of colour, a walk down memory lane with treasured decorations collected over the years, or minimalist magic – there's always room for disagreements!
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Traditionalists should note that it's no longer considered naff to match your colour theme to your room.
The brave opt for a minimalist tree – all bare branches and no falling needles – and use it as the perfect place to boast a handful of witty or wickedly expensive baubles.
Here are some styles that will save you getting in a tinsel tangle, committing a taste faux pas, or finding yourself involved in decoration disagreements.
PLUMP FOR PURPLE
Rich purple shades are perfect for creating a moody, dramatic look for a tree, and you'll be echoing one of the most fashionable palettes for interiors.
This is a more theatrical look, so it's best to ignore the "less is more" rule and opt for a generous number of jewel-coloured baubles and imaginative decorations, which are contemporary rather than cute.
Team them with a few purple accessories to tie it into your scheme and turn down the lights, because the effect will look particularly good in lamplight.
Top tip: Make a focal point of a glass bowl filled with plum-coloured baubles and complement it with a purple-themed wreath.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Shine and sparkle will make a tree look magical and you can opt for golden grandeur or sophisticated silver and ice-cool white.
This is an elegant choice for a tree and a versatile option because metallics work well with glass or white. Bring the effect to life with delicate lights or opt for a pre-lit tree.
Top tip: Display a tree in a hall and decorate the stair banister with a green garland intertwined with silver or gold ribbon. Hang Christmas cards on matching strips of ribbon to decorate each side of a doorway.
It's a modern twist on the classic red and green of yesteryear. Mix and match rustic handmade decorations in red, green and fresh white for a folksy Scandinavian look.
There's no need for lots of glitter and shine, you can let the detail of the ornaments and baubles be the star.
The beauty of this style is that children's homemade efforts will only add to the traditional, nostalgia-inspired feel, while still ensuring it looks perfectly in tune with today's trends.
Top tip: Make your own decorations using felts, ribbons, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Cut shapes in air dry clay with festive-shaped cookie cutters, leave to dry and paint in acrylics.