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How Magazine Stylists Trim a Christmas Tree

November 11, 2022

From setup to cleanup, the HGTV Magazine stylists are here with all their tips and tricks for a tree-mendous Christmas tree.

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Photo: Dane Tashima; Styled by Catherine Dash. From: HGTV Magazine.

Decorate Your Tree Like a Pro

We're dreaming of a perfectly trimmed tree this year (and a white Christmas, of course), so we enlisted HGTV Magazine's go-to holiday stylists for all their expert decorating ideas. Real or fake, fir or flocked, we have all the pro tips you need for a merry little Christmas with big style.

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Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styled by Jennifer DeCleene. From: HGTV Magazine.

Bountiful Boughs

What do all of the trees featured in HGTV Magazine have in common? Lots and lots of ornaments. So it's not surprising that the stylists have plenty of tricks to make sure a tree feels full. Editorial and television stylist Liz Demos starts with an easy equation to estimate the number of ornaments you'll need. "Ornament count follows a one-to-forty ratio," she says. "For example, a six-foot tree equals 240 ornaments." If your ornaments are larger than 3 inches wide, you won't need quite as many.

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Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styled by Catherine Dash. From: HGTV Magazine.

Make It Even Merrier

It's not just about quantity, though. Ornament placement is key. "It sounds strange," says Demos, "but I like to step back from a tree after the lights are on and squint to see the light and dark contrast. It helps me find and fill the voids in the tree."

Prop stylist Karin Olsen has her own trick for making a tree look extra full. She tucks less-expensive ornaments, like plain shatterproof balls, deep inside the tree. "You’ll only get a glimpse of them, but they will help reflect the lights and will fill up any empty spots inside the tree."

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Photo: Adam Albright; Styled by Matthew Gleason. From: HGTV Magazine.

Quality Is Key

If you're team faux when it comes to your Christmas tree, "it's worth investing in a high-quality artificial one," says prop stylist and creative consultant Catherine Dash. "The best I've found are from Balsam Hill."

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