Ask Balsam Hill with Dagmar Obert: How to Decorate your Christmas Tree

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Dear Dagmar,

Can you give me advice on how I can best decorate my Christmas tree? What factors should I consider when choosing ornaments and decorating it?



Hi Bernie,

There are many things to be considered when selecting and decorating your Christmas tree with ornaments. However, the three most important factors are: the color of your tree’s foliage, the size and shape of the ornaments and the style you want to achieve.

Foliage Color

The tree serves as your backdrop or canvas where you can create art using your ornaments. You need to determine the color of the foliage to find out how you can enhance or bring out the natural beauty of the tree using complementary decorations.

Some foliage hues don’t work with certain colors. For example, cool and deep blue-green foliage decorated with tomato red ornaments won’t look as stunning as when it is embellished with deep ruby or berry red trimmings. Trees with a warmer green or yellowish foliage, on the other hand, look more stunning with bright red and white ornaments that look as crisp as the snow outdoors. You don’t have to be a color guru or specialist to find out what tree decorations look easy on the eyes or draw attention to the tree’s needles.

To know more about how to pair your Christmas ornaments with any type of artificial tree foliage, check out the video below:

You can coordinate the tree with the color scheme of the room where you will display the tree. Look for the best reds, blues, golds, pinks and creams that go well with the room.

Gramercy Park Ornament Set from Balsam Hill
Use warm-colored Christmas tree ornaments like the ones from this Gramercy Park Set in a cool-hued room to keep it balanced, and to add interesting contrast.

My mother-in-law coordinated her gold-toned tree with aqua, gold and chocolate brown ornaments. Some of the gold ornaments look antique and they beautifully complemented the overall style of the room.

Size and Shape of Ornaments

Ornaments should hang properly from the branch so it’s important to make sure to buy the right size and shape. Make sure the proportion and size of the decorations do not overpower or mask the tree. I like using various shapes and I think a tree is stunning even if it only features one color and little embellishments, as long as it carries a variety of ornament sizes and shapes. The tree takes on a whole new look at that point.

Many people don’t see it as that important, but the very long ornaments should be hung vertically because they might look like a bunch of skis layered into piles unless they are hanging. Make sure to have enough space for them. Don’t forget that these ornaments need to be found in the more interior part of the branches so that there are no holes or gaps as you look through the tree. If you do hang some on the outer branches, give them the room to hang freely without touching anything. They could move and twirl and play off of the lighting that way. So, be careful in the type of branches to hang them from if you have this type of ornament.

Theme and Style

Let a theme dictate the types of decorations you need and make sure to use a consistent style so that even if you put different ornament sets together, you can still produce an overall harmonious look, and just focus on keeping the tree beautiful for the season.

Egg Blown Glass Ornaments from Balsam Hill
Create a sophisticated tree with detailed pieces like these Egg Blown Glass ornaments from Balsam Hill

This Egg Blown Glass Ornament Set features exquisite details that elevate your Christmas tree style to sophistication. With the intricate embellishments of these ornaments, there is no need to add any more type of decorations to your tree.

Snow Princess Blown Glass Ornament from Balsam Hill
Complement your elegant tree decorations with the Snow Princess Blown Glass Ornament

Christmas in winter is a beautiful time, just like this Snow Princess Blown Glass Ornament from Balsam Hill. Accented with a sparkling white feather, this piece shimmers gorgeously, and is a perfect complement to any fine ornament set.

Having a theme can suggest that you have several trees in your home. I know it does with me. I have the ornaments my daughters made for me and memorabilia that don’t always match the style or theme of our main tree. I use a set of three trees. One has the all-white tatted set from my husband’s grandmother with crystals, and any ornament I have that is white. Another one has all the smaller ornaments that just get lost on a larger tree, and the other one has some of the ornaments that the girls made for me in church or at school. It’s a great way to keep our Christmas trees meaningful.

Keep it consistent. If you have lovely heirloom quality silver ornaments like Reed and Barton, then natural pinecones or straw-like animal figurines won’t be a good match. Red velvet flocked ornaments or hand blown glass with red tones and silver glitter can be an interesting diversion to keep the theme of elegance and beauty.

There are also other things that significantly impact the finished look on your tree, which I will address in another question. Those would be how to use ribbons effectively without making it look like cotton candy just got smeared from top to bottom. Floral picks and other accents that are not true ornaments will be addressed as well when I talk about the Woodland themed tree that I decorated using aspects of different ornaments sets from Balsam Hill.


1 Comment

  1. John Grady Reply

    Balsam Hill Artificial Christmas Trees, California
    Last Christmas our Balsam Hill tree had several strands of lights out after a few years. Because it is so difficult to replace the strands we discarded the tree and purchased a new 9 ft Frazier with LED lights with the promise of “very long life” of the LED bulbs. Upon opening and assembling the tree it had 4 of 5 sections with lights NOT WORKING. Balsam Hill told us to replace each of the hundreds of bulbs one at a time, check the fuses etc. This took hours with no luck. They told us the tree has a 30 day return policy but was purchased after Christmas last year and that we should have “opened and assembled the tree in January and checked the lights”. Basically saying it is our fault and problem.
    Additionally, I was disappointed to see Balsam Hill sells $1,500 trees with lights that are wired in SERIES NOT PARALLEL which means if ONE LIGHT FAILS THEY ALL FAIL. This wiring saves a couple dollars per string. What is Balsam Hill thinking… saving a few dollars on $1,500 tree while causing their customers HUGE frustration which will only worsen over the years. I hope Balsam Hill is going to make this right somehow. John & Tracy Grady Pittsburgh, PA

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