Your main tree – how to pick the right size
Before you choose a tree, have a clear picture of where you want to put it. That way, you can measure the space in advance (height and width) to make sure it’ll look right, and won’t be too bulky in the room. Ideally, the top of your tree should be at least six inches below the ceiling.
To give you more of an idea about sizes, British ceilings tend to be between six and eight feet high, which can make all the difference to which tree you go for. Our Albert tree comes in 4ft, 6ft and 8ft heights, so it’ll fit in everywhere from a country cottage to a double-height hallway.
If you’re having the tree as a main feature in a room, or if you’ve got really high ceilings, you might want to go for the biggest tree you can, so people’s gaze goes straight towards it.
But bigger isn’t always better – in a small or narrow room, a huge tree can look out of proportion, even if the ceiling’s high. So if your room’s compact, think about a shorter tree, or maybe a group of smaller ones (more of that below). In the country cottage pictured here, the tree stands only just above the mantelpiece, but that feels right for the cosy fireside setting.
Think also about the tree’s diameter at its widest point, around the bottom, so you can make sure it doesn’t take up too much space in the room. This is especially important if you’re placing the tree centrally, rather than in a more conventional corner, as you’ll need to be able to get around it easily.
Lastly, don’t forget things like tree toppers and decorations – the bigger they are, the more space you’ll need around the tree for it to ‘breathe’.
Smaller trees and ways to use them
Even if you’re having a big tree as a centrepiece, you might like to have some smaller ones around the house too. Sideboards, mantelpieces and windowsills are all places miniature trees could go, but you could also consider more unusual spots, like a kitchen counter, hallway console or even on the stairs.
Or, if you just want to make a subtle nod to Christmas, try a few seasonal sprigs in a vase instead. We’ve got holly, pine and mistletoe sprigs in our collection of festive greenery – like all our trees, they’re life-like, but you could make them more your own by mixing with natural branches.
Groups of trees
There’s no rule that says you can only have one tree. In this living room, having a smaller tree next to a bigger one makes both feel more relaxed, especially as one’s decorated and one’s left bare.
Clusters of smaller trees can also be great if your ceilings are low. Generally, it works best if you vary their sizes, so they don’t look too stiff. Have a theme for the decorations, but don’t make them all the same – a little variety’s more interesting.
Another way of thinking about groups is when your tree’s a bit out of the ordinary. The flat wooden trees pictured here are just as festive as the real thing, but take up far less space, so you can play more with their heights and colours. One on its own might look lonely, but a group’s more cheerful and says something about the togetherness of Christmas.
If you’re putting a Christmas tree outside your home – perhaps in the front garden to welcome guests, or on a large porch – it can be easier to make a statement with the size. Tall, narrow trees look lovely in open spaces, perhaps either side of a front door.
On a patio or in a back garden, think the same way you do indoors. You could have one large tree, or groups of smaller ones on the ground, brought to life with outdoor lights.
And if you’ve got mature trees in your garden, decorate them too – they can be the biggest Christmas trees of all.