With less than a month till Christmas, the festive season is well and truly upon us. Which means it's time to put up that tree.

But if you're wondering why, despite your best efforts, it never quite looks like the beautiful creations at Smith & Caughey's, that's likely because you're unaware of some key decorating tricks.

Dan Cooper, Head of Christmas at John Lewis & Partners in the UK, has shared his advice for the perfect tree, from how many baubles to buy and how to arrange them, to where the lights should go.

Speaking to the MailOnline, Cooper shared the trends he is seeing this season and explains how to recreate them successfully: "We expect our customers will be making bold choices this Christmas and continue the trend for maximalism and colour that we are seeing in home decorating.


"We're anticipating seeing lots of pictures on Instagram and Pinterest of sublime, colourfully decorated trees, whether rainbow, or one solid block of colour positioned as a centrepiece of a room rather than decorated to blend in."

Here are Cooper's top decorating tips for your tree:

Prep is key

As with most things in life, good things take time and the same goes for your tree.

Always be sure to protect your floors if using a real tree as spilled water and dropped pine needles can damage your carpets.

Taking time to prepare the tree and put it up properly creates a good base for your decorations too.

1. Start with lights

Lights should be added to the middle of your tree and always put on first. This creates a warm glow and illuminates your decorations from the centre out.

Choosing a warm LED light instead of a cool light on your tree will make the room feel cosy and welcoming.

2. More is more

Cooper recommends when it comes to lights, the more the merrier.


"I don't put less than 100 lights per tree on a full tree. LED lights are so effective and inexpensive so I'd recommend trying these.

"If you are not a fan of putting on lights, invest in a waterfall set - 640 lights cascading from the top of the tree on multiple threads will be enough for a 7ft tree."

3. Save the best for last

When it comes to choosing baubles, Cooper advises buying in sets of six, eight or 12 and positioning them in a zigzag formation to lead the eye around the tree.

As for special ornaments, save the best till last:

"I always put my special, sentimental baubles on last, right in the eye line, for that final magic touch. Clips, stems and unusual shapes are another great way to give your tree texture and interest."

You don't need a colour scheme

While you may think you need to go for a certain colour scheme in order to get the best looking tree, Cooper says this is simply not true. The biggest trend he is seeing this year is lots of colour.

"The biggest trend this Christmas is colour. Mixing, matching, co-coordinating and clashing. This year my favourite tree is the ombré rainbow tree as it really embodies positivity and inclusiveness. Much easier to create than it looks, I hope it encourages customers to experiment and be adventurous with colour this Christmas."