• Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Men's Style
  • All
  • Trending
  • Style Stories
  • Style Tips
  • The Edit
  • All
  • Beauty Review
  • Beauty Trends
  • How To
  • All
  • Food
  • Home Decor
  • Gift Guides
  • All
  • Trending
  • What To Wear
  • Iconic Men
  • Mr Jones

How to (designer) decorate your Christmas tree

Photography by Mick Bruzzese Photography by Mick Bruzzese

Two of Australia’s most stylish designers on how to be fashionably festive

Tis’ the season to be jolly, and to get in touch with your inner Christmas creative. But between the baubles, the tinsel, the lighting and the tree, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you choose a colour scheme? Do you opt for less is more? Or should you throw all caution to the wind and hang decorations arbitrarily?

For a little pre-yuletide inspiration, we spoke to two of Australia’s most stylish designers on how to create your most personal and memorable Christmas tree yet.


R E B E C C A  V A L L A N C E

Photography by Mick Bruzzese Photography by Mick Bruzzese


While fashion designer Rebecca Vallance lives in Sydney’s Vaucluse, she is fortunate enough to spend Christmas in a different location every year. Last year she spent it in Whale Beach but this year she plans to head to Italy with husband David Gasan and his family and the couple’s sons Matthias, three, and Rafael, 10 months.

“It’s such a great family time,” Rebecca says. “I think it’s also an important time to reflect on what’s truly important in life.”

What is inspiring your Christmas tree style this year?

I love collecting beautiful handmade Christmas decorations from cities I have travelled to. I have some amazing decorations from when we lived in London and some incredible ones from stores in Paris too.

How does your tree change each year?

Our tree changes depending on where we are. This year we’ll be in Italy for Christmas, so we’ll have a traditional Christmas tree, but last year in Whale Beach we had a more modern one.

What stays the same? Any fun or interesting traditions?

I always like having a real tree. I love the smell of it. I also love to use one or maybe two colours for the decorations. So one year I might have a gold tree, the next a silver one. It’s also about beautiful lights – we have them going 24 hours a day from 1st December until early January.

How do you like to mix up materials, textures or colours?

I like to stay in the one colour scheme but use lots of different textures and combinations. Handmade glass decorations are always really special.

What tips and tricks have you learnt over the years?

Quality over quantity with decorations! Also, make sure you water the tree every couple of days so it lasts longer. Invest in quality lights that last for years but that have different settings so you can change things up.


B I A N C A  S P E N D E R

Photography by Mick Bruzzese Photography by Mick Bruzzese


Fashion designer Bianca Spender loves Christmas traditions. Since moving into her home in Sydney’s Bronte two years ago, she’s been establishing new ones with her family, partner Sam and their sons Dominic, eight, and Florian, five. After a Christmas lunch at home, they head to the beach to swim with friends, then return home for leftovers and games. Bianca says Christmas is a time to express love through actions, words and gifts.

“My favourite presents are where I make things; I make clothes for Sam and plant a vegetable garden for my mum yearly,” she says. “These are the most fun and memorable.”

What is inspiring your Christmas tree style this year?

I love to do art and craft with my boys on the weekends. We are always walking and I love collecting banksias, seedpods, leaves and feathers on the way. We bring all these elements together and create a different tree each year from gumnut garlands and driftwood sculptures to clay ornaments and lights.

How does your tree change each year?

Each year our tree gets more colourful and plentiful with the addition of new decorations. The tree tells a story of the kids growing up.

What stays the same? Any fun or interesting traditions?

I love how the pine trees smell; we have one every year – they evoke the spirit of Christmas for me. I cover the base of the tree in pinecones and wrap the pot in calico. This tradition started with my mum; when I was young I always remember going to the pine forest in Centennial Park and collecting armfuls of them.

How do you like to mix up materials, textures or colours?

Our tree has a mix of clay, wood, paper decorations, metal bells and wooden stars, but it would not be complete without coloured lights.

Any tips and tricks?

Sew your own stockings and let your kids decorate them with their drawings – each year they are proud when the stocking comes out. Keep all their decorations and add to them each year so they tell a story.


C H E C K  O F F  Y O U R

C H R I S T M A S  L I S T


DAVID JONES | Tree-213cm Aspen Tree Dark Green


DAVID JONES | Light-500 Led Ac Powered Lights Warm White



WEISTE | Silver Holly Garland




ROYAL DOULTON | Radiance Diamond Teardrop Ornament 



CHRISTMAS SHOP | Crack-6pc Luxury Bon Bons



CHRISTMAS SHOP | Decor-91cm Nutcracker King Blue



OBERFRAENKISCHE GLAS | 9Pc Gold Bauble Box