For the holiday season, Real Simple staffers designed and decorated a holiday tree to display in our office building in New York City. We wanted to share the finished product to inspire your home's festive fir.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated December 18, 2017
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Decorated Christmas Tree
Credit: Tim Macpherson/Getty Images

After wrestling with the perfect “theme” for our tree, we decided to keep it simple. (“Life made easier” is our motto, after all!) We opted to create a blue ombré effect, from shimmery clear at the top to deep blue at the base.

First, we lit our tree with white string lights on green wire, tucking the branches toward the trunk to make those wires less visible. Starting with the lightest ornament color at the top (in our case, iridescent clear globes), we attached the decorations to the branches using ornament hooks (green so they disappear into the branches). As we moved down the tree, we began transitioning to an aqua shade, then a turquoise, then a deep cobalt. On our nine-foot tree, each shade took up about a two-foot section. A six- to eight-inch section between each shade was reserved to mix in the color above with the darker shade below to prevent a stark visible line between the two. Lastly, we topped it off with a shimmery, multi-point star and our tree was complete.

With a simple tree design, don’t be afraid to play with a mix of finishes—matte, shimmer, glitter—to keep it interesting. Below, you’ll find a list of the items that we used to create our holiday tree.

  • Moravian Silver Star Tree Topper, $20;
  • First Frost Iridescent Ornament Set, $50 for 12;
  • 60 Piece Shatterproof Christmas Ball Ornament Set in baby blue, $22;
  • Set of 8 Starlight Shine Pale Blue Glass Ornaments, $8;
  • Holiday Living 8-Pack Blue Ball Ornament Set, $4;
  • 4ct. Matte & Shiny Glass Ball Ornaments by Ashland in dark blue, $10;
  • 32 Piece Shatterproof Champagne Christmas Ball ornament set, $20;