One Christmas tree won’t be enough this festive season, research has found, as many Britons are keen on setting up two trees in their homes to ring in some extra cheer.
According to John Lewis, 27% of British households now have a main tree, under which all the presents go, accompanied by a second “show tree”. People with children are even more likely to follow the trend, with four in 10 parents putting up a second tree with all the festive trimmings.
The survey also revealed that more than half of those surveyed (58%) prefer using an artificial tree because it is more cost effective and reusable, while 14% use real trees. Meanwhile, 11% put up both an artificial tree and a real tree, making them double-tree households.
As the cost of living continues to impact households, people have started preparing for the festive season even earlier this year in order to spread the cost. John Lewis found there was a spike in searches for Christmas trees immediately after the summer holidays, with most people starting their serious shopping from early November.
Interior experts say the trend is indeed growing, fueled by the availability of smaller, more affordable tree alternatives, as well as the need to find comfort in traditions. According to Ava Wilson, chief editor at Unclutterer, the two-tree trend’s popularity can also be attributed to social media.
“The rise of social media has led people [to seek] more photogenic or ‘Instagrammable’ homes,” she tells Yahoo UK. “Multiple trees can provide varied backdrops for photos and increase one’s social media appeal.” Having two trees is more visually appealing, as they “can create a more immersive and captivating holiday environment”. “People are looking for ways to enhance their festive experience, especially as homes have become multipurpose spaces due to remote work and increased time spent indoors.”
Ann Marie Cousins, founder of AMC Designs, agrees and adds that her family is a fan of having multiple trees. “More and more, Christmas interiors aren’t linked to a traditional colour scheme, so having multiple trees allows you to tie in with the different colour schemes around your home. I also believe that utilising Christmas trees in pots or artificial trees is a great idea, as they can be reused.”
However, some people who like the idea of having two Christmas trees may struggle to fit them into a smaller home or flat. If this is the case in your home, Style Sisters Gemma Lilly and Charlotte Reddington, who are go-to celebrity home organisers emphasise the importance of working with your space, rather than cramming two full-sized trees into a small area.
“If you haven't got room for a bigger tree, then introducing a couple in different areas of a room will boost the Christmas sparkle factor! In smaller spaces, an alternative wall-hung or skinny tree can be a good compact option that won't create cluttered floor space."
Having two trees will also allow you to stretch your creative muscles. In many households, the main, bigger tree is decorated in the traditional manner, as it “feels so special to do so and recreates nostalgic family traditions”. “However, as our styles change, rooms evolve and families grow, it may no longer fit with your space how it used to, or allow you to try out new trends,” Lilly and Reddington say.
“A second tree is a brilliant idea to get younger members of the family involved with and help to choose decorations for and decorate. You may want the main tree to look super classic and timeless, so [with] a second tree, you can have some more fun and be less precious [with it].”
Wilson recommends using a full-sized tree as your primary focal point and a smaller tree as an accent, perhaps small enough to be placed on a tabletop. “This creates a sense of balance without overwhelming the space,” she says. Choosing a cohesive theme can also create harmony between the two trees.
“If space is limited, consider slim or pencil trees that provide the height and presence of a traditional tree without taking up too much floor space,” Wilson adds. “[You can also] incorporate decorations that serve a dual purpose. For instance, ornaments that double as storage or lighting fixtures can add to the decor without cluttering the space.”
Commenting on what interior trends will dominate homes this festive season, Cousins says: “Christmas is the perfect time of year to be bold and brave with colour, so I think that jewel colours will continue to adorn trees and provide a glamorous backdrop to the festivities. There continues to be a place for Scandi-style decorations, if an understated look is more your thing, showcasing trees adorned with decorations made from glass, Christmas stars and hearts made from paper or felted wool, and ornaments made from straw. These create a warm and inviting look that is unpretentious and relaxed.”
Read more about Christmas trees:
Best artificial Christmas trees 2023: John Lewis, M&S, Argos, Homebase and more (Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read)
How to decorate a Christmas tree like a professional (Good Housekeeping UK, 5-min read)
Why a Christmas tree in your bedroom means better sleep (Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read)