WHAT THE WELL-DRESSED TREE IS WEARING THIS SEASON

According to the stylists at London interiors store Purves & Purves most people still like a traditional theme to their Christmas tree decorations - but the trick is to give them a new twist with more unusual materials. And whatever you choose, aim for a look that is clean and unfussy.

Colour scheme

Decide on what colours you want and stick to them. Pink is the surprise hit colour of Christmas 1999 says The Conran Shop's Sally Jeffries. However, not any old pink will do. Don't stack your tree with baby or candy pinks, but startling, in-your-face shades such as cerise, she says.

Baubles

Try some beaded star decorations, available in lilac, blue, clear and mint from Paperchase. Alternatively, if you want a more modern look you could buy Purves & Purves' sheet metal tree decorations which come in 6in and 18in versions. The Conran Shop is also doing the modern take on tinsel - streamers that look like slivers from a sheet metal worker's floor.

If you want something camp, then Conran is also doing cute fluffy fairies. For the soft and fluffy look, look for white feather decorations, available from Purves & Purves and elsewhere.

If you can't resist a bit of over-the-top glam, try some sequinned gold and silver tree stars from The Conran Shop, or the large papier mache baubles with silver or purple glitter from Paperchase. Papier mache itself is a strong look this year - look out for The Conran Shop's papier mache angels and Father Christmases, or Paperchase's delightful gold or silver reindeer.

Lights

Go to town with strings of lights that run on batteries. Don't be stingy - the more, the better. Avoid anything that flashes. The joke won't last Boxing Day.

Where to buy

Prices for Christmas tree decorations range from pounds 1-pounds 25. Most high street stores should have their own variations of all the items mentioned.

The Conran Shop (tel: 0171 589 7401).

Purves & Purves (tel: 0171 580 8223).

Paperchase (tel 0171 580 8496).

Buttons and bows: pink is this year's colour (above). Conran decorations (left), including the papier mache angel (left) and its fluffy sister (top)

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