These white Christmas tree ideas will have you rethinking a traditional green tree this year

Give your Christmas a frosty makeover with these elegant white Christmas tree ideas

Pink living room with white Christmas tree
(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

There’s something so magical about white Christmas tree ideas, whether you choose one as your main tree this Christmas, or for a second, alternative and more out-there tree.

There are plenty of white Christmas ideas out there to catch your eye this festive time if you fancy a change from traditional Christmas tree ideas – and it appears they are in demand. 

Charlie Murray, Partner & Seasonal Buyer at John Lewistells us that, ‘sales of snowy or frosted trees are trending for us this year with sales up +21% compared to this time last year.’ He continues, ‘They are a great way to create a modern and elegant look for your home.’

Charlie Murray
Charlie Murray

Charlie may just possibly have one of the best jobs in retail; Christmas buyer at John Lewis. He’s got a First-class Honours Bachelor’s degree in Business Management (Economics), and has been at John Lewis since 2018, prior to which he was at Fenwick.

But it’s not just modern and elegant white trees that are big Christmas tree trends for 2023, there’s lots of warmth in white-tree schemes too. Danielle Le Vaillant, Head of Photography & Film at Cox & Cox, shares, ‘When it comes to choosing a white tree, it is less about blushed romance or icy blues as seen previously with white trees – it is all about hygge calm and creating a snow scene layered with natural elements such as paper trees, sheepskins, with combinations of jute and wool for warmth, character and cosiness.'

Christmas tree ideas for white trees

So, it seems white artificial trees are as versatile as their natural faux and real pine and fir friends, but where do you start choosing a white, snowy, or frosted tree? While first thoughts might be of white trees with a certain ‘toilet brush’ look of Christmases past, today’s white trees are much more natural in appearance, with flocking, frosted or snow-covered branches.  

‘A white tree can provide a wonderful backdrop to your decorations, but they need to be part of a well-thought-out theme because of the stark backdrop they can give your decs,’ says Danielle. ‘A white tree can hero a woodland theme, a bright theme, a Scandi snowy scheme, white-on-white or a boho theme.’ 

Try these ideas for white trees…

1. Make it magical with touches of icy blue

White Christmas tree in living room

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Bring an icy, contemporary feel to your white tree this Christmas, creating an elegant look that plays with existing glass and crystal decorations. ‘Decorative touches of pale, powder blue - including blue velvet ribbon - are trending this season when it comes to decorating white Christmas trees,’ says Creative and Photography Manager, Lucy Kirk at Lights4fun

Lucy Quirk
Lucy Quirk

Lucy’s mission at the UK’s leading decorative lighting retailer, Lights4fun, is to inspire people to create their own moments of magic through beautiful lighting and imaginative styling that spans all seasons, from the cosiest January scenes and whimsical springtime imagery to hazy summer evenings, and all the way through to Christmas Day.

2. Think Scandi rustic

White ribbon wrapped around a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Looking for a novel way to decorate your Christmas tree? Why not cheat the look of a white tree with metres of inexpensive white organza ribbon or narrow-width white net from Amazon? Wind through branches as a garland, then finish with a simple bow on top. Take the time to ‘fluff’ out the organza or net, hiding the evergreen fir or pine. Then dress with gingerbread and natural decorations.

‘You can also give a green tree a white look by using both faux white flowers such as amaryllis and real gypsophila for a mixed scale contemporary embellishment,’ says stylist Ali Attenborough

3. Pick a pampas white tree

White pampas christmas tree

(Image credit: Freemans)

Pampas has been huge news for a few years now, and it works really well at this time of year, adding fullness and flounces to Christmas schemes – whether Scandi, vintage or contemporary in style. 

‘Try tucking a few branches into your existing tree,’ says Ideal Home’s Editor in Chief, Heather Young, ‘or why not look for an actual pampas mini tree like these from Freemans? They are fun to add to a hallway or dining room, especially if they have twinkling lights.’

4. Think about the mood

Christmas tree with white decorations

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

When using a white Christmas tree, lighting the tree becomes even more important, as Lucy Kirk, Creative and Photography Manager, Lucy Kirk at Lights4fun, explains: ‘Bright white bulbs will lend an icy, contemporary feel to a white tree, while warm white lights will soften the overall effect into something more classic – and a mixture of both colours together results in something truly magical. It’s a novel, ever-so-pretty option for lighting a white tree.’

5. Build up a collection of white ceramic trees

White ceramic Christmas trees

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

If you want to bring in more touches of white to your Christmas  colour scheme, then why not start a collection of ceramic white trees? Use them to dress your sideboard, arrange on a console in your hallway, or pop on your Christmas dining table, nestled into a garland. 

Dressing your windowsill is big news across Scandinavia, so play with different-height white trees, adding sprigs of foliage and even white ceramic houses to create a pretty Scandi festive scene.

6. Add silver to elevate the white look

White christmas tree in living room

(Image credit: B&M)

Give a white tree plenty of shimmer and shine with highlights of sparkling silver. ‘Don’t be afraid of packing in those decorations either,’ says Rebecca Knight, Deputy Digital Editor Ideal Home. ‘Fill in any gaps with clip-on silk flowers, such as white poinsettias.’

‘I love the idea of a monochrome tree,’ says stylist Ali Attenborough, ‘using black and white decorations – or even wrapping a few gifts in black and white paper.’

7. Add a pastel pop

Pink living room with white Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Give a white tree a pretty, retro vibe with sugary shades of pink, blue and caramel. Tie on lengths of velvet ribbon in these shades for an easy Christmas tree ribbon idea. ‘Contrast colours always work best for white Christmas trees, says stylist Ali Attenborough. ‘Aim for maximum impact and visual difference, so I would suggest dressing a white tree with a curated palette of three-or-four colours that really pop.’ 

You could also try candy-cane red, peppermint green and golden yellow for an alternative sweet treat twist to your white tree.

8. Try a naked tree for a Scandi look

White Christmas tree with lights

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Sometimes, less really is more and a pre-lit naked tree in white can be all you need to add that magical glow to a corner of your home. Of course, thinking about the styling around your tree will only enhance it – try a white or natural basket to house your naked tree, with a soft sheepskin rug nearby to boost that Scandi warmth and hygge.

‘In homes that have the space, a white tree can offer a very different look to your main Christmas tree,’ says Heather Young, ‘but there are plenty of alternative Christmas trees in white to choose from – you don’t always need to go down the full-and-traditional tree path.’

9. Decorate in white from the top down

White tree topper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your white Christmas tree is your second tree, why not try something a little different with your Christmas tree topper ideas? Swags of white curled ribbon, coming down from a bow tree topper, looks very effective against a snow-covered evergreen tree. 

While this tree might remain decoration-light, it’s important to think about what’s at the base of your white Christmas tree; a faux fur or sheepskin tree skirt in white would look FAB-U-LOUS!

10. Fake the look with white decorations

Christmas tree with white decorations

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Stuck with a green tree, but inspired enough to embrace the white Christmas tree look? Try dressing your tree head-to-toe in white, adding plenty of twinkling fairy lights. 

The trick is to look for interesting decorations, such as ones made from paper, wood or ceramic. ‘The statement paper decorations of our Bali Boho collection are great for making white the lead against an evergreen tree,’ says Danielle Le Vaillant at Cox & Cox. 


What are the best Christmas decorations for a white tree?

‘My general advice would be to choose decorations that complement or contrast your colour scheme,’ says Charlie Murphy, Partner & Seasonal Buyer at John Lewis. ‘To create an elegant look consider a mix of metallic ornaments, clear glass baubles, and textured decorations, or add a touch of warmth with lights and natural elements like pinecones or berries.’

What colours goes with a white tree?

‘There are many different colour combinations that can be used for a white tree,' says Charlie. ‘For a traditional Christmas look, combining red and greens works well. If you want a frosted look, then use a cool blue palette with silver metallics, while pink and gold can be combined to add glamour to a white tree. If you want to go for a bolder look then use rainbow colours for a run and playful style.’

‘Black and gold are fantastic accents for a white tree if you want to create something really glamorous,’ says Danielle Le Vaillant.

What to put on a white Christmas tree?

‘Think if you want to break up the expanse of “white” of a white tree,’ says Danielle, ‘pearl garlands and rows of ribbons can do this really well.’

‘Use ribbons, garlands, or tinsel to fill in any gaps and do complete the look with a tree topper that matches your theme,’ says Charlie.

These white Christmas tree ideas are anything buy kitsch. They're sleek, sophisticated, and waiting for you to be brave enough to give them a whirl.

Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning editor, writer and stylist, with over 25 years’ experience writing, styling and editing home interest magazines. Jennifer was the deputy editor of Ideal Home from 2008-2010, before launching Ideal Home’s sister title, Style at Home in 2010. Jennifer went on to launch several craft magazines and websites, before going freelance in 2016, with a client list that includes John Lewis, Dunlem and Nordic House. Today, she writes for Ideal Home, Real Homes, Waitrose, Woman & Home, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Homes & Gardens. But it was during lockdown that Jennifer realised her dream of publishing her own magazine – Simply Scandi.