3 Converts Tell Us Why They Love Their Fake Tree

Small tinsel tree with macaroon ornaments

If you’re fed up with the hassle and mess of a natural tree, perhaps it’s time to go faux. Plus, the great thing about a forever-green tree is you have more control in picking the right size and style that’s a good match for you and your space. That’s just what three Ballard Designs employees found once they made the switch. They share their stories — and their spectacular trees — with us.

1. Susan Bogle, Creative Directortreeconverts_susan5

Why did you make the switch this year?

My husband and I are finding that we go away for Christmas more and more often these days. We use that week to visit friends or family out of town — a mini vacation! As a result, our holiday decorating has become more pared down with a bit of sparkle here and there to keep the house festive. It’s been a few years since we went for the big tree and the full stash of ornaments.

Which tree did you choose (and why)?

The Suzanne Kasler Tinsel Tabletop Tree is perfect for our current shiny decorating motif! Our house is small, so the right placement of such a gem can really make the whole living room feel special. And it looks great for New Year’s Eve, too.

How did you decorate your tree?

When you’re going small, it works to go with bright colors that pop and a limited number of styles. I fell in love with these French Macaroon Ornaments the minute I saw them. They’re so … well … French! The colors are fantastic. I’ll tell you a secret: I’m giving these ornaments to several of my friends as Christmas presents. They are irresistible!

French macaroon ornaments

If you could give your tree a theme, what would it be?

“Champagne and Macaroons while on holiday in France.” (I’m not really going to France for Christmas, but it’s a nice fantasy.)

What’s the verdict? Are you a faux tree convert for life?

Love the switch! Some years we do “Big Christmas” with all of the trimmings. And some years it’s “Little Christmas” with the more minimal shiny bits. This golden tree with these precious macaroons is just perfect for those “Little Christmas” years.


2. Melinda McBee, eCommerce Content Specialist

Faux trees look so realitistic

Why did you make the switch this year?

My live trees always dried out and dropped needles even though I kept them watered. What a mess! Plus, it’s a bit of a fire hazard.

Which tree did you choose (and why)?

I chose the classic Noble Fir, because it looks so much like a live tree. It even has little pine cones.

Snowflakes and pine cones on this christmas tree

How did you decorate your tree?

I chose ornaments that make me feel nostalgic for my childhood. Some of them even remind me of the ornaments on our tree. I chose the Bunny Williams Quilled Snowflakes and Felt Animal Ornaments, because they reminded me of the winter walks I would take with my mother in the woods behind our house.

If you could choose a theme for your tree, what would it be?

I’d have to name my tree “Winter memories.”

Boiled wool ornaments have a nostalgic feel

What’s the verdict? Are you a faux tree convert for life?

I am thrilled with my tree. I don’t think I’ll ever have a real tree in my home again, but maybe I’ll plant an evergreen in my backyard and decorate it every Christmas.

3. Jason Royal, Senior Web Designer

Why we love a fake christmas tree

Why did you make the switch this year?

Growing up with real trees, all I remember is my mom vacuuming up pine needles, the pets drinking all of the water out of the tree base, and my hands being sticky from the sap. I have always preferred artificial trees—to me, they are more convenient, dependable and cost-effective. You know that your tree is going to consistently look good year after year, and you don’t have to worry about the tree shedding or drying out.

Which tree did you choose (and why)?

I decorated a classic Frasier Fir Tabletop Tree by Suzanne Kasler. I love the burlap-wrapped root ball at the base of the tree, because it brings in texture and eliminates the need for a tree skirt. I love that this tree is pre-lit, but if you prefer to string your own lights, I’ve learned that you can keep them from getting tangled by winding them around a clothes hanger after the holidays.

Shiny and natural elements are brought together on this tree

How did you decorate your tree?

Since I live in an industrial loft, I am always trying to warm the space up while staying true to the architecture. To get this look, I’ve combined aged metals with rough burlap. I think the Heirloom Flatware Ornaments are a charming way to add some shimmer and shine. The grounded burlap shows up in the wrapped root ball, as an accent on the Gold Berry Balls, and also as a bow at the top of the tree. Living in a studio apartment has taught me to reuse pieces in new ways, so I scattered a few of my favorite artificial hydrangea stems throughout the tree. Last year, I even stuck a few of my Potted Amaryllis plants into my full-sized tree—you should have fun using what you have around the house.

If you could give your tree a theme, what would it be?

“Industrial Charm.”

Burlap ribbon is used as a tree topper

What’s the verdict? Are you a faux tree convert for life?

Oh, I’m definitely going to stick with my fake tree. It’s so convenient to put up and break down each year that I really can’t see myself going through the learning curve of buying a real tree each year. I do appreciate the look of a real tree, but I think you can get that look by finding a great quality tree and by shaping the branches properly.

Find all of our artificial Christmas trees here, or learn how to pick the right size tree for your space.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Cindy Wingert

    October 26, 2015

    I am in love with your macaroon tree. Is that tree available. I only see a petite gold tinsel tree. I have the ornaments coming already. Thanks so much. Cindy

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Hi Cindy,
      Thank you so much! Those macaroon ornaments are darling. Unfortunately the exact tree in this post has been discontinued, but those ornaments would look fantastic on a small, flocked tabletop tree like this one. The flocked branches will set off the pastel shades of the ornaments beautifully and make them really pop!
      The How to Decorate Team