8 Tips To Elevate Your Professional Ornament Displays

Taking Your Ornament Game to the Next Level

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Ornaments are quintessential Christmas décor, often holding sentimental value and creating tradition. As a designer, the ornament selection process is crucial not only for the theme of your décor but for ensuring the combination of thoughtful design and creating the vision your client has in mind. 

Vickerman’s team of experts has more than 70 years of experience in the decorating game, providing intentional interior design and innovative décor. So, who better to consult for expert tips on choosing and using ornaments in future clients’ installations? Let’s dive into what they had to say.

Quality: Withstand the Test of Time

It’s no secret that the center of many holiday installations is the Christmas tree — and the ornaments that adorn it. As a result, choosing the right mix of ornaments is imperative to a successful design. 

The first consideration many professionals take when shopping for new ornaments is quality and durability. To maximize your budget, prioritizing longevity will help your ornaments withstand multiple seasons. Many designers will veer away from glass ornaments in commercial designs opting instead for shatterproof options whenever possible. Vickerman offers an expansive collection of shatterproof ornaments, ensuring your favorite pieces can be used season after season.

For our designers aiming to create outdoors, Vickerman showcases a beautiful range of UV Resistant ornaments, to guarantee your designs will stay bright and colorful the entire Holiday season. The enduring quality and resilience of these ornaments, safeguarding them from both fading and breakage, establish them as the top choice among professionals for all their projects.

For stability in hanging, these ornaments feature a drilled and looped cap with floral wire. This ensures that each ornament is ready to hang. Another plus is the added security of avoiding dropped ornaments due to weak wire. Not only is there security in the material of Vickerman ornaments but in their design as well. Professional designers should consider the durability of their materials, especially when giving a client their ornaments to store year after year.

Budget Allocation: Purchasing 

As a designer, ensuring that your client’s budget can be stretched as far as possible is of the utmost importance. So, strategic spending is critical in ensuring a client’s vision can be achieved without spending more than they bargained for. 

The top professional designers have a foolproof method of allocating a budget to make magic happen. Ramon at Home, a designer and holiday content creator, utilizes the same budgeting technique for all of his designs: a third of the budget for ornaments, a third for ribbons, and a third for sprays and stems.

Allocate your budget for effective spending 

Sprays & stems

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These factors can be moved around, and aspects reallocated. Having a base formula of one-third of your budget being dedicated to ornaments allows room to provide a client with a luxurious, full, beautiful product (and will ensure that you don’t overspend on one area and have to skimp on another.)

Reusing Ornaments: Mixing and Matching for Sustainability and Tradition 

Having a personal inventory of ornaments to incorporate into a myriad of projects is crucial for every successful designer. Although clients may have their own sentimental items they want to be included in a design, ultimately you — the designer — have the expertise to create the theme and color story. 

Some clients will pay to keep materials, allowing designers to constantly be on the lookout for new textures, styles, and colors of ornaments to add to their work. While other designers must depend on their existing inventory and a few new pieces to build out a new, unique design.

Consider incorporating your client’s color scheme or utilizing an existing ornament as the design foundation, seamlessly merging traditions with opulent, innovative creations while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

Some designers may elect to use ornaments for various holidays, so keeping a stock of a large variety of colors is of utmost importance. 

Sami Riccoli, a high-end residential and commercial décor influencer, suggests keeping Vickerman’s most popular colors on hand. This strategy allows her to have any color scheme at her disposal for last-minute jobs.

"Depending on the client or design, I would add new or reuse previous products,” says Riccoli.

Giving new life to a previous ornament in a different design is always a great way to recycle as a designer. Our in-house experts also suggest keeping basic ornaments on hand year after year, as they can be excellent fillers and act as a beautiful base in a design. With this in mind, investing in timeless pieces that can stand the test of time not only adds sustainability to your design and helps manage future budgets, but also creates a sense of tradition and nostalgia. 

Honoring client nostalgia

Incorporating sentimental ornaments from your client's collection alongside new, carefully chosen pieces, is a beautiful way to embrace tradition while infusing fresh energy into the décor. This blend of old and new adds a personal touch to your design while paying homage to past holiday memories.

Storage: Protecting Your Investment

Storing ornaments presents a challenge for many designers. Space is often limited, and having a variety of clients can call for a large volume of inventory. We asked our designers how to best store ornaments to protect your investment while making life simpler for your next installation design. Here’s what they suggest.

Use clear storage options 

Use clear tubs to store ornaments to make selecting the right ornaments next season less difficult. This approach will expedite inventory-taking and significantly reduce the time spent on sorting. In each tub, layer ornaments with tissue paper and bubble wrap to prevent scratches and breakage. 

Some designers may appreciate clear suitcase bags to keep their products separate and to allow for ease of travel to client’s spaces. 

Keep clients’ ornaments separate

If storing a client’s sentimental or precious ornaments, wrap these pieces individually and store them in a separate bin that is labeled. This will help keep your client’s ornaments separate from your personal inventory and prevent any mix-ups or lost heirlooms.  

Opt for shatter-less options

Vickerman’s shatterproof ornaments provide an extra level of protection while on display, during installation and takedown, and while ornaments are in storage. 

Wrap pre-decorated trees

Trees that are decorated and then stored, or moved to their destination at a later time, can be wrapped and rolled away on a rolling stand. This wrapping will help keep ornaments secure during transport. 

In the event an ornament unfortunately breaks or is damaged, designers can replace products on Vickerman.com by searching the site for the same color and selecting one of the many options. If the ornament a designer is attempting to replace is out of stock or unavailable, they can always purchase an ornament in the same color in a different finish or size. The wide array of finishes and color options allows designers to get the most life out of their existing décor. 

Design and Theme: Telling a Story

Every holiday design has a story to tell. The ornaments you choose should reflect the theme or narrative you've crafted. Whether it's a winter wonderland, a traditional Christmas, or a modern, minimalist aesthetic, your ornaments should weave seamlessly into the overall design concept. Determining a clear theme for your holiday décor is essential. Consistency in your ornament selection ensures a cohesive and visually pleasing design. Defining the style of the design begins the process of selecting stunning ornaments to add interest to the space.


Collaborating with clients on ornament selection can bring the design to life. As the design expert, you can use the client’s input on ornaments and color schemes, while still guiding the overall vision. If a client wants to center the ornament color story around the existing décor in their home, as a designer you have a perfect guideline for ornament selection.

When using a client's heirloom pieces, it is still possible to make them work with modern luxury décor and ornaments. Using the base color of the heirloom pieces, picking up the highlight colors, and incorporating those highlights in a variety of finishes make everything meld together beautifully. As a designer, it is important to let the design add to the sentimental items the client has, not overshadow them.

Shapes and Textures: Adding Visual Interest

Diverse ornament shapes and textures can craft a captivating and visually appealing display. 

Mixing metals is a great trendy way to create a show-stopping tree. Using glittery gold, matte silver, and brushed metals can highlight any tree, garland, or wreath. A mixed metal color scheme can also be a beautiful neutral accent to many different colors or existing pieces. 

Using pearl, candy, or shiny ornaments can give a tree more dimension. Mixing round, teardrop, and specialty-shaped ornaments, along with different textures like glitter, matte, and metallic adds visual interest and depth to your tree. Incorporating different materials also blends a tree beautifully, whether it be wood, fabric, or velvet ornaments.

Finials are a great way to draw the eye up a tree as they hang longer between branches. There are also innovative ways to place ornaments based on lighting; placing reflective and shiny ornaments near lights to multiply the appearance of décor, or to let them better illuminate the room. 

Complementary accessories take ornaments to the next level in design. Stems, ribbons, and picks make décor feel luxurious and can complete the look. Embellishments that coordinate with ornaments give a tree a high-end designer feel, without necessarily costing more.

Size: Weighing Ornament Proportions 

The size of your ornaments matters, and calculated proportions create balance. Opt for substantial statement pieces near the bottom third of the tree, medium ornaments in the middle, and delicate accents up top. This thoughtful, balanced distribution adds elegance to your design without overwhelming the tree. 


It is important to keep in mind proportions when choosing ornaments for your design. Larger ornaments are needed for bigger trees and smaller ornaments for tabletop or small trees. On average, our experts recommend using 3-4 inch ornaments for mini trees, 4-6 inches for tabletop, and 6-10 inches for large trees. Don’t be afraid to use large ornaments to make a statement with your design. Using big ornaments can make a big impact. Our designers recommend 10” balls for larger trees because they are such a fun statement piece. Typical stores that sell holiday décor do not carry larger ornaments of that size and usually stop around 6 inches. Having access to specialty ornaments as a designer and using them for clients makes a tree look professional and custom. A design can be one of a kind because of the wide range of colors and sizes designers are offered through our site. 

Weight matters when planning ornament placement. Using heavier glass, wood, or metal ornaments to add stability is a great designer hack, and works best on stronger branches. The lower sections of a tree with larger branches are perfect for heavier statement pieces.  Lighter plastic, fabric, or paper ornaments are better higher up, to not only draw attention upward but to put less weight on the smaller branches.


Consider special ornament sizing needs for kids' trees or in child-safe spaces, whether it be using smaller ornaments to make a design look well-balanced or using lightweight, shatterproof unbreakable ornaments for safety. In commercial designs, it is wise to use shatterproof ornaments in high-traffic areas to prevent accidents or breakage. This ensures the safety of the clients and those who enter the space of the design.

Balance: Walking the Line Between Full and Overdone

While it's tempting to go all out with ornaments, remember that sometimes simplicity is the most striking. Overcrowding your tree can lead to a cluttered appearance. It's essential to maintain a balance between decoration and the tree itself to create an elegant and visually appealing display. 

Designers best practices

Creating harmony in a project is the designer's biggest task. Ornaments can either be the star or the backup singer. Making a plan and deciding which role they play is a crucial step. Our designers recommend placing oversized statement ornaments first and then filling in the gaps with smaller ornaments. This creates a polished clustered look. Using various smaller ornaments in the same color but in different finishes also makes a design look cohesive and luxurious without looking crowded. 

Accentuate vS Overshine

Top designers always use a system for decorating and harmonizing a design. For garlands, wreaths, and trees, our experts recommend using ribbon, then ornaments, followed by stems, florals, and other accents. 

“It’s not done until it’s overdone.” 

Clients may not know how much they want until they see a design completed. During the holidays, everything is made special, which inclines many designers to have the opinion that a full tree is best. Our designers love the “overstuffed” look, but ensure that ornaments are never touching or overlapping. Each piece gets to shine individually and as a part of the bigger picture. It is ideal on a heavily decorated tree for ornaments to have a small amount of space between to define their edges.

Adding accent pieces last highlights the ornaments and makes them special, while also providing a luxurious designer finish. Hanging ornaments in different areas can create visual depth and layers, and make a tree look more complete. As a designer, if a design feels too crowded, taking a step back and reworking ornament placement before adding additional accents is always a great idea. 

Find the Right Ornaments for Any Design 

DESIGNER TIP: Decorate the front and back of the tree

Even if you don't think the back is visible, it makes the tree feel more luxurious when viewed from different angles to have it decorated 360°

Creating dazzling holiday décor requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to ornament selection. Quality, budget allocation, storage, and adherence to a theme are all critical factors — and mixing shapes, sizes, and textures and balancing sentimental and new ornaments ensures a harmonious design. 

For top-tier ornaments and a wide range of options, explore all of your options with Vickerman. Together, we can create a robust and diverse inventory of ornaments that can help you maximize budgets and create stunning displays.

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