Have you got your Christmas tree in the wrong place? These experts reveal where it should really go

Should your Christmas tree always go in the corner of your living room? These experts don't think so... Here's all you need to know about your tree's proper placement

An artificial lit up Christmas tree in a dark blue living room
(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

The month of Christmas is finally upon us which means it's officially socially acceptable for the decorations to be up. (Although if you're anything like us, they've already been up for weeks...) But let's park the question of when to put up your festive decor for now and instead think about where they are. The real question is, have you got your Christmas tree in the right place? 

When it comes to Christmas decorating, the tree is arguably the most integral element of all, and not only because it's the largest. Putting up the Christmas tree is a nostalgic ritual that gets us all in the festive spirit, and it's the place that houses our gifts in the run-up to the big day. As the heart of the home during the Holiday season, it should have pride of place so that both you and your guests can give it the admiration it deserves. 

But where should your Christmas tree be placed to maximize its contributions to your festive design? A whole host of factors like awkward room layouts, heat sources, and the size of your space can make it difficult to decide than where to put it. Luckily, we've asked some experts and interior designers for their input to help you get the positioning of your tree right, and they share their thoughts below. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to sharing articles that help readers embrace emerging trends and keep up-to-date with changing styles to keep in tune with the seasons. With the festive season nearly upon us, she spoke with Christmas stylists to learn where you tree should really go if you want to maximize this important part of your seasonal decor. 

1. Avoid heat sources

ining area detail with light grey walls, black an white striped rug and, and red velvet sofa, Christmas tree next to picture window

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Of course, you want your Christmas tree to be positioned in an area of the room where it can be easily seen, but there are also some practical points you ought to factor into your decision. 

'The main mistake made is placing a tree near heat sources,' says Christmas tree expert Deemer Cass from Fantastic Gardeners. 'You should avoid putting it near radiators and fireplaces as this will prevent it from drying out, looking wilted and shedding its needles.' 

He adds: 'If you can’t avoid a warm place, make sure the stand or box is constantly topped up with water as a Christmas tree uses up to half a gallon of water a day.' Avoiding radiators and watering regularly is also important to keep your Christmas tree alive in time for the 25th. 

Luckily, some hardy varieties of Christmas trees aren't as prone to dropping their needles. 'For those wanting to put their tree up in advance we recommend a Nordmann Fir as it will live the longest in heated conditions and the needles won’t drop for a long time,' explains John Lawless of BestHeating. Of course, heat sources won't be as much of an issue if you have an artificial tree. 

Classic Blue Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree, Balsam Hill
What to buy

Classic Blue Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree, Balsam Hill

Add timeless charm to your Christmas celebration with this artificial Christmas tree from Balsam Hill. Made with 100% Classic Needle foliage, the faux branches have natural characteristics for a full, abundant look. 

2. Place in a corner if you have a smaller room 

A white living room with a fireplace with a wreath above it and a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

When deciding where to put the tree, a corner of the room is often the go-to spot for many of us, and for good reason. The biggest benefit of using a corner to house your tree is that it won't take up as much floor space. Fitting a Christmas tree in a small living room is a challenge many of us face this time of year, but a corner is a safe choice if your space is on the pokier side. 

'Your tree should complement the room so if you don’t have a suitable space for it, I’d recommend moving an item or piece of furniture out of the room and putting the tree in its place,' says Wendy Rea, expert florist and manager at Direct2Florist.  'This is something a lot of people don’t think about doing, but it shouldn’t be squeezed in anywhere, nor should a tree be too big for the room.' 

You also need to consider light levels in your home, too. 'It would help if you placed your tree in a room or area of your home that is well-lit and gets plenty of natural light,' says Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home. This will bring out the natural green tones of the foliage as well as help the baubles to shine. 'Depending on the layout of your space, place the tree near a window or in an open corner,' adds Jen. 

3. Use windows to show off your tree to the outside world

Bare Christmas tree with just lights

(Image credit: The Musee Home)

Your Christmas tree is mainly for you and your family to enjoy, but that doesn't mean others can't enjoy it too. If you have a large window that faces out onto the street, your tree can make a show-stopping statement for passers-by to admire if placed in plain view.

'If you have a bay window, it's a no-brainer that your tree should sit smack-bang in the middle of this alcove as the window encloses and frames your tree, giving it the spotlight it deserves,' says Sarah Bowen, interior designer and co-founder of home improvement site Spruce Up. 'The same goes for tall, wide windows - they're an excellent place to show off a Christmas tree.' 

Not only will your tree lighten up the faces of visitors or passers-by, but the sight of your Christmas tree will be the perfect welcome home for you after a long day at work. Be sure to fluff your Christmas tree if it's artificial to make it look fuller and boost its curb appeal.

4. Take note of your power outlets

A large living room with a tall Christmas tree decorated with neutral colored ornaments

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

The placement of the power outlets in your room will also play into the positioning of your Christmas tree as you'll want it to be close to a power source when it comes to adding the lights. After all, nobody wants to worry about lengthy extension cables across the living room floor.

'You could find the perfect position for your Christmas tree, but it's not worth it if it's not near a power outlet,' explains Sarah. 'You'll likely be switching the Christmas tree lights on and off every day, so choose your location wisely, considering whether you can reach the power outlet your lights are plugged into.' 

While a Christmas tree in the center of your space might seem tempting if you have an especially large room, but the lack of nearby outlets might prove difficult. 'Finding the perfect placement is hard and many make the error of placing the tree in the center of the room, but the best conditions are found in a corner that is close to plug sockets where the tree is also not at risk of being knocked,' notes Deemer.

For an extra bright tree, try this Christmas light hack for a more magical glow. 

Warm Cluster String Lights, Amazon
What to buy

Warm Cluster String Lights, Amazon

Elevate your Christmas tree with these warm cluster lights from Amazon. Each string of lights has 2,000 individual LEDs to help illuminate your tree and add some festive sparkle to your living room. This set also comes with 8 different light patterns to shake up your space

Don't limit yourself to the living room 

neptune Christmas tree in a hallway

(Image credit: Neptune)

For most of us, the Christmas tree belongs in the living room. It's the space we typically spend the most time on the big day, plus it lends itself well to the cozy, relaxing atmosphere of this room. That said, you shouldn't limit your tree to the living room. 

'An expansive entryway can be an excellent location for your Christmas tree, especially if it has a double-height or vaulted ceiling. That way, you can pick a taller tree that wows as soon as people enter your house,' says Sarah. 

This doesn't mean you can't have a tree in your living room either. 'Christmas only happens once a year, so it's worth going all out,' Sara adds. 'That's why I recommend having two Christmas trees - place one in your entryway, so it's the first thing people see as they walk in the door, then another in your main living area.' 

According to Jennifer Derry, an interior expert at Balsam Hill, Flatback trees can be a great option if you don’t have the space for a full-sized tree. 'The benefit of this is you can do two different designs, which certainly helps people who struggle to choose just one style,' Sarah adds. That's all the convincing we need!

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.