With a pro designer's quick tips, your Christmas tree can look just like it's from, ahem, a magazine.

Put Meghan Blum on the nice list. A purveyor of playful patterns and artfully mixed metals, the Des Moines-based interior designer conjures some of the lovelier Christmas trees adorning area homes and businesses.

Meghan helped us concept this fashionable (yet achievable) tree and shared her secrets for creating a perfectly pulled-together seasonal display.

Christmas tree decorating
Christmas tree decorating

1. Star Power Sentimental items, such as vintage ornaments or a hand-me-down topper, still have a place on a mindfully designed tree. Choose a few to showcase.

2. Light Fantastic Add twinkle lights in varying sizes to create contrast and visual interest. Same goes for a prelit artificial tree-choose additional strands of lights to complement (but not match) the ones already in place.

3. On the Bauble Before hanging ornaments, sort them by size. Hang the largest first, spacing evenly around the tree and nestling between branches to create a lush, layered look. Add gap-filling long ornaments next, and finish with the smallest pieces to highlight branch ends.

4. All About Hue Selecting ornaments that echo the style and color of your living space allow a tree to integrate seamlessly into any room.

5. Only Natural A eucalyptus garland adds robust dimension (and a great scent). To make: Trim fresh eucalyptus into 12-inch-long bunches. Use 26-gauge floral wire to lash overlapping layers of eucalyptus to sisal rope, then drape around tree. Mist daily for freshness. (See our photo below.)

6. Fluff Piece Pre-decor prep work creates a clean canvas for the design. Have a natural tree shaken on the lot's machine to remove loose needles, and shake it again before decorating. Carefully arrange artificial branches to fill in gaps.

7. Wrap Session Swathing packages in elegantly neutral paper lets the tree shine as the focal point and balances other gifts that might arrive clad in bright patterns and colors.

8. Blanket Policy In place of a small tree skirt, arrange a pair of plush throws at the tree's base. That creates a right-size frame for a larger tree, plus ample space for gift display.

Outdoors In

Add tonal texture to pine branches with natural elements like painted pinecones or eucalyptus garlands, made here with Silver Dollar Gum and Seeded Green varieties.

Spruce up branches with natural touches such as pinecones or eucalyptus garlands.

Get to know Meghan Blum. Enjoys a champagne cocktail at Christmas. Collector of all things Santa. Will rock an ugly sweater if asked.

Meghan Blum