For the past two years, Cara Fox and The Fox Group team have been honored with the project of designing and decking the halls of the Utah Governor’s Mansion on South Temple.

Fox works annually with the governor’s First Lady to design a Christmas tree and mantel decor around a predetermined theme. This year’s theme is “The Roaring 20’s,” celebrating the beauty of the past and present coming together.

Over a months-long planning process and a full day of festive installation, Fox and the mansion’s team paired pearls and plumes, feathers and other fashionable Golden Age baubles to grace the 12-foot holiday tree and two stone mantels in one of the home’s front rooms.

“One of the mantels features a pair of really valuable Liberace-style marble statues, so to avoid moving those too much we kept that mantel simpler,” Fox says. “The other, we decked all-out with plumes, all sorts of ribbons and different types of garlands.”

Utahns can keep an eye out for the final result in images from the annual Governor’s Christmas Ball, and can even catch a glimpse of the tree from the mansion’s South Temple windows.

To get a designer look for your own tree, Cara Fox shares a few of her top tips for creating a photo-worthy Christmas tree:

10 Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

1. Always have something personal on the tree whether it’s an heirloom ornament or a monogrammed item. Just include something meaningful to you and your family.

2. Don’t forget to decorate the top and the back side of the tree. Even if you think it’s not seen, be sure to fill and adorn the whole tree equally.

3. Always remember to include a tree skirt. It’s an easy and fun way to add color and personality.

4. Have a theme. Even if it’s a color palette, a theme makes the end result more cohesive and visually pleasing. Choosing a theme can give your tree an elegant appearance while keeping it from looking cluttered and overstuffed.

5. Make sure the tree topper is size appropriate or even oversized. Let the top of the tree stand out so it brings the eye upward.

6. Use greenery fillers like eucalyptus leaf twigs to add depth and texture—especially important for a faux tree.

7. Add ribbons and bows. They are the best and most cost-effective way to add interest and fill space on a Christmas tree.

8. Always have enough lights. Warm white is our favorite because it adds a cozy sparkle while allowing the other colors to shine. A good rule of thumb is 100-150 lights for every 2 feet of the tree.

9. Put something unexpected on your tree. We decided to add pearls and feathers this year to complement the First Lady’s “Roaring 20’s” theme.

10. Don’t forget something sparkly. We love having at least one sparkling element like simple tinsel or glitter ornaments to make the tree shine even more.

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