The holidays are fast-approaching, but there’s plenty of time to get festive. Infuse your home with the beauty of yuletide, thanks to 25 brilliant ideas from some of our favorite festive tastemakers.
“You don’t need color to dazzle up your home for the holidays,” says Courtney Davey of Tuft & Trim. “I like mixing a variety of finishes like gold, mercury glass, and champagne to create a chic and elegant look. Neutral christmas decor keeps the space soft and inviting, while still creating a festive atmosphere.”
Whether the rustic aesthetic suits your existing home style best, or you would prefer a more natural holiday look, opting for rustic decor can make a subdued statement in your home, like in this setup by Tuft & Trim. According to Tuft & Trim founder, Courtney Davey, “I like creating a cozy and rustic atmosphere with reclaimed wood accents, soft fur textures, and a variety of greenery. Candle filled lanterns topped with evergreen help make the space feel warm and inviting.”
“During the holidays I like to incorporate details that make the space feel personal,” says Tuft & Trim‘s Courtney Davey. “Adding tags or names to Christmas stockings is an easy way to do that! You can make them yourself, like these DIY wood letters, or have them personalized online.”
Courtesy of Tuft and Trim
Creating a welcoming ambiance for the holidays can be super simple and easily achieved. By opting for golden lights on your tree, garland, and more, you are instantly setting the mood for festivities while crafting a cozy atmosphere.
The easiest way to test out dramatic holiday decor is on your table. Dress up a dinner party with lush garland, silver candle holders, and wood chargers. Complete each setting with golden flatware and a cinnamon stick, as Lauren McBride did here.
In this holiday vignette styled by Craftberry Bush, a white fur tree dressing, white walls, and plenty of fake snow make for a wintry wonderland, and make the bold pops of red even more dazzling.
Ditch the usual ribbon and top your gift with a pretty piece of greenery. It’s an unexpected but beautifully rustic look, as shown in these gift wrappings by These Four Walls.
Don’t reserve your best Christmas decor for the living room, let the festivities overflow into every part of the house. This entryway in Lucy Atkins’ home makes sure you get in the holiday spirit the second you walk in the door, with evergreen clippings, pine cones, and a cozy hanging blanket.
Give your tree a fun, minimalist twist with geometric gold ornaments, like this one styled by My Scandinavian Home.
Why spend all that time on wrapping gifts to perfection if you aren’t going to show them off? Line your staircase with presents in various fun patterns for a simple but chic decor idea, as shown in this vignette from Craftberry Bush.
Make use of your favorite antiques by styling them for the holiday season. In this living room by Little Vintage Nest, the sled was an incredible vintage find and the burlap sack filled with Christmas tree clippings adds a rustic touch.
And in focusing on the table, feel free to deviate from the standard red-and-green. “Rather than the traditional red and green scheme, try something new like a fabric in malachite and hot pink peonies,” says designer Grant Gibson. “Layer in black and white for a graphic pop. The plates [here] are antique French.”
It’s a bit of an investment, but if you have an especially important gift to wrap, use wallpaper. “More expensive, but, there are amazing pattern options that I use for my wrapping paper,” designer Scot Meachamtold House Beautiful. “The wallpaper is a much stronger weight than regular wrapping paper, so there are never any issues with the paper tearing.”
Take inspiration from nature for your decorating scheme. “Use fresh evergreen boughs, garlands and wreaths combined with in-season citrus like lemons, tangerines and oranges,” says designer Tobi Fairley. ” It will give your home a beautiful natural look, and it smells heavenly.”
To improvise a holiday napkin ring, top your favorite ribbon with a simple sprig of pine. This instant hit can be complemented by dotting a few glass ornaments around your place settings (and if you so please, tell your guests to take them home as party goodies!).
If a real tree leaves a mess in your living room, don’t feel married to it. Besides, artificial trees often have wires that are easy to curve and bend to better hold ornaments. Miss the scent of pine? A few scented candles (just not too close to the tree!) should do the job.
Bring one of nature’s best color schemes to your mantle: green and white. “There’s nothing prettier than pairing fresh greens — whether boxwood or pine — with mercury candle votive’s and white lights,” says designer Susanna Salk. “Try interspersing the trio across your mantle or as a runner come to life along your dining room table. It’s a holiday look you’ll never get tired of.”
Shelves beg to be a holiday vignette, so turn your attention toward organizing them with seasonal cheer. “Use your bookshelves as an opportunity to inject a bit of holiday flair,” says Nicole Gibbons. “Mix in bowls of ornaments, tabletop trees and other holiday accents into your bookshelves for the ultimate holiday “shelfie,” as shown here in my Instagram.”
Deviate from the norm when it comes to hanging your outdoor lights. Try draping them around trellis, birdbaths and other landscaping features to illuminate your yard — not just your house. (If you live in a warm climate, this also makes for gorgeous outdoor entertaining.)
If filling bowls with pinecones is beginning to get boring, check crafts and home stores for natural ornaments, and display them with seasonal greenery. Added perk: The greenery, such as pine needles, will add a fresh aroma to the room.
Accent a neutral color scheme with gold. “For holiday decorating, I love incorporating natural elements, lights (candles or simple Christmas lights) and a little gold (be it in the ribbons, ornaments or objects),” says designer Sara Story. “Magnolia leaves are always a favorite of mine, especially in wreaths strewn with beautiful gold ribbon. These make for an elegant statement on any door and you can add some great glass pieces or ornaments to really make it gleam.”
For a beautiful statement decor piece, follow this easily formula. “Christmas means three things to me: paperwhites, citrus and magnolia. I go to the flower market (or the backyard) and cut magnolia and place it on mantles,” says designer Miles Redd. “I intersperse lemons or clementines (sometimes studded with cloves), and paperwhites — either the individual bulb — or just mossy pots of 6 bulbs. The smell of the combination is wonderful.”
Add an unexpected element to your traditional decor scheme. “With Christmas decorating, you have to give it a little quirk… a little personality,” says designer Summer Thornton. “One thing I do which always stirs conversation is hanging ornaments from my chandeliers. It’s easy to do and adds some great color to the room.”
“Years ago in Taos I picked up a big vintage brass and leather sleigh bell horse harness that I hang on my front door wrapped in evergreens and lights,” says designer Windsor Smith. “I do the same on staircase, wrapping evergreens and leather straps in those tiny strings of lights that you never have to plug in. The light’s so much more magical when it floats.”
Get crafty with leftover bits and pieces. “We always save leftover fabric scraps and love to have custom wreaths made out of them,” says Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick Designers. “There are many amazing vendors on Etsy that will make them for you and they last year after year.”