Christmas decorating ideas – create welcoming looks with a sense of occasion

Bring a festive feel to your home by adding a touch of Christmas to every corner

Christmas decorating ideas
(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

At this time of year, there’s plenty of opportunity to have a little fun with your interiors scheme by introducing festive decorations that add color, texture and intrigue. 

Whether you have a classic or contemporary home, want to go all-out with decor or prefer a more subtle approach, our Christmas living decorating ideas gallery will have something for you.

How can I decorate my house for Christmas?

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / David Brittain)

There are myriad choices when it comes to styling your home for Christmas.  The trick is to choose a theme and invest in key pieces that bring the story to life. 

Experimenting with texture and style – whether modern rustic or classic elegance – is a great way to break away from your everyday aesthetic. Do opt for a scheme that complements or enhances your existing interiors rather than competing with them. 

Woodland-inspired decorations suit a pared-back or country scheme that features rustic elements such as exposed brickwork or architectural detailing, while an all-white faux tree with elements of hot pink can work well in an ultra-contemporary setting. 

Try carrying the look through by replicating it in smaller details such as ribbon,  wrapping, napkins, glassware and foliage for a unified approach, but do keep the theming casual for a more relaxed look.

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton)

Unsurprisingly, a Christmas tree is the most popular Christmas decoration. There’s nothing like having a real tree in your home at Christmas to create a wonderful festive atmosphere – let the pine-scented aroma infuse your house with merry memories.

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Dan Duchars)

Christmas is the perfect time to experiment – there is no right or wrong color choice when it comes to festive decorating. 

‘We all crave a touch of escapism and magic at Christmas so one of my favorite design themes this year is Forest Fairy Tale,' says Interior Designer, Joanna Wood. 

'Playful and charming, the trend sees us mix classic and contemporary colors such as gold, white, bronze and orange, and play  around with glistening and matt textures for added emphasis.’  

According to Interior Designer, Natalia Miyar we should: 'Think outside the box when choosing a Christmas color scheme.

'Consider using metallics in a different way; patinated bronze or antiqued brass work  well, and try to layer a series of textures and materials together to create depth and interest. One highlight color against a backdrop of natural tones always looks striking.’ 

1. Take a rustic approach to Christmas decorating

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Mark Scott)

Tapping into nature with fresh foliage, rustic materials and simple adornments is a fuss-free way to decorate your home for Christmas while creating a warm and welcoming look. The key is to opt for a cohesive style for maximum impact.

Rustic decorations are appealing because of their effortless, authentic appearance, while a palette of natural greens and whites paired with materials such as linen and hessian complements almost every interior. 

2. Introduce evergreen foliage around a door frame

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

The tradition of using evergreen foliage in the winter has roots back to pagan and Roman celebrations, as a way of introducing something living in amongst the midst of the cold. It was also believed spirits lived within the greenery and by bringing it into the warmth they could survive the winter. 

Here, aromatic evergreens, such as eucalyptus, make wonderful garlands as they release their scent when brushed past. 

3. Find the perfect real Christmas tree

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

The arrival of your tree really marks the start of Christmas, so it pays to make the right choice. Real trees will look fresh and vibrant for the holidays, and fill your home with that lovely pine scent that is so tied up with Christmas. 

Before heading out to buy your tree, measure the space where it will be positioned, particularly the height and maximum width – remember that some branches can be trimmed for a better fit.

4. Or, go for an alternative tree

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Spike Powell)

Distinctive, personal, creative, budget-friendly and easy to take down on Twelfth Night, an alternative tree is an inspired choice. 

Simple, sculptural and oozing with handcrafted style, these bare-branch beauties are the trees to choose for a less-is-more Christmas. With a certain level of DIY skill and access to materials (tree offcuts, driftwood and copper piping), you could make versions of  these for yourself. 

Do note that you will need to visit your local Forestry Commission site for tree trunk offcuts to use. 

5. Let it glow

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

Lighting is an integral part of your Christmas decoration, so create a warming welcoming focus in every room with a rich mix of different lighting ideas for a relaxed and stylish atmosphere.

Ensure guests receive a warm welcome to your home this Christmas by choosing a mix of lighting. From the traditional fairy lights, to LED options in both static and eye-catching flickering settings, and icicles that can hang from mantlepieces and windows, the ways in which you light your home this Christmas can really bring the festive season to life. 

We, at H&G, like to display a string of fairy lights on a mantel for a subtle sparkle.

6. Set the table

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future)

With so much of the festive season centred around food and drink, it’s no wonder Christmas dinner is a highlight for most of us and a big part of the celebrations. So make sure to use this opportunity to show off your styling skills and create a magical tabletop to really impress your guests.

Avoid having any unnecessary crockery on the table where possible and try to use a side table or hostess trolley to keep dishes out of the way when not in use. 

Remember to keep displays and centrepieces low in height to avoid them getting in the way of conversation; try hanging decorations from the ceiling or lights above the  table to add height if space is limited on the table itself.

7. Hang a wreath on the front door

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Adrian Briscoe)

No house is complete without a wreath on the door at Christmas time. 

A Christmas wreath is a traditional decoration, which evokes nostalgic festive  memories. It’s a lovely way to spread the good tidings of the season to neighbors and friends. 

Wreaths now come in a range of designs and materials, so you are sure to find one to match the personal style of your home.

8. Have fun with color

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Adrian Briscoe)

At this time of year, there’s plenty of opportunity to have a little fun with your interiors scheme by introducing festive decorations that add color or texture. 

There are myriad choices when it comes to styling your home for Christmas. The trick is to choose a theme and invest in key pieces that bring the story to life. 

Experimenting with texture and style, whether relaxed rustic or contemporary colorful, is a great way to break away from your everyday aesthetic. But try to opt for a scheme that complements or enhances your existing interiors rather than competing with them. 

Opt for embellishments that express confidence and an easy style. This pink themed mantel is daring yet oh so chic.

9. Make a festive first impression

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Catharine Gratwicke)

Whether it’s the first introduction to your home or a link between rooms, don’t allow your hallway to let you down when entertaining this festive season.

Minimalist architecture suits a pared-back approach like this simple decorated hall featuring wooden embroidery hoops wrapped with asparagus ferns. Hang from the banisters for an enchanted forest feel. 

10. Freshen up a guest bedroom

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / David Brittain)

Create a home away from home for your visitors this year with these creative Christmassy touches.

With friends and family soon to descend onto your doorstep (lockdown permitting), it’s time to think about  preparing the guest bedroom to make sure your visitors feel at ease and well looked after during their stay. 

Have fun adding in some Christmas decorations to make their room feel part of the house as a whole; a wreath on the door or some twinkly fairy lights above the bed will help set the scene. 

With a little forward planning and some homely touches, you’ll be sure to give your guests a relaxing and memorable stay.