Christmas decor ideas – 21 fabulously festive looks

Set the scene for a cozy and joyful celebration with these Christmas decor ideas

Christmas decor ideas
(Image credit: Annie Sloan / Ronny Colbie / Adam Carter)

Choosing and putting up Christmas decor ideas is a fun and exciting part of the festive season.

Not only do they make your home feel joyful, fragrant, and cozy during the bleak winter days, they are a great opportunity to get creative and treat guests to a bit of your personality. Many of us have our favorite decorations passed down through generations and Christmas traditions, but anyone who loves Christmas time knows there's always room for more!

Whether you are looking for farmhouse Christmas decor ideas or to create a contemporary scheme, we've rounded up an array of inspiring Christmas decor ideas for all tastes, from full-on festive to simple looks with subtle sparkle.

Christmas decor ideas

From marvelous mantel garlands to tremendous tablescapes, these Christmas decor ideas will make Santa want to stick around for longer than just one night. 

1. Take inspiration from Christmases past

A large christmas tree in the corner of an eclectic, cozy living room with a lit fire

(Image credit: Sarah Kaye)

Bring a touch of nostalgia to Christmas decor ideas by opting for a traditional red palette and decorating a tree with retro ribbons and candy cane baubles. Humble paper chains are a great way to bring a vintage feel to Christmas mantel decor ideas plus they are sustainable and fun to make with kids. There's no need to go all out with flamboyant garlands either, simple candles in beautiful colored glass stands can look just as lovely on the mantelpiece.

2. Put a twist on the traditional garland

Natural Christmas garlands in a light green living room

(Image credit: Future)

Wonderfully versatile, Christmas garland ideas can be used to decorate mantelpieces, stairways, and doorways, but why not dial up the look and use them to create statement Christmas wall decor? Made from fresh foliage, these garlands used as swags are a quirky take on traditional Christmas decor.

'This unusual array of garlands gives the formal room an air of whimsy. The idea works well within a room with a high ceiling and plenty of space for generously tiered swags,' says Jo Bailey, deputy editor at Homes & Gardens.

3. Bring the outside in

Fireplace with a Christmas mantel garland and stockings

(Image credit: Adam Carter)

A fresh garland made from pine and eucalyptus makes a great base for all sorts of decorating ideas, from table decor to fireplace decor, plus there's nothing like fresh Christmas foliage to fill the room with festive sent.

'When decorating, focus on using natural tones of foliage, dried fruits, and berries to bring spaces alive. Holly and spruce look lovely tucked behind artworks and pictures as well as on tables, banisters, and fireplace surrounds,' says Ottalie Stride, creative director of Albion Nord (opens in new tab).

If you're wondering how to make a Christmas garland for a mantelpiece there are a couple of ways. You can either build one by layering bunches of foliage and securing them to a length of doubled-up garden twine which can be easily moved around, or you can make a long arrangement that looks like a garland by pushing stems into a base of floristry foam as done here. The benefit of this technique is it will allow you to build a more sculptural cascading look than a rope garland.

Whichever you choose both can be elevated with the addition of baubles, berries, pine cone decorations and orange slices, or you can nestle in candles. Here Victoria Henderson has used teasels and berries for a traditional country look.

4. Choose a color palette

tree decorated with pink decorations and bows

(Image credit: Ronny Colbie)

Many people select Christmas decor to match their home decor, but if you have a more neutral backdrop you can experiment with different looks. Pink and berry Christmas living room decor in pink and berry tones works wonderfully with on-trend warm neutral room shades like ecru, beige and taupe as well as copper and metallic tones for a warm, opulent feel.

Rather than just baubles, luxury florist Ronny Colbie (opens in new tab) has taken this pink Christmas tree idea up a notch by adding branches of metallic foliage, snowberries and hydrangeas alongside large Christmas tree ribbons.

5. Deck the halls

Hallway with a whimsical fresh stairway garland and a styled console table with candles

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

If you're planning to welcome guests over the festive season don't forget to think about Christmas hallway ideas to get them into the festive spirit. Christmas stair decor ideas bedecked with branches of ivy and feathery pine and hung with hand-painted baubles will instantly make an impact, or for a quick way to bring a warm welcome simply style up your console table with an assortment of candles.

'You can use almost anything for this – your best cut-glass wine glasses, pleasingly-shaped old jam/condiment jars, old scented candle jars… even old glass pudding pots. The secret is a mix of different shapes and sizes and plentifulness,' says Sarah Davies-Bennion, senior designer at Kate Guinness (opens in new tab) interior design.

6. Style up a window seat 

Window seat decorated for Christmas

(Image credit: Future)

Christmas window decor ideas are a lovely way to spark joy in quiet corners of the home. Try stringing up paper garlands, lining the windowsill with winter foliage and candles, or simply hanging a bauble from the handle. Garlands with colored glass baubles would work particularly well as they will shine like jewels in the winter light.

7. Go all out 

How to decorate a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future)

The holidays are not the time to be shy when it comes to interior decor. If you haven’t hopped onto the maximalist trend yet, use them as an excuse to experiment with your inner exhibitionist. Mix showstopping mantel decor with a tree that’s dressed up to the nines, patterned wrapping paper for the presents and warmly hued prints across your soft furnishings.

‘Christmas decorations are the hallmark of the festive season,’ says Michael Meiser, president of Lumilum (opens in new tab). ‘Hanging up festive wreaths, Christmas stockings, garlands and tinsel decorations is what winter is all about.’

8. Stay sustainable

How to decorate a Christmas tree

(Image credit: David Brittain/Emily Brittain Delgardo)

Sustainability is perhaps an even more important consideration at Christmas than at any other time of year. ‘Smart shopping is high on Santa’s list,’ says Daisy Coombes, Marketing Manager at Sass & Belle (opens in new tab). ‘From sending plantable Christmas cards, using an LED ‘twig’ tree and even renting a Christmas tree to using recycled glassware to reusable crackers.’

While it is possible to find high-shine and colorful decorations that are still sustainable, wooden and paper decorations like the one on this tree work really well if you're after a country look.

9. Create a homely feel with handcrafted decorations

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

Handcrafted decorations are a great way to give your Christmas decor a unique, personal touch and they are perfect for handing down through the generations.

Naive-style folk-patterned stockings, along with natural rose hip and fir garlands, take center stage in this vibrant scheme. 

10. Decorate with a traditional color palette

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

Is there a happier color combination for Christmas than red, white and blue? Here the tree baubles and gifts wrapped in lively printed papers coordinate beautifully with the living room decor.

11. 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 for your Christmas decor ideas is a fuss-free way to decorate your home for the holidays 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. 

12. 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 used over doorways as part of the Christmas hallway decor ideas, releasing their scent when brushed past. 

13. 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 Christmas 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.

14. 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 the Twelfth Night, alternative Christmas tree ideas can be 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. 

15. Let it glow

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

Christmas light ideas are an integral part of your festive 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.

16. 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 magical Christmas table ideas 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.

17. Hang a wreath on the front door

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Adrian Briscoe)

No house is complete without a Christmas wreath idea on the door at this time of year. 

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.

18. 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 interior 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 Christmas fireplace decor is daring yet oh-so chic.

19. 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. 

20. 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, it’s time to think about preparing Christmas bedroom ideas 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. 

21. Decorate the dining room

Dining room decorated for Christmas with a dried flower mantel garland

(Image credit: Future)

Festive feasting is often the highlight of the Christmas season and Christmas dining room decor ideas are a lovely way to set the scene for the occasion. If you’re hosting this year there’s no need to splurge on new decorations for the dining room, simple garlands of fresh or dried foliage foraged from a country walk can look beautifully rustic – the more wild and whimsical the better, plus it is more sustainable. For pops of color display antique glass baubles in bowls or opt for tinted glassware which will come to life in the warm glow of candlelight. 

How can I decorate my house for Christmas?

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.

How do you style Christmas decor?

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.

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.

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.


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