15 Christmas decor ideas – set the scene for a cozy and joyful celebration

Adorn your home with beautiful Christmas decor for a special and stylish space that wonderfully welcomes the holiday season

Christmas decor ideas, red, white and green christmas tablescape, christmas fireplace with large bunches of foliage, christmas tree in living room.
(Image credit: Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning | Sarah Kaye Representation)

For many of us, choosing and styling Christmas decor ideas in our home is one of the most fun and exciting parts of the festive season.

Many of us have favorite decorations passed down through generations and Christmas traditions, but anyone who loves Christmas time knows there's always room for more.

From beautiful wreaths and garlands – perfect for outdoor Christmas decor ideas, too, to Christmas trees, cozy candles, ornaments and seasonal tableware, Christmas decor is all about making your home feel more unique, joyful and festive for the Christmas celebration.

Transform your home for the holidays with our Christmas decorating ideas

No matter your budget or the style of your home, we've included a range of festive decorating ideas that can work with interior spaces of all sizes and styles. From stand-out Christmas table decor, to unique Christmas tree ideas, it's time to deck the halls from top to bottom with our collection of Christmas decor ideas.

1. Hang a festive wreath – or two

Two green wreaths hanging on neutral wall with ribbon

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Polly Wreford Photography, styling by Sally Denning)

Christmas wreath ideas can be used to bring beautiful seasonal decoration and natural styling to both the inside and outside of your home. 

A Christmas tradition that many of us embrace is using a wonderful wreath for Christmas door decor, but these natural accents can be used all over the inside of your home, too.

From hanging in windows, to using for Christmas wall decor, as shown with this pretty pair of rustic wreaths, this traditional decorating idea will never go out of style.

As well as being crafted from inviting natural foliage and flowers, Christmas 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.

2. Decorate with glorious garlands

Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

Wonderfully versatile, Christmas garland ideas can be used to decorate mantelpieces, stairways, doorways, tables and more, but why not dial up the look and use them to create a statement look on your walls? Made from fresh foliage, these garlands elegantly enhance the Christmas fireplace ideas in this living room.

'This unusual display of rustic garlands gives the formal living room a unique air of whimsy. This kind of Christmas styling works well with a room with a high ceilings, leaving plenty of space for a beautiful display of Christmas foliage,' says Jo Bailey, print editor at Homes & Gardens.

Learn how to make a Christmas garland using our handy guide or shop some of our favorite garland picks below.

Jo Bailey Author Profile Picture
Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey is Editor of Homes & Gardens, overseeing all features for the print edition. Before joining Future PLC, she worked as an interior stylist for over ten years, specializing in commercial photo shoots for luxury clients such as; Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Christopher Farr Cloth and Heal's. She has worked with Homes & Gardens for over a decade, having styled and produced editorial shoots and events over the years.

3. Choose the perfect Christmas tree

Living room with large christmas tree with flower and candle decorations, sofa, windows with shutters

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

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 will fill your home with that lovely pine scent – perfect for making your home smell good for Christmas. We explore how to bring a Christmas tree home in our dedicated feature.

Of course, real trees are not for everyone (the endless clearing up of pine needles can get very tiresome), and both faux and alternative Christmas trees can make for an inspired choice. From colorful trees, to unique shapes and designs crafted from bare branches, tinsel and more, an artificial tree can make quite the statement – and they are always easier to take down on the Twelfth Night of Christmas.

Before buying your tree, real of faux, 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. Curate a stand-out Christmas tablescape

Dining room with red and white festive tablescape, candles, foliage, tableware

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

With so much of the festive season centered around food and drink, it’s no wonder Christmas dinner is often the central part of the celebrations for many of us, so make the most of this moment and create a magical Christmas table – guaranteed to impress your guests if you're hosting on Christmas day or are having a Christmas party.

From a collection of seasonal tableware and serveware, to beautiful tablecloths, Christmas table centerpieces, candles and more, tablescaping always combines an elegant mix of practical dinnerware with eye-catching decoration.

Andrea Waters, director at Portmeirion advises, 'choosing a theme will stand you in good stead for creating the perfect tablescape. Your theme doesn’t need to be blindingly obvious, but it could be a common thread, such as a single color that appears throughout, or a motif that you repeat in subtle ways.'

We adore the red and white theme of this bold Christmas table, with the beautiful, layered design of contrasting textures and shapes all united through the shared color palette, with the fabulous flower and foliage centerpiece offering an elegant note of contrast.

5. Embrace traditional colors

How to decorate a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future)

Traditional color palettes usually embrace shades of red, green and gold, silver, blue and purple.

When choosing Christmas ornaments for your tree, it is often best to stick to a theme, and you can never go wrong with the traditional colors of Christmas. 

For a cohesive and coordinate look, embrace a traditional color palette throughout your home, ideal for more traditional homes or for Farmhouse Christmas decor. Or, for a more unique, eclectic style, switch up your color schemes in different spaces of the home; use traditional colors in a living room and contemporary colors in a dining room, for example.

6. Or, opt for more modern palettes

tree decorated with pink decorations and bows

(Image credit: Ronny Colbie)

It seems that every year Christmas ornaments and decorations become more unique, vibrant and fun, with many of us embracing color schemes and decorating ideas that feel more modern, or in-sync with our interior style.

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 has taken this pink Christmas tree up a notch by adding branches of metallic foliage, snowberries and hydrangeas alongside large Christmas tree ribbons.

7. Create a homey feel with handcrafted decorations

Christmas stockings hanging from a mantelpiece with lit candles in a candlestick in front of the mirror.

(Image credit: Future)

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

Colorful, folk-patterned stockings, along with natural rose hip and fir garlands, take center stage in this vibrant scheme, bringing vibrant color, decoration and texture to this Christmas mantel.

8. Celebrate Christmases past with retro decor

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 decor that creates a more retro-feel. 

'From embracing a traditional red palette and decorating a tree with retro ribbons and candy-cane baubles, to paper-garlands and candles, often the most stylish of interior schemes beautifully combine the old with the new, so why not embrace a more eclectic mix of styles with your Christmas decor ideas, too,' says Homes & Gardens' editor in chief, Lucy Searle.

Humble paper chains, like these pretty designs from Etsy, are a great way to bring a vintage feel to your scheme, plus they are sustainable and a fun activity to enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas.

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

9. Embrace the beauty of the outdoors with plenty of natural accents

Pink dining space with mirror decorated with holly

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

As well as wreaths and garlands, there are so many other ways you can get creative with natural accents for your Christmas decor ideas; from vases of seasonal cuttings from your yard and garden, to Christmas plants and flowers, Christmas cactuses, pine cone decorations and more.

'When decorating, focus on using natural tones of foliage, dried fruits, and berries to bring interior spaces alive for the season. Holly and spruce look lovely tucked behind artworks, mirrors and pictures, as well as on tables, banisters, and fireplace surrounds,' says Ottalie Stride, creative director of Albion Nord.

Ottalie Stride, Albion Nord
Ottalie Stride

With a BA Hons in Art and Design from Leeds University, followed by a distinction from the KLC School of Interior Design, designer Ottalie Stride then went on to start her career as an Interior Designer at Veere Grenney, later setting up her on design firm, Albion Nord.

10. Create a festive fireplace

Festive living room with fireplace dressed in foliage

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

Aside from your Christmas tree, a fireplace will often be your main other focal point in your living room – as well as the main area you will gather around during the cold winter evenings, so it pays to enhance this feature with Christmas decor. 

From garlands and foliage draped over the mantel, to lanterns, candles and Christmas ornaments, a fireplace provides the perfect platform to get creative with seasonal styling and decoration.

11. Style with plenty of twinkling lights and cozy candles

Console table styled with candles foliage and presents

(Image credit: Lulu and Georgia)

Indoor Christmas lighting ideas are an integral part of festive decoration, and can help to create a warm welcome in every room.

From the traditional fairy lights to LED options in both static and eye-catching flickering settings that mirror your outdoor Christmas light ideas, the ways in which you light your home this Christmas can really bring the festive season to life. 

As well as lights, cozy candles can make for a truly versatile Christmas decoration. They can not only make your home smell nice, and feel more inviting and warm, they can act as stylish decorations in their own right, and are perfect for using all over the home.

We love this contemporary candleholder from Lulu and Georgia, ideal for minimalist Christmas decor. The Shayna Menorah is ideal for placing in a window, on an entryway console table, or for acting as a centerpiece on your Christmas table. Shop more cozy candles below.

12. Enhance your windows with seasonal decor

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 – and we love that they can be appreciated from both the inside and outside.

Try stringing up paper garlands, lining the windowsill with winter foliage and candles, or simply hanging baubles from handles. Garlands with colored glass baubles would work particularly well as they will shine like jewels in the winter light.

13. Add a seasonal touch to your bar cart

Close up of gold drinks trolley dressed with foliage, candles, lamps and drinksware

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

'Sometimes the simplest of decorating ideas can have a beautiful impact, and if you're planning on doing lots of hosting and entertaining over the Christmas period, then a few simple, festive additions to your bar cart or home bar, will add a wonderful seasonal touch,' says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens' digital editor.

This bar cart has been elegantly elevated with green foliage, candles and a selection of Christmas ornaments.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

14. Dress up your staircase for the season

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

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Christmas stair decor ideas can add a festive flourish to a more busy, transitional space in the home. 

A staircase bedecked with garlands of foliage will instantly make an impact, especially for Christmas hallway ideas.

As well as wrapping garlands around handrails and balusters, you can also tie decorations such as hanging baubles and pretty bows.

15. Embrace fun and festive decor throughout your home