6 Christmas color schemes – choose the perfect palette for your holiday decor

These Christmas color schemes go way beyond classic red and green, from cozy neutrals to playful brights, explore some of our favorite festive looks

Christmas color schemes. Light, neutral living room with decorated fireplace. Cozy traditional living room with Christmas tree. Rich jewel-toned dining room.
(Image credit: Pottery Barn | Future | West Elm)

From the sophisticated and the traditional to the modern and the playful, the right Christmas color scheme can make all the difference to the look and style of your festive display.

When planning your Christmas decor ideas, your chosen color scheme will no doubt have the biggest impact on your overall design, so it pays to choose a color combination that works in harmony with your existing room color ideas and sense of style.

Whether you want to keep things traditional with red and green (you can never go wrong with a classic scheme) or are looking to switch up your holiday decor with a fresh new palette, our collection of Christmas color schemes can coordinate with Christmas themes of all styles.

Christmas color schemes for any style of home

Of course, Christmas decor that complements your existing interior space can establish a wonderfully coordinated and chic look, but your festive decorations and Christmas tree themes are also a great opportunity to inject an element of contrast into your space. The main piece of advice for choosing the right Christmas color scheme is to choose shades that you are naturally drawn to – and that you won't tire of over the festive season.

1. Embrace the traditional colors of Christmas

How to decorate a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future)

What better place to start than with the traditional colors of Christmas? Classic Christmas color schemes are often centered around berry reds and rich, forest greens, taking inspiration from the natural colors found in traditional Christmas decor such as Christmas foliage and flowers.

A red and green Christmas scheme is often complemented by a metallic accent color, such as gold or silver, adding a note of stylish contrast.

From Christmas wreaths and Christmas garlands, to red, green and gold tree ornaments and decorations, these classic festive colors can create a scheme rich in nostalgic character, cozy charm and Christmas tradition.

2. Choose calming, cozy neutrals

Pottery Barn cozy Christmas living room, decorated fireplace

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Neutral room ideas can help to create a restful and grounding atmosphere in a space, so are perfect if you're looking for a more cozy and calming Christmas color scheme.

Ashley Banbury, color marketing manager at Sherwin-Williams brand group, says, 'In holiday decor this season, there’s been a noticeable shift towards decoration with understated elegance and a more soft and tactile appeal. Accompanying this textured trend is a move towards neutral and pastel shades. Traditional reds and greens are still present, but they are now joined by softer, muted neutral tones.'

This year has seen a huge rise in interior design trends such as 'quiet luxury' that champion a look of understated elegance through a more subtle, pared-back color palette, so if you're looking for 'quiet luxury' Christmas decor or minimalist Christmas decor, enduring neutrals such as cream, white, beige and brown are perfect.

Sherwin Williams
Ashley Banbury

Ashley Banbury has more than 15 years of experience in the design community. A NCIDQ-certified designer, she has expertise in translating global lifestyle trends through color and works for giving consumers confidence in the color selection process at the Sherwin Williams consumer brands group.

3. Create a luxurious feel with metallics

Fireplace decorated with candles, ceramics and vase of flowers and foliage

(Image credit: Sarah Kaye Representation, photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

'Think gold, gold, gold,' says interior designer, Jonathan Adler. 'It’s sparkly, it’s festive, and it’s more modern than red and green. Opt for gilded decorative accents for instant festivity. A bowl of metallic ornaments for your Christmas table centerpiece can create a simple yet stylish metallic arrangement, they're unexpected, they glimmer, and you don't have to move them out of the way in order to make conversation across the table.'

For the right accent color for your glistening gold scheme, home decorating expert, Nikki Lo says, 'create a sophisticated and glamorous look with a palette of gold and white. This wintery combination brings a touch of luxury and also works well with various decor styles. Or, for an even softer look, pair gold with a palette of blush pinks for a feminine, whimsical look.'

Metallic decor will always feel wonderfully special and festive, and as well as gold, silver, and bronze also work well for a Christmas color scheme. Silver can be paired with blue to create a cool look, whereas bronze can add a touch of inviting warmth – and it looks beautiful when paired with an earthy green.

Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler

Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler launched his namesake brand after leaving his day job to pursue his first love: pottery. In 1993, Barneys bought his collection of pots, and five years later, he opened his first store in Soho, NYC. Now, Jonathan Adler has retail locations worldwide, an e-commerce site, a collection of residential and commercial design projects, and a global wholesale business.

4. Be bold with brights

Colorful christmas dining table

(Image credit: Future)

2023 has been the year of dopamine decor and Barbiecore, so it will come as no surprise that many of us are going all out with bold, bright designs for our Christmas color schemes – what better time to be experimental and playful with color than at Christmas?

For the Christmas table decor in this dining room, we love how an uplifting, bright color palette has been used across the flowers, candles, and ornaments, bringing an unexpected, summery feel to the table. 

Whether you go all out and opt for a pink faux Christmas tree this year, or embrace refreshing shades of pink, orange, yellow, and blue across your Christmas ornaments on your tree, who says you can't be inspired by summer decor ideas in December?

We explore more non-traditional Christmas decor ideas in our dedicated feature.

5. Look to the colors of nature for a rustic look

Christmas tree with cozy lounge chair and floor lamp in background

(Image credit: Ferm Living)

Home decorating expert Nikki Lo says, 'Create a rustic and cozy feel for your Christmas color scheme by incorporating natural tones such as earthy browns, greens, tans, and muted reds. Add in natural elements like pinecones, twigs, and burlap for a warm and inviting look.'

A grounding, earthy color scheme is perfect for those wanting to embrace rustic Christmas decor or Scandinavian Christmas decor, and borrows elements from both traditional and neutral Christmas color schemes. 

Look to nature for inspiration for this color scheme, and dress your space in an abundance of natural materials and nature-inspired decorative accents, think plenty of greenery, wood, wool and linen.

6. Use rich, jewel tones

Colorful christmas table

(Image credit: West Elm)

'I’m not a fan of the full-on red and green look,' says interior designer, Tiffany Duggan, founder of Studio Duggan, 'I love jewel tones such as deep aubergines, soft pinks, chartreuse, and berry shades as a more modern take on a traditional Christmas.'

For those wanting to embrace a colorful Christmas theme but with a luxurious, sophisticated feel, you can never go wrong when decorating with jewel tones. Emerald green and purple will always make for a complementary color pairing, as do sapphire blue and ruby red. For a more subtle look, use jewel tones to provide a stylish note of contrast in a neutral Christmas scheme, use the colors across smaller decorations such as flowers and candles.

Tiffany Duggan
Tiffany Duggan

Tiffany Duggan is the director of interior design studio, Studio Duggan, a leading, London based studio creating distinctive, finely crafted and well considered interiors for high-end residential and boutique commercial projects. With over 15 years of experience in the interior design sector, Tiffany began by studied Interior Design at the prestigious KLC School of Design in Chelsea.


What are the best color combinations for Christmas?

As we have explored in this piece, there are a collection of Christmas color combinations, both traditional and modern, that can work wonderfully across your festive decor. Explore our helpful list of some of our favorite color combinations below:

  • Red, gold and green 
  • Blue and silver 
  • Pink and red
  • Red and blue
  • Purple and gold 
  • Purple and green
  • White and gold 
  • White and red
  • White and blue
  • Brown and green 
  • Brown and gold
  • Brown and white

When choosing your Christmas color scheme, always consult the color wheel for color inspiration and best practice on pairing colors together.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.