5 unexpected places to decorate for Christmas for a more unique festive display

To make your home feel extra special this holiday season, be sure to uplift these unexpected places with beautiful festive decoration

Unexpected places in the home to decorate for Christmas. Neutral bedroom with large christmas tree. Close up of bath with candles, side table decorated with vase of foliage. Kitchen decorated with festive foliage.
(Image credit: Urbanology Designs / Matti Gresham | Sarah Kaye Representation ltd. | Marie Flanigan Interiors)

From the back-yard to the bathroom, our ideas for unexpected places in the home to decorate for Christmas can help you to create a cozy festive feel throughout your space. 

Traditionally, Christmas decor ideas are found in rooms such as living rooms, entryways and on our front door and porch, but there are plenty of other styling opportunities to embrace in your home for the holiday season.

When it comes to modern Christmas decor, there really are no rules, and we think the more decoration you have in your home, the better. From Christmas trees in bedrooms, to foliage and flowers in bathrooms, explore our favorite unexpected places in the home to decorate for Christmas.

5 unexpected places to decorate for the holidays

We all use our homes differently, some of us spend way more time in our bedrooms and kitchens than our living rooms and many of us now work from home, and beautiful Christmas decor should be placed where it can be fully seen and appreciated.

1. The bathroom

Cozy bathroom with bath, candles and vase of foliage

(Image credit: Sarah Kaye Representation ltd.)

Interior Designer Artem Kropovinsky says, 'Introduce warmth and an inviting seasonal aroma to your bathroom through scented candles, opt for winter-inspired scents for that cozy festive feel. You can also enhance your bathroom with vases of natural or faux foliage and flowers, such as pine branches or holly, adding inviting touches of authentic, organic beauty to the space.'

'A bathroom can join in on the Christmas feeling with fresh Christmas greenery around the mirror. Fresh foliage, such as eucalyptus, not only looks pretty, it can make your bathroom smell amazing, too. Artificial natural accents such as garlands can work wonderfully in the space also, perfect for draping around mirrors and cabinet.' says interior designer, Erin Klawiter from NiftyNest.

As well as the best candles and beautiful Christmas foliage and flowers, you can also swap out your usual bath towels and mats for more fun and festive designs for Christmas bathroom decor. For a more chic and subtle look, opt for towels in rich seasonal colors, such as forest green and berry red.

Artem Kropovinsky headshot
Artem Kropovinsky

Founder of NYC-based interior design firm, Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky has a decade of extensive global design experience, connecting a cohesive, collaborative team of passionate professionals, who work on interior projects in the U.S. and worldwide. 

2. The kitchen

Wooden kitchen with wreaths on lighting

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors)

There is no doubt many of us will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the festive season. Not only is this hub of the home a busy cooking area, it is usually one of the main gathering points, especially when hosting guests, so it pays to enhance this multi-functional area with stylish kitchen Christmas decor – and there really are so many creative ideas to choose from.

'To bring decoration to your kitchen counters, why not design a Christmas-themed coffee station by placing holiday mugs on your mug tree,' says home decorating expert, Nikki Lo – you can even add some seasonal syrups, to complete the festive look.

'Kitchen cabinets and walls are also a great place to hang beautiful Christmas wreaths, I love the look of one large wreath above a stove, creating an alluring visual centerpiece,' says Nikki.

In this kitchen, designed by Marie Flanigan Interiors, we love how the kitchen island lighting has been beautifully enhanced with festive foliage, creating an eye-catching sense of contrast with the warming tones of the wood – the two miniature Christmas trees on the countertop are also utterly adorable.

For more inspiration, we explore how to decorate a kitchen for Christmas in our dedicated feature.

3. The bedroom

White bedroom, black framed mirror, tree in basket

(Image credit: Urbanology Designs / Matti Gresham)

'Why should your bedroom be left out of the holiday cheer? Draping a Christmas garland along the headboard and footboard of a bed adds instant merriment. It’s also a nice surprise for holiday guests in a guest bedroom, as it tells them you took the effort to make their space feel festive,' says Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, owner of Blakely Interior Design.

The soft warm glow of Christmas lighting can also make all the difference in a bedroom, so if your space doesn’t have them already, hang twinkling fairy lights across walls, windows, and door frames.

Lucy Searle, content director at Homes & Gardens also adds, 'If you're looking to create a more calming, serene Christmas feel in your bedroom, then a pared-back wreath can create a stylish statement without being too overstimulating.'

Or, if you really want to make a festive statement, why not bring a Christmas tree into the bedroom? As shown in this serene sleep space, designed by Ginger Curtis, interior designer at Urbanology Designs

Janelle Blakely Photopoulos
Janelle Blakely Photopoulos

Janelle Blakely Photopoulos is the owner and creative director of Blakely Interior Design, an interior design practice that has garnered a loyal client base in Rhode Island and beyond over the last decade.

4. The home office

Orange hanging paper decorations

(Image credit: layered Lounge)

'With so many of us working from home, adding some holiday touches to a home office or desk set-up can allow you to enjoy the season even while working. It can add a joyful touch to a space you spend a lot of time in the day. Adding a simple wreath or swag of greenery can be all you need to decorate these spaces. The festive feeling will still come across,' says interior designer, Tiffany Piotrowski from Tiffany Leigh Design.

If you don't want to clutter your desk with festive ornaments, take your decorations elsewhere. From twinkling string lights on bookshelves to cozy Christmas window decor, making your work space more merry and joyful will help to make those colder days working from home slightly more festive, and dare we say it, fun.

Tiffany Piotrowski, Tiffany Leigh Design
Tiffany Piotrowski

Tiffany Piotrowski founded Tiffany Leigh Design Inc. in 2019. With an eye for casual classic style, she brings thoughtfully curated designs to her client’s homes and cottages. Tiffany prides herself in having a hand in every project coming into the TLD Studio.

5. The back yard

Back yard lit up with christmas lights

(Image credit: Alun Callender Photography)

So much attention is usually placed onto Christmas door decor and Christmas porch decor for outdoor Christmas decor, it's easy to oversee decorating your back yard. 

Of course, this space may not be as frequently seen compared to the front of your home, but it can still benefit from a few twinkling lights and fun festive designs, making your view of this space from the inside of your home feel cozier and in sync with the season.


How do you subtly decorate for Christmas?

As fun as it can be to go all out with maximalist Christmas decor, this style is not for everyone. 

The beauty of Christmas decor is that it really can be catered to spaces of all styles. For a more subtle look, embrace more minimalist Christmas decor and Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas, where neutral color palettes, tactile textures and natural materials take center stage. 

You can also create a pared-back look by scaling back your decoration to a few key areas in your home. Along with a Christmas tree, a Christmas mantel or Christmas table have to be our favorite places to get creative with festive decor.

Many of the cozy decorating ideas we explore in our other feature, unexpected places in the home to decorate for fall, can also be used over the festive season – the beauty of many seasonal decorating ideas is that they can be used all the way from fall, to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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.