6 quick and easy ideas to make your holiday decor look more expensive

These designer tips will ensure a timeless and sophisticated festive display

expensive christmas decor
(Image credit: Layered Lounge, Future, Future / BLACKMORE PHOTOGRAPHY LTD)

There are many styles to embrace when it comes to decorating for Christmas. From traditional Christmas decor to a maximalist approach, there are lots of ways to channel your festive decor to align with your interior tastes.

But whether you prefer a nostalgic and colorful display or prefer to keep things more pared-back, there are many ways you can elevate your Christmas decor ideas to make them look more expensive.

'While the sentiment behind decorating for the festive season remains unchanged, there's a growing trend towards creating Christmas decor that exudes sophistication, timelessness, and environmental consciousness.' explains Niko Rasides, Design Director at Nicholas Anthony.

How to make your Christmas decor look more expensive

'By investing in quality, embracing natural elements, and incorporating sustainable practices, you can create a festive atmosphere that not only looks timeless and sophisticated but also contributes to a greener, more mindful holiday season.' says Niko.

With that in mind, we've rounded up six different ideas you can embrace to make your festive decorations look more expensive. 

1. Opt for classic colors

Real tree siting in a living room

(Image credit: Chris Everard / Future)

Design experts agree that tasteful and expensive-looking Christmas decor lends itself to opting for classic hues. If you prefer modern Christmas decor, choosing a neutral color scheme will always look sophisticated. Or, as Niko explains, channeling the classic color trends of Christmas will always maintain their traditional look: 'Choose classic colors like gold, silver, and deep green to create an elegant and cohesive aesthetic.'

2. Incorporate natural elements

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

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

'Celebrate the beauty of nature by incorporating elements such as pinecones, evergreen branches, and berries' says Niko. 'This sustainable approach by using items readily available in nature can add a touch of sophistication to your Christmas decor.'

There are many ways to add natural elements to your Christmas decor, and Niko explains some simple Christmas foliage ideas to embrace: 'With your wreath, consider using unconventional materials like dried flowers, eucalyptus, or metallic accents to create a unique and sophisticated focal point.'

3. Add personal touches

Entryway decorated for Christmas

(Image credit: Jon Day)

'Selecting and mixing in items that channel an “heirloom look” is a great way to upgrade your Christmas decor,' says interior designer Kate Marker. 'Items to consider may include an unusual or antique-inspired pattern on a serving dish, a patina on brass candleholders, delicate ornaments that may have been passed down generations, or interesting objects that hint of traditions from far away.  These will not only elegantly elevate but also be conversation starters with family and guests alike.'

4. Use opulent materials

Large dining room with tall christmas tree and christmas dining table

(Image credit: Jon Day Photography / Designers Guild / Trenoweth House)

'Luxurious textures like velvet, silk, and faux fur can also help elevate that timeless appeal and make your décor look expensive,' says Niko. There are many ways to incorporate sumptuous materials into your decor, and you don't need to add much to make an impact. For example, 'consider draping richly textured throws over furniture, or add velvet ribbons to your tree for a touch of opulence,' suggests Niko. 

5. Don't overdo it

Scandi-inspired festive dining room

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

Sometimes even with Christmas decor, the answer is less is more. If you want your Christmas decor to look elevated and expensive go for a minimalist approach - keep the color scheme stripped back and muted and be inspired by Scandi Christmas decor with clean lines and simple ornaments. You can still bring in plenty of texture to ensure it feels warm and welcoming. 

'Keep it simple in your design decisions,' says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky.  'Fewer, better quality pieces convey that sense of elegance more powerfully than crowding things too much.'

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.

Niko agrees with this approach, and adds that minimalist Christmas ideas can also have a positive environmental impact: 'Sometimes, less is more. A minimalist approach to festive decorating by focusing on a few statement pieces rather than overwhelming your space with decorations can create a sophisticated look whilst also reducing the environmental impact by consuming fewer resources.'

6. Create ambient lighting

Cozy christmas dining room with large wreath on wall above fireplace

(Image credit: Cathy Nordstrom, Fanny Radvik)

Interior designer, Bethany Adams advises that to create a Christmas decor display that looks timeless and expensive, it's all about creating dimmed Christmas light ideas for a cozy feel. 'Rule number one, dim the lights,' she says. 'Even better, light a bunch of candles and look for decor made from luxurious materials like feathers or glass. The low light will show these off to tremendous effect. Splurge on a little fresh greenery and your trinkets will be shown off to maximum effect.'

Bethany Adams
Bethany Adams

Bethany Adams has over 15 years of experience designing and project-managing high-end residential projects all over the US. She started her design firm in Louisville in 2015 and before worked for several designers and architects over the course of a ten-year career in Chicago.

There are so many ways to elevate your Christmas decor to make it look and feel more expensive. Whether you choose to decorate with colors or focus on adding natural elements, the key is not overdoing it – an understated approach will go a long way in creating a sophisticated look.

If you're looking for more ideas specifically for the tree, we've explored tips to make your Christmas tree look more expensive to help give you some inspiration.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.