How do I transition from fall decor to Christmas? 5 simple tips from interior designers

You don't need to completely reinvent your decor for Christmas with these easy ideas

different fall and christmas decor ideas
(Image credit: Helen Rushton / Future)

Decorating your home for the festive season can feel like it constantly needs to be reinvented. Just as you've mastered your fall decor – from Halloween to Thanksgiving – it can feel that it's almost instantly time to start afresh for Christmas. 

But you don't actually need to entirely reinvent your decor to make it work throughout the whole festive season. Having a transitional approach to your home decor through the festive months can save you time and effort, and it can also be a more sustainable approach.

Here, we explore five different ideas as suggested by interior designers to make your festive decor more transitional to ensure your displays look just as appropriate for Christmas decor ideas

Transitioning decor from fall to Christmas

'When I refresh my decor for the fall season, I focus on adding warmth and coziness – super-soft throw blankets, chunky knit pillows, cinnamon-scented candles, and vases of seasonal greenery or branches,' says interior designer Kathy Kuo. 'Once Thanksgiving wraps up and it's time to shift into Christmas mode, I find that with a few subtle additions and adjustments, these decor elements transition beautifully from fall to winter.'

The best way to do this, according to Kathy, is to start with an underlying 'cozy chic' theme for your fall decor ideas that will last the whole season: 'As we get closer and closer to Christmas, I'll keep adding holiday elements, but I find that starting from 'cozy chic' in the fall makes it much easier and more sustainable to do a gradual holiday refresh rather than having to scramble to change up my whole apartment.'

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

1. Begin with a versatile color palette

Fall table centerpiece ideas

(Image credit: Helen Rushton / Future)

The first step to carrying decor from fall to Christmas is to start out with versatile color trends that you can build on. By starting with a palette of warm neutrals that work equally well throughout the holiday season, there won't be any need to entirely reinvent everything for Christmas, but instead, you can add more Christmas-appropriate accent colors to differentiate the festivities. 

'Maintain a base of warm, rich tones, like deep reds, oranges, and yellows, typical of fall, and gradually introduce cooler colors like blues, whites, and silvers associated with winter,' explains interior designer Nicholas Kaiko. 'Incorporating metallics like gold and silver can bridge the gap between fall warmth and winter sparkle.'

Nicholas Kaiko
Nicholas Kaiko

Nicholas Kaiko, founder of Kaiko Design Interiors, is a highly sought-after interior designer based in Sydney, Australia. With over a decade of experience in the interior design industry, Nic has honed his skills as an interior architect and decorator, working on luxury hotels and high-end residential projects both locally and internationally.

2. Use cozy textiles to add layers

living room with christmas tree and velvet sofa

(Image credit: Future)

Cozy textiles are essential in the home throughout the entire holiday season. Not only does decorating with throws and cushions add warmth to the home, but you can also use these accents to establish your festive decor theme. Investing in good quality textiles can be expensive, so by choosing versatile pieces you can ensure they work from fall to Christmas, while still adding the occasional decorative piece. 

'I usually keep the same decorative pillows and throws on my sofa, and maybe I add a more overtly Christmasy pillow or two,' says Kathy Kuo. 

'Don't shy away from layering. More is more in this approach. Layer textures, patterns, and colors to create a visually rich environment,' adds Nicholas Kaiko. 

3. Replace autumnal foliage with evergreen branches

Orange foliage garland on staircase

(Image credit: Future)

Consider refreshing your foliage decor throughout the holiday season to make it more Christmas-focused. Decorating with foliage is inexpensive, so it's a great way of creating a new look without completely changing the overall decor. 'I'll keep the same vases I used for autumnal foliage but fill them with evergreen branches instead.' says Kathy Kuo. 

While fall traditionally attracts warm orange hues, opt for classic greens for Christmas foliage ideas, as interior designer Artem Kropovinsky suggests: 'Replace fall's dried leaves and pumpkins with evergreen branches and holly for Christmas. It's an easy, yet effective transformation.'

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.

4. Add more festive lighting

Fairy lights, candle holders, hanging decorations

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Lighting plays an important role in festive decor, so it's worth considering how you can change this slightly to transition from fall to Christmas. While fall is best suited to warm and cozy lighting that can be achieved through usual light fixtures and candles, consider adding some more festive Christmas light ideas to your display. 

'Transition from the warm, soft lighting of fall to the brighter, more festive lighting of Christmas. Introduce twinkling lights or contemporary light sculptures.' advises Nicholas Kaiko. 

5. Embrace DIY to reinvent Halloween decor

Halloween porch decor

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Lastly, if you have typical Halloween decor items in your home such as pumpkins that are more difficult to transition into Christmas, there are some simple DIY Christmas decor ideas you can use to reinvent them. For pumpkins or fall-colored leaves and branches, Nicholas Kaiko advises: 'spray paint them with silver or gold for a winter look.' And for cornucopias, he adds that these can easily be adapted 'to hold Christmas ornaments or winter fruits like cranberries.'

There are lots of ways to transition your decorations from fall to Christmas. If you are looking for a sustainable approach to decorating, then it's definitely worth starting out with versatile colors and decor items that are a lot easier to last for the whole festive season, rather than reinventing decor for each holiday. 

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.