Christmas living room ideas – celebrate the festive season surrounded by style

Our favorite ways to create a seasonal scheme in your sitting room this winter

Christmas-Living-room-ideas
Photography/Jonathan Gooch
(Image credit: Future)

This winter, more than ever before, our homes have become a retreat from the outside world. Creating the right atmosphere indoors can allow us to properly switch off and enjoy this precious time with our family and friends. 

There's nowhere quite like the living room to congregate around a fire, gaze up at the twinkling tree and exchange gifts, so we've rounded up our favorite ways to decorate this key Christmas space.

Whether you have a traditional or contemporary home, want to go all-out with decor or prefer a more subtle approach, our Christmas living room ideas gallery will have something for you. 

Here are our top looks for Christmas 2020.

1. Go for a co-ordinated look

Christmas living room ideas AB

Photography/Adrian Brisoce

(Image credit: Future)

Layer up classic shades of warm metallics to adorn your living room this Christmas. 

Adorn your tree with reams of classic baubles in a mixture of bronzes and soft golds, staying within a strict color scheme and decoration shape. A simple string of warm white lights will set off the effect without detracting. 

For a complete theme, make sure to drape a garland over the fireplace mantlepiece, dotted with natural touches from the same color family; think dried oranges and seed heads. An inviting pile of gifts wrapped in co-ordinating paper will be the bow on top of the look.

2. Add a touch of glamor

Christmas living room ideas PR

Photography/Paul Raeside

(Image credit: Future)

Go for an elegant Christmas theme in your living room this year with some subtle glamour.

Touches of brushed metallics all over the space will add a grown-up twist to the festivities. Paper garlands created in pale golds, carefully hung can turn this traditionally wonky children's decoration into something quite special.

Echo this feeling with a minimalist metallic wreath placed gently on the mantlepiece, and various bowls for nuts and candy in similar tones dotted around the room. Perfect for a room decorated in neutral tones, this look will give you all of the Christmas spirit, simply in a more considered way.

3. Choose a traditional scheme

Christmas living room ideas Mel Yates

Photography/Mel Yates

(Image credit: Future)

Hark back to Christmasses past by dressing your space with traditional Yuletide moments.

Stick to regal shades of reds and gold with decorations - both on the tree and off. Make sure to layer up with fresh foliage, including trailing ivy, fir and ruby red berries to have the evocative fragrance of Christmas wafting through the living room. 

Keep accessories to a minimum to really achieve that traditional feel.

4. Create a focal point

Christmas living room ideas Simon Brown

Photography/Simon Brown

(Image credit: Future)

It's not only only the center-stage moments in a living room this Christmas. Highlight a corner of your space and turn it into a festive focal point.

Even if you only have a small area available, you can still make this a special spot to draw people over. A simple console table against the wall and decorate with vintage vessels filled with fresh flowers, nuts and candies, and tapered candles on classic candlesticks. Mix and match sizes and shapes for an authentically eclectic vibe.

Attaching a garland overhead will cement this area as a new zone in your living room.

5. Make folk festive

Christmas living room ideas folk

Photography/Simon Bevan

(Image credit: Future)

A folk-inspired space is typically packed with warm colors and bold patterns which can provide the perfect backdrop for Christmas decor.

Reds, whites and blues from the fabrics in the room turn from folksy to festive with the addition of seasonal accessories. 

Naive-style patterned stockings, along with natural rose hip and fir garlands, enhance this festive scheme. 

6. Style with subtlety 

Christmas living room ideas Paul Raeside

Photography/Paul Raeside

(Image credit: Future)

If you're a minimalist, or perhaps just not all that into traditional Christmas decorating, why not give a little nod to the season instead.

Layer up with warming fabrics in varying shades of whites, creams and beige to suggest snow flurries and memories of mistletoe. On your coffee table, place a pleasingly large bowl with decorative paper baubles, gentler than the classic colorful decs. For the pièce de résistance, attach a mural to wall, depicting a snowy scene.

Clean, chic, and the easiest clear up come January 12th.

7. Reach for the skies

Christmas living room ideas Jody Stewart

Photography/Jody Stewart

(Image credit: Future)

If you have a double height living room, then make the most of it over the festive period.

Buy the tallest Christmas tree that can fit (and decorate safely with from a stepladder or mezzanine), and cover with baubles. Make sure to choose oversized decorations, as small or regular sized ones will simply get lost in the scale. 

With such a large tree, you'll need a fairly bug stand, which may not  be the most attractive thing. A classic wicker Christmas tree skirt will cover up this practical element, while balancing out this area more neatly.

8. Add a Midas touch

Christmas living room ideas Simon Bevan

Photography/Simon Bevan

(Image credit: Future)

Go for gold this Christmas – and when we say go for it, we mean it.

While we may not all have an already golden room, if you want one for the holidays, consider removable wall decals for an all-over metallic sparkle. Just make sure that these won't damage whatever type of paint or wallpaper you already have.

Golden baubles, ribbons and decs should be strewn about the room; attached baubles to walls inside empty picture frames, fill a wicker basket, or simply decorate the tray you leave on your ottoman. 

Mirrored elements and lights - especially fairy lights and candles- will enhance the gold warmth and sparkle.

9. Enhance country charm

Christmas living room ideas Chris Everard

Photography/Chris Everard

(Image credit: Future)

In a perfectly decorated country home, you may not wish to pile on the decorations, but a rural living room can still benefit from even a few festive touches.

Pile your sofa with soft, cozy throws and chunky, knitted cushions. Continue this feeling of welcoming warmth with a sumptuous sheepskin rug on the floor, and even a tartan layer on the ottoman, for a gentle nod to Christmas traditions.

In terms of decorations, think natural, like a rustic wreath of thin boughs, enticing eucalyptus and a twinkling of fairy lights. A posy of winter berries and a bowl of clementines will finish off the scene. For extra old school country points, stud the oranges with fragrance-enhancing cloves.

10. Sing the blues

Christmas living room ideas Brent Darby

Photography/Brent Darby

(Image credit: Future)

Not everyone has a living room scheme that may seem ready-made for Christmas, but you could be wrong.

A blue room provides the perfect backdrop for a classy and stylish Christmas hub. Keep tree decorations to a strict color palette of blues, whites and silvers so as not to introduce clashing. Liberally use foliage throughout, and dot with crisp, white details such as delicate snowberries or pretty mistletoe.

11. Add a touch of magic

Christmas living room ideas Jan Baldwin

Photography/Jan Baldwin

(Image credit: Future)

Even simple furniture can be given a glow-up for the festive season.

Create a spectacular scene in your living room for that extra sense of magic this Christmas. Enhance a day bed with fabric (if you don't have a handy hook on the hall, a picture nail or strong command hook should do the trick). Drape over either end of the daybed for a feeling of exoticism and opulence, and throw over a string of fairy lights for good measure. 

For that extra touch, decorate the top point of the fabric with tinsel and upgrade the cushions with sufficiently festive alternatives.

12. Go for green

Christmas living room ideas Chris Everard

Photography/Chris Everard

(Image credit: Future)

Green - the color of life, of Christmas trees and your new Christmas room living room scene.

Whether or not you already have green accents in your room, you can still allow this rejuvenating shade to take center stage. Adorn your tree with fairly neutral decorations - and we're including muted metallics in this - to allow the fresh pine color to shine through. 

Pick up on this natural note by adding fir garland across mantlepieces and window frames. Jugs and vases should be packed with eucalyptus, holly and ivy.

13. Make it moody

Christmas living room ideas Ben Anders

Photography/Ben Anders

(Image credit: Future)

Indulge in ultimate coziness with your living room scheme this Christmas.

If your walls and furniture are in moody shades, like navy blues and charcoal grays, then lean in to this for the festivities. Darker, natural materials like pine cones and seed heads tuned into wreaths and garlands will echo this dark, warm feel, while adding a seasonal touch. 

On the tree, use the baubles to pick up on key shades from around the room. Stick to warm yellow lighting rather than bright white fairy lights which would be too much of a harsh contrast,

14. Include unexpected decorations

Christmas living room ideas Polly Wreford

(Image credit: Future)

Get rid of all pre-conceived notions of where certain Christmas decorations do and do not belong.

The classic wreath, for example, is long past being relegated to the front door. Internal doors and above mantlepieces have seeped in to interior design, but take this further - a wall scone with a place to hang a string from is an ideal spot for a wreath to brighten up a corner of a living room. 

How can I decorate my living room for Christmas?

The living room is a place in the home where you can really have fun with expressing yourself for Christmas.

Either lean into the scheme you have year round (eg. minimal, bright, country) and base your festive decor around this, or impact a whole new vibe on the space.

Some ideas which work in nearly any scheme include:

  • place a wreath above a fireplace
  • drape a garland over a mantlepiece
  • fill bowls with baubles, candy or nuts
  • display - and burn - Christmas candles
  • fill vases with  fresh scented seasonal foliage
  • layer up with cozy, chunky blankets
  • wind thin strings of fairy lights around vessels, mirrors and windows
  • and, of course, put up a Christmas tree

Where do you put Christmas tree in a living room?

Before you even buy your Christmas tree, decide on where it will live over the festivities. Finding the perfect tree and realising it's too big for that corner, or not large enough so that it gets lost is less than ideal.

You'll want your tree somewhere where is still feels center stage, but not distractingly so as you still need to live and move around it. Try not to block televisions, sofas or windows which you need for natural light. Stay away from fireplaces and main walkway routes. Consider if there's any furniture you can move out of the room for the holidays - if you don't need that side table or extra chair, take it out and give the tree more room to breathe.