Christmas decorating ideas to elevate your festive decor

These Christmas decorating ideas will provide the ultimate inspiration for the festive decor in every room of your home

An example of some of the best Christmas decorating ideas—a silver and white living room with Christmas trees, garlands, and candles
(Image credit: Future)

These fabulously festive Christmas decorating ideas for every room of your home will help inspire your decor this season and get your home 'guest-ready' for the holidays. 

We could all use some inspiration and guidance when it comes to arranging our Christmas decor—even the most confident of designers can be inspired by new ways of arranging our decor items. And while the classic winter decor items are still essential (think: garlands, wreaths, fairy lights and candles), reconsidering where and how to place them can really breathe new life into your home this festive period.

Whether you're decorating a small space or a larger area, we've got Christmas decorating ideas for every area of the home—from unique Christmas tree decorating ideas (whether you have one of the best artificial Christmas trees or a real one), to really easy decor additions that can make a room festive in a flash.

Christmas decorating ideas 2021

1. Decorate your tree with a pretty tree skirt

Sure, decorating your home with a tree (be it one of the best real Christmas trees or an artificial one) is a given. But to jazz yours up that little bit further, have you ever considered adorning it with Christmas tree skirts? You can get all different kinds—such fleece ones that emulate the look of snow gathered around your tree, decorative material ones like the above, or durable, wipeable ones with fun festive patterns painted onto them that make accidental spillages of soil or water from the tree pot no problem. Take your pick and watch your tree come to life.

2. Lay a garland on top of your headboard

Decorating your bedroom for Christmas can feel trickier than decorating the rest of your home, as there's generally less free floor space, and decorating a bed can feel like a tricky task. But an easy way to do it is to layer a festive garland either on top of your headboard (if your bed is against the wall), or weave it around your headboard, if you have a metal frame. It'll create an instantly cozy feel without taking up any room, and you can choose either a thicker, bushy garland or a thinner, elegant option depending on the space you have.

3. Add a festive throw to your entry, living room or bedroom

When it comes to how to decorate for Christmas, throws are an essential way of making a room feel cozy, adding layers and texture to our sofas, beds, chairs and entryways. So why not switch yours up for the festive season and make it multi-functional? By switching out your regular throw for a seasonal option (perhaps one that comes in traditional Christmas colors, such as red, white or green), you'll have a piece of festive decor and something cozy to cuddle up with during those chilly winter evenings! You can also invest in some Christmas bedding for your bedroom and the guest room to fully embrace the festive season throughout December. 

4. Hang stockings in your desired festive color scheme

Stockings aren't just for Christmas Eve—get them out earlier and they can become a brilliant way to elevate your seasonal decor. Ditch the gimmicky options you've had for years and opt for chic and stylish stockings that match the festive color scheme throughout your home. And you can hang them anywhere too—over the mantel is the tradition, but you can buy adhesive sticking hooks too that means you could add them to a dresser, side table, or on the wall too, if you want.

5. Scatter white candles around your home

Truly, nothing gives off more of a cozy, comfortable 'stay-at-home-for-the-whole-of-December' look than candles, especially when they are lit in the evening in lieu of your actual lights. So for a super simple Christmas decorating idea, simply pop as many as (safely) possible all around your home—on coffee tables, dining tables, side tables, windowsills and kitchen counters. We'd also advise opting for white candles (they can be real or flameless!), for a traditional Christmas feel, too. Once they're lit, you'll feel as though your home is a festive wonderland.

6. Hang natural decor from door and window frames

You can forage gorgeous festive decorations yourself simply with a walk out into the woods—from pine cones to twigs and holly, some of the best decor items don't need to be bought. And once you've got your goods, a lovely way of displaying them is to thread them onto some string and hang them in a group in a number of places round your home, be it in a door frame, a window frame, or simply up against a wall. Dry out some sliced seasonal citrus fruit too (namely oranges), for a bit of color, and you'll have one of the most unique Christmas decorating ideas around.

7. Add festive foliage to your favorite vases

One of the most simple Christmas decorating ideas, why not replace your favorite flowers with some sprigs of festive foliage? It's incredibly easy—you can normally buy branches of foliage from any of your preferred retailers, and all you need to do is arrange a few of them in your favorite vase. We'd recommend a clear case so you can see the entire decoration!

8. Spray paint your tree white for a DIY upgrade

Snowy trees are bang on trend for the top Christmas tree themes this year, but if you've already bought a traditional green one (or hauled it out of the attic), never fear, because you can still give yours a festive upgrade easily yourself. Grab a can of white spray paint, cover your floors and walls with something protective, and get spraying to create the illusion that your Christmas tree is covered in snow! Leave it to dry and you're good to go—a festive white tree without forking out for an entirely new one altogether.

9. Place mini Christmas trees on your mantel

If you really want to up the festive ante in your living space, there's no need to stop at one Christmas tree. Decorating your surfaces (be it a mantel, your sideboard, or your TV cabinet), with mini Christmas trees—we love snowy ones—is a great way to continue the theme throughout the rest of the space, and instantly elevate your decor into a festive wonderland. 

Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray, says "Mini tabletop trees are one of the best Christmas decorations in any home and fit with most interior styles. A top styling tip is to arrange them in odd numbers—it will make the overall effect elegant and well-thought-out."

10. Place fairy lights within your curtains

We all love fairy lights on our Christmas trees, but have you ever considered attaching them to your blinds or curtains? Trailing single reams of twinkling lights vertically down them can create a really special 'Santa's Grotto' vibe, and will make your home feel extra cozy come the nighttime. Jess advises, "Stick to warm yellow fairy lights for a classic look"

Just make sure to look at the manufacturers note on your fairy lights to ensure that wherever you hand them isn't a fire risk. 

11. Put a fluffy rug under your tree

If a tree skirt isn't for you, placing a fluffy, oversized Christmas-colored rug under your tree can really take your decor to the next level. We love white, but you could also opt for gray, brown, or even red if you're feeling bold. This will add texture to your living room decor and, if you go for a white rug, will create the illusion of a snowy floor—you could almost be in the woods...

12. Replace your regular prints with festive prints

You'll likely have arty or stylish prints hanging in your home right now—be they chic minimalistic black and white pieces or fun, colorful abstracts. But an easy way to create a more festive feel in your living room is to replace these for the month of December (and November, if you want), with more Christmassy prints. We love the idea of festive quote, which would suit most exisiting home decor schemes—but if you're feeling daring, why not opt for a colorful festive print?

13. Place wreaths on the inside of your window

Wreaths only belong on the outside of windows and doors, right? Wrong. If you're looking for ways to add a bit of seasonal spirit to your windows (because lets face it, they often get left out), you could consider hanging a wreath on the inside of them. Ensure this decor tip doesn't get overwhelmed by hanging the same wreath design on each of your windows—choosing a different wreath for each window is time-consuming and would make the room look too busy. See our guide to the best Christmas wreaths if you're struggling to choose!

14. Decorate with multiple small trees—rather than one big one

If you have the space, you could really take your Christmas decorating to the next level by setting up multiple small Christmas trees in your living room - like mini main Christmas tree alternatives. They're definitely space-swallowers, but you could create your own festive wonderland by doing so, if you have the floor-space to spare. Decorate them all minimally and uniformly to ensure you don't make the decor too busy and overwhelming. Or, you could even use stylish twig trees to create the same effect, without taking up as much room. 

You can buy a small Christmas tree online and Xander Shreenan, interior designer at home décor brand Dowsing & Reynolds, explains that they're bang on trend—"We’re seeing a rise in twig trees, and minimalist, asymmetrical designs are growing in popularity in modern home interiors."

15. Pop a Christmas centerpiece on your table

The best Christmas centerpiece ideas can really elevate your festive table, so why not also consider putting another on your living room coffee table, or on a spare space on the sideboard? They are both eye-catching and impressive and will allow you to contain your Christmas decor to one, easy space (because lets face it, it can take over). And for a treat for guests, add luxury Christmas crackers for a completely festive look!

16. Put wooden logs in your fireplace for a rustic feel

If you're lucky enough to have an open fire, utilize the space over the festive season by placing real wooden logs in there when the fire is not in use. Not only is it a great storage space, but it also creates the feeling of being in a rustic wooden lodge - the dream winter escape in December. 

17. Hang a garland above your kitchen cabinets

The kitchen can be a tricky area to decorate for the festive season, but one easy way to do it is to place a garland (thick and oversized, or regular), on top of your kitchen cabinets, if you have a gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. 

If you don't have a space there, you could always tape a garland to a bigger space in your kitchen, such as across your cooker hood—just make sure you don't drape it across multiple cabinets, which will hinder you actually being able to open them.

18. Place a wreath behind dining chairs

A simpler way of adding some decor to your kitchen is to adorn it with as many wreaths as you can fit. A great place to put them is either on your cooker hood, or on the backs of any bar stools or dining table chairs you might have. Just be sure to use them sparingly if you only have a small kitchen space, as it could quickly overwhelm your cooking and dining area.

19. Drape a garland across your windows

You could also hang a garland across the top of your kitchen window, which would really elegantly frame the space for a really striking look. Take inspiration from the above picture and create a little decor area if you also have a kitchen windowsill—don't be afraid to add dangled snowflakes, or spray-paint the edges of the window with faux snow. You could also hang wreaths on the inside of your windows. If you've got a large window in your kitchen, why not try hanging two or three of them—or, stick to one if you only have small window space.

20. Fill a tray with Christmas decor

Filling a tray with Christmas decor is one of the easiest Christmas decorating ideas for your home—it'll take you a matter of minutes and doesn't require any awkward hanging of items! So if you're looking for a low-maintenance way to make your home feel festive, this is it. 

When it comes to styling it, Jess suggests, "Grouping decor items of similar colours or textures can create a lovely minimalist look—or if kitsch is more your thing then the more eclectic the collection of decor on the tray then the better!" 

Grab a rustic wooden tray (you could even spray-paint it white or silver), and pop on mini Christmas trees, pine cones, candles or foliage. There's actually a Christmas party game you can play with this tray of fragrant festive items too, that involves people having to guess what's on the tray while blindfolded! An easy entertainment option if you're hosting a Christmas party this year. 

21. Put Christmas treats and goodies in clear glass jars

Another very easy way to create a festive vibe in your home is simply to fill some glass jars (or plastic jars, if you have kids around), to the brim with Christmas candy—think candy canes, gingerbread, Christmas cookies, chocolate coins, or any of best Christmas food gifts that you love to eat over the holidays.

Not only will they look fabulous displayed in such a grand way on your countertops, but it's also generally a great way to store your festive foodie treats, so that everyone knows where to find them come the holidays. 

22. Place fun Christmas signs on your countertops

Similarly to switching out your regular wall prints to festive prints, why not display fun Christmas signs on your kitchen countertops? These could be official, framed artwork, or you could just grab yourself a chalkboard (as above), and pen a different festive message every day of December. It's a fun way to get kids involved with some Christmas decorating ideas too—why not have them do some festive doodles after you've written out the message?

23. Use a tiered tray to display festive drink necessities

Tiered trays are one of our favorite Christmas centerpiece ideas, but they can also work brilliantly displayed on your kitchen countertops. Jess Martin advised w&h: "Multiple decor pieces scattered can tend to look messy. However, if you style them on a tiered tray, the look becomes far more intentional and can become a real centrepiece." 

We'd suggest filling yours up with decor items and all the essentials you need for a movie night watching the best Christmas movies on Netflix. Think hot chocolate sachets, mini marshmallows, mugs, and maybe even whipped cream. Not only is this a functional piece of kitchen kit that'll help you to make your evening hot chocolate, it also looks incredibly festive and will give your kitchen a seasonal lift.

24. Place two mini Christmas trees either side of your front door

An easy way to decorate your front porch for Christmas is to place small Christmas trees either side of your door, if you have the space. Perhaps the simplest way to achieve this is to buy potted Christmas trees, which you can get from all good outdoor/garden retailers, and opt for a height of either 2ft or 3ft depending on the area you have to work with. Pop some fairy lights on them and you're good to go!

25. Place an oversized garland around the frame of your front door

Garlands are evidently an essential piece of Christmas decor, so make sure you have plenty to hand before you start planning your Christmas decorating ideas! One great place to put them outside (make sure yours is waterproof), is around the frame of your front door—this will really elevate your outside decor and provide an impressive entryway to your home. Add in some fairy lights and your outdoor decorations are sorted.

26. Put fairy lights in your existing outdoor plants

If you're not keen to spend too much time decorating the outside of your home (we spend most of our time inside, anyway), then a very easy decor tip for your front garden or porch is to just drape some fairy lights across your shrubbery or plants. Tangle them up in any hedges you have, drape them across potted plants, or wind them round the trunk of any trees in your yard. A quick, easy, and affordable way to add a festive touch to the outside of your house. 

27. Put an oversized lantern with flameless candles outside

Another fun way to decorate the front of your home is to get an oversized lantern and fill it with baubles and some of the best flameless candles for a really special piece of decor. You could also decorate the outside of it with ribbon or tinsel, as well as faux foliage. 

28. Style your stairs with an oversized wreath

Another room, another garland—they truly are the decor gift that keeps on giving. Jess suggests, "To give your hallway a spruce try winding a garland up your staircase bannisters. There’s no need to confine the festive cheer to your main living areas." 

Your garland can go either on top of your bannister or on the side—either will be striking. While you could put a regular-sized garland here, an oversized one will add some drama to your entryway. 

29. Place candles (or flameless candles) on the sides of your stairs

Depending on how practical this is for your home and lifestyle (it may not be a good idea for homes with kids and pets), try placing candles (we'd suggest flameless candles for safety) on either side of your stairs, to create a grand walkway dappled in candlelight. Not only does it look fabulous, it creates a real ambience in your hallway and if using the best scented candles, your home will smell incredible too. We love 'Glowing Embers' by Jo Malone for a truly cosy aroma. 

30. Add lights and decor to the sides of your stairs

If you'd rather not put candles either side of your stairs, you could decorate with other festive items such as light boxes or tea lights in lanterns. There's no hard and fast rule about what works best—just experiment and see what works for your style and space. Be warned though, you'll want to leave plenty of room to actually walk up and down your staircase, still!

31. Decorate with oversized baubles on your bannister

Don't be afraid to go a little OTT with your Christmas decor ideas—in fact, it can look amazing. Xander Shreenan suggests that Christmas decorating ideas 2021 will see people go big: "Keeping within the theme of monochromatic schemes, I predict people will go more modern with a maximalist flair." 

So why not embrace the maximalist trend in your Christmas decorating ideas by adorning your banister with huge, oversized baubles? The DIY papier-mache ones are brilliant—or, you can order plastic options online.

What to consider when decorating your home for Christmas

Taking a moment to consider your Christmas decorations before putting them together, or altering them, is a good idea to ensure your home doesn't look too haphazard, and that you have some semblance of a running theme throughout your home—after all, you don't want your kitchen to be a sea of minimalistic greys and white, and your living room a traditional wonderland of reds and golds...

Before you begin decorating or redecorating, consider:

  • Decorating different surfaces, not just your tree—Daisy Coombes, Marketing Manager at Sass & Belle, explained "It’s important to remember that decorations are not reserved only for the Christmas tree, so embellish consoles with festive scenes, adorn your stairway with garlands decorated with baubles and don’t forget to hang a wreath over your door to get the festive feel going as soon as you step into the house."
  • Keeping precious pieces out of the way of little hands—she also suggests placing decor items you love, or more delicate pieces, away from the reach of little children and pets. Daisy told w&h, "Don’t forget to hang any delicate baubles on your Christmas tree nearer the top and out of the way of furry friends and little hands!"
  • Have fun with it!—there's no need to make decorating your home for the festive period stressful. Just enjoy it and use items that you love to create a space you can really enjoy being in. Xander Shreenan, interior designer at home décor brand Dowsing & Reynolds, said "I would say a key rule to decorating is to have fun with it. Use your decorations as a tool to express yourself and to create a feeling of warmth and comfort during the Christmas period."

modern white and black living room full of Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, if you do want to tap into trends this festive season, we asked the experts for their predictions on the themes that will be popular when it comes to Christmas decorating ideas 2021.

  • Maximalism—this Christmas, the experts predict that more is more when it comes to decorations, so don't be afraid to use bright colors and oversized pieces on everything from centrepieces to Christmas tree topper ideas. Jess Martin explained, "After Christmas 2020 was scaled back for most people, we’re hoping that Christmas 2021 will be a celebration bigger and better than ever. We predict that people will be going for nostalgic maximalism with their decorating this year. Think luxe fabrics, gold details, and red and green colour schemes throughout the home."
  • Sustainability—our impact on the world has been more of a focus than ever this year, and so decorating our homes in a low-impact way will be a key theme this Christmas. Daisy said, "Sustainability is no longer solely reserved for how we eat, shop or dress but also how we decorate. Artisanal, hand crafted, wooden, recycled glass and papier-mache decorations are fast becoming firm favorites, and continue to grow in demand."
  • Scandi-inspired decor—the world's penchant for Scandi-inspired decor will extend into Christmas this year, predicts Jess. Think neutral or natural colors (such as sage green), natural materials, and plenty of greenery. She said, “We’re likely to see Scandi inspired decorations making a comeback this year—rustic and simple, they continue this year's most popular interiors trends. Combining muted tones with lots of natural textures and foliage, this elegant Christmas decor is super on trend and brings the outdoors in."
  • Celestial—interior designer Steph Briggs predicts celestial, space-inspired decor will also be popular for this year. She told w&h, "The hottest trend for Christmas décor 2021 is the sky and space. We saw a lot of celestial themes last year with stars, moons and added sparkles. This year we are adding to that trend with outer space." Think plenty of twinkling lights, moon and star shapes, and dark and light contrasts. 

modern and rustic Scandi-inspired Christmas living room

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With thanks to Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray (opens in new tab), Xander Shreenan, interior designer at home décor brand Dowsing & Reynolds (opens in new tab), Daisy Coombes, Marketing Manager at Sass & Belle (opens in new tab), and Steph Briggs, interior designer and is co-founder of award-winning independent gifts and interior retailer, La Di Da Interiors (opens in new tab)

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on