How our favourite interior bloggers style their homes for Christmas
As soon as the frosty mornings and icy evenings bite, it’s your cue to turn your usual décor into a wondrous winter wonderland.
Whether this means adding gold, sparkly accents to minimalist spaces, or creating a pared-down, rustic look reminiscent of The Holiday, there are countless ways to approach festive décor during this period.
Reinventing the wheel, however, is often easier said than done.
That’s why we’ve turned to some of our favourite interiors bloggers across the web to give you all the best festive colour scheme tips you need at Christmas.
While it might be tempting to throw all your favourite colours at your festive décor, it’s a good idea to consider the message you want to project in the run-up to the big day.
As interiors expert Emma of emmajanepalin.com reminds us, colour is about much more than simply picking a pretty pigment.
“Colours evoke feelings and moods, channel memories and spark conversation; they bring about a sense of personality and allow you to be playful and promote your individuality.”
This means you don’t need to rely on Pinterest boards to inject character into your festive décor. In many cases, the best colour schemes are right under your nose. “If you’re stuck for ideas, inspiration is all around you”, Emma says. “Think about the wrapping paper you’ve chosen, the colours of the food you’ll be serving, and the colours of your family home. Then, look at your current surroundings; focus on the colours in your existing interior and highlight complementary colours to bring out a homely, seasonal feeling.”
Once you get an idea of how you want to start styling your home, you’ll soon find a definitive colour scheme to pull it all together. For some of our favourite colour combos and festive themes, take a look below.
If you’re looking to impress your guests with a look that would put the McCallister family home to shame, try keeping it traditional.
Classic reds and greens
Take inspiration from the colours of wreaths, winter berries and holly leaves; there’s nothing that says “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” more than punchy reds and vibrant greens.
Of course, while brightly-coloured interiors are key to introducing festive fun into your home, Emma reminds us that its best to avoid being too ostentatious if you want a classic look. “The red and green theme is all about embracing classic colours without being too flashy. Simply decking out your Christmas tree with vibrant red baubles and lining your fireplace with ample foliage, for instance, is enough to bring about warm and cosy feelings.”
Having said this, there are still ways you can play around with red and green patterns to bring a traditional look into the 21st century. “Tartan is a great way to subtly bring these festive colours into your home without it becoming garish”, says Emma. “Best of all, you can work the tartan material into both low-key and heavily-decorated settings.”
If you’re looking for ways to add a tasteful twist to traditional décor, take a holly leaf out of Kiran’s (from Design the Lifestyle You Desire) book.
“If you, like me, love a traditional, olde-worlde Christmas, you probably would stick to the reds, gold, greens and silver as a colour scheme for your Christmas decorations.” When it comes to decorations, heavily embellished garlands made with real pine and dotted with red berries are perfect for creating a warm ambience.
A range of metallic tones, such as soft golds, rich brass and shiny bronzes give interiors added warmth when the mercury drops outside.
“Golden accents can help to induce the festive feels”, Emma told us. “Even better, gold can work all year round. Think about gold brass cutlery and gold-rimmed glasses to boost your Christmas dinnerware and polish off the look. Gold stars for decorations can also be very chic while keeping with the traditional theme”.
You needn’t confine this to one gold tone, either. As Kiran says, you can “focus on the colours you have in your home year-round and select complementary hues that bring out the seasonal feeling. For instance, if you have beige and browns as your colour schemes, go for complementary copper and rose gold accents to give your festivities a touch of glamour.”
To cool down the fiery gold tones, scatter silver adornments, such as glittering candle holders, shimmering cushions and shiny baubles, throughout your décor. Like a refreshing gust of icy wind, silver creates a peaceful and classic festive look worthy of an Instagram snap.
For a low-key take on traditional Yuletide décor, turn your attention to dark tones with simple, repeating patterns. White paper snowflakes against windows create a gorgeous contrast between light and dark, while simple circles and intricate lattice patterns nod subtlety to Christmas wreaths. To finish off the look, carry the patterns across to your wrapping paper and tree decorations for a harmonious, free-flowing style.
If you have your heart set on using the quintessential colours of Christmas in your décor (we’re talking candy canes, Rudolph’s nose and Santa Claus’ jacket) then a timeless red and white pattern could be all you need. For Rachel Southern from The Ordinary Lovely, simple stars and stripes work well together in festive décors.
“This year, the fireplace was given a stockings and stars makeover”, she told us. “It was quite a traditional look, really, especially as the stars were white and the stockings were red and white striped.”
For centrepieces, try introducing red and white amaryllis plants, or mix up the depth of colours with deep red poinsettias and ethereal snowdrops.
While it’s easy to overspend during Christmas, there are plenty of ways to be both frugal and über festive.
If heavy embellishments and gaudy accessories aren’t your style, then a rustic colour scheme could be perfect for showing off your festive flair. Think natural textures, homemade garlands and natural accents, such as green foliage and understated wooden tones to draw the eye.
As Danielle de Lange from the Style Files advises, you don’t need to go to a department store to get your decorations. In fact, some of the best Yuletide adornments can be found in the great outdoors.
“I am a big fan of natural Christmas decorations! Have a look in your garden or go to a nearby park or forest - you will be amazed at what you can use to make decorations. For instance, you can glue mini pompoms on pinecones to make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments. Or you can bend a flexible branch in a circle to make a wreath and add hand-picked bay leaves to decorate it. These ornaments are not only inexpensive, but they’re also environmentally friendly!”
Rachel Southern told us that she switches up classic reds, golds and greens with a hint of rusticism in her home.
“When it edges closer to the big day, I go outside with my scissors, ready to add some greenery from the garden. If there is anything I’d advise with a rustic theme, however, is that you don’t collect your foliage too early, as the decorations will dry out and could quickly appear weathered.”
Where rustic colour schemes might rely on taupes, mauves and earthy tones, coastal themes reflect the airy colours of the beach. Whites, baby blues and nautical patterns deliver a calming festive décor that flies in the face of traditional bold and dramatic styles.
As Emma says, there is much you can do with a few simple, subtle beach tones. “Incorporate your coastal theme with flecks of olive green and cool blues to keep the look contemporary.”
Similarly, where bold baubles and jagged holly bushes draw the eye in classic decors, soft furnishings juxtaposed with hard shell decorations take precedence in a coastal look, while varying cool tones such as midnight blues and icy aquamarine keep things interesting.
Cottage festive themes are all about being convivial. Think roaring fires, thick woolly socks and light-hearted Christmas songs lilting through the night-time.
For Emma, it’s about getting the right balance between toasty tones and exciting accents. “For me, deep reds, browns and rusty oranges are the perfect colour palette for a cosy cottage theme. On top of this, you also have to think about texture. Shearling and embroidered pieces, for instance, are fantastic for bringing personality to the colour scheme without losing your wholesome, family-style appeal.”
As Anna from greenandmustard.co.uk writes, it is all about balancing character with simplicity. “You needn’t go ‘all-out Grotto’ with this style. In my house, we have just revamped the lounge to create a calm, simple space with hints of oriental, so I was keen to keep the relaxed look at Christmas.”
“For my decorations, I went for simple white lights and a handful of paper baubles in colours to complement the room. When it needed jazzing up, I added beautiful pipe-cleaner Christmas trees in deep burgundy, pink and gold with the odd flourish of holly and ivy from the local woods around my lounge. On the mantle I hung paper stars and garlands with more ivy and gum draped to hang over the sides, soon to be joined by the family’s stockings on Christmas Eve. The result is festive but peaceful; the perfect balance.”
We found that combining staple colour schemes from traditional décors with sophisticated, subtle tones is a great way to inject character into Christmas décor.
Where classic themes might boast vivid colour palettes and busy patterns, contemporary looks focus on pared-down shades that blend seamlessly into one another.
Just like Katy Orme from Apartment Apothecary, you can mix in pastels with other subtle tones for an uplifting, modern-day festive décor.
“For a contemporary Christmas table setting, use white linen as this will give you a lovely light and simple backdrop. Don’t forget to mix in white candle holders, bowls and decorations, too. From here, choose a limited number of colours - four at the most - to keep the table from looking ‘fussy’. To bring pastels into your décor, soft pinks, baby blues and light greens work well together.”
You should be mindful of keeping your décor streamlined. For Katy, the way to get this look is with a stylish choice of plants. “Eucalyptus adds a beautiful silvery colour to pastel themes. Use these in vases and/or a sprig on each place setting. This way, you can draw the eye without overloading the table with ‘stuff’.”
Similarly, pink poinsettia is fantastic for introducing soft Yuletide tones, which are just a touch warmer and cosier than its red cousin. Combine with calming greys, or even add in light orange, to complement the peaceful tones of the plant.
The eclectic theme is ideal if you’re eager to add new colours to your contemporary décor. This is a super flexible choice, too, as eclectic styles allow you to be as flashy or as subtle as you like.
Katy, for instance, advises injecting a tonal contrast via your crockery, candles and bauble selections, while Emma prefers to go big and bold. “Don’t be scared to go against the grain”, says Emma. “Do as I did this year and champion all things bright. If you’re not sure how to embrace this, why not look to how Mexicans celebrate to gather inspiration? Garlands, handmade decorations and kitsch accessories all work to bring this look together.”
If you really want to draw attention with your eclectic festive scheme, midnight shades reminiscent of frosty winter nights create a dramatic, somewhat ethereal, feel to décor. Purples and blues are great for injecting personality into your festive décor: use luxurious vermouth-hued ribbons for stocking ties and deep navy table linens to show off table decorations.
Glamorous and gorgeous
Glamorous styles don’t need to be centred around glitzy, gold accents or opulent decorations. In fact, you can create an eye-catching festive interior using some of the most earthy tones on the colour wheel.
As Melanie Lissack from Melanie Lissack Interiors says, “For my interior, I used shades of taupe, peach, honey browns, grey and blacks within my colour scheme. Baubles which look like marble, plus simple decorations made from smoked glass are how I decorated my home this year.”
Of course, if you prefer a touch of glitz, you can always take a leaf out of Emma’s book and work jewel tones into your décor. “Dark reds, purples and blues can be combined together to create an ultra-glam aesthetic. Style it up with plush velvets, mixed metals and dark woods to create a glamorous look that is truly breath-taking.”
To straddle the line between classic and contemporary, however, try out a monochromatic décor. Throw in discreet warm white fairy lights, black metal wreaths and striped bannister decorations to give your home a powerful, yet approachable, look.
For more style tips, or to see how you can redesign your home in an instant, take a look at the Modern Rugs website.