Following the general trend in home decor, holiday trim and accessories this year are an eclectic mix of traditional and nontraditional colors and styles. Style watchers say we're approaching the holidays with a more open mind. Households are more diverse, relaxed and less tied to old-school ways of celebrating. So it follows that ideas of what works in decor have never been more expansive.
While jewel tones and creamy palettes hold strong, red is red-hot. "When it comes to an 'it' color for Christmas this year, it's red — a bright, cheery red like you find on traditional Scandinavian ornaments," says Sara Peterson, editor in chief of HGTV Magazine.
Ikea has a cheery collection of traditional Scandinavian ornaments including folk people, stars and goats. Land of Nod's Rising Star tree topper features curly white embroidery on crimson felt. Cranberry red candlesticks, from Pier 1 take mercury glass down a different road, while beaded reindeer and snowflakes bring glamor to red velvet and satin throw pillows. (ikea.com, landofnod.com, pier1.com)
Grandin Road's Zoey chevron-patterned, ruby-and-white-resin urn could be used to hold a live or artificial tree or an assortment of greens. (grandinroad.com)
Winter white continues to appeal to holiday decorators; with or without touches of sparkle, it's calming, elegant and chic. And don't disregard earthier colors. Think of bare birch branches hung with gold and silver stars; luxe bowls brimming with copper ornaments; chocolate brown mohair throws.
Rethinking the traditional
“Since folks are open to reimagining what Christmas can look like, we'll continue to see a looser interpretation of the traditional tree," says Catie Parrish, associate editor at Wayfair, the online home furnishings outlet. "We're starting to see lots of paper and cardboard tabletop trees, and people are getting inventive, creating flat Christmas trees on walls, doors and even fridges. They're even decorating them with real ornaments and garlands. For someone who craves the harm of a real tree, even an evergreen branch in a mason jar can lend a hint of the holidays."
Ikea has a popup cardboard tree that comes with ornaments. At Ellesstudio.blogspot.com, you'll find simple instructions on how to turn wine corks, wooden sticks, colored paper and glitter into pretty little trees.
Parrish also suggests taking stock of what you already have around the house: "Instead of buying every holiday 'necessity,' shopping your home for existing solutions is one of the easiest ways to decorate. A throw blanket makes a cozy tree skirt. Use a scarf as a table runner. Use nature for holiday decoration — think backyard branches, berries and pinecones," she says.
"Fill a vase or candle holder with jingle bells or peppermints. Wrap red, green or metallic ribbon around plain white pillar candles. Instead of candles, top candle stick holders with ornaments or snow globes."
Faux fur or knitted throws and pillow covers; throw pillows with snow scenes or deer, antler and deer accessories; and glittery pillows evoke the festive spirit without overt reference.
Consider scented candles, bowls of spiced goodies, seasonal music and warm, soft textures. Bringing all five senses into play enhances the holiday mood.
Beach: "It's an extension of the sea-life trend that's been hot in home decor for a few seasons," Parrish says. "Look for octopus and mermaid ornaments, especially in glittery silver and gold finishes." A beachy palette of blues, greens and whites sets the tone. A tree skirt block-printed with shells and starfish in soft blues and creams evokes a seaside Christmas.
Gump's has a collection of painted, blown-glass ornaments that include jellyfish, hermit crabs, stingrays and leopard fish. (gumps.com)
Find trees, wreaths and garlands crafted of shells and driftwood, as well as clear glass balls filled with soft white sand and tiny shells. (seasideinspired.com)
Retro: "Vintage is going to be a popular holiday theme, especially when it comes to typography," Parrish says. "Look for throwback fonts on everything from toss pillows to serving trays."
Jonathan Adler's Peace pillow (jcp.com) has that vibe. And HomeGoods (homegoods.com) has decorative hanging signs done in old-fashioned type with words like "Believe."