Traditional Christmas decorations: 15 pretty ideas to try at home

Capture the magic of Christmas past with traditional Christmas decorations and festive inspiration

Susie Watson Christmas dining
(Image credit: Susie Watson Designs )

When it comes to the festive season, we all love traditional Christmas decorations, right? After all, you can't beat a traditional look for conjuring up that nostalgic magic. The smell of a real pine Christmas tree, handmade decorations strewn up everywhere, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and all that... From colour palettes and cushion updates to crafty ideas, we've rounded up a selection of easy ways to recreate the perfect traditional Christmas scheme. 

1. Choose vintage-style decorations

vintage christmas decorations

(Image credit: Catesbys)

For nostalgic souls, opening up a box of treasured decorations passed down through the generations sparks delight year after year. Today antique examples can be hard to come by, so Catesbys has worked with talented artisans to create vintage-inspired glass decorations using original moulds. Choose from classic St Nick and Christmas trees to fantastical fish and fruit.

2. Hang up plenty of stockings

Christmas stockings

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Obviously. The more homemade looking the better. And, if during all that mulled wine drinking and mince pie eating, you can’t find the time to make your own, these beautiful felt wool stockings from Garden Trading will definitely do the trick. 

3. Opt for traditional red and green

Christmas living room

(Image credit: Heather Gunn)

This classic colour combination is guaranteed to create that warm feeling of Christmases past. Not just for Christmas, a red sofa such as this velvet one from Laura Ashley, teamed with a footstool from Lorfords, will help interiors feel welcoming and cosy all year round. When the festive season comes round, choose a fresh tree and a fresh Tregothnan garland for that magical old-fashion look (and smell). 

4. Embrace a country cottage look

Susie Watson Christmas dining room

(Image credit: Susie Watson Designs)

Create a quintessentially English scheme by choosing a pretty palette of red, cream and pastel blue and teaming with old-fashioned bunting and classic candy stripes. Susie Watson has plenty of country-style linen cushions, table linen and Christmas homewares to recreate the look - finish with plenty of natural foliage. 

5. Decorate the banisters

christmas hallway

(Image credit: Laura Ashley)

Welcome in Christmas visitors with a show-stopping hallway display by layering up fairylights, garlands, ribbons, decorations... you name it! This mix of on-trend jewel coloured decorations from Laura Ashley works wonders set against this dramatic navy wall, not forgetting that glitter for that seasonal sparkle!

6. Add some glamour with metallics

Silver Christmas tree by The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company )

Red and green may be the quintessentially traditional Christmas colours but why not go rogue with a metallic colour scheme this year? We think this sparkling silver tree, decorated with warm lights and glistening decorations from The White Company is still very in keeping with a more traditional style. 

7. Get creative with Christmas knits 

Christmas crafts knitted blankets

(Image credit: Hobbycraft)

Getting stuck into some Christmas crochet is a great way to spend some mindful 'me' time during the busy festive season, and makes a great idea for thoughtful gifts, too! The options are endless, from macramé bunting and chunky throws to stockings. Fancy making this loop stitch stocking? Hobbycraft have all the products you need plus step-by-step instructions.

8. Adorn your mantelpiece

Decorated mantlepiece

(Image credit: Period Living )

Bringing a bit of the outside in at Christmas always makes a home feel extra cosy (plus it's a super cheap way to decorate).There’s something very traditional about foraging around your garden (and the neighbours' hedges) to find bits of holly and ivy to string along the mantelpiece. And if you can’t recreate this look from actual bits of nature, fake it with an artificial garland.  

9. Choose a traditional wreath 

Daylesford natural christmas wreath

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Nothing says traditional Christmas like a fresh wreath of winter foliage and red berries. We're loving the lean towards more wild, natural styles this year like this bespoke wreath from Daylesford made with fir, eucalyptus, laurel and even some dried flowers. If you're making your own try popping in some rosemary too, the smell is amazing! Here are three easy ways to make a natural wreath – you're sure to find one you love.

10. Dress up the sofa with festive cushions 

Christmas cushions

(Image credit: M & Co)

Because you wouldn’t want your non-festive, boring, everyday cushions bringing down your Love Actually marathons would you? Spread the festive cheer even further by changing up your sofa cushions. We love this mix of plaid, birdie and traditional-style fairisle designs from M&Co.

11. Choose the right tree

Dobbies Christmas tree

(Image credit: Dobbies)

A fresh tree will best capture that nostalgic Christmas feel – try your local Dobbies, they have a great selection. But, while a lot of traditional Christmas decorating ideas revolve around plenty of evergreen, you can always fake the feeling of walking in Narnia with artificial trees. There are some very convincing, affordable options out there. Miss the scent of pine? A few delicious smelling Christmas candles should do the job. 

12. Go traditional with your table settings 

Christmas dining table in Cumbrian farmhouse

Re-create this opulent table setting by strewing about some berries, pinecones and sprigs of evergreen. Choose some vintage (or just vintage looking) tableware and finish it all off with some simple pillar candles in glass jars. 

13. Get the outdoor lights right

(Image credit: Dobbies)

So we've covered the inside, but what about decorating the exterior of your home? We are all about warm coloured lights, nothing too bright white if you are going for a more traditional look. String them around your doorway for a warm welcome, get the ladder out and drape them through the trees and don't forget to hang lights at your windows, too, just to add to that lovely festive glow. 

Want more Christmas lighting ideas? Check out these festive fairy light ideas.

14. Pick out some festive bedding

Christmas bedding

(Image credit: Fatface)

When it comes to decorating, why limit yourself to just downstairs? Get that festive feel in your bedroom too! Perfect for a festive update, this cute robin set from FatFace has a timeless check on the reverse so won't be too Christmassy come January.

15. Use food as decorations

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Make like the Victorians and use everyday food to decorate your home. Stick some cloves in an orange, thread some popcorn onto a string or dry out some citrus fruits – not only do they make for lovely budget decs but they also make your home smell amazingly festive

Looking for more Christmas decorating inspiration?