Whether you're celebrating Christmas – and putting up festive decorations – for the first time in your own home, or want to create the latest looks for your home for this year's festivities, or just like browsing gorgeous, inspirational Christmas pictures, you're in the right place. Be delighted, steal ideas and get in the Christmas mood now (yes, really, now) with these Christmas decorating and design ideas.
1. Embrace the dark and moody trend this Christmas
Dark, moody interiors are all over Instagram this year, and if you're well into the look, but aren't sure how to match it with Christmas, try these ideas:
- Match your tree decorations to your wall colours for a truly dramatic feel;
- Warm up the room and create an opulent feel with baubles in golds, bronzes and coppers;
- Please the kids and create a contemporary appeal with a rainbow colour scheme (see further down!).
- Contrast your dark scheme with delicate white baubles (think Scandi chic – see below).
Pssst! If you want to create your own dark, dramatic room scheme, see our design ideas gallery.
2. Go Scandi style
Christmas and Scandi style really were made for each other: it’s chilly out, the fire's lit and the mulled wine is going down a treat. So, if yours is an (almost) all-white room, embrace it with these ideas:
- Pick white or wooden baubles, but add a splash of colour with a bold red or apple green.
- Choosing a new artificial Christmas tree? Opt for one with snow tipped branches.
- Candle-effect fairy lights will give your scheme an authentic feel.
- Wrap gifts in white paper – lining paper makes a good (read: cheap) option.
Love this look? Browse more Scandi Christmas decorating ideas.
3. Love vintage style? Make your decs old-style
The best thing about decorating a vintage style tree? You can mix and match colours and bauble styles to create an artfully thrown-together look:
- Kitsch Christmas tree decorations are a fab option for the vintage look, but opt for muted, smoky colours rather than bolds (which will look too contemporary).
- Pick baubles or tree decorations with a floral, gingham or jewelled design.
- Wrap gifts in a range of contrasting papers – lengths of wallpaper samples are another cheap alternative to gift wrap.
4. Love bright colours? Rainbow's a big trend for 2018/9
Yup, the rainbow Christmas decorating trend is here – and it's pretty simple to recreate in your own home.
- Already got an assortment of Christmas tree baubles in a range of different colours? Group them on the tree in their colours, rather than scattering them around.
- Going all-out with a rainbow of baubles? You can ditch the tinsel and just stick to simple lights. We like an over-the-top look, but not that over-the-top.
- Or, decorate your tree neutrally, perhaps in all-white or all-gold or all-silver, and give your presents the rainbow treatment with bright gift wrap.
5. Use blackboard paint to create an instant Christmas
Thinking of redecorating before Christmas with a dark, moody scheme (you know, the type we've laboured on about above)? Why not opt for blackboard paint in a strategic way? That way you can create these clever effects:
- An instant Christmassy (or Easter or summer holiday or back to school) doodle space in a hallway, kitchen or child's room.
- An Christmas tree that takes up zero space (perfect for a child's room, they can use the blackboard afterwards for non-Christmassy artwork).
6. Small home? Downsize your decs not your ambitions
If you're resigned to small space living (or perhaps embracing it), you may not have a) the room for a full size Christmas tree or b) anywhere to store the decorations the rest of the year. Try this:
- A mini tree decorated with a shoe box-worth of baubles. Sit it on a table (dining, console or occasional) and light up with battery-run fairy lights. Job done.
- Alternative Christmas tree ideas – we've got loads of space-savers in our dedicated feature, but love these flat-against-the-wall trees. We'd keep them up all year round, but they'd happily slide under a bed.
- Bowls of baubles; glass vases of baubles; baubles piled on shelves and mantelpieces. Need we go on?
7. Indulge in all the trimmings for an exuberant scheme
There's no denying that once a year, it's worth going over the top to make your home look festive. A hallway garland will create a welcoming first impression for guests. Here's what to know:
- First, real or fake, one threaded with wire will make it easier to wind around the bannister securely
- Choosing a real garland? Pick one made from foliage known not to drop – and save the garland for the last minute, putting it up on Christmas Eve to make it last through till New Year.
- Hide fixings with ribbons; add baubles; wind battery-run lights into the mix. Over the top? Never.
Hanging a wreath? Why not suspend yours horizontally like the Scandis do (above)? Over the dining table is best, with droplet baubles hanging beneath.
A fire surround loves a garland, too, but ensure yours is well out of the way of any flames (we didn't need to tell you that, did we? (we did, it's a legal requirement)). Put it atop the mantelpiece or swag it like the one below, with baubles at its centre for a traditional, formal feel.
8. Use baubles imaginatively (ie, not on the tree)
Remember what we said about using the baubles on the stair garland or within the one on the fireplace? There are tons of places you can dot baubles about – in the living room, Christmas dining space and beyond – to create a gorgeous festive look, without having to buy anything new.
9. Go overboard with Christmas lights
You can't go over the top here: literally go crazy with Christmas lights (well, you can go over the top, but we're talking tasteful crazy here). As well as hanging them around window and door frames, across the mantelpiece, around the bannisters and on the tree (obviously), you can put battery-run, LED lights in a sturdy glass vase to create an instant table centrepiece – and don't forget outdoors, too.
Find more Christmas fairy light ideas in our buying guide.
10. Create a festive feel outdoors, too
While not many of us have room (or the budget or the extra decorations) for a Christmas tree outside our front or back door, we all have a front door that's crying out for a Christmas wreath. Pushed for time? Buy a ready-made Christmas wreath. Time-rich? Make your own beautiful Christmas wreath with our step-by-step guide.