A living room is the hub of the holiday season. It's where friends and fam get together, gifts are unwrapped, and snacks are shared. It's also home to our Christmas trees, shelves with festive garlands, and bar carts full of hot chocolate.
Decorating is the first step to feeling Christmassy, so we've rounded up some stylish and striking Christmas decorating ideas for the living room. Our edit includes traditional red and greens, sophisticated metallics, quirky color palettes, and more of the stuff we know you'll love.
1. Think about the space leading up to your lounge
Before the main event, think about the space leading up to your living room, including your front door and hallway spaces. This is your chance to give your loved ones a sneak peek of what's to come. Try a door wreath, garlands, and honeycomb paper decorations that trail from the entryway to the living room.
Consider how your colors transition through the space. A cohesive color palette will not only look smart but can also make small spaces look larger.
2. Add interest to your windows with a display
We spend so much time in our living rooms over the festive period, so it's worth taking the time to make sure every inch of space looks its best. Don't get us wrong, we're not saying to fill every corner with novelty decorations, but Christmas windows are often neglected or not styled to their true potential.
For something more subtle than decals, style a vase with some twigs, clip-on birds, and extra ornaments. It's a great way to repurpose pieces that didn't make it onto the tree, and the vase and branch can be used as decoration year-round.
3. Decorate your fireplace
Fireplaces are the perfect place for function and style. Just like you'd curate a shelfie, you can also incorporate your festive ornaments into your Christmas mantel decor.
You don't have to stick to traditional wreaths or red and green. We love the Christmas Candyland feel of these pieces, which would be perfectly paired with glass jars filled with candy canes, gumdrops, and Hershey's kisses.
4. Add a Christmas garland
Create a holiday look inspired by nature with a garland. Whether you go for classic pinecones and berries or spice it up with citrus slices and cinnamon sticks, a garland can work in countless spots within your living room. It's an easy way to instantly add some Christmas cheer to the space.
For a fuller look, try combining multiple garlands together like Kelly at the Lily Pad Cottage does. Her technique allows you to build extra dimension and make the mantelpiece a dramatic focus.
5. Make a statement with neon lighting
Great news: the neon sign trend can be Christmassy, too. Whether you go for a subtle nod to the holidays with a "Joy" sign or go full-blown festive with a custom Christmas neon sign, this alternative form of lighting in combination with your twinkling tree will certainly pack a punch in your living room.
6. Introduce neutrals for a Scandi feel
If a red and green Christmas setup isn't your vibe, look to the Nordics for a Scandinavian Christmas decorating scheme. Your living room is bound to look cool in more ways than one.
We love a neutral Christmas color scheme, like Sophie of @avorio_style created. Bring in white, gold, sage green, and brown tones along with a variety of textures. Try decorative elements with wood, macrame, and paper to achieve a varied look within the neutral color palette and create a very hygge Christmas.
7. Be creative with your vision of a Christmas tree
If you have a small space with no room for a full-on fir Christmas tree, don't sweat it. There are so many other ways to make your living room look just as Christmassy.
Perfect as an apartment Christmas decor idea, we love this look from Lights4fun, which uses book pages to create an alternative Christmas tree, finished with fairy lights and a star-shaped topper.
We'd go all-out with this paper design using literary classics such as "A Christmas Carol" or get literal with the carol idea and use some Christmas music sheets. Style this alongside your best Bluetooth speaker, and get ready to belt out those Christmas classics from Mariah and Bublé.
8. Make a show-stopping Christmas mantel
If you have a mantel in your living room, pull out all the stops and add your own DIY Christmas decorations to really make it pop. Placing an oversized Christmas garland around the top and draping down the side (asymmetric is the current look) so it spills onto the hearth below will give a dramatic focal point.
Hanging ornaments from decorative ribbon on a mirror or the mantel itself also brings this look to life. And of course, the addition of candles is always a welcome touch. For a flame-free glow, try some LED candles on the floor around your fireplace.
9. Choose cool, quirky Christmas living room decor
We love classic decorations, but if they aren't for you, how about some ornaments that really show off your personality? Besides, who wouldn't want to hang a pair of cowboy boots next to a tiny sloth wearing glasses, which are near some disco balls that are adjacent to some halved avocados?!
There are no rules with quirky decor, but if you decide you want a bit of a cohesive look, you can work towards a color palette that runs throughout all of your unique finds.
10. Add festive foliage
Keeping things neutral and natural is always a winner during the holiday season as this stunning Christmas living room look proves so well. Using greenery brings the outdoors in, especially when bringing fresh winter flowers and foliage into the mix.
Foraging is a really fun way to get into the spirit and perfect your Christmas mantel decor, so don't be afraid of wandering off the beaten path on your next winter walk and see what you can find.
11. Create a Christmas drinks corner with party decorations
This bold and bright space shows that alternative Christmas living room decorations will totally get people in the party mood and kick off the festivities.
And with seasonal cocktail mixing being a quintessential pastime come holiday season — of course — make sure you research plenty of bar cart ideas to ensure that yours gets some embellishment of its own.
Clustering stylish additions nearby like boozy-themed Christmas ornaments, art prints, and signs will create a vibrant and unexpected decoration scheme for the holidays.
And if you're not blessed with a nook or built-in home bar? Our best bar cart shopping edit is a great place to start.
12. Go for matchy-matchy Christmas living room decor
Look at all these gorgeous blue hues. This homeowner has cleverly infused their existing color palette, and infused with subtle decorations. There are blue baubles around the mirror and plenty of touches of gold to pick up on the side tables while the stockings match the dreamy rug.
Even if your home decor isn't blue, the cool tone is still a great alternative Christmas theme (think Winter Wonderland vibes). Scatter through some white, gold, or silver, and you can enjoy the feeling of a winter's day from within the warmth and coziness of your home.
13. Nod to traditional Christmas colors
There's nothing quite like the fir greens and reds of a classic Christmas color scheme and this lounge is the epitome of cozy and bright in our books.
Get the look via your tree and decorations, say yes to a little gold, and play with textures. Bonus points if you already have red, green, white, or gold in your year-round living room decor, as these pieces will really tie the festive look together.
14. Swap in festive accessories
Whether you change up your regular living room cushions to velvet or full-on Christmas cushions or up your coffee table decor game, it all counts towards your Christmas living room ambiance. We love the muted colors in this setup and would totally keep those cushions on the gorgeous three-seater Gabrielle sofa from Sofology year-round. Even if you don't swap the pillows, try bottle brush trees or paper stars across your shelves and walls.
15. Create a cozy reading corner
Everything about this reading nook screams cozy, come-cuddle-up-with-a-book vibes. Plus, the blue color scheme is on point for a contemporary Christmas look that is super luxe and festive. This spot is perfect for perusing Christmas wants on your phone or nestling into a new book you've been gifted.
If you're looking to dress up a reading nook, start by finding a thick knit blanket, reminiscent of your favorite Christmas sweater. For decor, scatter spare ornaments, some light-up Christmas presents, and festive candles to create the perfect holiday shelfie.