A complete guide to timeless Christmas decor. Includes statement greenery, adding a pop of red, pillows, throw blankets, and more.
The Christmas holiday season is a time to take a step back, count our blessings, and spend time with those we love. Making our gathering spaces welcoming and cozy is especially easy when we stay true to our own personal style, and choose timeless decor.
I didn’t want to cover every surface with Christmas decor, so I chose four places to concentrate my efforts. The tree, the mantel, pillows + throws, and the coffee table. I thought this would be a good middle ground between not festive enough, and way over the top. What follows are details about the choices I made, along with ideas and inspiration for your own holiday decor.
After using the same red plaid ribbon on our tree for the past three years, I decided I needed a change! When I found this incredible olive green plaid ribbon, with just a bit of red, I knew it was perfect. It allowed me to add more olive green to the mix, which is a nice change for us. I also incorporated dried orange slices, which I completely love.
I know I say this every year, but including red is quintessentially festive, and a timeless way to decorate for the holidays. It may not be on trend right now, but I could never decorate our home for Christmas without it. Here are some very simple ways to add small doses of red to your Christmas decor:
- fill a clear bowl, vase, or lantern with red ball ornaments
- add red ornaments to your tree
- add red, spicey scented candles
- layer red blankets & pillows in a basket
- hang red plaid or striped towels in your kitchen
- use red flowers in your fresh arrangements
Faux pine garland has come a long way in recent years. It’s no longer stiff or prickly, and you can get the most amazing, life-like garland just about anywhere. This year I wanted to layer my garlands, and these Command cord bundlers made it so easy. This is the fourth year that I’ve decorated with these Norfolk pine garlands…and I’ve been adding one or two to my collection each year. I finally had enough garlands to layer them on the mantel, using a total of five garlands.
I simply lined up the cord bundlers along the edge of the mantel, and then added the garlands. Each bundler can hold at least two strands of garland. It’s important to follow the package directions when installing the bundlers. It takes some patience, but make sure to wait the suggested amount of time before adding any weight to the bundlers.
For a different look, and something I don’t usually do, I placed the garland asymmetrically along the mantel. Since the tree was on the right side, I trailed the garland down the left side of the mantel. (So there’s a touch of symmetry, although not very noticeable.) Even though I seriously thought I was making a mistake the entire time I was working on it, when the mantel was finished, I surprised myself by liking it very much!
Pillows + Throw Blankets
This year I chose soft, olive green lumbar pillow covers for our tufted chairs. Not only are they inexpensive, they also add texture to the smooth linen chairs. Even though I can’t help myself, and I buy a new set of holiday pillow covers almost every year, I reuse pillow covers from my existing collection as well.
Throw blankets rank right up there with pillows for their ability to add seasonal color to any decor style, especially if you want to add red. My favorite way to display them is to pile them up in a basket. Equally easy options are to drape one over the back of a chair, hang a collection on a blanket ladder, or simply place one at the end of a sofa.
The Coffee Table
Whenever I add accessories to the coffee table, my goal is always a balanced and visually appealing arrangement. This year, I wanted something very understated, so I simply added fresh greenery and flowers to my pitcher and bowl. When the flowers fade, I will replace them with more faux greenery and berries. A few days before Christmas, I will splurge on another batch of fresh flowers to add life and color to the space.
When Plans Go Awry
To give the Christmas tree a refresh, in addition to the new ribbon, I wanted to put it in my vintage basket that belonged to my grandmother. I didn’t plan ahead, or even consider the possibility that it wouldn’t work. I thought I could simply set the tree in the basket, and it would be steady.
Well…it was definitely not steady! So I googled how to fix it, and came upon the idea of using a patio umbrella stand. (Which I thought was genius.) The only hitch was that my basket wasn’t big enough to hold the umbrella stands I could find locally. I was upset over the whole mess, and even though I hated to do it, I had to admit defeat. The basket just wasn’t going to work.
So out came the Christmas tree stand, and the tree collar I’ve used for several years, and my grandmother’s basket now holds throw blankets. At the end of the day, decorating your home for the holidays should be fun and relaxing, not stressful and time-consuming. I let myself forget that, and it’s a mistake I will try not to make again. I should have never tried something like this at the last minute. I now know what to do in order to put the tree in the basket, and for next Christmas, I’ll plan ahead. Or I’ll simply forget it altogether! Definitely a lesson learned.
Do you sometimes feel like you can’t relax after you have decorated for the holidays because there is just too much going on? To keep things calm and serene, remove your existing accessories before you add the Christmas decor. Keep in mind the size of your space. If you have a bigger room, with high ceilings, it definitely works to use thicker garlands and larger accessories. If your space is small, just keep in mind that less is more. Let your spaces breathe, make sure the eye has someplace to rest, and don’t crowd your items together.
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tufted chairs | green lumbar pillow covers | Noel pillow | end tables | table lamp (similar) | coffee table | living room rug | red sherpa throw blanket | tartan plaid throw blanket (polyester) | tartan plaid throw blanket (100% lambswool) | Norfolk pine garland (similar) | mantel candleholder | mantel pillar candleholders | pillar candles | tree collar | green berries in tree | set of gold bells | knit stockings | Command cord bundlers | TV screen art |
No longer available: green plaid ribbon, sofa, Christmas tree.
From my own vintage collection: pitcher and bowl, throw blanket basket.
Wondering what to do with the things you just removed? After editing out the year-round decor, store it in the Christmas bins you just emptied. That way when the holidays are over, and the bins come back out, your core accessories will be right there at your fingertips. (And just like old friends, you’ll be so happy to see them!)