Timeless Christmas Decor Ideas

A complete guide to timeless Christmas decor. Includes statement greenery, adding a pop of red, pillows, throw blankets, and more.

neutral living room decorated with timeless christmas decor

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.

christmas tree in neutral living room with green accents

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.

christmas tree with olive green plaid ribbon, orange slice and red ornaments

The Tree

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.

christmas tree with green and red plaid ribbon, red ornaments, orange slices

Adding Red

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
tv over fireplace with christmas garland on mantel 2023

Statement Garland

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.

pine garland and knit stockings on mantel 2023

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!

asymmetrical pine garland on mantel with tv candles

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.

tufted chair with green pillow throw blankets in basket timeless christmas decor

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.

neutral living room decorated with easy timeless christmas decor

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.

timeless christmas decor red and white flowers on coffee table

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.

pine garland on mantel with dried orange slices and christmas tree

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.

tufted chair with green pillow and christmas tree in background

Bonus Tip

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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*Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

coffee table arrangement in pitcher and bowl with noel pillow in background

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!)

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9 Comments

  1. June Lorraine Roberts says:

    I had just reminded myself to remove the day to day decor before setting up the Christmas items. Thanks for adding to store them in the Christmas bins!

  2. Teddee Grace says:

    Very pretty and unusual. I bought that ribbon in a slightly different color for use in my bedroom as well as another that I’m using in the living room. I’m also using orange slices as well as whole dried oranges and a few faux oranges that are studded with real cloves. These bright colors are a real change for me, but I’m having fun with them.

  3. Kathy Lux says:

    Thank you, Ann, for your simple yet lovely ideas for a beautiful, gracious home. I love everything you share and gain so many good suggestions. I look forward to all you share with the rest of us. Merry Christmas!

  4. So pretty!! Love the plaid ribbon and the asymmetrical garland is perfect🎄

  5. June Becklin says:

    Everything is so beautiful! Reminds me of a tree from yesteryear. Love the ribbon and oranges. Your tip about clearing spaces before starting…doesn’t it make things easier😊. I started doing this several years back and it makes everything simplier to transition back. As we prepare for a downsized home and realizing I won’t have the same kind of space to decorate, I have been reminding myself to rethink focusing on a few areas and not overload the decorating. It sure brings a sense of calm to the spaces in our home. Happy Holidays! Love your posts.

  6. Sue Daugherty says:

    Your Christmas tree is stunning. Your decor this year is just amazing . Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Your living room is gorgeous Ann, and so unique! The orange slices seem to be quite popular this year and give a very different look to the festive displays.

  8. Jane Windham says:

    Ann, it all looks very beautiful! Love the plaid ribbon on your tree and mantel along with the dried orange slices! And the olive green pillows are the perfect touch!

  9. This year I gave away a small white vintage looking tree and mantel garland that was too bushy for my small mantel. Then I culled out some of the ornaments that I decided not to use. I ended up with one less tub for the attic. I will never care about having a tree that is on trend. My tree of all kinds of ornaments hold memories for me every time we trim it and I admire it daily. My smaller bedroom tree is nothing but bird ornaments reflecting my love of birds and nature.