Christmas Decorating Ideas For Your Living Room
These Christmas decorating ideas will make you say, “Tis the season.”
Christmas decorating has always been the thing that gets us in the mood for the season. Unpacking the tree, all the ornaments, the garland and lights is such a good time. Every year we find a new way to decorate our living room and we often surprise ourselves with what we come up with.
We’ve brought together a host of different ideas to help you turn your living room into your own ìWinter Wonderlandî. From picking a theme, to choosing a great color scheme, to decorating your tree and everything else in between, weíve got some Christmas decorating ideas you’ll get wrapped up in, for sure.
Christmas Color Schemes
We’ve got some news for you. Christmas colors are not limited to red and green. It’s easy to get pigeon-holed into using the same old colors, year after year. Think about it, though. Picture these colors in your mind. They all personify Christmas. Before you start thinking about a color scheme to put your Christmas decorating ideas to work with, take a moment and look at all of these super color combinations.
- Red and Green
- Red and White
- Green and White
- Fresh Green & White
- All White
- Any Color and Gold
- Any Color and White
- Any Color and Silver
- White, Blue, and Silver
- Ivory and Brushed Gold
- Sage Green, Ivory, and Pewter
- Bright Purple, Blue, and Green
- Icy Blue, Lilac, and Silver
- Autumn Tones of Beige, Brown, Golden Yellow, and Rust
- Forest Green, Burgundy, and Gold
- Primary Toy Colors Such as Red, Yellow, and Blue
So how many times did you look at that list and think, “Wow, I never thought of that!” Told ‘ya!
As a matter of fact, color brings out some very strong emotions in people. Choosing your Christmas color scheme might be more important than the colors of the decorations themselves.
How about an example…
Keep in mind, this isn’t the best Christmas decorating idea we’ve ever come up with, but it serves this example just fine. Let’s decorate a living room completely in black. Wall to wall and everything in between. On the coffee table, place a round bowl of silver ornaments. What is your attention drawn to? What if the ornaments were red, purple, gold, etc.? Still, you see the ornaments and probably nothing else.
Whatever you do, make sure you choose colors that draw your visitors’ attention and make YOU feel the Christmas spirit.
This “ornamental” slide show from CountryLiving.com brings together a number of these different color combinations… Sparkling Holiday Ornaments.
Christmas Color Scheme Ideas
We’re all about Christmas decorating ideas so here are our favorites for creating a great color scheme…
Velvet Sky – Find some matte colored ornaments or spray paint a matte color on what you have. Add velvet textured decorations, flowers, add a wide velvet ribbon. Fill the arrangement in with clusters of velvet or silk flowers.
Silver and Gold ñ We can hear the song playing. Use gold and silver ornaments, crystal icicles, and crystal covered ornaments and beads on your tree and/or garland. Throw some silver and gold into your table settings, too.
Blue and White Wonderland – Blue and white with some simple additions makes for a wintry wonderland theme. Silver and blue throw pillows, coordinated gift wrap, simple stockings. Check out the tree!
Childhood Memories – Do you have fond memories of candy canes? Silvery tinsel? Icicle lights? Gingerbread houses? Snowmen? Well, thereís your color scheme right there. Sometimes your best Christmas decorating ideas come from your past.
Collectibles – Still have your Christmas stocking from childhood? A favorite ornament? Create a color scheme around your favorite collectible.
Monochromatic – Take your favorite color, or your favorite Christmas color (remember our rules from above) and build your color scheme around just this color and all its various shades. For red, think pink, fuchsia, rose, and crimson. How about lamp shades ranging from cherry red to a deep burgundy? You can add to them with bows, ribbons, metallic garlands, holly branches, or silk flowers. Vary the textures to build in some extra character.
The Colors of your Living Room – Modern living room? Capitalize on those bright solids or black and white to create your Christmas color scheme. Warm and casual? Reds and golds, with a touch of green should do the trick.
Holiday Gift Wrap – Thereís just so many colors, styles and patterns of wrapping paper. Go to any discount store or department store and sample what they have to offer. Find one that speaks to you? Maybe thatís your inspriration for your Christmas color scheme.
Celebrating-Christmas.com gives a couple examples of how to create a Christmas color scheme. Have a look.
Remember, itís not wise to upset the apple cart when creating your Christmas color scheme. If you’re using a modern interior design in your living room, don’t go rustic with your Christmas decorating ideas. Work to make the most of the space and design style youíve built into it.
Conversely, warm interiors shouldn’t be turned into ice palaces with silver and white decorations. Stick to bronze ornaments in your bowls and green garlands with rich red berries.
We’re about to talk about decorating themes. Let’s remember how these color rules work in various themes. Blue, white and silver are cool colors, so it you’ve chosen a snowy theme, stay cool. If a family Christmas at home theme is what you’re driving at, stick with the warm colors…the reds, golds and a touch of green. More Christmas decorating ideas coming up…
Christmas Decorating Themes
Hope you’re enjoying our Christmas decorating ideas so far!
You can create a great color scheme, using our ideas, and your own or you can take what you’ve learned and expand it into a special decorating theme. Here’s a few ideas to get you started…
Ribbons, Ribbons and More Ribbons - Rule number one. Buy more than you think you’ll need. If you need to go back, the styles and colors you want may be sold out!
Basically, this theme revolves around accenting on all your holiday décor with ribbons and bows. Add them to garlands, wreaths, mantles, swags, candlesticks and anything else you can think of. Use the same ribbons in every room or coordinate a certain kind of ribbon in contrasting colors and widths.
Rustic or Western Cabin – Start by collecting some natural dÈcor like pine cones, colorful leaves, berries, and seed pods. Move on to western ornaments, like cowboy hats, leather vests, and boots. Maybe add in some squirrels, moose and bear accents. Work these items into your tree, garlands, and accents.
Forest – This is close to our western theme, but focuses more on the Christmas tree itself. Dress your tree up with dried leaves, acorns, pine cones, wood carved ornaments, and animal decorations. Keep everything looking natural.
Old World – Hit flea markets and antique stores for vintage ornaments and other decorations. Organize this theme around the history of Christmas or different periods of time and different countries. How about a collection of different Santa’s from around Europe? Now that’s a Christmas decorating idea that can easily turn into a fun quest as you search for new Santas each year.
Snowmen – A popular theme in our living room is based on covering the tree in snowmen ornaments and decorating the mantles, tables and walls in snowmen accents. Sprinkle your tree with artificial snow and use white and silver leaves, or branches, to fill in bare spots. Hereís a chilly Christmas decorating idea, find some tin or clear icicles to hang.
Santa Claus – Start by covering the tree in Santa Claus ornaments. This is another great use for those Santasí from around the world. How about some Santa hats tacked up to your walls or hanging from the mantle? Mix in some sleighs and reindeer on the tables. Wrap your picture and art frames in wrapping paper and bows to make presents.
Modern Metal – Don’t use anything that isn’t silver, gold or shimmering white. Add metallic ribbons to your garland. Go heavy on the ornaments. Go crazy with icicles. How about a silver and gold tree skirt?
Shari Hiller expands on Christmas decorating themes as they relate to your Christmas tree in this informative article… Themes for your Holiday Tree.
Your Christmas Tree – The Ultimate Focal Point
We love decorating our Christmas tree! We seem to try something a bit new every year. At first, it seems like work, but once we get the tubs of ornaments unloaded and the tree put together, it turns into one big party! We’ve picked up a few things over the years and we’re going to share our best Christmas tree decorating ideas with you, right now.
Basic Light and Ornament Tips
- Start with the lights first, the garland comes later
- Begin hanging lights at the base of the tree, on the lowest branches and work inside to outside as you come up the tree in order to add depth
- Start your ornament hanging with your “filler ornaments”. These could be your basic solid balls. Plan on twenty (20) filler ornaments for every two (2) feet of Christmas tree height.
- Move on to your special ornaments, those one of kind ornaments really express who you are Youíll need ten (10) of them for every two (2) feet of Christmas tree.
All About Garlands
Garlands bring it all together. They’re the single most important unifying element on your Christmas tree. Here are some great Christmas decorating ideas related to garlands.
Let’s start with the amount of garland you’ll need to cover your tree. While it truly depends on tree size and how deeply you swag the garland, prepare to use nine (9) feet of garland per foot of Christmas tree height. On a six (6) foot high tree, that means 54 feet of garland. Of course, you’ll want to have extra around for mantles and wreaths.
When to Add Garland – Garland comes after the lights, but before ornaments.
Swagging Basics – Take the gentle approach. Gentle swagging looks more natural and appealing than sharp diagonal lines across your tree. If your going deep with your swags, you must have a large tree with open space between branches or it just won’t look right.
Doubling up? – Why not use two (2) or three (3) kinds of garland all swagged together? Vary it and repeat it for the best look. This Christmas decorating idea works for window treatments, so why not give it a try!
It Won’t Stay On! – That’s ok. If you have delicate branches or ones that sag, your garlands might slip off. Flexible garlands can be wound around a branch to keep them in place. Otherwise, use a small piece of wire, ribbon or a twist tie (applied conspicuously) to keep your garlands secure.
Why not go Vertical? – Start at the top of the tree (works especially well with ribbon) and loop garlands down vertically. Think long and winding road and be prepared to wire them to the branches, if need be. Interesting curves is what youíre looking for. Think graceful.
Don’t Rule out Ribbon – Whether it’s wide or narrow in a plain Jane or patterned style, ribbon make great garland. If the ribbon has wired edges… awesome! If not, install your own wires.
Garlands as Tinsel? – Why not? Take beaded garland and cut it into lengths, 12-18 inches long. Make sure the beads donít fall off! Take your length of garland, fold it in half and place it on a branch. Mix up the lengths to add some character.
Now you’ve got some great Christmas decorating ideas using garlands. What an amazing tree youíll have created this season! Itís not about just the tree, though. You have to complement it and thereís no better way to do that than to accent your fireplace mantle.
Jen really seems to have a knack for mantles. Her Christmas decorating ideas are fantastic. The way she mixes green garland pieces with pine cones and berries is second to none. She has a great time doing it, too.
Decorating a mantle is almost as much fun as decorating the tree. You can really let your creativity flow in so many different directions. Here’s a few ideas and themes to whet your appetite.
Vintage – Start with glass balls, crystal candlesticks, and golden platters. Arrange some vintage Christmas cards around the display as well. You can also make your own stockings by using some old wool items, then adding appliqués, beads and buttons.
Frames-a-plenty – Place vintage Christmas cards and holiday photos in some festive frames and display them in a large grouping. Add shiny ornaments to your garland to finish it off.
Fruity – This one won’t last long so be prepared to make some changes mid-season. Swag your favorite garland then, in intervals down the length of it, wire up limes, small apples, lemons and pears. Satiny ribbon would make a good finishing touch.
Collectibles – Have a pitcher or vase collection? Place it on the mantle and work in evergreen boughs filled with seasonal flowers all around. This is how you take an everyday item and make it festive for the season.
Winter Indoors – Begin with fresh cut cedar branches. Flank them with mini-trees. (make sure they look the part) Make a garland of snowballs and stars and work it into the greens. Grab an old pair of ice skates to hang and top it off by spraying some artificial snow over everything.
Candle Crazy – Do this one right and it will last from November through February. This will especially well on a fireplace thatís no longer in use. Take as many white candles as you can get your hands on and place them atop your mantle. Light them up in the evening for a romantic presentation. Thatís it! Feel free to add in special touches for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Color, color everywhere – We saved the best for last. Wrap some picture frames to hang on the wall around the mantle. Take boldly wrapped presents and display them on the mantle. Your garlands should hang like necklaces. Some brightly patterned ornaments would be a nice touch, as well. Finish it off with some fancy stockings hanging from the edge.
That last Christmas decorating idea can be played in a variety of color schemes, too. You can go more reserved and earthy with your wrap or stick to over-the-top bold. It’s totally up to you.
Ok. You’ve chosen some colors, found a theme, decorated the tree, and spiffed up your mantles. What’s left? How about doors, windows, tables and walls. Youíve got your work cut out for you with all these Christmas decorating ideas, but isnít it so much fun!
Accenting Doors and Windows
Hanging lights outside your home is great, but it’s not the only thing you can do to make your home inviting to guests at the holidays. Check out these Christmas decorating ideas for doors and windows.
Wreaths are, by far, the most fundamental decoration for holiday doors and windows. Let’s begin with some great advice on hanging them inside and outside your home.
First, put a wreath on every single door, starting with the front door. (Yes, bedrooms and bathrooms, too) Next hang them inside and outside your back door, in you have one. You’ll have to decide what works best on your sliding doors. Maybe a swag across the top is right for yours.
If your budget allows and it fits the needs of your home, go real! Use pine, holly or grapevine and make sure there are plenty of accents like berries, fruit, pine cones, bows, ornaments, or candy canes. If you’re into saving and reusing, artificial wreaths are your best bet. Store them properly and safely for years of use.
Here are a couple great wreath examples…
Wintery Florals - Mix green apples and hydrangea into your fresh pine or cedar wreath. This Christmas decorating idea works all winter. You can always throw some bows on it for the holiday season.
Pine Cone Frenzy - A wreath made of just pine cones would be perfect for your front door, especially if you’re going for the rustic look. Use 3 or 4 different kinds as you move towards the center. Spray with artificial snow and voila!
Wreaths hung in windows make for great décor. Use a ribbon to secure your wreath to the top of the window frame. Juniper wreaths create an especially festive look.
Here’s another great Christmas decorating idea for a door near the living room, perhaps the hall closet. Many of us have a Christmas card holder that we hang over the top of a door. How about something homemade that doubles as a great décor item. Take a length of thin ribbon and sew holding clips to it. Leave space between each for a card. Hot glue buttons near each clip, add a bow to the top and hang it from a door. You can sew a loop at the top for wire to hang it.
Tables were meant to be adorned with all manner of accent décor. Ornament bowls, nativity scenes, flower arrangements and candles are just some of the many great examples of Christmas decorations for tables. Sounds like some more fantastic Christmas decorating ideas are on the way.
Let’s Go Bowling
One of the easier accents to put together is a bowl filled with assorted ornaments. Glass, silver, wood and metal can all be used equally well. Fill the bowl with ornaments in your color scheme for a great accent.
Try this if you have some vintage ornaments. Separate them by color and display them in a number of antique bowls.
A cool variation would be placing ornaments inside a bell jar, deep bowl, or hurricane lamp.
Other Table Ideas
Take a wire display stand and arrange some Christmas cards from the early 1900’s on it. Any table will look fantastic with this type of accent.
Have Christmas-themed dishes you won’t use at the dinner table this year? Super. How about this for a coffee table centerpiece? Display the dishes and work in some mini trees around them. Red or green buckets will hold the trees just fine. Place your unused ornaments on the dishes for an outstanding look. Do make sure you leave enough room for the coffee.
How about a pine cone candle surrounded by some artificial greens and berries? Frosted votives with red and green or silver and gold or purple, green, blue and white candles maybe? One more…red candles in light green or white stands with a small string of bells around the bottom. Wanna see a photo, check out this slide show at Better Homes and Gardens site.
Floral centerpieces can turn your coffee table into a festive focal point. Don’t limit yourself to the coffee table though. Why not your sofa table or end tables? Here’s a couple flowery Christmas decorating ideas…
Orange and copper as Christmas colors? Sure! You’ll need copper candles, a couple copper wicker balls and a copper bow. Use a wicker basket or maybe a willow ring to hold everything. For flowers, it’s orange lilies and apricot roses. For greens, you’ll want holly and blue conifer as the foundation. We’ll leave the arrangement up to you.
Here’s a good end table one. Grab two cylinder vases and wrap them in vellum. Accent them with a really thin red ribbon, wrapped around each of them several times. For flowers, you’ll want red and white amaryllis. Why? They look like candy canes! Put some dishes of Christmas hard candies all around the two vases. Wow!
It’s sometimes hard to remember what Christmas is all about. We talk about snowmen, Santa Claus, candy canes, and Christmas trees but Christmas simply celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, in a manger in Bethlehem.
A nativity scene captures this transcendent event perfectly. We proudly display our hand-painted ceramic nativity scene on our sofa table for all our visitors to see. These scenes are available in an array of sizes so they can be perfectly displayed on an end table, sofa table or coffee table. Holiday Decorations Direct has a nice variety in all sizes.
Can’t leave the walls out. You can change out your framed art for holiday versions or make some simple changes to the photos, art and mirrors you’re displaying currently.
Start with a simple red bow in the corner of a wall mirror. If not a bow, then drape a garland across the top and sides of a large framed piece of art. Above our living room mantle, we exchange a large picture for a Santa Claus mirror.
How about wrapping your smaller framed art pieces in bright wrapping paper and ribbon or bows?
Sconces are wonderful for Christmas decorating ideas. Your best Christmas candles can be proudly displayed. Wrap ribbons and bows on your sconces and drape them with tinsel. How about a mini garland of beads or bells? What about a pine cone sprayed with artificial snow with a small amount of greenery around it?
We’ll bring our winter wonderland to a close with some top-of-class ideas for those of you on a budget this Christmas. Doing it yourself has never been so much fun.
Budget Christmas Decorating Ideas
Like to do it yourself? Trying to save money on Christmas decorations out of necessity? That’s nothing we can’t handle. Here’s some great ideas we’ve pulled together for those of you on a budget.
Shelf Wreaths - Take the ends of boxwood clippings and wrap green florist wire around them forming 5 or 6 bunches. Wrap them around a wreath base with some more wire, making sure they overlap.
Into the Woods - Grab your drill and some braided picture hanger wire. Find a bunch of pinecones and make your own garland. Pair it with a traditional garland for a layered look.
Curtains - Change your regular tiebacks over to ribbons or bows. You can also pin bows to your curtains to add to the look.
Dressy House Plants - How about some ornaments hung from your house plants. Wrap bows around the pots or urns. Maybe a small garland too.
Bookworm - Take some of your favorite Christmas books and stack them on an end table.
Floating Flowers - Use red and white carnations, daisies, mums or roses in large bowls.
The Gift Corner - Find some old boxes you aren’t using and wrap them like presents. Pile them high in a corner.
Any Bottle Will Do - Take any type of drink bottle you can find and spray paint it in your holiday color scheme. Throw in some twigs or flowers and you’ve got a great table or mantle accent.
Any Bottle Redux - Make sure you have clear bottles, without labels, and just put a few drops of holiday paint inside. Give them a shake and create some art! Imagine a whole Christmas tree full of these.
The Budget Decorator, Kathleen Wilson, shares her budget christmas decorating ideas with ivillage.com in this article… 10 Christmas Decorating Ideas on a Budget.
Christmas Decor Shopping
Finding new ways to use what you have is a lot of fun. You may need to venture out for a few new decorations, though. We recommend these fine retailers for your Christmas decor shoppping.
HolidayDecorationsDirect.com – A CSN Store devoted to holiday decorations. Great decor and even better prices.
Target.com – Free Shipping When You Spend $50 on Holiday Decor at Target.com (Offer good through 12/19/2009)
Walmart.com – Holiday Home Decor for Less!
Putting these ideas together has been a labor of love for us. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading them and you’re ready to put them to use in your living room. Merry Christmas!