How to Decorate Your Home for Christmas

One of the best part of Christmas is decorating the house, inside and out. We all try for inspired chic but may sometimes wind up with thrown-together shabby. Generally, that happens because you forget to plan how to decorate your home as well as you map out your shopping list each year.

If you need a little extra help with your holiday home decorating, check out these tips to getting your decor more in the “best dressed” holiday spirit.

How to Decorate Your Home for Christmas

Pick a color scheme

There are plenty of lovely color schemes that lend themselves to the season. Blues and silvers evoke icy imagery. Metallics are modernistic. Even baby pink and blue can soften your home into rainbow unicorn holiday wonderland. For more traditional, red and green or red and white are the perfect go-to colors.

You may even want to take your color scheme a step further and decide if you want a pattern such as Buffalo Plaid or red and white polka dots to theme your Christmas decor around.  When you home has a touch of pattern consistently present throughout the decor, there’s a sense of cohesion in the decor.  Just remember not to go overboard on the patterns by having every decoration have it or they loose their charming effect.

Select your central staging area

Homes with large, formal living rooms lend themselves well to more formally decorated mantles and trees. Smaller homes would do better with the more cozy feel with less formality.

Use your central area to establish the focal point of your decorations.  The have everything else in the home compliment this focal point.

You can also choose to decorate each room in a different theme.  This is a great way to go when you happen to like various holiday patterns or themes.  Maybe your kitchen can be a “country Christmas” and your living room can become a Scandinavian wonderland.

Decorate the mantle

Hanging stockings on mantles is the norm, but so is draping evergreen. If you have several mantles in your home, save the high, formal living room for arrangements enmasse like colored coordinated silk flowers and clusters of candles. For the den mantle, set up your Santa’s sleigh, or less formal ideas.

Adorn your stairs

If you have a prominent staircase, it can be quite fun to dress up for the holiday season.  Artificial evergreen dipping down the rail can be wound with lights, accented with bows or silk flowers. Big, full-blown silk roses are just as effective as poinsettias.

Have a large Santa standing at the bottom post, or an angel dangling off a landing.

Consider the size of your tree

If you have a fifteen foot tree in a formal living room, then having it full of homemade kindergarten ornaments may look disorganized. Hang complimentary colored bulb ornaments evenly around the tree to give it a more organized and thoughtful look.  A tree hung full of clear-glass ornaments with a touch of color for zing can make also make a dazzling impact.

For the medium to small tree, lots of color makes an atmosphere as cozy as a patch-work quilt. If your taste is more toward all white lights and glass, be sure to spice it up with colorful fabric ribbons and a few big red bows.

Be bold throughout the house

Having other, small decorated trees, wreaths, or mantle arrangements in the den, hallways, or kitchen brings the spirit everywhere.

A small, pink-flocked tree for a little girl’s room, decorated with your mismatched, dangly jewelry will enchant her.  A sports-minded boy’s room would do well with a tree full of miniature, wooden sports equipment.

Be creative with what you have

You don’t have to shell out a fortune to make an unusual theme. Pull out Teddy bears and other toys, set up a draped table in a window and make a scene from Santa’s workshop, illuminated with blue lights to add some mystery on a winter’s night.

Illuminate the outdoors

You may be the family on the block with the house everybody slows down to drive by, or you may have one bush lit up.  Whatever you choose, the twinkle of outdoor lights can add a fun, festive touch for guests before they enter your home.

If you want the more toned down version, have one small tree in your yard as a miniature Christmas tree. No evergreen? Sometimes a bare-branched dogwood is even more effective, especially if you have lights draping down like icicles or in an umbrella-type canopy on the lower branches.

Want to skip the lights or don’t have an easy way to plug them in outside?  You could use an array of solar lighted decor or simply use bows, ribbon, wreaths, mats or other outdoor decor with holiday themes and patterns to liven up your front porch.

Remember, whatever you do, you can make less more. And remember, too, that the whole point of decorating is to have fun doing it!

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Tags: Christmas, holidays, home decor
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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