Christmas trees are the centerpiece of the home and the holiday season. A beautifully decorated Christmas tree will evoke memories of the holidays for years to come. The first rule is to pick the best tree for your space, whether that be shorter and wider or taller and slimmer, and then the decorating fun begins. Fill it with colorful lights and ornaments, wrap in a ribbon, or display a beautiful tabletop tree. No matter how big or small or how it is decorated, the tree should always reflect the personality of you and your family. Bring out the garland, wreath, and Christmas trinkets, and create a festive space with your Christmas tree as the star of your holiday decorations. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas on the coast, in a cabin, or right at home, let the decoration around the room and outside the window inspire you to create a picture-perfect decorated Christmas tree. These inspiring Christmas tree decorating ideas will refresh your holiday look this year and bring new cheer into your home.
1 of 28 Photo: Hector Sanchez
Take inspiration from the surrounding landscape to infuse your tree with festive spirit and local flavor. The setting for this tree is Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and that shows proudly with a profusion of palm fronds, oyster shell accents, and a palette of gold, burnt orange, and chartreuse that matches the interior. Tweak the look to suit your own home.
2 of 28 Laurey W. Glenn
Branch Out When Hanging Lights on the Tree
Birmingham designer Iris Thorpe has tried all manner of light-stringing techniques and has determined that nothing compares to wrapping individual branches from trunk to tip. “It’s time-consuming,” she says, “but when I’ve taken shortcuts and used nets, someone in the family is inevitably disappointed with the way it
3 of 28 Helen Norman
The Midas Touch
The classic red-and-green holiday palette gets a fresh update with a heavy dose of gold. These gleaming accents–in the form of ornaments, gift wrap, and a do-it-yourself garland–help make everything old seem new again this season.
4 of 28 Photo: Hector Sanchez
Wrap your tree in a garland formed from magnolia leaves stapled together with their backs facing out.
5 of 28 Jessica Ashley
Feeling nostalgic this season? Give your tree a retro feel with trimmings–including ornaments, ribbon, garland, décor, and more.
6 of 28 Jean Allsopp
If a red-and-green palette isn’t your style, here’s an alternative. We designed a holiday collection for Dillard’s (available at dillards.com) full of subtle shades of silver, white, and gold that lend a sophisticated look to any interior.
7 of 28 Emily J Followill
Brighten up the Holidays
If you love the glitz and glamour of the holidays, this look is for you. Pile on the shimmer with a palette of silver and green, including all shades from chartreuse to moss. Well-placed pops of red add energy to this punchy, can’t-miss-it-scheme.
8 of 28 Laurey W. Glenn
Suited for the South
This “Hillside Upright” Norway spruce—with lights, pinecones, burlap, and feathers—grows up to 20 feet tall and is suited to the Upper and Middle South.
9 of 28 Photo by Laurey W. Glenn
Create an opulent feel without overwhelming the space by decorating your Christmas tree with a limited color scheme of silver, gold, and bronze.
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The grasscloth wallpaper and cool slate fireplace in this living room dictated a natural holiday palette with warm colors and nubby textures. Burlap unifies the look, with homespun stockings on the mantel, an oversize bow topping the tree, and gifts wrapped in the woven material. Cool mercury glass ornaments add a touch of shimmer. Get This Look.
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A Fraser fir, with its symmetrical shape, coordinates nicely with this room’s classic architecture. A Southern magnolia wreath hangs in the window by strips of a fabric that is used elsewhere in the room, and the red and gold ornaments play up a traditional bell and holly theme. Strands of large, clear glass bulbs, usually used to light a patio, give this tree an ethereal glow at night. Get This Look.
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Bold and Bright
A Fraser fir, with its symmetrical shape, coordinates nicely with this room’s classic architecture. A Southern magnolia wreath hangs in the window by strips of a fabric that is used elsewhere in the room, and the red and gold ornaments play up a traditional bell and holly theme. Strands of large, clear glass bulbs, usually used to light a patio, give this tree an ethereal glow at night.
13 of 28 Photo by Robbie Caponetto
Cascading Ribbon Tree
Decorate your Christmas tree with long, cascading tendrils of colorful ribbon, rickrack, and pom-pom fringe. Search the remnants section of a fabric-and-trim store for good deals on pieces that are at the end of a roll or odd-sized, and collect throughout the year. Attach ribbon directly to an embroidery hoop and then simply slide over the top of your tree.
14 of 28 Photo: Lucas Allen
Classic Red & Silver
The common color of old and new silver ornaments makes this tree elegant; different shapes and sheens make it interesting. Red beads mimic cranberries without the mess. Vintage-look white bulbs cast a calming glow. A Fraser fir tree holds lots of ornaments. See all of this Lowcountry Holiday Home.
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Colorful Tabletop Display
If you’re tight on space, try a tabletop tree planted in a sculptural garden urn. Dripping with antique glass ornaments and beaded garland, it’s a festive way to display your treasures.
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Organic & Shimmery
Skip the ubiquitous metal tree stand, and give your tree a unique base by anchoring it in a large container. Adjust the vessel to your style: fancy urns for an elegant look and rustic baskets for a casual one.
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Sand dollars, sea stars, and shells make ideal ornaments if you live by the coast. Collect them all summer to bring a warm smile to the holidays.
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For the ultimate twinkling tree, dress each branch with white lights. It can be tedious, but the glow is worth it. Minimal ornaments in a limited color scheme show off the tree.
19 of 28 Photo: Helen Norman
Colorful & Coastal
Shades of aqua, turquoise, and white create a crisp, festive holiday vibe. Glass pinecone ornaments reflect the area’s indigenous conifers and bring a traditional holiday motif to the tree. The unconventional color scheme extends to the gift wrap papers, none of which are Christmas patterns but were chosen to reflect the cottage’s fresh palette. See all of this Coastal Holiday Home.
20 of 28 Photo: Helen Norman
The theme of this tree is colors of silver and gold, basically neutral but with a little bling. Glittered ornaments and mercury glass balls lend a glimmering, glamorous feeling. Skip the tree skirt for a clean and simple look, and to let the lower limbs of the tree brush the floor. Place packages around the outside of the tree to make it look larger.
21 of 28 Photo: Helen Norman
Nostalgic Red & Gold
Nothing is more traditional than a red and green holiday palette. Give it a twist by using only red and gold ornaments on the tree, so that the pine needles, gift ribbons, and threads of green in the tartan blanket are the only green elements. This look proves that a nostalgic color scheme can be updated for a fresh, modern look.
22 of 28 Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Green & Gold Tabletop Tree
If you have small kids, we suggest a tabletop tree to keep fragile ornaments and alluring packages out of reach. A wide burlap ribbon festoons this tree, cascading down the branches with casual elegance.
23 of 28 Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Fashionable Fresh Greens
The trick to keeping this graphic look punchy, not ho-hum, is choosing the right shade of green. “This crisp apple hue pops perfectly—anything darker or lighter would fade into the tree,” Lindsey says. To keep the holiday look fresh and bright, she chose all-white ornaments for their modern feel and bold contrast. A playful paper lantern tops the tree, and the trailing garland and ribbons echo the colors of the rug’s chevron stripes. Get this look.
24 of 28 Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Many of us love to decorate with blue, so why not incorporate it into a holiday palette? “The gorgeous shade of this wallpaper (Jute Grasscloth in Dungaree by Twenty2; twenty2.net) inspired this shimmery tree,” says Lindsey. “To offset the rich colors with plenty of sparkles, I piled on the silver—glass ornaments, disco ball-esque garlands, and a quirky topper.” Get this look.
25 of 28 Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Whimsical Snow White Tree
“Once, I painted my living room pink to match my pink-and-red tree,” says Lindsey. “This year, I let the white walls direct my motif. I found a tree that looks like it’s been dusted with fresh snow.” To coordinate with the peachy pink curtains (Island Ikat by China Seas; quadrillefabrics.com), she used candy-colored ornaments and garlands that look like jewelry. In lieu of a traditional skirt or stand, the tree is placed in a sculptural garden urn. Get this look.
26 of 28 Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Complement a colorful living room with an all-gold tree. Pair antique ornaments with modern ones for a more collected and less “designed” look.
27 of 28 Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo
Simple Christmas Tree
This simple Christmas tree complements the casual and chic decor of the living room in a beautiful way.