Best Ways to Decorate for the Holidays, From Interior Designers

Use greenery to create a natural vibe during the winter months.

Bunch of eucalyptus branches and oil diffuser on table in living room.

Incorporating eucalyptus branches into your decor can add a fresh feel.

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Plants never go out of style, according to Lynne Tocchet, interior designer and director of interior design at the real-estate service Pacaso

“No matter what other trends are circling around it, or layering in, greenery is always at the epicenter of winter decor,” Tocchet told Insider. 

A green velvet throw on the sofa or eucalyptus branches in a neutral vase will instantly create a nature-inspired vibe, she explained.

Consider woods and natural colors when picking out holiday accessories.

Dark navy couch with wooden Christmas decorations and twinkle lights.

Wooden decor can give your space a neutral holiday flair.

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Instead of going overboard with traditional holiday colors, create a simple yet elegant look by incorporating natural elements and colors into your winter decor, suggested Tocchet.

Consider choosing a wooden version of seasonal decor to soften the vibe this year.

“Blonde-walnut candlesticks on the table, oversized wooden bowls holding scented pine cones, or woven wooden baskets for your cozy, winter blankets are a few easy examples,” she told Insider.

Add baby’s breath around the house to act as faux snow.

Baby's breath, Table setting, wallpaper, dinner, lunch, premium table setting

Baby’s breath looks magical in the winter.


Another great way to incorporate natural elements into your holiday decor is with baby’s breath, said Jessica Harris, interior designer and manager of production design at Living Spaces

“One of my favorite holiday-decor ideas is to add baby’s breath sparsely into your tree,” Harris told Insider. “It adds natural texture, layering, and depth, and it can act like snow.'” 

You can even spray paint the flowers any color you want or layer in fresh eucalyptus for an added element of creativity.

Incorporate white twinkle lights all around your home.

Christmas flat decor. holiday mood. White room. new Year. Scandinavian cozy home decor. Christmas tree. Lights and garland. Details. Cacao coffee cup and coockies.

Sparkly lights are bound to add a cozy vibe to your space.

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Michelle Harrison-McAllister, interior designer of Michelle Harrison Design, said twinkle lights should be used for much more than just adorning a tree. 

This lighting can add a charming atmosphere around your windows, artwork, door frames, and even over your headboard.


Create a curated moment under the tree with gift wrapping.

Beautiful gift boxes under fir tree in room.

Switch up your holiday aesthetic with brown boxes and twine.


If you have a tree, use the gifts underneath it to create a custom, curated moment, said Ginger Curtis, interior designer and owner of Urbanology Designs

Instead of the shiny reds and greens, gifts can be wrapped in brown paper with twine, Curtis suggested. You can also add a gorgeous pop of organic color by using dried slices of lemons and oranges, a sprig of rosemary or other greenery, tied or tucked into that twine.

To make gifts more personal and multifunctional, you can also wrap them in fabric as opposed to paper. Use kitchen linen, tabletop napkins, or even a scarf.

Homemade decor adds a personal touch.

Eco friendly zero waste dried orange slices and DIY tools and stuff on the table. Handmade dried orange for Christmas decorations and Christmas presents.

Homemade decor, like dried oranges and macramé, adds a personal touch.

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Recycled materials and homemade decorations are the go-to for the season, according to Tocchet. They can also help you stick to a budget. 

“Heartfelt, handmade trinkets, as well as larger-scale folksy wall decorations, exemplify the timeless household traditions we cherish so much,” Tocchet told Insider.

Ornaments, garlands, or even macramé are wonderful examples of DIY projects. Just be careful to keep the DIYs in small doses so you don’t overwhelm your space.

Hang garlands in unconventional areas of your home.

Christmas photo studio, decor in a photo studio

Hang them on ladders or over your bed.

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You can also make some garland out of twine or even candy canes and hang it somewhere unexpected, Curtis said. 

“Hang it from a blanket ladder in your living room, or artfully lay it out amongst your coffee-table objects,” Curtis told Insider.

Take a chance with a sparse tree.

Dried Christmas tree.

Minimalist trees are trending this season.

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Sparse trees, also called Charlie Brown trees, are all the rage this season, according to these interior designers.

Harris said scant trees highlight special ornaments and various decorations. When paired with warm lighting, the bare branches create a festive feel without overwhelming the space.

“There’s something whimsical and minimal about a Charlie Brown tree that just embraces simplicity in the midst of a holiday that can be overabundant,” Curtis told Insider. 

“What’s even better is if you put your Charlie Brown tree into a basket, then stuff a warm, cozy blanket into the basket with the tree, and let it drape over to add another layer of soft, wintery texture that’s perfect for the holidays,” Curtis said. 

Keep your decor asymmetrical.

Small Christmas trees and festive decor in kitchen

Use mini trees to create an asymmetrical look.

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Whether you’re decorating a tree or mantel with candlesticks and mini trees, Harris suggested trying to keep the design asymmetrical.

The uneven proportions can draw attention to your decor.

“A good rule of thumb when following the asymmetrical rule is to always try to decorate with odd numbers,” Harris told Insider.

Rotate holiday accessories with baseline decor.

Basket with pine cones close-up on a festive table, with place for text.

Keeping the foundation of the decor the same and just changing out the accessory layer keeps decorating simple.

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An effective way to decorate for the winter season is to layer and rotate holiday accessories with your existing pieces, according to Tocchet.

“For example, a long wooden bowl filled with pine cones may permanently sit on the center of the dining room table,” she told Insider. 

In the fall, that arrangement may be replaced with rust, orange, and earth-colored potpourri, she suggested.

Tree collars soften a space and add beautiful texture.

The Scandinavian style Christmas or New Year background: Christmas tree by the fireplace, pink glass balls and toys, wooden decoration, wool blanket, floor lamp

Tree baskets can look tidier than collars.


Collars allow you to cover up the base of your tree and maintain a cohesive theme.

“I personally prefer a tree collar over a tree skirt,” Harris said. “Tree collars are cleaner, minimalist, add texture, soften the space, and allow the tree and ornaments to be the star of the show.” 

She recommends opting for a woven basket-type collar, which you can find in neutral colors like taupe, pale brown, and gray.