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Hosting for the First Time? Don’t Miss These 20 Essential Tips!

In the past two years, so many people have purchased homes—and many of those people were first-time homebuyers! With the holidays season approaching, many of these new homeowners will be hosting their friends or family for holiday gatherings for the first time this winter!

If you’re hosting your first holiday gathering this year, we want to make sure you’re fully equipped and prepared for your guests! We know from experience that it’s easy to overlook details if you haven’t done it before. So, we polled our designers to see what they wish they’d known before their first time hosting the holidays!

If you’re a new homeowner or just hosting for the first time this year, here are our designer’s best hosting tips!

Are you a guest rather than a host? Don’t forget to bring a hostess gift to the party! If you need some ideas, consider these top gifts for new homeowners.

Living room with extra seating for holiday guests

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1. Pull in Extra Seats (And Don’t be Afraid to Get Creative)

An oft-overlooked necessity when hosting is beefing up your seating options. With more people entering your home than are typically there day-to-day, you’ll definitely need to plan for extra seating—whether you’re hosting a sit-down meal or more of a mix-and-mingle cocktail party. (Having enough seating is especially important if older grandparents are coming over!)

Make seating easy and abundant by pulling in extra seats to the main gathering space. And these don’t all need to be actual chairs—you can get creative! Benches, poufs, and ottomans can all be used as additional seating options beyond your sofa and accent chairs. And if you aren’t seating people around the table, feel free to pull your dining chairs out of the dining room and into whatever space you need a few extra seats.

a bar cart with winter greenery for added holiday charm

2. Dress up Your Bar Cart (Or Set Up an Impromptu Bar!)

Spruce up your bar cart for your holiday hosting needs! Remove any bottles you don’t want guests to use—and stock it with any mixers and glassware guests may need. And some winter greenery and glass decanters add a nice decorative touch! Don’t have a bar cart? Check out some ideas for impromptu small home bars.

Whether you have a bar cart or are creating a small bar just for your party, creating one or several designated bar areas helps to make drinks easily accessible for your guests. And if you want people to spread throughout your home, having different drink stations in different parts of your home is a good way to encourage people to flow through the space!

Lemons, clove, and cinnamon are excellent holiday scents

3. Set the Mood with a Signature Scent

The way your home smells will be one of the first things your guests notice when they arrive. So, help set a festive mood by intentionally creating a signature scent! Light a candle or diffuse some oils near the entrance of your home for a pleasant scent as guests arrive. Or, for something more natural, arrange a vase of fresh flowers or hang a pine wreath in your entryway!

To keep the good scents going throughout her home, our VP of style, Alessandra Wood, simmers lemon, cinnamon, and cloves on the stove for a spicey holiday scent! (Click through to find more of Alessandra’s holiday hosting tips!)

4. Queue Up Some Festive Tunes

To keep the environment comfortable through the ebbs and flows of conversation, play some easy listening and event-appropriate music in the background. This can also help set the mood of your gathering! But don’t worry about meticulously curating a playlist—you have more important things to worry about!

“My friends and family are picky listeners, so I’ve taken to crowdsourcing my playlists. A few days before an event, I’ll send out the link to the playlist and have everyone add their own songs. Then, when it’s time to turn on the tunes, I can just shuffle what everyone added and not feel stressed.” –Madeline W.

5. Get Cozy with a (Digital) Fire

Another way to create a cozy vibe? A crackling fire! There’s truly nothing like the sound and warm glow of a fire! But if you’re already having extra people over, things can get warm quickly. So, instead of lighting an actual fire, play a video of a burning yule log on your TV, courtesy of your favorite streaming service! (This is also a great option for those who don’t have a fireplace but want to bring to life the cozy vibe that fires create!) You can find versions that are multiple hours long so you don’t have to restart it halfway through your party. Some even feature celebrities and cute animals!

don't forget the charcuterie board at your holiday party

6. Go Bite-Sized With Snacks

If you’re hosting a party where people are standing and mingling, make sure you have plenty of bite-sized food that’s easy to eat while balancing a plate or drink. This will make guests more comfortable while eating and chatting—and hopefully minimize spills!

“I like to have bite-sized snacks and hors d’oeuvres at parties. I always have a charcuterie board out with a variety of meats, cheeses, grapes, and even little chocolates like Ferrero Rocher or chocolate-covered strawberries. Basically, I try to create a nice spread of things that people can easily grab and mingle with. I also put out cute champagne flutes with both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. (Welch’s white grape is always a hit for an NA option—it tastes just like Moscato!) –Crystal V.

7. Set Out Coasters

Is your new home full of new furniture? Don’t forget to add coasters to any surface where you think someone might set a drink. It’s a simple way to protect your new furniture! If you don’t have a huge coaster collection, pick up a pack of disposable coasters to make sure you have enough.

Holiday punch

8. Mix Up a Large Batch of a Signature Cocktail

Creating a batch cocktail, rather than mixing drinks individually, will make serving a lot easier. With a batch cocktail, you can mix up a big pitcher or bowl ahead of time, and guests can serve themselves when they arrive! This saves you, as the host, from having to play bartender all evening.

“I love to make a big-batch signature cocktail for my guests!” –McKenzie Kinney

9. Have a Large Surface for Serving Food

When hosting a group, it helps to have a large surface where you can set out all of your food for guests—whether that’s your dining room table, your kitchen island, or even a media console in your living room. Depending on how you want to serve the food, you can opt for a surface where people can move in a circle (like your island or a round dining table) or let people move down a line, more like a buffet table.

“My husband and I live in a small one-bedroom apartment, which doesn’t have much counter space. For serving appetizers, we clear off the top of our media console (stashing our TV in the bedroom during the party so we have extra surface space) and lay food out on that surface.” –Amy O.

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10. Don’t be Afraid to Rearrange your Layout

Tight on space? Rearrange your room for one night only! (This is one of our favorite tips for hosting in a small space.) Push furniture against the wall to clear more space in your main rooms. This is great for a dining room where people will be walking around rather than sitting at the table to eat—which also allows you to use your dining table as a buffet for serving food and drinks. Rearranging your layout is also a good option in living rooms that typically have floating furniture. Pushing furniture back will give you more space to add in extra seating and more space for people to move around and mingle!

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11. Invest in a Tray

Trays are a host’s best friend. A good tray can be used to arrange food, corral items like napkins and utensils, as a surface on which to serve drinks, or as an easy decorative item. Trays turn any coffee table or console into a polished display!

Holiday themed china sets the mood for a fab gathering

12. Make Sure You Have Ample Dinnerware and Utensils

When hosting a gathering—especially one where you’re sitting down for a meal—it’s essential to make sure you have enough silverware and dishes ahead of time! (There’s nothing like realizing you don’t have enough forks 15 minutes before guests arrive!) Be sure you have enough drinkware, table settings, and silverware not only for dinner, but also appetizers and dessert.

“The first time I hosted Thanksgiving, I totally spaced on silverware and drinkware. Luckily my mother-in-law (I got a good one!) showed up with an 18-person set of both—crisis averted!” –Lauren M.

13. Consider the Lighting

Choosing the right lighting for your home is essential. But what works day-to-day might not be right for your party. Create a moodier vibe by using a variety of accent lighting rather than overhead lights. And don’t forget about candles! If you’re worried about wax drips or creating a fire hazard, opt for flameless candles for all the ambiance and none of the risk!

“For evening parties, lower lighting is nice. I love hanging twinkle lights and lighting candles to add a festive touch to holiday parties!” –Amy O.

14. Don’t Overlook the Small Spaces

Create thoughtful, intentional moments throughout your home so guests can feel the festiveness in even the smallest spaces of your home! It could be garlands of winter greenery going up the staircase, scented candles in the bathroom, or place cards at the dinner table! Whatever you choose, it’s these little moments that will make your home feel extra-special.

“I always light a candle in the bathroom when I’m hosting. It makes your home feel extra fancy and is a nice but small touch. You could go flameless, but I love a scented candle. Although, I do get stressed about burning my house down, so I usually find myself popping in to check on it every 10 minutes or so! Ha!” –Madeline W.

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15. Designate a Place for Coats and Bags

You don’t want a pile-up of coats and bags right inside your front door as guests arrive. So, designate a place for coats before guests arrive—whether that’s a coat closet, a freestanding clothing rack, or even laying them all on a guest bed. Have kids? This is a great job to designate to one of your kids to make them feel important as guests arrive! (And give you one less thing to worry about.)

16. Put Away Pet Items

You may love your pets—but that doesn’t mean all of your guests will. When preparing your home for hosting, put pet items in a different room—for aesthetic purposes and to avoid a tripping hazard from any stray toys or bones. Depending on your guest list, consider keeping your pets in a different part of the house from guests as well.

“If you’re hosting just for a short time, consider putting pet stuff in another room, which will help eliminate pet odor and is good for any guest who may have allergies.” –Katherine B.

17. Don’t Stress Over Imperfections

Your home doesn’t need to be perfect. You don’t have to postpone your holiday gathering until next year just because you’re still working on furnishing and decorating your new home. Host the gathering, but just focus on cleaning really well and making your home feel welcoming with some festive holiday or winter decorations. Beyond that, it’s about gathering family and friends together. And loved ones won’t judge imperfect decor or in-process designs!

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For overnight guests…

If you’re hosting overnight guests this holiday season, you have a bit more to think about. You’re not just planning one evening but need to make sure you’re set for a couple of days. If this is the case for you, here are a few extra tips to consider!

18. Give your Guest Room a Test Drive

A great way to make sure your overnight guests will have everything they need? Sleep in your guest space and use your guest bathroom to experience them and see what needs to be done to make each space more welcoming and comfortable. This is an easy way to discover items you might have overlooked. Some commonly missed guest room essentials are full-length mirrors, laundry hampers, and missing or ill-placed trash cans!

Read Next: How to Avoid These Design Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

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19. Keep Daily-Use Items Out and Easy to Reach

Are there certain things your guest may want easy and regular access to? Keep them in plain sight. Place a few mugs and sugar on the counter or set up a coffee bar so guests feel at ease and can make their own morning beverages. The same goes with towels—have a few guest towels (aka clean towels!) ready for guests, placing them in your guest bedroom or bathroom so they’re good to go.

20. Bring Out the Coziness

If you’re hosting in the winter, add extra fluffy blankets and throws to the sofa or bed to add an extra layer of comfort for your guests. You never know if guests run warm or cold, so having extra blankets easily accessible is a nice touch!

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14 Winter Home Decor Ideas to Easily Cozy-ify Your Space

We hate to admit it—but cold weather is fast approaching. Fall has already seeped into our homes, and winter will be fast at its heels! While we may not feel ready for a long winter—we have to say, winter home decor can be pretty cozy.

Just think of it: basking in the glow of flickering candles and roaring fires, hanging garlands of greenery that leave the scent of evergreens in the air, getting cozy beneath knit blankets and fuzzy sheepskin throws with a good book and a steaming mug of hot cocoa in your hands. It makes winter sound pretty dreamy, right? And it all goes to show that winter decorating doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple but impactful is what we’re all about!

If you’re the type to update your decor seasonally and want your home to feel extra cozy this winter, check out our round-up of winter home decor tips!

baywindow with cozy winter decor touches

A Note on Holiday Decor…

We’re here to remind you that winter home decor doesn’t have to mean holiday or Christmas decor. (After all, for most people fall decor doesn’t mean Halloween decor! So why does winter decor have to be synonymous with Christmas decorations??) Winter is much more than Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Years Eve. So, there’s no need to decorate exclusively for one or two of those holidays.

We’re of the belief that you can set the tone with winter decor, then layer in holiday decor as desired. And when the holidays are over, you can remove the holiday decor and still have perfectly cozy winter decor for the rest of the season!

However, if you like to go all-out for the holidays, you can always start with holiday decor, then transition your decor post-holidays! In that case, you may also want to check out our holiday decorating tips!

Ok, now onto the good stuff. Here are our designers’ top 14 winter decorating ideas to inspire you as you get your own home ready for winter!

Adding a wreath to your decor  is the easiet way to add some wintery charm.

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1. Hang a Wintery Wreath

Looking for easy winter decorating ideas? Hang a wintery wreath on your front door, over a mirror, above your fireplace, or on a blank wall within your home. A wreath of simple greenery (like pine, boxwood, magnolia leaves, or eucalyptus), pinecones, or berries looks good all winter long and adds an extra layer of texture to your space. They’re one of our favorite winter decorations!

2. Add Plaid Decor

There’s something about a plaid pattern that feels undeniably wintery, adding visual warmth and cozy vibes to any space. So, add plaid touches through textiles like pillows, throws, curtains, table linens, and bedding. A plaid pattern can be found on just about any material—but it feels extra cozy if it’s made of flannel!

Adding a bit of wintery greeney to this entry space is enough to  transition this space to the colder months.

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3. Switch out Flowers for Winter Greenery

While we love a vase of fresh flowers, in the winter we prefer to swap out our flowers and fall foliage for winter greenery, like pine branches, eucalyptus, and even red berries. (Ok, those aren’t greenery—they’re red! But they’re very wintery.) Greenery like this tends to be simple and cost-effective, while adding instant texture to a tabletop arrangement. Simply collect some pine boughs—either from your own yard or from your local garden center—place them in a vase, and viola! You have a beautiful wintery arrangement.

4. Use Natural Materials in Your Decor

A great way to bring textural warmth into your home for the winter is by using natural materials in your home’s decor. And we’re not just talking jute rugs or seagrass baskets. Consider filling decorative objects like baskets, bowls, lanterns, and cloches with foraged natural items like acorns, pinecones, birch branches, and winter berries. This brings winter’s natural elements inside and adds color, texture, and rustic touches to your home’s decor.

Designer Tip: If you have kids or pets, skip the winter berries or just go for a faux arrangement, as these berries are toxic if ingested!

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garlands bring a holiday flare to this mantle while also showing off its architectural details

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5. Highlight Architectural Details with Evergreen Garlands

Another simple-but-impactful winter decor idea? Garlands. Garlands of winter greenery can help highlight architectural details in a space—like a doorway arch, a fireplace mantel, or a staircase railing. This fills your home with texture, color, and subtle scents beyond just tabletop decor. It also brings life to your home in a season that can feel bleak!

layered lighting adds wintery hygge flare to this dining room

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6. Create Layered Lighting with Candles

If you read our lighting buying guide, you know that layered lighting is important year-round. But throughout the winter, we love to be more intentional about lighting candles. They add a cozy ambience and that hygge feeling when the days are short and dark. And if you like scented candles, they can also add to the sensory experience of a room! So, sprinkle candles throughout your home—whether real or of the battery-operated flameless variety—for cozy, layered lighting all winter long.

candles bring and garland bring cozy winter vibes to this moody mantle

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7. Use Candles as Tabletop and Mantle Decor, Too

Candles not only create layered lighting in a room—they can also be used as winter decorations on a tabletop or mantle to help winterize your space! We love brass candle holders to bring some visual warmth into a room—but you can also place candles in vases or hurricanes, put them on wooden platters, or scatter them across your mantle!

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8. Add Extra Layers to Your Bed

Keep yourself extra warm and cozy at night by adding extra layers of bedding. And use these layers as a small nod to winter decor! This is a great time to swap out a lightweight duvet for something heavier. But you could also pile on a quilt, an extra comforter, or throw blankets! These extra layers will give your bedroom an extra cozy vibe while keeping you at a comfortable temperature all winter long!

baywindow with cozy winter decor touches

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9. Drape a Knit Throw Blanket Over a Chair or Sofa

It’s always good to have blankets around in the winter, so you can cozy up when chatting, watching TV, or reading. And the best types of blankets to have lying around? A warm, chunky knit throw! Drape some over a chair or sofa, or keep a few in a basket in the corner. Chunky knits add extra warmth when you want to snuggle up, while adding visual texture and a sense of coziness to your home.

cozy winter decor in moody black living room

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10. Pile on Pillows with Texture

More winter decor ideas we love? Texture—especially in pillows. Pillows with texture add visual interest and coziness to a sofa or chair, which is something we can all use a little more of in the winter! Simply swap out your summer pillows—which tend to be lighter, with linen or cotton covers. Instead, bring in chunky knits, luxurious velvets, wool weaves, and perhaps some faux fur! Any and all of these textures will add instant comfort for cold days and nights and will hopefully entice you to relax!

Hygge style living room with cozy winter decor

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11. Add a Sheepskin Rug

A sheepskin rug adds warmth to your feet and screams winter wonderland. They add a layer of warmth for practical insulation and bring texture and softness to a space. And they’re not just for the floor! If you get a smaller sheepskin, you can drape it over the back of a chair or on the seat of a bench.

Marble backsplash in kitchen with festive winter decor

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12. Make a Hot Drink Station

During the winter, we love to create a special place just for making wintery drinks like hot chocolate! If you have a coffee nook, you can just layer in ingredients for a hot cocoa station, complete with fun with little jars for toppings and an assortment of wintery mugs! And if you don’t have a pre-existing coffee nook, all you have to do is gather these elements onto a tray and place it wherever is most convenient.

We love a hot drink station as a winter decorating idea, because it’s both practical and festive! You probably make hot drinks a lot in the winter, so it makes sense to have everything gathered in one space! And it’s fun for kids and can add a playful wintery touch to a bar cart, buffet, or kitchen counter.

Winter decor sideboard with blue curtains and chandelier

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13. Bring in Touches of Silver

Silver is a classic winter color. It has the quality of sparkly, freshly fallen snow, and it can also add some class to a tabletop or wall decor. Bring touches of silver into your decor through vases, bowls, and candle holders. You could even bring in a larger moment of silver by swapping wall art out with a large silver-framed mirror! Whether you choose big or small moments, you’ll love the way silver finishes will add sparkle to your space while also making it feel distinctively wintery.

14. Use Deep Blue Hues

A deep blue hue adds richness and sophistication to any space, making it a perfect addition to your winter decor. It feels wintery in its boldness and cool tones, while adding a nice pop of color to your home when outside your window things feel dreary and dull! Other wintery hues you could use instead? A deep pine green or dark cranberry red.

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6 Date Night Decor Tips to Make Valentine’s Day (or Any Day) Feel Extra Special

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching—but plans might look a little different this year. Instead of a fancy dinner out, many couples are opting for a date night in. But for some, that can feel like a bit of a let-down. After all, how can you make Valentine’s Day dinner (or any date night dinner, for that matter) feel special, when you spend night after night together at home?

All it takes is a bit of creativity and planning ahead! With a few decor swaps and some rearranging, you can make an at-home date night or celebration feel just as special as a night on the town. So, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a Galentine’s get-together, or an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or special milestone, we have the tips you need to elevate your night in.

Read on for a round-up of simple tips and small decor shifts to take you from a regular dinner at home to a very special, thoughtful date night in.
date night decor tips

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1. Tidy Up

Key to making date night feel different from any old evening? A clean home. After all, your favorite restaurant doesn’t have dirty dishes in the sink or toys strewn about the floor, does it? Elevate the vibe of your space by giving it a good clean! So, either the night before or day-of, give yourself some time to tidy up your space so that when dinner time comes around you can sit back and relax.

2. Bust Out the Fancy Stuff

Do you have special dishes, glasses, or cutlery that you only use when you have company over or on major holidays? Well, consider this the perfect opportunity to bust out that special occasion tableware. Use your nice dishes, your best serveware and flatware, and your favorite wine glasses. Have a decanter or wine chiller collecting dust at the back of your cabinet? Date night is the perfect time to elevate your drink presentation as well! Pour your red wine into a decanter for serving at the table, or keep your white wine or champagne chilled, tableside.

Stylist Tip: If you and your partner have a favorite restaurant, try to recreate the vibe of that space at home! Bring in decorative elements and tabletop pieces that visually resemble the restaurant’s ambiance and style.

date night decor tips

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3. Create Some Ambiance

Nothing says “there’s nothing special happening here” like bright, unflattering overhead lighting on date night. So, make sure you create some ambiance before settling in for dinner! Dim (or entirely turn off) your overhead lighting and light some candles! You can go with tapers, a trio of pillar candles, or even a few flameless votives. Want a little more light? Consider investing in a mood-setting new lamp to place on a buffet or console table!

But ambiance isn’t just about lighting. Queue up some background music, too! Bonus points if it’s on vinyl, played on a nearby turntable.

date night decor tips

4. Arrange Some Fresh Flowers

A simple floral bouquet or vase of fresh greenery will help enliven the mood and serve as a beautiful centerpiece while you dine. Want your space to feel even more special? Scatter a few different arrangements of florals and greenery around your room—from the table to a buffet and even your bar cart. (More on that next!)

date night decor tips

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5. Prep Your Bar Cart

Plan ahead for what you want to drink on date night, whether that’s a fancy cocktail or mocktail, or some celebratory bubbles. Make sure your bar cart is stocked and styled with the necessities. From there, take it to the next level by sprinkling in little moments of delight that will make mixing drinks feel extra special—like a vase of fresh flowers, flickering candles, a decanter, and perhaps a book of love poems!

No bar cart? No problem. Here are 7 ways to create an impromptu bar!

date night decor tips

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6. Consider Setting Up Somewhere Special

If having dinner at your dining table feels too “everyday,” consider setting up your dinner or appetizers elsewhere in your home. Don’t be afraid to dine in your living room by the fireplace (how cozy!), lounging by your sofa, or even at your eat-up kitchen counter if you want to recreate the vibe of your favorite bar! (What is it about sitting side-by-side on barstools that feels so romantic?) Any of these relocations will help your date night feel different than the ordinary day-to-day scene.

Stylist Tip: If you set up in your living room, consider swapping in a few special throw pillows and extra cozy blankets to up the cozy and romantic vibe of your space!

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Our Guide to Picking the Right Christmas Tree for Your Needs

It’s safe to say that the holidays are upon us—which means Christmas trees are making their way into homes all across the country. Believe it or not, Christmas trees have been a part of American holiday celebrations since the 1850s. And—no surprise here—tree-trimming has become one of the most anticipated holiday traditions in many households.

And this year, with holiday celebrations during COVID making the season look quite different, people are turning to their Christmas trees to give their homes an extra sense of joy and cheer! (P.S. Our holiday decor lookbook is full of some beautiful living room design ideas and fun holiday mantel decor for every style if you need help with holiday decorating beyond your tree!)

Christmas tree types

However, while real, chopped-down-by-hand Christmas trees are emblematic of the holidays, they’re not the only options out there. From Noble Firs to tinsel trees, you can find the perfect tree for your home and interior design style, since Christmas trees now come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. What kind of tree you prefer is up to you, but we’re here to help make it easier to decide. Keep reading for our guide to the different types of Christmas trees!

Want to try your tree before you trim it? Start your project today and get expert design plans laid out in a 3D version of your exact room. It’s practically magic. Get some holiday decor ideas for the rest of your home and read up on our favorite iconic Christmas trees from history!

Get to know the five most common Christmas tree types and learn the pros and cons of each!

Live Christmas Trees

Do you love the smell of fresh pine and revel in the holiday tradition of picking out a tree every year? Then a live tree is the option for you. But be prepared—whether you’re cutting down a tree or simply picking one out at a Christmas tree lot, there are a lot of different varieties of evergreens to choose from! We’ll break down some of the more popular Christmas tree varieties below.

But first, it’s worth noting that live trees require a bit more hands-on care than an artificial tree. To begin with, you have to keep it watered throughout the holiday season and check it regularly for dryness, as letting your tree get too dry can become a fire hazard. And then there’s the inevitable clean-up necessary as needles drop, both during set-up and throughout the time you have your tree up. But for many people, this extra work is well worth the joy of having a live tree in your home for the holidays!

Christmas tree typesThe Fraser Tree

Live Fraser trees have become a classic American staple. In fact, they’re the most popular type of Christmas trees in the US—so you could even say they’re the best Christmas tree option out there! Similar to Douglas Firs, Frasers tend to be more slender and have blue-green needles with silvery undersides. This gives them an extra lush look and a nice glimmer when strung with lights.

Pros:

  • Great for Lots of Ornaments: Frasier trees have upturned and stiff branches that make them perfect for hanging ornaments by the handful.
  • Stays Fresh and Lush: The needles retain their color for a long time, so your tree will stay fresh through the end of the year. This makes Frasers perfect if you like keeping your tree for a while.
  • No-Shed Needles: Worried about needle retention? Fraser trees don’t shed needles as quickly as other varieties, even if you forget to water them once or twice throughout the holiday season.
  • Beautifully Fragrant: These trees have a strong, fresh scent!
  • Fits Anywhere: They’re compact, so Frasers can tuck nicely into corners and also work in smaller spaces.

Cons:

  • High Price Tag: Fraser trees grow slower, which makes them a more expensive option.

Christmas tree typesThe Noble Fir

Slender, tall, and narrow, Noble Firs—with their signature triangular shape—are a leaner variety among the different Christmas tree types.

Just as lush in color as their Fraser counterparts, Noble Firs also have deeper grey-green needles. Their strong branches grow horizontally in different bunches with larger amounts of space in between, which provides lots of room for ornaments to hang. They’re also lightly scented if you’re looking for just a touch of fragrance in the air.

Pros:

  • Sturdy Branches: Noble Firs are the tallest of the different types of Christmas tree and have the strongest branches. This makes them a good choice if you’re looking to hang large and heavy ornaments. (Think: gingerbread houses, silver bells, mini angel figurines.)
  • No-Shed Needles: Boasting great needle retention, Noble Firs hardly shed their needles. This means they’ll last longer than most other Christmas tree types.

Cons:

  • Skinny Looks: Noble Firs have a less full look than most other types of Christmas trees. So if you’re looking for a more robust tree that’s decked out with lights, ribbons, and lots and lots of ornaments, this might not be the right option for you.

Christmas tree typesThe White Fir (or Concolor Fir)

White Firs, also known as the Colorado White Fir tree, are lush evergreens native to the mountains of the western United States. Their branches grow in a spiral shape and have long, lush needles, resulting in a tree that’s dense from top to bottom! And their needles are also less poky than other long-needled evergreens!

Pros:

  • Full Foliage: If you’re looking for a tree that’s big, fluffy, and perfectly shaped, the White Fir is a great option.
  • A Sweet Citrusy Smell: Many people love White Firs because they have a unique citrus scent that ushers in the holiday spirit. But if you prefer the smell of fresh pine, maybe consider another of the Christmas tree types instead.

Cons:

  • Colors Fade: The needles on this tree variety don’t hold their color as well. While they start off as a bluish-green, they eventually fade to a duller green hue as the tree ages.
  • Medium-Weight Branches: Smaller ornaments are best on White Firs as the branches are only moderate in strength and won’t be able to hold heavy trinkets like other trees.

Artificial Christmas Trees

If you prefer the ease of simply bringing your tree up from the basement, then artificial is the way to go. (Bonus: you don’t have to worry about watering an artificial tree!) If you’re looking to purchase your first artificial tree, don’t skimp on price—cheap artificial trees look, well, cheap. If it’s in your budget, look for something a little higher-end, which will tend to look more like a real tree and will last longer. Really high-quality trees can easily last a decade. Miss the real tree smell? Hang some scentsicles on your tree, or stock up on your favorite pine-scented candles!

Read on for more info on the two most popular Christmas tree styles among artificial trees!

Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree IdeasThe Pre-Lit Tree

While fresh Christmas trees are lovey, they do require a good amount of work. Think hassling with the tree stand, watering daily, and dealing with a floor full of fallen needles.

Fake trees can save you from all that hassle, and they’re just as beautiful, like a pre-lit faux Frasier tree, which has glittering frost-speckled needles molded from natural cuttings.

Pros:

  • Easy to Maintain: Set up is a breeze! You assemble the different parts of the tree, plug it into the wall, and it’s ready to go.
  • Built-in Sparkle: You can find artificial trees with snow-dusted branches to give your space a glimmering, wintry look that never fades. Even real trees can’t compete with that.
  • Zero Pickup: There are no fallen needles to clean-up. Simple as that.

Cons:

  • Less Personal: You can’t change the color of the lights that come with pre-lit trees and many people find they have to use specific ornaments to compliment the shape or style of the tree.
  • Not Fragrant at All: Needless to say, unlike real trees this fake version doesn’t give off that signature sweet, fresh-chopped Christmas tree scent.
  • Surprisingly Pricey: Many pre-lit trees come with a hefty price tag. But if you don’t plan on re-purchasing a real tree yearly, this could be a worthy investment.

 

Christmas tree typesThe Tinsel Tree

Christmas trees don’t come any sparklier than Silver Tinsel trees, which have a retro look that’s reminiscent of 1950s aluminum trees. (Charlie Brown Christmas, anyone?) Because they’re all silver, light reflects beautifully from the branches and brings a cozy and magical ambiance to any room.

Pros:

  • Choose Your Color: You’ll find tinsel trees in a range of color options, so you can be be sure this type of tree will bring a unique look to your space.
  • Minimal Decoration Required: Tinsel trees often look better with minimal decor, so it’s perfect if you prefer a simple tree with a low-maintenance look.

Cons:

  • Expensive Upfront Cost: These trees are built for convenience over quality (meaning they might not hold up as long as some other faux tree varieties). Nonetheless, tinsel trees can still sport a hefty price tag and can be more expensive than a regular living tree.
  • No “Real Tree” Resemblance: If you’re looking for a fake tree that still looks like a real one, then a tinsel tree is not for you.

 

A Note About the Environmental Impact of Christmas Trees…

Contrary to popular belief, opting for a real Christmas tree is actually the more environmentally friendly option. According to The Nature Conservancy, live trees require a fraction of the carbon emissions that it takes to produce and ship artificial trees (since most artificial trees are made in and shipped from China). Not just that, but Christmas tree farms provide clean air and wildlife habitats (while also supporting a local economy). The National Christmas Tree Association reports that, for every tree purchased, farmers plant 1-3 seedlings in its place. These new trees (and the ones that weren’t cut down) produce oxygen, provide wildlife habitats, and support healthy soil. Plus, trees are biodegradable, so they can be composted or recycled for mulch or other purposes within local communities. (Whereas most artificial trees end up in landfills.)

But that’s not to say that artificial trees are evil. But it is worth looking into where your tree was produced. Buying US-made trees means fewer carbon emissions to ship them. And investing in a high-quality tree that will last for more than five years (rather than a tree that you’ll toss after, say, two years) further reduces the environmental impact of buying an artificial tree.

If you’re worried about the environmental impact, you could also consider a used artificial tree from your local thrift store. Many people donate old artificial trees when they move or downsize. This is a great way to lower your waste—and save some money!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: 8 Festive Holiday Mantel Decor Looks

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is practically here! It’s been a long 2020, so it’s more the reason to break out the festive holiday decorations and cozy up the home for some much-needed celebration (and relaxation).

The best place to start decorating? Your fireplace mantel, of course! It’s where the stockings go after all. But it’s also an easy surface to layer with candles and ornaments or string up lights and a garland. Not to mention, the fireplace is also the centerpiece of the living room, so your holiday mantel decor is guaranteed to be a focal point in the space.

Explore more holiday decorating tips from Modsy designers! Need help pulling your living room together? Check out these ways to lay out a living room with a fireplace and even this guide to living rooms with corner fireplaces.

Although, there are many ways beyond classic Xmas red-and-white to deck out the mantel. To give you some wintry, holiday mantel inspiration, here are a few of our favorite looks for a festive and dazzling fireplace. Read on to get our tips on how to bring each look home.

rustic fireplace with boho wreath and string garland

Hygge It Up

Create a mantel focal point inspired by hygge, the Scandinavian winter mindset of embracing all things cozy and comforting. It’s a layered and lush alternative to a holiday mantel display that will bring in a sense of calm and quiet all through winter.

Learn more about acing a hygge design style.

Stick to simple pieces that are sculptural and have a handmade, organic feel. That means layering up your mantel with decor such as a textured greenery garland, a macramé hanging, woven baskets and accents, and artisanal white ceramics. It all helps convey a feeling of comfort and warmth.

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holiday mantel decor

Keep It Classic Christmas Style

Nothing beats red and green Christmas mantel decor for that classic holiday look. It’s perfect for those who want a tried-and-true mantel that goes with the traditional holiday colors throughout the living room.

String a garland or simple branches of pine across the mantel, then add in festive accents in the Christmas palette. That can be a piece of vintage art (like this sleigh drawing), some candlesticks and berry stems, a reindeer figurine or special family ornaments, anything that nods to the holidays. It’ll make for an attractive focal point that can rival any Christmas tree.

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Traditional style fireplace with jewel-tone artwork and holiday garland

Go For Color & Glam

Give your mantel a glam update for the holidays with decor that dazzles and sparkles. This is perfect if you like your holidays to have a punch of color that’s not red and green and like a living room that’s fun, and festive.

Add decor in bright jewel tones and metallics to up the glitz factor. That includes everything from mercury glass votives and candleholders and mirrored sconces to silver ornaments and metallic tree sculptures. This is all about adding colors and glamour that shine, so no need to hold back!

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holiday mantel decor

Think Refined & Rustic

If you’re a fan of rustic style, this refined-rustic approach has farmhouse appeal but still brings in that wintry, holiday spirit. Instead of classic Christmas mantel decorations, this is all about layering rustic and vintage elements for that cozy, lived-in feel.

Start by adding sophisticated vintage accents, like flea-market art, antiqued brass animals, and weathered candlesticks. Then work in natural elements, like the wood-bead garland here and the full cypress greenery, for seasonal and organic touches. For a soft nod to the holidays, you can round out the mantel with white stockings, mini Christmas trees, and a woven basket for fireplace logs.

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rounded fireplace with eclectic Christmas decor

Give It A Quirky Twist

For an eclectic holiday mantel, mix quirky festive decor. If you prefer casual holiday decorations, this is the perfect twist for you. Not to mention, it’s a great solution if you don’t have room for a full-size Christmas tree.

You can take it in any direction you want, but a fun garland is a must (like this cute ‘Oh What Fun’ one.) Add in other charming decor, like red and green candles, some greenery branches, and a nutcracker or toy soldier sculpture. It’s about turning the mantel into a holiday scene, and when the time comes you can stack presents in front of the fireplace.

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holiday mantel decor

Opt For Trad & Organic

In the same vein as a rustic holiday mantel, this elegant take on classic holiday ushers in an elevated festive look. For those who have a formal living room or want a polished and sophisticated fireplace focal point, this is an easy way to do so.

Lean into classic mantel decor that lets you play up symmetry, like a pair of brass sconces flanking a mirror, a garland of gold pine cones that runs the length of the mantel, sculptural glass trees at varying heights. This is also a great moment for a wreath, which adds a pop of greenery and texture that balances out all the formality

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holiday mantel decor

Make It Minimalist

For true minimalists and modern-decor lovers, a simple mantel in black and white with touches of silver is the way to go. Believe it when we say there are ways to work a high-contrast palette so that it still feels cozy and full of holiday spirit.

Be sure to keep to small white accents, like ceramic vases, miniature trees, and black-and-white stockings. You can go big and top it all off with a black-and-white frame mirror that draws attention to the mantel. The key is to work in greenery, like small cypress trees or branches for some organic texture and for a nod to the wintry outdoors.

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Hannukah themed fireplace decor in blue and silver

Try Polished Blue & Silver

Like holiday red and green, blue and silver make for a wintry palette that can instantly bring the outdoors in. For those who celebrate Hannukah, this is color scheme also perfectly ties into the festive decor for the holiday.

The key is sticking to simple and modern blue-and-white decor, like sapphire velvet curtains, sky-color modern art, and silver candlesticks or menorahs. You can easily add a holiday touch by layering in mercury glass votives and candle holders, blue and silver ornaments. Practical finishing touches, like a big woven basket, will bring an instant warm appeal.

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Introducing Our 2020 Holiday Decor Lookbook

The holiday season will inevitably look different this year, with fewer (if any) holiday parties, and family gatherings being limited. But that doesn’t mean the season has to be devoid of holiday cheer! In fact, we say that it’s all the more reason to go all out on decor this year, and make our homes a place of joy and delight!

Bringing our community joy through design is always something we strive for at Modsy. And, this holiday season, finding a little extra joy at home is especially important. But, with the world feeling out of control, decorating for the holidays might feel like one more overwhelming thing on your to-do list.

Within this lookbook, you’ll discover three holiday looks: our Hygge Collection, our Traditional Charm Collection, and our Glitz + Glam Collection. Each look includes five decor packs—pillows, wall art, mantel decor, coffee table decor, and textiles—that you can easily layer onto any space and get a fresh look for the season! With these holiday decor ideas, it will be like hitting the “easy” button and instantly adding cozy cheer to your space!

We hope you love these looks as much as we enjoyed pulling them together. Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season!

Who doesn’t love browsing a holiday catalog? Consider this our digital take, full of all of our favorite holiday decor trends. (Bonus: Many of these items are seasonless and can be used in your home throughout the year. Score!)

Flip through our Holiday Lookbook to see our three holiday looks along with the curated decor packs in each look. See something you love? You can shop directly from the lookbook with just a click! And you can purchase everything—no matter the mix of brands—through your Modsy shopping cart for a simple, streamlined checkout.

Explore Our Holiday Decor Collections

Want to dig a little deeper into our three holiday collections and get some holiday decorating tips? Look no further. Our three looks—Hygge, Traditional Charm, and Glitz + Glam—cover a range of styles. They all have a trendy, of-the-moment twist, while still being effortlessly approachable. And comfort is at the heart of all three looks—which is something we all need from our homes right now!

holiday decor

The Hygge Collection

Our Hygge Collection will bring loads of warmth and comfort to your home. Hygge is a Danish word for a feeling of coziness and comfort. It’s a concept that’s all about embracing life’s simple pleasures, which promote feelings of well-being and contentment. In decor, a Hygge design style is all about coziness, comfort, and warmth. That’s why this collection is full of plush materials like velvets, furs, and chunky knits. We’ve layered all of these plush pieces together with organic shapes and natural materials for your coziest winter yet.

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The Key Elements of Hygge Style

holiday decor

Layers of Texture

A layered look is key to acing this style. So, pile on the pillows and textiles! We’ve curated the perfect mix to make layering effortless. You can pick and choose one or two of your favorite pieces—or go for the full pack! The key here is choosing pillows with a mix of different materials, which adds depth and contrast. It ensures you have a space that’s perfect for snuggling up all winter long!

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holiday decor

A High-Contrast Neutral Palette

A neutral color scheme is key to pulling off a Hygge look. It helps create calm and cozy vibes in your space. But bringing in high-contrast elements helps energize the look and add a little bit of drama. And don’t forget to add a few pops of greenery or leather to give your Hygge home some extra warmth!

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Hygge style living room decor

A Sense of Cozy Calm

Cozy calm is what this style is really all about. Lean into this sensibility with more pared-back styling. Other than your cozy textiles, keep things simple with just a few candles to help set the mood. (Is there anything cozier than sitting under a blanket, with a favorite beverage and book in hand, basking in flickering candlelight??)

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Traditional style holiday decor in living room

The Traditional Charm Collection

Get festive with a classic array of reds, plaids, and seasonal greenery. Our Traditional Charm collection is all about indulging in nostalgic comforts and your warmest holiday memories. That’s why we incorporated some Christmas decor classics in this look—a red color scheme, pine garlands, reindeer—but gave it a modern twist with some high-contrast moments throughout the collection.

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The Key Elements of Traditional Style

grey sofa with plaid throw pillows

Nostalgic Patterns

Who says you can’t mix different plaid patterns? If you’re going for a classic holiday look, we’re all about that plaid on plaid. These various plaid patterns evoke a feeling of being at grandma’s house during the holidays. Plaid decor is comforting and creates a very inviting look. Go for more of a classic holiday look with a traditional palette of cherry reds—or deviate from the norm with a mix of non-traditional colors!

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holiday decor

A Twist on Classic Holiday Motifs

This look has traditional style at its roots—but we’ve given it a 2020 spin. Find holiday decoration motifs like reindeers and sleds but in more subtle forms that can be on display all winter long.

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holiday decor

The Glitz + Glam Collection

Wrap your home in luxurious materials, bold jewel tones, and metallic shine. Our Glitz and Glam Collection will instantly infuse your space with chic but playful elegance. This take on holiday decor 2020 is far from traditional—kind of like this whole year. We like the idea of going for something unexpected this holiday season, with a more indulgent spin on comfort.

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The Key Elements of Glam Style

Moody Jewel Tones

A moody palette of rich jewel tones is definitely a different take on holiday decorating—but one that feels no less festive. This rich and luxurious color palette manages to feel both cozy and indulgent. Opting for jewel tones with earthy undertones keeps the look feeling festive and fresh.

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holiday decor

A Bit of Sparkle

Metallics bring a definite sense of holiday festiveness! Gold and silver accents make this look shine, and contemporary Christmas decorations like these milk glass trees and starburst mirrors give the holidays a modern twist. This is also a look that can easily stretch into the new year—which is great if you want your decor to last beyond the winter holidays.

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holiday decor

Luxurious Textures

Velvet on velvet? We say yes. Embracing the velvet decor trend is the perfect way to up the glam factor in your space. This material has a bit of shine and reflects light—which is perfect for winter months. But don’t stop at velvet! Layer in faux fur throws and even a sheepskin rug for extra cozy and chic warmth.

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Happy National Gingerbread House Day: Here’s What a Gingerbread House Would Look Like in Real Life

gingerbread houseThe holiday spirit has taken over at Modsy and with National Gingerbread House Day (yes, that’s a real holiday) right around the corner on December 12th, we knew we had to do something special. How festive would it be to live inside one of those frosted, gum-drop and candy-cane constructed homes? (Assuming the roof doesn’t cave in like ours always seem to do in real life).

Leave it to us. We created the gingerbread house of our interior design dreams. While the walls might be cookie and crumbly, the furniture inside is built to last. Oh yeah, you can actually shop all of these pieces IRL, in case you want to live in a sugary wonderland all year round.

gingerbread house

For anyone looking to live in the Modsy gingerbread house, look for a style that is whimsical and fun. We chose pieces that use the classic colors of gingerbread candy and evoke the textures of the yummy space. The vibe is playful and bright, but not too cheesy—gingerbread people have a sense of style, after all. We knew that the space needed to feel fun, but also wanted it to be achievable and even hit a specific style profile. Many of the pieces are actually named after pieces of candy, which made them feel right at home in this space.

gingerbread house

We envision a cool and trendy gingerbread family living here. They definitely march to the beat of their own drum and aren’t interested in any of those “cookie cutter styles” seen on TV (pun very much intended). The person (gingerbread or otherwise) who lives here likely loves a good vintage or retro piece, especially anything Mid-Century Modern. They aren’t afraid of bold colors and really want to make their space pop. Each piece tells a story; they’re sculptural and vibrant.

gingerbread house

Our favorite pieces in the gingerbread house are The George Nelson Marshmallow sofa which anchors the design and really inspired the overall look and color palette for the space. A few other Nelson pieces such as the clock and light fixtures add to the sophisticated whimsy of the design.

The CB2 Jellybean coffee table has the perfect shape and texture (and name!), along with the Hive side tables and the frothy Miles Shag rug which makes us think of the white icing so common on gingerbread houses. The green and purple poufs are a nod to gumdrops—the classic gingerbread decorating candy.

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5 Holiday Color Palettes We Love (That aren’t red and green)

unique holiday decor ideasThe holiday season is upon us! If you haven’t already, it’s time to break out the festive holiday decor — and feel free to get as *extra* as you like! The days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are the one time that it’s completely acceptable to layer on the glitz and glam and get cheesy festive. So we say embrace the season!

However, this year we’re shaking things up a bit. Rather than sticking with the typical reds and greens for Christmas or blues and whites for Hanukkah, we’re playing with some unexpected—but equally festive—color combos.

Want to join the fun? Keep reading for five unique and unexpected color palettes to inspire your holiday decorating.

holiday decorating1. Blush, Blue, and Gold

Blue and white is the classic color combo for Hanukkah. We wanted to warm up the palette by subbing out white for blush and gold. It still feels festive and seasonal but has a warmer and more inviting feeling while offering an unexpected twist.

Why We Love It

Gold is endlessly festive and celebratory, and the combo of blue and blush has a cozy flair. But we really love that this is a color combo that can be embraced year-round. All you have to do is add a Christmas tree, a menorah, or a few festive accents to make this color combo holiday-ready.

It’s perfect for…

Glam or classic interiors. However, if you celebrate Christmas you can even pair it with a white tree to embrace a super mod look.

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boho holiday decor2. Sage with Natural Textures

We love the idea of taking the traditional green of the holidays and diluting it down to a subtle sage. Then, pile on the natural textures! For this look, you’ll want to keep the rest of your decor in a more neutral palette so that the patterns and textures can shine.

Why We Love It

You may not think of natural textures when you think of the holidays. But they have an inherently cozy vibe, making them a perfect thing to focus in on during the holidays. When paired with sage—which is not only a lovely shade of green but an herb we love using for cooking this time of year—you have a look that feels festive and welcoming.

It’s perfect for…

Those who love a boho look year-round and don’t want to give it up for the holidays. Minimalists will also enjoy this muted and subtle holiday style.

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unique holiday decor3. Jewel Tones with Silver

This color palette is the boldest of our looks. Not only are we leaning into the festive glam of silver, but we’re turning things up a notch with the jewel tones. (Just look at those dining chairs!!)

Why We Love It

Jewel tones have a rich, luxurious feel, which is quite appropriate this time of year. Why not fully embrace the glamour of the season? Paired with silver, it takes on a playful vibe and ups the festive factor to an over-the-top level—in the best possible way.

It’s perfect for…

Classic mid-century modern lovers who want a bold and bright look. It’s also great for those who want to extend the festive spirit well into January to keep the winter blues at bay! Ah, the joys of an artificial tree…

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holiday decor ideas4. Blue, Cream, and Gold

Here’s another twist on the classic blue and white combo that’s full of winter magic. Cream lends a warmer vibe that plays extra nice with gold accents. Don’t you just want to move into this space? We went for a glamorous look here—with velvets, gold accents, and a plush sheepskin throw. Because luxe textures and materials mean an extra dose of cozy!

Why We Love It

There’s a sophisticated and chic feeling about this holiday decor color palette, but it also manages to be quite warm and inviting. We can see ourselves hosting holiday cocktail parties in this space, then turning around and snuggling up with hot cocoa and a cheesy holiday movie without skipping a beat.

It’s perfect for…

Those who appreciate a minimal, sophisticated approach to holiday decor.

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holiday color palettes5. High-Contrast Black and Gray

This is a high-contrast look that plays with patterns and textures. The many textural elements in this look add a warmth to this space that makes it extra inviting. And adding a big garland gives you some of that traditional holiday decor cheer!

Why We Love It

It’s the plush layers that make this style work and give it that cozy holiday vibe. (The pouf! The pillows! The leather chair!) This look also relies on a playful mix of patterns—from plaid to stripes and polka dots. We love that a neutral color palette allows us to embrace this mix of patterns. What results is a modern farmhouse vibe that we’re pretty sure Joanna Gaines would be proud of.

It’s perfect for…

People who love rustic and traditional styles that are approachable and cozy.

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15 Holiday Decorating Tips from Modsy Designers

holiday decorating tipsIt’s that time of year again! After we’ve had our full of turkey (and only then) we’re diving into full-on festive mode and getting our homes set for the holidays. No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, or nothing at all, it can still be fun to add a few seasonal or festive touches to your home decor.

And when it comes to holiday decorating, some people love to follow tradition while others prefer to shake it up with something new and unexpected each year. If you’re looking for some holiday decorating tips and inspiration, we’ve got you covered. We polled our team of Modsy designers to see how they decorate for the holidays.

Scroll on to get inspired with some designer-approved holiday decorating tips and ideas!

holiday decorating TipsDeck Out a Holiday Focal Point

“Pro tip: if you have a fireplace mantel, take advantage of it! You can string garland and lights on it with some of your favorite holiday decor. A fireplace/mantel is a statement for any home, so why not make it grand?”

– Miranda W, Modsy Designer

Read This Next: 3 Fall-Ready Mantel Decor Ideas

“If you celebrate Christmas, go all out on the tree! I like to use ribbon, a set variety pack of ornaments, select specialty ornaments and some of the decorative sticks and BAM.. awesome tree.”

– Leah W

“I love a real tree. I take the clipping from the bottom and use them in vases all over the house. My daughters decorate our tree with the ornaments they received growing up and then—if there’s room—my husband and I will try and hang up some of ours too.”

– Janna C

Make It Uniquely Yours

“I enjoy picking a new, unique theme for my tree each year. A few of my favorites have been poinsettias, hats, ski lodge, and even childhood memories.”

– Julia G

“Each year I try to choose a new, out-of-the-box material to decorate my mantle. One year it was cork, the next it was tinsel. I pick a new theme and run with it but always strive to keep the overall look classic and timeless.”

– Erin K

It’s All About the Lights

“I love using string lights everywhere. They make any room feel more magical!”

– Tais K

“Lights are always a must! A strand of white and red lights can make any space feel warm and cozy.”

– Silver H

“I love white lights and garland, it makes my entire space so cozy! I always chose white lights over colored, they just add warmth to the whole room.”

– Morgan V

small space holiday decor tipsWork With What You’ve Got

“I live in a tiny apartment with my boyfriend and puppy, so space is limited! Instead of a tree, we like to hang some ornaments in our big living room window using different length ribbons. It looks so pretty and festive!”

– Mackenzie R

Read This Next: How to Host a Holiday Party in a Small Space

“I live in a condo with limited floor/shelving space and a curious toddler, so what really gets me excited for any holiday or season is a decorative wreath on the front door. It provides the wow-factor that I want and it really makes a difference to have a nice wreath greet me, my guests, and neighbors during this time of year!”

– Andrea S

“For years I did an abundance of fresh garland and a real tree. It’s still my favorite because it doesn’t take much to make a big impact. However, this year I’m in a third floor walk-up so I’ve had to get creative. I have a small white on white flocked tree, pampas grass garland, and lots of paper snowflakes.”

–Logan R

colorful holiday decorating ideasPlay With Color in Your Holiday Decor

“I recently started investing in seasonal pillows, they’re a fun way to introduce more colors that I wouldn’t normally decorate with. Think muted reds and oranges around fall and forest greens with icy blues for winter.”

–Lauren H

“Stick to a color palette, and let that flow throughout your home! Currently, mine is white, silver, gold, and rose gold.

–Diana K

“The easiest way is with pillows and throws in my opinion, but there are also lots of fun ways to bring in some holiday decor unexpectedly. I have a few built-ins and shelves were there are everyday baskets and bins, and I like swapping them in with more festive pieces, either with cozy textures or fun holiday colors and patterns.

– Lauren M

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Deck The Halls With These 5 Holiday Mantel Decor Ideas

holiday mantel decor ideasNow that Thanksgiving is over, we’re officially setting aside fall decor and jumping right into holiday decorating! From Christmas trees and twinkle lights to wreaths and mistletoe, we’re ready to deck the halls for all kinds of celebrations and styles.

One area in your home that’s always ready to be spruced up for the holidays? Your mantel. It’s the classic place to hang stockings—but there are also so many other ways you can add to the festive look of it.

Keep reading for five holiday mantel decor ideas for different styles, including our favorite tips on how to achieve these looks!

minimal mantel decorThe Look: Minimal Modern

A minimal modern mantel is all about restrained design and curated objects. With this look, take a minimal approach to styling, only displaying pieces you really love.

The Key Elements

When choosing decorative objects for your holiday mantel, keep them simple and in muted colors. Why? Because a minimal modern look relies on a curated color palette — in this case, neutrals with pops of green. But where the colors are more neutral, you’ll want to rely heavily on textures. Both the knit stockings and the wreath offer plenty of texture to keep this mantel festive.

It’s Perfect If You…

Have a home that leans modern and you want touches of holiday cheer without going overboard.

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glam holiday mantel decorThe Look: Glam Chic

Love a look with glitz and glam? Then this holiday mantel decor idea is for you. This is not your typical holiday setup—it’s here to create some major visual impact. The stockings, garland, and sculptural trees keep it grounded in a holiday look, but it certainly is unexpected.

The Key Elements

When picking decor for your glam mantel, opt for pieces that sparkle and shine. We went with a gold and pink color palette here, but choose whatever colors speak to you! We also recommend pairing your mantel with modern, sleek decor. (If you celebrate Christmas, this is the perfect style to try a white or tinsel tree to really nail the look!)

It’s Perfect If You…

Love a little drama. There are so many ways to approach glam holiday decor. So, however you bring this look to life, be bold and embrace your inner drama queen!

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traditional holiday mantel decorThe Look: Traditional

Pine. Plaid. Reds and greens. Who doesn’t love that traditional holiday look? It brings to mind all those cozy, nostalgic feelings and feels like it’s right off the set of our favorite holiday movies.

The Key Elements

A traditional holiday mantel decor look relies on a red and green color palette and lots of greenery. We tripled up on greenery for this mantel, combining a wreath, garland, and vase of branches. You can never have too much pine at this time of year!

Plaid is also emblematic of the season and can’t be skipped. Because really, is there anything as classic as red plaid stockings? To drive home that traditional vibe, embrace symmetry with your decor pieces, balancing out a vase of greenery with taller candlesticks on the other side of the mantel.

It’s Perfect If You…

Can’t get enough of that classic Christmas spirit. Time to turn on the holiday tunes, make some hot cocoa, and get decorating!

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eclectic holiday decorThe Look: Whimsical Eclectic

Do you love a holiday look that’s a bit quirky and whimsical? Then this eclectic mantel is all you. It’s full of playful and unexpected elements; we can’t help but smile when we look at this set-up.

The Key Elements

An eclectic-style mantel takes a non-traditional approach to color—mixing pinks, light greens, and even yellows together. Skip the symmetry and mix together a few unexpected elements, like those stocking holders and that woven vase. With this look, you’ll also want to gravitate toward playful patterns and pops of texture for a mantel that’s cheerful and sweet!

It’s Perfect If You…

Love the joyful, whimsical side of the holidays.

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The Look: Refined Rustic

Rustic style feels especially appropriate around the holidays. It’s cozy and homey—and a giant Christmas tree full of twinkling lights and ornaments fits in perfectly with the neutral color palette and natural materials found in most rustic spaces! When decorating your mantel with a rustic style, you’ll want to lean into those cozy, homey vibes.

The Key Elements

Rustic decor relies on natural textures and natural, weathered wood—and a rustic mantel is no different! Knit stockings give a good dose of cozy texture. You can also layer on natural elements like a snow-dusted pine garland wooden trees, and a photo of an oxen in the snow to bring this look to life.

It’s Perfect If You…

Love the coziness of a log cabin with a dash of refinement!

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See These Holiday Mantel Decor Ideas in Your Space

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