Whether you are a seasoned decorator or you just got your first place we all can use help creating a festive holiday home. Maybe you are looking for some fresh inspiration. Perhaps you need to know where to start, where to end, and everything in between. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! In this post not only am I going to share my festive holiday home tour, but I’m also going to share my top 7 easy and inexpensive decorating tips that designers use. You don’t need to be a professional or hire a professional to make your home look like you did. This post will help you create a designer look on a shoestring budget.
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7 Designer Tips to Create Your Most Festive Holiday Home
Designer Tip #1: Use Symmetry
One easy designer strategy in any decorating plan is to use symmetry. When you create balance in your vignettes and in your rooms in general it is universally appealing. Balance creates calm and order. So whether you choose to have a lot of detail or keep your decor minimal using symmetry is always a winning choice.
In the space above I employed symmetry by flanking either side of the chest with poinsettias and also by using two faux evergreen topiaries to frame the mirror. The vivid red berry picks are also perfectly placed to balance the look. I often buy decor elements in sets of 2 in order to be able to use this decor technique.
My Wreath Source: This gorgeous show-stopping wreath is from Kelly @mercywreaths.
Designer Tip #2: Decide On A Color Scheme
Your color scheme is important and determines your overall mood. After all, color is a powerful element in your festive holiday home theme. Decide if you want to stay more neutral, or traditional red and green, or perhaps an original color combination. There are endless color schemes for Christmas, but here are a few to get you thinking:
- neutral colors
- natural with greens
- green & white
- white only
- traditional red & green
- red only
- shades of blue
- metalics/silver & gold
- or a combination of your choosing
- blush tones
The Power of Color
The photos above show my entryway with pops of vibrant Christmas red. It’s festive and colorful and perhaps a bit more exciting, even playful.
The photos below show the same space without any red, sticking to a color scheme of white, green and black. The mood is less festive, but for some this might feel more elegant. It is more understated. There is no right or wrong; there is only personal preference.
Ask yourself what mood do you want to create. And don’t worry. If you change your mind mid-way through decorating you can always add or subtract (like I did here).
Designer Tip #3: Choose Your Style or Theme
This isn’t essential, but it can make all the difference in creating a real designer look. You don’t have to be a designer or hire a designer to get a designer look. If you start to think like a designer you’ll achieve the fabulous festive holiday home you’re after.
Choosing a theme isn’t hard. It just means creating a plan and a focused mood before you start. Here are my best tips for choosing a theme:
- If you want to be practical base your theme on the style of the majority of the decor you already own.
- Think about what you own and how you might utilize some or most of your elements in a new way.
- Be prepared to NOT use some (or a lot) of your existing decor. Picking and choosing is a big part of creating a cohesive theme.
- Get inspiration before you begin by browsing Instagram (my favorite place to find inspiration).
- You can also “get lost” on Pinterest. Create a special board with your favorite holiday pins.
- Buy a slew of holiday magazines and gather your favorite styles in an inspiration folder.
However you find your inspiration is up to you. Perhaps it will be a combination of all the above. The challenge these days is not finding inspiration. The real challenge lies in narrowing it down and choosing. If you don’t decide on a theme you might end up with a scattered or disorganized feeling to your decor.
Thematic Ideas for Christmas Decor
Some ideas you might consider are:
- Farmhouse Christmas
- Vintage Nostalgia Christmas
- Glitz & Glam
- Sacred Nativity Christmas
- Beachy Christmas
- Woods & Rustic Christmas
- Scottish Christmas
- Wintery Wonderland Christmas
- Elegant Pastel Christmas
- Holiday Traditions
- Joyful Toyland
- Rich Jewel-toned Christmas
- Modern Minimalist
- Nordic Theme
The list is endless and limited only by your imagination. Of course each one of these can be interpreted and expressed very uniquely. The theme is meant to help guide your decision-making rather than create hard and fast rules. But choosing a theme will simply help you create a cohesive and spectacular look: your most festive holiday home!
Shop my favorite faux trees below:
Designer Tip #4: Add Lights
This is one of the easiest ways to make your home literally sparkle. It can take any room to the next level. With the availability of so many lighting options for interior decor you can have a lot of fun. In the vignette below I added fairy lights to frame the scroll and wove them into the garland on the back of the pew.
These light sets use battery packs and can be added anywhere in your decor, indoor our outdoor. I use these same sets year after year, season after season. You can put them in a vase on a table display or have them light up a lantern. I love all their versatility.
Shop yours below.
Nothing adds ambiance like the glow of candles!
I love to use all kinds of candles and light real ones whenever I can. I especially enjoy the scented fragrant candles from my friend Rachel @agapecandles. You can shop Rachel’s unique long-lasting hand-poured soy candles HERE.
I also have plenty of faux flicker candles. These are great to add around your home and set to go on at the same time every day (many these days have the 5 hour automatic timer built in). I use them up high and in lanterns where real candles aren’t safe. I also use them for ease when I don’t want to worry about blowing them out or wax dripping.
We are so lucky with all the variety of candle choices available these days. It’s easy and so festive to light up your displays all year long.
Shop my decor below:
Our Favorite Pillows
If you are like us and you love using seasonal pillows to change out the look of your home throughout the year then you know the benefit of buying pillow covers instead of new pillows. It saves money and it saves on storage space–both so important!
It’s also important to find a reliable, quality, pillow brand. Of course we want a source that has tons and tons of creative and beautiful choices. For all these reasons and more we love Erin @porterlanehome. Erin has literally hundreds of darling choices of high-quality pillow covers to choose from, all customizeable in your fabric choice and choice of ruffles.
Erin also makes stocking, table linens, totes, banners, gift & wine bags, runners, and more. You can save 20% on everything she makes with our coupon code THEDESIGNTWINS. Shop her beautiful website HERE
Shop the fun holiday decor shown above to create your own hot cocoa bar. Save 10% using our code THEDESIGNTWINS ! Click HERE.
Designer Tip #5: Repetition
To create a festive holiday home use the simple technique of repetition. Repetition creates a uniform look. It also makes a statement. I created my festive holiday kitchen with mini faux wreaths and one large spool of ribbon. I used hot glue to attach the ribbon to each wreath. Then I attached the ribbon to the top backs of the cabinets using Velcro adhesive Command Strips. Shop the exact wreaths and supplies below.
My Favorite Source for Antique Rugs
If you are looking for beautiful antique rugs I love to share the source of my kitchen runner. This gorgeous authentic antique runner is from my friend Lyss @the.ethical.home (on Instagram). Lyss is on a mission, “…to be one of the first truly ethical, fair trade non-profit home décor shops.”
Currently she focuses on connecting shoppers with what she calls, ” the first pillars of ethical consumerism, which is to repurpose/reuse.” Lyss believes ethical consumerism is an interdependent relationship, and the business must hold itself accountable. So, this means that The Ethical Home does not believe in the over-markup of items. She prices her rugs (and pillows) so customers who want to be ethical consumers don’t have to overpay to do so. Lyss explains, “The reason you will see prices at a lower tier at The Ethical Home is not because the product itself is less valuable, but because the items are reasonably priced so we can all participate in ethical economics.” How amazing is that? Now you know why I love spreading the word about this business!
Lyss receives new inventory almost weekly. You may shop her current selections HERE.
Holiday Bedroom Decorating
In my bedroom I chose the theme “Winter Wonderland” after I found the perfect sign to hang above my bed. Shop this sign and so much amazing seasonal decor from our friends at @KrumptetsHomeDecor. Save 10% all year long with our savings code: THEDESIGNTWINS. Shop HERE.
Notice the beautiful example of a Porter Lane Home pillow: The white ruffled “blessing” pillow is my absolute favorite year round. Shop pillows HERE
Designer Tip #6: Think Outside the Box
I wanted to add beauty to my holiday bedrooms, but I didn’t want to spend a lot. So I got this idea to use table cloths to my beds. This was significantly less expensive than buying any kind of bedding. On my master bed I added this “bed scarf” to match the beautiful blue and green plaid from the pillows. It is a table cloth that I purchased for only $19.99 from Home Goods. Score!
In my son’s bedroom I used the same strategy. I chose a large table cloth (this one is 70″ x 104″) and is actually too long on the wall side of the bed. But, honestly, Friends, it’s not about perfection. I say, use what you have, make it work. You can fold fabric, tuck fabric, adjust as needed. Don’t worry so much about the size.
Instead of using it folded at the end of the bed as a scarf I decided to make a bolder statement and use it covering the bed. I kept the original winter coverlet underneath for warmth. This table cloth cover is just a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to change the look of a bed.
I may reuse this strategy every season! Love thinking outside the “decor box” to restyle my home.
Designer Tip #7: Use Blankets & Throws
The power of a throw cannot be overestimated! I love to use them everywhere to add beauty, color, texture, detail. They are so versatile for decorating. In every room I lay them on furniture or keep them in baskets for easy access. My family uses our throws day and night.
I love the addition of a luxurious faux fur throw in Frederick’s bedroom. I know for a fact that cozy throws are both of my sons’ favorite aspects of my decorating! Here you can see a couple different looks: sometimes I keep it on the bed and sometimes on the bench. This is just one example how my decor is honestly constantly moving 🙂
Shop some of my favorites below:
My Festive Family Room
Looking at these pictures of my family room can you notice all 7 designer tips employed in this space? Do you remember them all?
- The color scheme is traditional red and green with plenty of white to brighten.
- The style is farmhouse inspired.
- Can you see my use of symmetry?
- And repetition? …which I used to balance the room and make the various elements tie together.
What’s left? Thinking outside the box. If you look at the cozy view of my couch you see plaid and tartan covering the couch and even the table. The wooden table is actually covered by one of my winter scarfs…I’d call that thinking outside of the box, wouldn’t you?
Are you loving the fun wooden banners on my mantel? The wooden beads and banners both on my mantel and on my tree are from Krumpets Home Decor. Use our coupon code: THEDESIGNTWINS year-round to save on all their fun decor products!
Have you enjoyed my Festive Holiday Home Tour? I sure hope so, and I hope you learned some ideas that you can put into use as you create your own magical Christmas home. Would you like to see Jodie’s holiday home tour? It’s really amazing! Visit her Crazy for Buffalo Check Christmas Home Tour here!
Jodie and I enjoy decorating our homes for Christmas every year. We love sharing ideas, inspiring you, and supporting a variety of amazing small businesses at the same time. We thank you so much for your kindness and support, and would love to hear from you.
Happy Holidays from our homes to yours!
Julie & Jodie