Classic Christmas Decorating Ideas

Whether your home is traditional, contemporary, or eclectic, these Christmas decorating ideas will inspire a simply perfect holiday style.

Breakfront Beauty

Let your furniture play a supporting role in your Christmas decor. Adding small wreaths (these are made from princess-pine greenery) to a cabinet with breakfront doors makes the whole piece -- and all of its contents -- shine during the holidays.

Simply Stunning

Let this simple vignette shine by grouping silver tea service pieces and topping them with crystal garland and a snowflake ornament. They'll look extra special when arranged on a white cake platter and topped with a cloche.

Ribbon Garland

Instead of greenery, embellish your stair rail with ribbons and wreaths this year. Attach small winterberry wreaths to the railing with wire. Then drape the railing with lengths of ribbon, threading them through the wreath wires to create a swag.

Quick Thinking

Need a last-minute table decoration? Snip greenery from your tree and bind the ends together with raffia bows, then place inside clear glasses filled with an inch of water.

Easy & Elegant

Make Christmas decorating a snap by simply adding ready-made holiday items to your decor. Tie ornaments on lengths of ribbon and suspend from a chandelier, along with a few greenery boughs trimmed from your tree. A tiered cake plate becomes a festive centerpiece when crowned with ornaments, greenery, and pinecones.

Editor's Tip: Plan ahead for next year. Purchase red or green slipcovers, pillows, and glassware at after-Christmas sales. You'll be able to add bursts of holiday color at a budget price.

Ornaments on High

When your tree just can't hold one more ornament, but you still have boxes of favorites, look for unusual spots to spread the glistening decorations. Hang a coordinated grouping from a chandelier or light fixture; it's easy to do with ornament hooks.

Simple Formula

Sometimes the living room requires a little editing before decorating for Christmas. To avoid overcrowding, stow away some nonholiday items for the season. For example, replace a painting with a wreath, or remove items from side tables to make way for miniature Christmas trees and ornament-filled compotes.

Topiaries in a Row

Line your mantel or windowsill with a battalion of miniature topiaries standing at attention. These mossy green plants are adorned with bows and rhinestones for a royal holiday treatment. Even the pots are decked for the holidays with adhesive rhinestones and red paint.

Grand Entrance

Impress your guests with ribbon cascading from a chandelier. Gather lengths of ribbon and tie in a bow around the base of your light fixture. Spread the ribbons out (a la maypole) and tuck into place settings between a dinner plate and salad plate. Once the meal gets started, release the ribbons from the plates and either let them float to the center of the table or tie them in a loose knot to keep them out of the way.

Red, White & Green

Jazz up your plain white dishes for Christmas by adding red-and-white transferware to the display. (A few pieces make a big impact.) Complete the display with tiny wrapped gifts and sprigs of holly or ivy.

Editor's Tip: Wrap small boxes with leftover wrapping paper that would otherwise go to waste.

An Elegant Affair

Add sophistication to your Christmas decor with silver. Silver ball ornaments are easy to find and inexpensive to decorate en masse. The baubles really twinkle when hung from a silver tinsel tree.

All Lit Up

Put an extra strand of Christmas lights to good use for a glowing plant display. Place a potted poinsettia inside a lidded basket. Carefully weave a 50- to 100-bulb strand of miniature lights among the colorful bracts and tuck the plug end of the cord between the basket and the lid. Attach to an extension cord, plug in, and watch it glow.

Coordinating Efforts

Blend your Christmas tree with its surroundings by choosing a common color theme. The tree in this living room was finished with orange ribbon bows that match the couch and drapes.

A Wintery Scene

Frame a favorite piece of artwork with matching seasonal items for Christmas. This winter landscape painting shares the mantel stage with silver tree toppers and a garland of greenery and pinecones. Blue and silver ornament picks tucked in amongst the garland complete the look.

Cup of Roses

You don't need a huge floral budget to make an impact this holiday season. Just a few fresh red roses seem to blossom out of a silver tea service in this quick and easy table display.

Just Right, All White

Simple can be supremely elegant. Just take a look at the creamy tones of the dinnerware and linens, accented by sparkling ornaments and place cards framed in mother-of-pearl.

Serve It Up

Fill a simple serving tray with Christmas ball ornaments for a quick and easy holiday centerpiece. Glass balls in all one color lend elegance to the display -- add a few pops of color for some pizzazz.

Rectangle of Roses

Even if you've never arranged flowers before, you'll find this is one centerpiece you can master in minutes. Rows of red roses are set in close alignment on a block of soaked floral foam. See our how-to video for tips.

Bring out Your Best

Go all out for the holidays by using your best china and crystal. This table glimmers with sterling silver flatware, antique plates, and crystal stemware. For more sparkle, silver bud vases were filled with red tulips and gift boxes were wrapped in decorative gilded foil.

Dress Your Table

Luxurious beaded place mats are a surefire way to infuse your holiday table with glamour. The colors in the Imari-pattern china are repeated in the table linens, while the silver and crystal add more holiday sparkle.

Blend Real & Faux

Layer a few colorful ingredients into a wonderful container for an easy centerpiece. Real lemons and leaves mix easily with golden ornaments, seed pods, and red berries in a silver compote. Create your own mix of fruit, ornaments, and decorations to complement your table decor.

More Holiday Ideas

Learn how to transition your holiday decor through the seasons with a few easy changes.

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