Gingerbread Decor Is Trending—Here’s How to Try This Sweet Holiday Look

Take your love of gingerbread cookies to a new level by using colors and silhouettes inspired by the classic cookie everywhere this holiday season.

Cardamom Gingerbread Trees
Photo: Carson Downing

Gingerbread cookies conjure up sweet memories of winter days in cozy kitchens and give off a distinctively spicy scent that is intrinsically intertwined with the holidays. This year, gingerbread isn’t just a tasty treat—it’s also one of the season’s biggest design trends. Like many of this season’s most popular trends, gingerbread decor signals a return to classic motifs and comforting designs.

Just because gingerbread usually has a traditional feel doesn’t mean you can’t adapt the trend to suit your look. In London, Harrods department store partnered with Dior to transform their facade into a sweet yet sophisticated frosted fantasy land that undeniably proves cookies can be chic. Whatever your desired design, we have some tips for taking on this sugary seasonal style—plus a look into why gingerbread decor is all over this holiday season.

Why Gingerbread Decorations Are Trending

While gingerbread is often associated with Christmas already, this season, its popularity goes beyond the typical plate of cookies into a complete design scheme. Much of the attraction of this trend revolves around the desire to connect to a simpler time.

“I think gingerbread decorations, homes, and cookies have a certain nostalgia around the holidays,” says Annie Liddle, principal of Annie Liddle Design. “They take us back to our youth, are colorful and cheerful, and bring us joy!”

It’s this childlike wonder that many of us are trying to recreate during this time of the year, particularly as we gather with family and friends. After several years in which many of us were separated, this yearning for simpler times and the connections of years past is particularly meaningful, so if cute cookies can conjure up some extra holiday magic, then, by all means, bring on the baked goods!

How to Try Gingerbread Decor in Your Home

If the thought of creating a design scheme around dessert makes you a little nervous, there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the great things about seasonal decorations is that they’re temporary: You’re not committing to a whole new look for your home, so it’s a fun way to test the waters and perhaps get a bit outside of your comfort zone without making a long-term commitment.

The gingerbread look can run the gamut from wildly whimsical to simple and modern. So, while this trend is undeniably sweet, there are ways you can do it within your style—and without a sugar rush. Try our tips to sample this trending holiday look. 

gingerbread forest cookie woodland scene on tabletop
Jacob Fox

Remember that small touches can go a long way.

Incorporating just a few pieces of gingerbread-themed decorations into your existing holiday decor can give you an instant update. It can be as simple as swapping out your typical bow for a gingerbread man at the top of each swag on your garland for a fresh twist on a classic design. You can also sprinkle a few gingerbread-themed accessories, like decorative hand towels, candy bowls, and candles, throughout your home for a light touch of the trend. Liddle suggests making gingerbread ornaments for the Christmas tree, which she notes can also double as a fun family activity, creating the sweet memories we all really crave.

Choose one area for #cookiecore.

Instead of revamping your whole house with gingerbread, keep the creative confections confined to one area where the theme can shine without overwhelming. For example, your dining room table could become a winter wonderland filled with intricately decorated gingerbread decor. For a stunning centerpiece, consider a custom version of a gingerbread house, a decorative option Liddle has tried herself.

“As a housewarming present, my realtor gave us a replica of our home in a gingerbread house from a local bakery,” Liddle says. “It was beautiful, and the details were incredible. Needless to say, no one was allowed to eat any of it, and the home was on display the entire holiday season!”

To complete your tablescape, add cookies with guests’ names written in frosting for memorable place cards, and if you want to gild the lily, add some napkins embroidered with gingerbread motifs for a polished look.

Take a cue from the cookie’s colors.

If you want to do a nod to the trend without taking a literal interpretation, consider pulling hues from gingerbread’s color palette. Brown has been having a moment in the design world for a while, so keep the cozy vibes going for the holiday season. The warm colors associated with gingerbread cookies are a perfect way to try out this trend if you haven’t yet. Additionally, classic holiday colors like red and green are perfectly of-the-moment for the traditional holiday feelings they evoke. You can subtly mix these shades into your home by adding touches like pillows in warm shades of toffee and chocolate with contrast trim or textured blankets in warm cookie colors that will give your home a cozy cottage feel that is both timeless and contemporary.

Don’t forget that simple silhouettes can be effective.

If your style tends to lean modern, you can take a more minimalist approach to gingerbread decorating by using the iconic cookie cutter shapes as your inspiration. Choose colors that coordinate with your current design scheme and pick a few large-scale gingerbread shapes you can place strategically around your home in high-traffic areas like your entry or near your fireplace for a look that’s impactful but chic.

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