Merry Motifs

By Kristen Castillo

October 16, 2017 5 min read

Chances are you already have lots of Christmas gear from previous seasons stashed away in closets, on shelves and in the basement. But every year, the stores are loaded with new holiday decor. And though you don't have to buy new decorations every year, it's fun to experiment with different seasonal styles, colors and themes. Here's a look at some merry ways to dress your home this December.

*Accentuate the Season With Flowers

Brighten your home with a bold color, and then do the unexpected. Interior designer Emily Ruddo suggests trading in traditional poinsettias for a red peony or red roses.

Another unexpected touch is to swap out a traditional pine wreath with a bay leaf wreath.

"Add a simple satin ribbon and use them behind chairs, on windows. Or lay them down to make centerpieces," says Ruddo, noting that the best part is bay leaf wreaths don't leave a mess.

*Winter Wonderland

Keep your celebration style simple with an understated yet sophisticated monochromic look -- white. Adorn your tree with white bulbs and white ornaments, such as snowmen, icicles and glacial-white garland. Your sleek decor will gleam night and day.

*Festive Family

This time of year is about family, so use your family's memories to showcase how you've celebrated the holiday over the years. Frame old photos from Christmases past, and place them throughout the home, including on the mantel, on bookshelves and even as mini place cards at the dinner table.

Continue the nostalgia by making popcorn balls or stringing popcorn garlands for the tree and hanging kids' decorations made over the years. Serve favorite foods -- made with family recipes -- on Grandma's vintage reindeer plates. Ask guests to share a favorite holiday memory.

*Go Green

Take inspiration from the 1785 Inn in North Conway, New Hampshire. The bed-and-breakfast changes up its seasonal design yearly, but it's always focused on being festive.

Layering is important, says innkeeper Becky Mallar, who encourages starting out with lots of greenery. The inn uses three layers of greenery on its mantels, followed by themed color decorations.

To make the decor stand out even more, Mallar hangs a mirror over the mantel, which "reflects the decor, making it fuller and larger in appearance."

*Shimmer and Shine

Add a little (or a lot) of glitz to your celebration by embellishing your room's current color scheme with metallics.

"Golds and silver metallic instantly create glamour," says Ruddo.

Think dazzling ornaments on the tree, glittery candles on the mantel and shimmery charger plates on the dinner table. Mix and match to personalize your style.

*Dazzle With Jewel Tones

Enhance your home's look by styling with one or more jewel tones, such as purple, sapphire and burgundy. These jolly colors are easy to incorporate and work well with many other colors in your home, including black, navy, tan and hunter green. Consider placing jewel-toned candles on your end tables and investing in a set of plum or wine-red ornaments to scatter throughout your tree.


Everything old is new again, especially at Christmas. That means it's cool to pull out those retro decorations (or buy new decorations that look vintage), such as classic-looking Santa figurines, '70s- or '80s-inspired big-bulb lights, old-school ribbons on the tree and retro painted glass tabletop trees with small lightbulbs.

Make your own merry wall art by framing vintage greeting cards and old sheet music of your favorite seasonal songs. Add holly and bows to classic winter toys, such as sleds and ice skates.

Need throwback inspiration? Check out Pinterest and Etsy. Better yet, ask your parents and grandparents whether you can raid their collections of Christmas trimmings.

*Country Celebration

Cozy up this season with country-inspired decor, including lots of plaid, flannel and rustic touches, such as pine cones and ornaments carved out of wood. Get woodsy with bird and owl decor. This look is anything but fussy. Turn on some country Christmas music and light some candles, and say yee-haw to a down-home holiday.

Like it? Share it!

  • 0