How To Decorate for the Holidays

By Marissa Ponikowski



A house is simply not a home without a few festive decorative touches to mark the holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, seasonal decorating need not mean garish lights and tacky figurines. In fact, the holidays present the perfect opportunity to showcase impeccable taste and unwavering creativity. Read on for tasteful tips designed to jazz up the interior of your home in true festive fashion.

Living Area

Red and green? Oh, please. Instead, try decorating with unique, bold colours such as pink, gold, silver, blue, purple and copper. Spruce up your space by constructing subtle arrangements made of pinecones, twigs, clove covered oranges, seeded balls, berries, boughs of greenery and ribbon. These can be used to decorate mantelpieces, windowsills, door frames and shelves. You may also want to replace your everyday throw and accent pillows with brighter models in holiday colours. But you don’t necessarily have to run out and buy new pillows – instead, find pillow cases in jewel tones, or simply wrap your old pillows in festive fabric and secure with safety pins. Sweeten up the coffee table, too, by filling clear vases with red and white striped candy canes.

Lighting is key during the holidays. If your living room window doesn’t face the road, or if you don’t mind a little less privacy, remove your curtains and replace them with ‘drapes’ created using grapevine lights draped over the curtain rod. Increase ambiance with white, silver and brightly coloured candles, which can be placed in glass vases and holders and used to adorn window sills and side tables. Add coloured glass beads to your clear candle holders for an extra splash of celebratory panache. Scatter baskets of pinecones, festive potpourri and ornaments around the room, and affix small bunches of greens such as boxwood or mistletoe above doors and windows and on light fixtures and arches. Use wreaths to decorate windows. Be sure any wreaths you buy are attractive on both sides, since those looking in will have a different vantage point. Hang wreaths with attractive satin or sheer ribbons.

Kitchen and Dining Room

During holiday gatherings, it seems guests always congregate in the kitchen, which is the best reason to decorate! Warm up table tops with bright runners and cloths in thick, textured fabrics. In the dining room, use more delicate, ethereal runners and cloths to create a classy look. Create jolly centrepieces using faux (or fresh!) apples, oranges and pears decorated with small evergreen branches and berries and placed on a platter. Faux fruit also makes a great addition to garlands on staircases and mantles. In the dining room, use a cake plate to create a lovely centrepiece using a wreath and a candle in a hurricane holder. When setting the table, find bright napkins and pair them with silver, gold or copper napkin rings. Brightly coloured chargers will also dress up a table and can be left out even when you aren’t entertaining. Glass pitchers can be used to house sprigs of fresh pine greenery and placed on a kitchen or dining room table. Use plenty of candles, especially when entertaining. Remember to showcase your china in style, too! Drape boxwood pine boughs or garland over the top of the cabinet and place dried berries and ornaments inside the cabinet.

Hall and Entranceway

The entranceway is the first thing guests see when they arrive at your home, so it should be nothing short of warm and inviting. Soften hardwood and tile floors with patterned, textured rugs. Purchase a seasonal welcome mat. Fill a pedestal urn with boughs of holly, evergreen and ornaments and place it near the front door. You can also wrap empty boxes with festive paper and place them in wicker baskets. Make a splash with elaborate garlands on the main staircase. These can be purchased or created using greenery, ribbon, lights and ornaments or berries. Place a wreath or decoration on the door and tie a ribbon with bells attached to it to your door handle.


Although few will likely see your bedroom, it’s still nice to get into the holiday spirit all over the house. Cozy up the room and add some much needed warmth with luxurious throws in bright colours, plus matching or complementary accent pillows. You can also spread small, themed trees throughout the house – these are especially nice in guest bedrooms. Tie ribbons around bedside lamps, add bowls of spiced potpourri to tables and corners and affix an ornament here and there. Finally, place a few holiday classics on your bedside table and hang a wreath on your window.


Bathrooms may be small, but they should not be neglected when it comes to holiday decorating. Fill old fashioned water or milk jugs with sprigs of holly and boughs of greenery and place them beside the wash basin. Dress up mirrors with garland and ribbon and go shopping for decorative soaps, fancy guest towels and even a festive bath mat. Use fragrance in the bathroom, too. A mild eucalyptus scented candle or plug-in works especially well in a small space. Place a plant, such as a poinsettia, on your bathroom counter or on the floor – but be careful if you have pets or small children around. The leaves of a poinsettia can be poisonous. Opt for faux blooms if you’re concerned.

Topics: Lighting, Holidays, Christmas, Decorating

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