Holiday Decor

Elegant Christmas Decor – How to Achieve the Look and Plan Ahead

Every year I seem to get more and more into the Christmas decorations. I keep adding to it! So, every year things begin to look fuller and other areas of the home that were not decorated in previous years are now decorated. My Christmas decor is literally growing and spreading before my eyes. Notice this pattern in your own home? I think it is because Christmas decorations are so fun to shop for! You can buy items for your home all year long. And with Christmas decorations, there are virtually no rules. You can put garland anywhere and have it look beautiful. I see it on mantals, bannisters, doorways, on chandeliers and even on paintings! You can fill your home with adorable little elves or nutcrackers! Display hundreds of Santa Claus mugs in your kitchen! Put a Christmas tree on your coffee table! Display an upside-down tree! Decorate for a pink Christmas! A blue Christmas! Anything goes! We’ve seen it all! The possibilities are endless here!

And of course, we always see the very elegant Christmas decor. You see jaw dropping images on Pinterest, magazine worthy photos on Instagram, picturesque views while thumbing through magazines or Christmas decorating books. You see stunning trees in department stores and in Christmas home tours. What exactly makes what you see appear so elegant? Well, it’s the fullness, the drama and the little touches!! These elements contribute to that high end look.

Below are some noteworthy characteristics to assist you in your quest for that upscale holiday look:

*The Fullness: What you see is overflowing, loaded, chock-full, bursting, saturated, etc. The trees are literally dripping with ornaments and other decorative items. Bannisters and mantles are covered in garlands! Literally the opposite of the “less is more” saying! It is “more is more” here! And it all looks so elegant. The fullness and abundance is what creates the upscale look.

People always ask how long it takes us to decorate our living room Christmas tree and the answer is “a long long time”. This is because it is loaded to the gills with ornaments and other decorations….and we are still adding to it! Our foyer tree is pretty full as well and we are still adding to it every year. I recognize that creating a Christmas tree that is overflowing with all the trimmings would be quite expensive. If you want to save your wallet and achieve this look, you must understand that it takes some time and patience.

Can you believe our living room Christmas tree’s trimmings started their journey on a slim pencil tree in a small apartment? Yes! They sure did. When my husband and I first got married we lived in a small apartment and a slim pencil tree was all we could fit in there at the time. We bought the tree, a skirt and some ornaments. Every year we bought more ornaments, decorative sticks, ribbons and other items. When we moved into our first home we upgraded to a larger tree, so then we needed more items to account for its larger size. A few years later we moved into another house and still kept adding to it. This Christmas tree literally took almost 15 years to create! We just kept adding and adding and plan to continue adding and upgrading. The tree has also evolved overtime; we replaced items that we no longer wanted or changed the way we decorated it from year to year. It is a very fun, ever evolving project!

I like to tell this story because it helps people understand that what they see was not created overnight. If you want to create a Christmas tree that is brimming with ornaments, like the ones you see on Instagram and Pinterest, understand that if may take some time and money. If money is no object, then go forth, buy the cornucopia of supplies and create!

But if you want to go the more affordable route, then I recommend doing this gradually and buying items after Christmas when things are marked down. After Christmas, retailers want to get rid of their holiday items, so that is the time to find some smoking deals! I also recommend buying items throughout the year. Don’t just shop at retail stores, also check out secondhand shops, estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, etc. I often see those type of items being sold at places like that or online throughout the year.

Very important: Be sure to keep your inspiration you found on blogs, in magazines and on Pinterest or Instagram in the forefront to keep you focused on your goal as you shop throughout the year. This could be a Pinterest pin, a magazine clipping or a screenshot on your phone. It’s helpful to keep the style, colors and theme fresh in your mind as you shop, so by next Christmas you have a harmonious grouping of items.

Every year you can buy more and more items, and you will see your tree evolve! It can be a fun long-term project!

*Drama: Drama is the other thing that makes for an upscale look. You may be asking, what exactly do you mean by drama when it comes to decorating? Drama displays contrast in a space between colors, textures, and materials. It is bold and daring! Drama makes a statement! Example, we’ve all seen the stunning white Christmas tree against a Tiffany Blue painted wall. Or against a rich red wall! The white pops against the wall color making such a bold statement! Or even the bold trees against a white wall! No matter the wall color, contrast is key with drama.

In our black foyer we created a very dramatic look by decorating our tree with coppers, browns, oranges, deep reds, browns and even peacock blue. Various textures and materials were used, such as ribbon, velvet, flowers, feathers, sticks, leaves, branches, glittery netting, etc. And to top it off, we used peacock feathers for a stunning blue pop of color!

If you want to achieve the upscale look next year, think about what drama you can add to your decor. Think contrast, various textures and materials, and interesting pieces to peak one’s interest. Look at your wall color where your normally place your tree and think about what colors would pop against your wall.

For mantles, buffets, bannisters, etc. Same concept. Think abundance and fullness, think different textures various materials, definition and contrast. Below is a picture of how I decorated my sideboard in our foyer. I utilized contrast with the black wall with golds, reds, whites, browns, deep reds and a pop of greenery. I kept it interesting by using differing materials, such as faux apples, berries, and flowers, potpourri, glitter acorns, a fern, stone statue, vintage books, bronze vessels and a gold candlestick. I also worked to make the area look full and plentiful.

*Little Touches: Have you heard the saying, “a little goes a long way”? Well, it applies here to creating an upscale look in your home for Christmas. It can be little things you add that can make such an impact. This because these little touches can help make the whole area cohesive. For example, placing some greenery or Christmas berries on a painting, Christmas flowers on your mantle clock or living room lamp, displaying little wreaths in your kitchen, adding garlands to your light fixtures, or putting a ribbon on a cookie jar, etc., all tie your Christmas tree and other holiday accents together. It helps make for a complete look overall.

This year, in an effort to make things look fuller and more festive, I added a little greenery to a large oil painting we have hanging in our hallway. The subtle detail really made a big impact! Something so simple made the painting stand out and it tied in with garland we had on our banister. Also contributing to the full look.

I also added a little holly above our Mona Lisa painting we have hanging in the foyer, which made for a nice pop of color against the black wall. The minute detail made Mona stand out more and tied her in with the overall foyer decor. You’re welcome, Mona!

I also added some little accents to my French clock to keep things looking festive. Little details can really go a long way because when you do stuff like this it creates a connection with the Christmas tree in the room. This also adds drama by making what you see interesting, and the added items contribute to making things look full and finished.

As a recap, if you want to successfully pull off elegant Christmas decor keep the following in mind:

*Remember fullness – abundance, plentiful, chock full, brimming, etc. More is more!

*Keep drama in mind – various textures, materials and interesting pieces. Contrasting colors!

*The little touches go a long way –  minor details are a way to tie everything together.

*Acknowledge that this look may take time to achieve, be patient.

*Think long-term/ever evolving project.

*To save money, buy Christmas décor gradually overtime.

*Shop after Christmas when items are marked down!

*Keep your inspiration in the forefront – It could be a Pinterest pin, a photo, magazine clipping or screenshot. This will keep you focused.

*Buy items throughout the year. Keep your inspiration on hand.

*Check out my tips on how to professionally decorate a Christmas tree here: How to Professionally Decorate a Christmas Tree

*Have fun with it! You have what it takes to accomplish something like this!

Happy Decorating!

(11) Comments

  1. Ginger says:

    I simply love your ideas, makes me want to celebrate Christmas all over again! I’ll be saving this post for the next holidays. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great to hear! I hope you had an awesome Christmas!

  2. I love these ideas. Its wonderful to see the different ways to bring Christmas alive in the home.

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoyed reading this post 🙂

  3. I just love all of these. I’m so sad that Christmas is over. Already planning decor for next year, though!

    1. Thanks! Same here, I never want it to end. Happy New Year to you.

  4. Ruchika Patel says:

    This is so helpful. Definitely saving this for next year!

    1. Glad it was helpful. Happy New Year!

  5. Laurel says:

    I just realized I’m pretty extra with Christmas decor haha! I thought I was being normal but I guess I fall into the drama category.

    1. Nice! I love it!

      1. 🙂 Thank you.

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