4 Ideas for a Traditional Christmas Room Design

Christmas is a unique time. You can deck out your home in the most traditional of ways and never have it go out of style. That’s because our cultural ideal of Christmas is one from a traditional era. It’s the scenes set in our favorite holiday songs and stories: lush evergreen decorations, festive ribbon and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. A traditional Christmas truly is timeless year after year. Below, we’ll cover some key ways to establish a traditional Christmas room design this season.

Traditional Christmas Red and Green Style

Pops of bright red bring any holiday decorating design to life. Image: Leanne Michael

Use red and green

This idea may seem obvious, but a trend in many modern homes is to eschew the traditional Christmas colorings. All-white color schemes, blue color schemes and even black and white color schemes are all modern choices for decorating at Christmastime.

To keep it traditional and timeless, you’ll definitely want to stick to a red and green color scheme in your holiday decorating. Pops of bright red are especially popular; you might want to think of using red as an accent color. You have many options, like bright red throw pillows, presents under the tree and seasonal figures around the room.

Then you can balance these red accents with plenty of deep forest green. The natural green can come from the Christmas tree itself, garlands, throw pillows, small table trees or seasonal green statuary.

Traditional Christmas Textures and Layers

Different textures like lush plant life and smooth ornaments can give a layered look to the decorations. Image: The Yellow Cape Cod

Go traditional with layers

A common design trick in traditional homes it to decorate in layers. Traditional designs favor lots of texture and layers of color. It’s part of what makes traditional design and Christmas decorating go so well together. The traditional look allows you to fill up your space with all those seasonal heirlooms, trinkets and other decorations you’ve accumulated over the years.

In order to get those layers, you should first focus on placing different textures around the room. Layer deep textures like wreaths and smoother textures like ceramic figures, for instance. You should also layer color. For instance, you might have cherry red throw pillows and deep burgundy seasonal floral arrangements. You can play with this idea and get truly creative with it.

Traditional Christmas Groupings

The mantel is a great place to assemble your holiday treasures. Image: M&S

Get a traditional Christmas by using groupings

A challenge with decorating for the holidays is how to incorporate all those disparate items into one cohesive design. We tend to get all kinds of holiday items as gifts from family, from Secret Santas at work and by finding items we like ourselves. And then there are all those family heirlooms that come down to us through the ages. Often there’s no way to make sure all our holiday home items look like they’re from the same collection.

One way to bypass this problem is to use small groupings throughout your home. If you have a collection of snowmen, for instance, think about placing them together. For example, you could gather them on top of a long side table. This creates a sort of diorama that stands on its own as a distinct element in the room. You could also do this with different items sharing similar colors. Or arrange a table setting devoted to just heirlooms.

Traditional Christmas Natural Items

Natural textures like intricate centerpieces and evergreen on the light fixtures can give an instant traditional feel. Image: Dawn Hearn Interior Design

Go for lots of natural textures

Another element of a traditional Christmas is keeping it natural. Traditional Christmas scenes are full of lush evergreen textures in garlands and trees. Colorful poinsettias often sit on multiple surfaces. Other seasonal flower arrangements like deep red and white flowers make great centerpieces. Wall hangings commonly have sprigs of evergreen in them. Rings of natural seasonal plant life go well around candleholders.

Outside of using realistic plant life, traditional Christmas decorations also often have natural motifs. Think everything from throw pillows depicting poinsettias to table runners with rich flower and berry patterns. Faux items can be good stand-ins if you don’t want any of your pets eating real poinsettias, since poinsettias can make them sick. (You can also learn how to use natural textures year-round here.)

Do you like the traditional Christmas look? Let us know your favorite designs below.

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