It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and you get to pull out your creative decorating side.
The Christmas season is full of fun opportunities to style your living room. But when you start searching Pinterest for festive decor, it’s easy to get lost in the endless DIY ideas.
Let’s boil it down to the absolute best-ever decorating ideas to create the perfect Christmas feel. These nine holiday must-haves will turn your living room into a magical holiday wonderland.
1. Oh, Christmas Tree
What would Christmas be without the traditional tree?
From Charlie Brown’s paltry magic tree to Chevy Chase’s ceiling-busting monstrosity, Christmas trees have played starring roles in movies for decades. They’ve probably held center stage in your own childhood years, too.
The question isn’t whether or not you’ll start your holiday decor with a tree; it’s whether you go for a real one or an artificial version.
Real Versus Fake Trees
This might not even be a debate for you. If you’re the “Christmas tree smell” person, you know there’s no contest between fake and live. There’s something refreshing about walking into a room with a real tree decorated with lights and ornaments.
But if you’re tossing up the pros and cons, these facts might help you make your decision:
Real trees typically cost anywhere between $30 and $75 and have to be purchased every year. For less than $200, you can get a lovely artificial tree that lasts for decades
And if you wait until after the holidays to buy one, you can get a substantial discount.
Artificial trees require less upkeep. Live trees shed pine needles, especially as they begin to die. They also have to be watered regularly and then removed after the holiday season.
Both can be fire hazards. Fake trees collect dust, making them more prone to electric fires from the lights on them. Real trees will dry out over time, catching fire easier. Be cautious with both.
Once you make this all-important decision, the rest of your living room decor is a breeze!
2. The Stockings Were Hung by the Mantle
It’s the classic tradition that has been passed down for centuries. According to legends, the original St. Nicholas was the reason we hang our stockings by the mantle today.
The stories say that St. Nick, a bishop in Turkey, knew of a poor family with three young girls who needed a dowry to be married off. The parents couldn’t afford it and couldn’t support the children much longer.
The kind bishop dropped gold coins down the chimney or climbed down it himself, depending on which tale you hear. The gold landed in the girls’ stockings, and a legend was born.
Before “the night before Christmas,” you, too, can decorate the mantle with stockings and the trimmings. If you don’t have a mantle, the door frame will work almost as well.
Who knows? Maybe St. Nick will drop some gold coins into your stocking, too!
3. Chestnuts and the Open Fire
There is almost nothing cozier than a lit fire on a cold winter night. Most of us don’t roast chestnuts over the fireplace anymore, but the idea is still festive.
You can get the ambiance of a blazing fire without a chimney. Just use your TV and check out YouTube’s ten-hour loop of crackling flames!
You’ve got the sound and look of an open fire. Now, you need the smells of Christmas. It’s a simple fix. Grab a decorative basket or vase and add some pine cones, chestnuts, and cinnamon.
Hang some mistletoe over the door and you have all the trimmings to create a Yuletide living room.
4. Silver and Gold
The iconic silver-and-gold color scheme has been used to decorate window displays and homes for decades. These colors are also used for tablecloth and chair cover to represent the Christmas theme.
You can use this color palette or go with the “White Christmas” theme if that’s what you’re dreaming of. Or, there’s always the “Blue Christmas” if you want more color!
Whether you go with silver and gold, red and green, or any other combination, the trick is to stay consistent. Pick your colors and decorate your tree with them. Use your other decor to accent those main colors.
5. Walk in a Winter Wonderland
No matter where you live, you can create a feeling of walking in a winter wonderland with some strategic living room decor.
Start with the white artificial tree and silver trimmings, then build the rest of your frozen atmosphere from there. Icicle lights draped over the walls spread the look across those flat surfaces.
Fake snow sprayed on the windows turns your outside scenery into a “snowbank.” Snowflakes hanging from the ceiling bring the cold-weather feel into your home, too.
6. Santa Baby
Jolly Old St. Nicholas is a staple in billions of houses this time of year. It’s easy to find Santa decorations anywhere you look!
Vintage Santa collectibles are in demand, with people paying thousands for old-style Kris Kringles with rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes. Newer versions are more inclusive, found in various races and ethnicities.
If you decide to go with this type of decor, it extends beyond Santa. Decorate your living room with Santa’s workshop, complete with toys, Rudolph and his pals, Mrs. Claus, and — of course — the elves!
7. Deck the Halls With “Bows” and Holly
We all know the excitement of a perfectly wrapped gift underneath the Christmas tree. The finishing touch of a Christmas bow makes presents look even prettier.
This same idea can be extended to “deck the halls” in your living room. Treat your empty walls like a gift you’re decorating, and add some accessories to spruce them up!
Bows, mistletoe, holly, and garland along your walls and hallway spread the Christmas theme from your living room to the rest of the house. You can even use trendy DIY wrapping paper to decorate each door!
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (and Decorate)
Angels are a popular theme for the Christmas holidays. They make the perfect tree toppers, and angel ornaments are one of the most popular types of collectibles.
One of the reasons angels are so sought-after during the holidays is that they can be found in so many styles!
Christmas tree angels have been used as tree toppers for millennia because of the role the angels played in the birth of Christ. These traditional angels are usually designed to look like the stereotypical heavenly version: dressed in white with wings and the occasional halo.
Over the years, they have evolved into other styles. Today, you can find angel decor in versions that look extremely realistic or fun and cartoony.
Angel decor is available in multiple different styles as ornaments, wall decor, candles, and even lamps!
9. Away in a Manger
The nativity scene is one of the most time-honored traditions. It depicts the story of the birth of Jesus in a manger.
Every nativity scene includes the Three Wise Men, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. The central focus is the baby in the manger, of course.
You can design your own nativity scene to be as large or small as you want. Get creative by adding some barn animals, straw, and lights to accessorize the story. As long as you have the main elements, you can personalize your Christmas tale as you wish!
Time-honored traditions and colorful festivities abound in your choice of Christmas decor. Whatever stylish ideas make you happy are the ones you should decorate with!
Take one of these incredible holiday ideas, or mix and match them to design a magical living room masterpiece to boost your Christmas spirit.
Ryan Sundling works with The Ruckus on Rio, an apartment community in Austin, TX, to help them with their marketing efforts.