3 easy holiday decorating tips

A professional stylist shares her tips on how to deck your halls without getting caught up in the holiday hubbub.
A professional stylist shares her tips on how to deck your halls without getting caught up in the holiday hubbub.
Want to make sure the most wonderful time of the year really looks and feels that way? Interior Stylist and Art Director Lea Johnson of Creekwoodhill shared her approach for adding cheer without a lot of added stress. "I love to celebrate the season by bringing in greenery and cozy pieces that can go up before the big day and stay around for a while afterwards,” she said. Read on for the inspiring details! 

Think in color

No matter what holiday you’re celebrating, you don’t have to limit your color palette to traditional hues. Bring in bright candy colors — think pink, turquoise, or even chartreuse — for a fun change of pace. If you’re more of a minimalist, you could lean into neutral shades with cozy vibes, like a chocolatey brown, deep plum, or an array of winter whites. Whatever your scheme of choice, the key is to feature colors that aren’t a part of your everyday, year-round décor. The change of pace is what makes the color impactful. 
A professional stylist shares her tips on how to deck your halls without getting caught up in the holiday hubbub.
Integrating colors that are a departure from your usual décor can make your space feel festive, and you don’t have to stick to the traditional hues. 

Here are some ways to saturate your space: 


  • A simple paper chain, like the ones you might remember from elementary school, can be a fun and unexpected way to bring in extra color and even count down to the holiday! 
  • A selection of candles in an assortment of colors displayed in holders of various heights can brighten up your mantle or tablescape. 
  • A statement throw blanket or a few punchy pillows can add a pop of color to your couch, and you’ll be glad they’re there when it’s time to get cozy. 

Mix the old and the new

The pressure to buy is on, so you might be relieved to know that it’s not necessary to invest in a lot of new decorations. Sure, it’s fun to pick up a few new baubles, but the key to making your holiday look unique is mixing in items that are meaningful to you. “I love the warmth and sense of nostalgia it brings,” Johnson said. To pull it off, she recommends “layering in fun, decorative, or whimsical pieces in small doses that are easy enough to pull out and pack away when the time comes.” 
A professional stylist shares her tips on how to deck your halls without getting caught up in the holiday hubbub.
Mixing in personal items, like a favorite heirloom or pictures of holidays past, adds interest to your décor and makes it unique to you. 

Here are a few curios you might pluck from your permanent collection: 


  • A family heirloom that never sees the light of day might be just the item to add interest to your interior this season — think a classic toy train set, a vintage car, or one of grandma’s ceramic figurines. 
  • A few photos from holidays past can remind your family of favorite memories, so get those photos off your phone and into a frame! Points if you can dig up one of those classics of baby screaming on Santa’s lap.  
  • A vintage find from your favorite thrift or antique store can also be a fun way to source something bespoke, if you’re feeling uninspired by what you have. Look for a pretty vase for flowers and greenery or festive linens for your table. 

Gather everyone around

The holidays are about togetherness, and what better way to bring that ethos to life than by making the decorating itself an activity. Mix up a big batch of cocoa, pop some corn, and give everyone a chance to contribute.  
Left photo, two little boys decorate a gingerbread house on a dining table decorated with bright colored lights. Right photo, two little boys discover wrapped Christmas presents in a living room decorated for the holidays
Making holiday decorating an activity is a great way to involve the whole family and enjoy a special moment together. 

Here are some fun ways to involve family members of all ages: 


  • The traditional gingerbread house will never grow old. Set up little ones with a bedazzling collection of candies, and watch their decorating skills develop.  
  • String a garland together with wooden beads from the craft store, or go the old-fashioned route by threading together popcorn or cranberries. 
  • Take a walk together to gather natural decorations — pick up pinecones or clip some swags off your backyard evergreen. 
Whatever you do, the most important thing to keep in mind is that holiday decorating should add to the joy of the season. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing it!  

Sign up for emails

Get inspiration delivered

Beautiful projects, useful selection tips, and tools for planning your project — get it all in your inbox.