Tips for Simple, Elegant Holiday Decor

Looking for simple, elegant holiday decor ideas? These 10 tips will help you turn your home into a modern, classy, winter wonderland.

white Christmas decor with a flocked tree and touches of blush #neutralchristmas

Though I usually opt for leggings and a cute sweatshirt, I like to think that my home is more of a pearl and heels kind of gal. Elegant, yet restrained. Of course that gal also needs to be able to wrestle with two crazy boys, host costume parties with a very fashion-conscious three year old, and wrangle the variety of rattles and chew toys that belong to the six month old. She’s a multi-tasker. ๐Ÿ˜‰

simple naked green Christmas tree with white lights #Christmastree

So while she likes to look elegant, especially for the holidays, she needs to be practical as well. Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated. So today I’m sharing with you all my best tips for creating that holiday winter wonderland feel in your home without killing yourself: how to decorate for the holidays simply yet beautifully. I’m thrilled to be joining my friends Randi from Randi Garrett Design and Jen from Decor Gold Designs for this Christmas tips tour!

Tips for simple, elegant Christmas decor:

1. Create themes per room.
Ok, so I just said “simple” and now I’m talking themed rooms… I realize that may sound contradictory, but hear me out. The simplest way to bring a space into winter wonderland status without completely redesigning your home is to have cohesive decorations in each space. For example, this year I opted for green and gold (with white and gray basics) in my dining room. So I set a simple holiday table…

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wood slice chargers give this elegant Christmas table a rustic edge #Christmastable


An undecorated green tree and a white and gray holiday sign were the only other touches in the entire room. But those simple touches transform the entire room. (Get all the details on this space here). And if you saw my green and gold living room last Christmas, you may recognize many of these items. Reuse, my friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰

green and gold with white and gray Christmas table and dining room #holidaydining

Likewise, my hints of blush in my living room all come together with some basic flocked trees and garland. The entire space feels transformed because the similar decorations layer together in the room.

white Christmas decor with touches of blush #holidaydecor

BONUS TIP: I’ve even started storing my holiday decorations by color to make for easy decorating the following year.

2. Use tree fillers like flocking, garland, and sprigs.
This is one of my favorite tricks. You can turn a very affordable faux tree into a gorgeous masterpiece by adding fullness this way with polyester stuffing, this magic garland, and a few decorative twigs and sprigs.

tall flocked tree with blush and copper ornaments #blushtree

3. Keep ornaments simple.
Once you’ve stuffed your tree with goodies, it becomes easy to decorate with some basic coordinated ornaments. I know there are so many more elaborately decorated trees out there, but I love the simplicity of a lush tree with less baubles. And – major bonus – if the tree itself is beautiful, a few shatter-proof ornaments in your colors of choice will do the trick. Remember, there are four kiddos running around (and doing the tree decorating) in this house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

flocked trees with blush ornaments #flockedtree

4. Choose coordinating wrapping paper and use your wrapped presents as decor.
You’re planning to buy and wrap presents anyway, right? Use it as part of your decor! Each year I buy 3 or 4 new rolls of wrapping paper that complement the tree and start early. And – confession – I might even wrap a few empty boxes early on… Why not?

blush and gold Christmas presents #blushandgold


5. Display your wrapping paper.
Take it one step farther and display those pretty wrapping papers! Since I’ve been using metallics the last two years, my copper wine bucket as been a perfect holder. Those rolls never fit very well in the closet anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Green and white Christmas decorating ideas - So many lovely natural greenery and cozy neutral decorations in this Christmas living room!

6. Invest in quality faux greenery OR mix faux and fresh greens.
No matter how amazing the faux greenery, it doesn’t quite live up to the elegance of real winter branches. But the expense and hassle (not to mention mess) of real greenery is a challenge. So I do both. I use high-quality faux greenery in some spaces, like this magnolia wreath and garland on my front porch this year


And I love enhancing faux with touches of real in other spaces. Adding a few natural clippings into faux garland or wreaths can add that extra beauty but only takes a couple of minutes to remove and dispose of when they begin to fade. I even have a full tutorial on this gorgeous garland I made a few years ago.

How to Make Cheap Garland Look Expensive - This is so beautiful and so easy! DIY cedar garland makes a gorgeous Christmas decoration in your holiday home |

7. Hang a wreath on it.
Simple, classic, elegant. Wreaths are perfect for the season and one of the quickest ways to decorate. But don’t limit yourself to your front door; wreaths often make the most impact when used in unexpected places.

Gorgeous two-tone kitchen design with white upper cabinets, gray lower cabinets, carrara marble counters and marble subway tile backsplash, a farm sink, and a beautiful wood island and brass hardware...


8. ๐ŸŽถHere an ornament, there an ornament, everywhere an ornament ornament.๐ŸŽถ
Clearly, I’ve been spending too much time with my preschooler. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  But seriously, ornaments do not have to be reserved for the tree. They are affordable, easy ways to add elegance all over your home. Use them in a bowl to style your coffee or dining room table.

tips for simple, elegant holiday decor: ornaments in a bowl #holidaydecor


Add them to a wreath or garland. You can even hang them in unexpected places.

Christmas Nights Tour: Incredible! 35 beautiful homes all decorated for the holidays and lit up by candlelight and Christmas lights...

9. Fill in with non-holiday decor.
I think this is such an easy one that many people don’t think about. How do you get a full, dramatic, winter wonderland Christmas tree? Fill in around the base with pillows, throws, and stools. All regular, non-holiday items, but they add to the Christmas decor significantly. It takes a simple tree and makes it enchanting.

white and cream and blush Christmas decorations: mantel, flocked tree, stockings #neutralChristmasdecor

10. Twinkle light all the things.
You may know that I host an annual Night Lights Christmas tour because Iย love the twinkle lights.

Christmas Nights Tour: Incredible! 35 beautiful homes all decorated for the holidays and lit up by candlelight and Christmas lights...

I pretty much don’t turn on my overhead lights at all from about October to January. No need. There is nothing that quite sets the mood like Christmas lights. Even during the day.

simple copper touches, free christmas printable, and twinkle lights make a perfect holiday look #copperaccents

GET THE LOOK: free printable and copper caniters

Now happy decorating! And – more importantly – may your holiday season be filled with joy, laughter, and love. Be sure to visit my friend Lory from Designthusiasm next for more incredible holiday tips.

And be sure to pin this for later and visit all the fun tours below!

Randi Garrett Design
Decor Gold Designs
Eleven Gables
The Leslie Style
Citrine Living
CC & Mike
So Much Better With Age

Looking for simple, elegant holiday decor ideas?ย  These 10 tips will help you turn your home into a modern, classy, winter wonderland. #christmasdecor

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  1. Rachel your tips are fabulous! I love seeing how you use your ornaments and wreaths to decorate your home! Everything is so beautiful! xo

  2. Rachel, I love your amazing tips! They are all so good, I love the idea of displaying your wrapping paper rolls, and your gorgeous copper bucket adds so much beauty and character to your tree! And I’m all about mixing faux an real greenery too! Your home is truly gorgeous at Christmastime!

  3. Gorgeous!!! SO, did you flock your tree at the base of the steps this year, or is it a different tree from last year?? I keep wanting to flock my tree but am afraid of the mess, especially when itโ€™s time to take it down. Iโ€™m also wondering if it would look bad next year or how it would hold up! Anyhow, everything looks beautiful & so inviting!

    1. You are so sweet, Kristen!! I confess, I wanted to flock it, but I wasn’t brave enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I got a very affordable flocked one at At Home, and I decided that will give me options for years to come (assuming my husband doesn’t force me to sell one when the time comes to find space to store them both – ha!). I recently saw that Laura of The Turquoise Home flocked her own, though, so you might want to check that out. Hope this helps!

  4. very beautiful.. love your style and thanks for sharing wish you would share even more my favorite site so far…

  5. Simply gorgeous, Rachel. These photos absolutely take my breath away ~ yours is the most awesome Christmas Decor I’ve seen this year.
    Blessings to your family in this wondrous season … celebrating the birth of Christ.

    p.s. May I ask what camera you use?

  6. Rachel! This is just absolutely stunning my friend. I don’t even know where to begin. I LOVE your trees and all the greenery. I might wrap some empty boxes at the start of the season too ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Hugs, Jamie

  7. Absolutely gorgeous! Where did you find the living room mirror? The link doesnโ€™t seem to work. Your rooms are beautiful!

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