For those who love to decorate, there’s no time like the holidays for adding fun, festive touches to our living spaces. This year, there’s something for many tastes and styles.
A look at the trends you'll see at stores:
The 1920s inspire a lot of holiday decor, with West Elm offering glittery art deco letter ornaments and star garlands, as well as deco-patterned, mercury-glass hurricanes in silver and midnight blue. Elegant, gold, blown-glass animals fit the vibe.
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At Pier 1, you’ll find beaded tree swags as well as ornaments encrusted with sequins or glass mosaics. Beaded metallic pillars, champagne glasses and bottles, and chevron-patterned pendants add Jazz Age style.
Throw pillows and signs printed with a vintage-style chalkboard Christmas greeting hold charm at Pottery Barn, where the design is also available in a doormat. Here too, a decorative collection of old-fashioned village homes, churches and schoolhouses evokes turn-of-the-century German ornaments similarly made of cardboard and silver glitter.
Purchases from the collection support shelters nationwide through the Give a Little Hope organization.
For a more midcentury look, consider Crate & Barrel’s teardrop ornaments in a red matte glass. If you’re into making some of your own midcentury modern Christmas decorations, check out the DIY Network’s website for suggestions including stockings and ornaments.
LED lighting is now in just about anything, including holiday decorations. Ikea’s Strala collection includes a garland of pierced gold balls fitted with LEDs, and a bright red tree mat has built-in LEDs.
Frontgate’s Meteor light set twinkles, showers, shimmers and glows at the touch of a button.
Clusters of string lights look gorgeous under glass cloches; Restoration Hardware offers both in various sizes. And snow globes that send up a flurry of up-lit flakes with the push of a button are a twist on the traditional.
Also at the retailer: spare, birch-wrapped branches wrapped in warm LEDs, in various sizes for tabletop or entryway floor.
“This year I’m seeing deep, rich hues,” says designer Taniya Nayak. “Think sapphire, deep emerald and sexy violet. The real wow factor rolls in with the metallic touches. There is a cool juxtaposition that happens when you mix the sophisticated richness of jewel tones and the medley of copper patina and copper shine.”
Pier 1’s peacock-inspired tree skirt anchors a collection of vibrant ornaments in faceted glass, sequins or feathers.
There are holiday-themed accent pillows on the market this year decorated with glitter, bugle beads, sequins or metallic embroidery thread. One or two on an entryway bench greet guests with panache; Target and Homegoods have nicely priced options.
Z Gallerie has the glamorous Folly collection of white and gold pearl wreaths, table trees and garlands, as well as crystal flower spheres and ornaments in trendy turquoise.
Stylized foxes and owls in white or gold acrylic add a soft, metallic accent to the tree or table, from Ikea.
Pottery Barn’s chinchilla, fox or bear faux-fur tree skirts add a touch of luxe. Dress the tree with midcentury-style copper and brass trims for a cool and current vibe.
The rustic, cabin-y look that took off last year has held strong. Woodland creatures populate the ornament collections at Land of Nod, while, in a twist, photos of hedgehogs and raccoons are printed on little stuffed ornaments at Target.
At West Elm, Boston designer Mimi Kirchner’s felt foxes, deer, raccoons and bears sport jaunty scarves and plaid coats.
Ikea’s Vinter collection features Swedish patterns on cushion covers and guest towels. At Pottery Barn, an advent calendar with farmhouse charm is created out of small, galvanized buckets mounted on a pine frame.
Artists Petra Börner and Fiona Howard have designed ornaments for Crate & Barrel evoking European folk art. Here, too, are clever tree collars made of glossy red or galvanized metal to resemble vintage tubs.
Nayak loves “any mixture of glam and rustic,” including “a winter-white backdrop with reclaimed wood and a bit of polished chrome.” Crate & Barrel’s got a selection of laser-cut, crocheted and curled paper snowflakes in creamy hues of champagne, bronze and white; add a few glittery, beaded ornaments in silver and muted grays.
Sandy Chilewich has a new collection of mats and runners rendered in gold, silver, gunmetal and brass, in a chic geometric Pebble pattern.
At Target, Nate Berkus’ Ascot Star dessert plates and trays feature a classic foulard pattern in smart black and white that would work for get-togethers straight into New Year’s Eve.
For Hanukkah, Jonathan Adler offers a blue, Lucite cube menorah, as well as an array of mod ceramic-animal menorahs. At Williams-Sonoma, a collection of porcelain plates and serving pieces in cream with a graphic print of ancient temple menorahs would add style to a holiday buffet.
Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine, likes colorful decor beyond the traditional red and green. “Felt pompom garlands are always a party hit, and not just for Christmas trees,” she says. “String them on stair railings and around mirrors, and drape them from your curtain rods.”
Think beyond the living room, Peterson says.
“Add a little decorating twist here and there throughout your house,” she says. In guest bathrooms, put down a holiday-themed bath mat. In the kitchen, plant mini cypress trees in colorful glazed pots, and swap out regular dish towels for festive tea towels.”