Here’s How Designers Decorate for the Holidays

Searching for inspiration for your holiday decor? Look no further! We’ve gathered the boldest, brightest ideas for 2018 from top designers around the country. These artful tips will help you put your own twist on traditional themes and bring joy to friends and family all season long.

By Andréana Lefton | Published Dec 08, 2018 12:51 AM

Bobby Berk

bobby berk holiday tips

"Queer Eye" host and designer Bobby Berk has just one question about holiday decor: What makes you happy? Instead of copying seasonal trends, choose the colors and objects that bring warmth and a sense of well-being to your home. Blues and silvers are especially calming and give a wintry glow.

Related: 45 Insanely Easy-to-Make Holiday Ornaments

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines Holiday

Why not enjoy Christmas cheer in every room? "Fixer Upper" host Joanna Gaines suggests placing a second Christmas tree in your bedroom or kitchen. Share family stories while trimming the tree to create cozy memories to last a lifetime.

Related: 10 Ways to Decorate Your Xmas Tree for Under $10

Instagram via @joannagaines

Sandra Funk

Sandra Funk

Take the stress out of the season with Sandra Funk’s guide to Christmas decorating. For the holiday table, she suggests a teal and amber color scheme, with fresh herbs and greenery as simple, aromatic centerpieces. Leaving a little handwritten note for each guest provides a nice touch.

Related: A Dozen Clever Hacks for Your DIY Holiday Home

Instagram via @houseoffunkdesign

Nate Berkus

nate berkus holiday decorating ideas

Honoring traditions is key to holiday bliss. Oprah’s favorite designer Nate Berkus suggests we bring out family heirlooms—Grandma’s silver menorah, for instance—during this festive season. Pair antique china with simple, classic colors, such as navy and gold.

Related: 15 Insanely Easy Ways to Decorate for the Holidays

Instagram via @nateberkus

Barclay Butera

Barclay Butera holiday tips

First impressions make a lasting impact, which means your entryway really has to perform during the holidays. Catch the eye of guests and passersby alike with a display of fresh wreaths and garlands. Designer Barclay Butera uses real greenery for outdoor decorating, adding a few sprigs of Brazilian peppertree berries for a pop of red.

Related: The Weirdest Things Anyone Has Ever Used to Make an Awesome DIY Christmas Wreath

Scot Meacham Wood

Scot Meacham Wood

San Francisco-based designer Scot Meacham Wood channels the Scottish Highlands this holiday season. Spice up your living room with rich plaid fabrics and fresh boughs, and brighten your dining table with blue-and-white china plates.

Related: 11 Easy Ways to Be the Best Holiday Host

Instagram via @scotmeachamwood

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson christmas decorating

Christmas in black and white? It works for Emily Henderson. The designer mixes natural light with white and matte black place settings. Paired with fresh evergreens and an unfinished wood table, the result is both “refined and rustic.”

Related: 10 Last-Minute Tricks for a Stress-Free Christmas

Instagram via @em_henderson

Sarah Whit Interior Design

sarah whit interior design

Even if you live in a minuscule studio apartment, you still have room for a tree. Sarah Whit squeezed her evergreen onto a tiny balcony. No balcony? Place your miniature fir on a tabletop by a window, and decorate it with twinkly lights and a few favorite ornaments.

Related: Your Guide to Picking the Perfect Xmas Tree

Laurence Carr

Laurence Carr

Rearrange your furniture to prepare for the holidays. Laurence Carr suggests keeping the living room as open as possible by removing extra tables and knickknacks. Angle chairs together in small groups that encourage cozy conversation.

Related: 9 Tips and Tricks to Cut the Christmas Clutter

Scott Brothers

property brothers christmas tips

The Property Brothers believe in holiday magic, but they don't believe you have to spend lots of money to make the season meaningful. Set an atmosphere with mood lighting, and put the emphasis on family traditions and rituals like setting up a family altar for the kids to decorate, or sipping hot chocolate from special china.

Related: 12 Christmas Tree Decorating Fails

Martha Stewart

martha stewart christmas decorating tips

Nothing says holiday DIY like Martha Stewart. The famous lifestyle maven has many great ideas for an at-home winter wonderland. She suggests using muted rose, sage, and gold instead of bright reds and greens for an updated, sophisticated twist on tradition.

Related: Bob Vila's Top 10 Artificial Christmas Trees

Instagram via @marthastewart

CeCe Barfield Thompson

Cece Barfield Thompson

Trust a New York City designer to throw a good party. CeCe Barfield Thompson upends expectations with rich tones like eggplant. She also suggests “layering your table”—adding votive candles, flowers, unexpected treasures, and party favors.

Related: 10 Holiday Ornaments to DIY with Everyday Stuff

Instagram via @cecebarfieldthompson

Maddy Evennett

Maddy Evennett

To stay grounded this season, stick with earthy hues and decorate with seasonal flowers and greens. Maddy Evennett takes a minimalist's approach to Christmas, decking her bedroom with a simple eucalyptus wreath and bouquets.

Related: 12 Totally Unexpected Ways to DIY a Holiday Wreath

Instagram via

Summer Thornton

Summer Thornton holiday tips

Defy expectations by adding “a little personality” to the holidays, as Summer Thornton proposes. Dangle ornaments from your dining room chandelier. Place a peacock feather on every plate. Use mismatched teacups or road-trip souvenir spoons for a whimsical holiday party.

Related: 12 Other Ways to Decorate with Xmas Ornaments

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