4 Hot Holiday Trends

Add sparkle, pastel colors and back-to-nature pieces

By Erik J. Martin

Before long, it will be time to get in that attic or crawlspace and pull out that box of beloved Christmas decorations. Problem is, many of those beloved baubles and adornments are worn, weathered, and likely seriously outdated. They’ve got you through many a Yuletide season, but it’s probably time to deck the halls with something different — a new approach that calls for fresh yet festive décor.

“Upgrading your holiday décor is a fun way to incorporate your current design style with a holiday that is largely based on traditions,” says Stephanie Purcell, interior designer and owner of Redesigned Classics. “I love my grandmother’s handmade ornaments, but not everything from the 1940s is going to look great in my current home.”

Fawn Ostriak, vice president of concept and development for Bristol, Pennsylvania-based Lenox Corporation, says it’s smart to stay current with Christmas decorating trends.

“While it’s important to incorporate those family or sentimental items that are part of the yearly decorating tradition, it does tend to get stagnant year after year. You want to keep things fresh and create a new twist each year,” says Ostriak.

Curious what creative styles are in vogue this year? Christmasworld, the leading international trade fair for seasonal decorations, has identified four worthy trends to pursue this upcoming holiday season: tender festivities; essential ceremonies; sweet traditions; and luminous celebrations.

Tender festivities

This movement is meant to evoke a calm and peaceful mood. Christmasworld’s website describes tender festivities as being inspired by “moon, moonlight, stars and stardust” and “moving structures, delicate transparency, amorphous forms and reductionist designs.”

This style uses delicate pastel colors and the features of pool to convey a celestial, otherworldly feel — like how it feels walking into a fairy tale realm. It’s best to keep your color scheme subdued and avoid clutter to incorporate this trend properly.

Additionally, “choose light neutrals with materials that shimmer,” recommends Purcell. “Try white snowball ornaments, silver and gold garland, and soft shimmery fabrics for table runners and tree skirts. Stick to elements with clean lines, like tall vases and simple glassware.”

Essential ceremonies

Want to convey an authentic and natural look post-Thanksgiving? Invoke this design scheme.

“It’s all about a connection to nature. Essential ceremonies is a great way to slow down and appreciate the beauty around us and bring the outside into our homes,” explains Ostriak.

Envision an essential ceremonies esthetic as “natural, rustic, raw and unfussy — emphasizing materials in earth tones and unfinished edges like burlap and raw cut greens.

To achieve this look, gather natural-found objects like branches, pinecones, and berries to use in table centerpieces, on your gift wrapping, and with simple white candles on a tray or bowl, Ostriak suggests.

Sweet traditions

Christmasworld uses two words to best describe contemporary theme No. 3: effervescent and joyful.

Sweet traditions focuses on the nostalgia of tradition and adds creative charm through cute motifs and Norwegian patterns. It’s a new take on the old, using traditional colors and themes like red, green and gingerbread but implementing them in new ways.

Purcell appreciates this trend’s whimsical appeal.

“If you are into more eclectic Bohemian design styles, then this is a great décor approach for you,” she says. “With lots of vibrant colors and mixing and matching of patterns, your home will be anything but boring.”

One recipe for successfully implementing sweet traditions is to choose traditional Christmas colors in a more vibrant hue.

“Instead of just green and red, think about a bright cherry red and a lime green. Mix Christmas plaid with festive polka dots. You can also line tree skirts with rickrack and pillows with pom-poms,” adds Purcell.

Luminous celebrations

If you crave a more unique and glamorous esthetic that spotlights vibrant hues and elegant surfaces, opt for the luminous celebration style.

“I love the sparkle and drama of this trend, which is great for creating a sophisticated, memorable celebration. Think holiday cocktail parties and glitzy New Year’s celebrations,” says Ostriak, who advises pairing moody dramatic dinnerware with glittery linens, iridescent glass, and heavy cut crystal.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to mix metals and go for gold, copper, silver and any combination you can dream up.

Lush fabrics like velvet, satin and jewel tones such as royal blue, deep purple and emerald green can help top things off, Purcell notes.


 Don’t discard those old decorations — repurpose them

Feel guilty about not using those old tried-and-true ornaments and decorations?

Instead of tossing all of them out or relegating them to the eternal dustbin, why not tastefully include some of those pieces in your new holiday design scheme?

“Christmas is a perfect time to incorporate older décor, especially that which holds meaning to you,” says Fawn Ostriak with Lenox Corporation. “For example, mix old sentimental dinnerware patterns with new pieces, such as chargers, accent plates, drinkware, and linens, to blend the best of old and new.”

You can start small with this approach by keeping a favorite throw pillow from the past, adding in a few cherished old ornaments to the new tree, and tacking up a handful of classic decorations that aren’t too timeworn.

Don’t feel like you have to go all in with any one trend. You can mix in a few classic elements from Christmases past and start slowly to get a feel for what works in your home.

Remember: “You can always repurpose certain items by changing their color with some paint or adding some glitter to transform old pieces into new,” notes Stephanie Purcell, interior designer.