Once upon a time, red and gold or green and silver were thought to be the two most classic Christmas colour schemes of all. Then came the reign of the multi-coloured Christmas where kaleidoscopic lights, decorations and tinsel dominated the trees of the 1980s. And now to today and the question of which colours to choose to decorate your home in a way that’s sophisticated but just-right for the festive season too.
How to Choose a Christmas Colour Scheme to Decorate with
Where to begin when considering Christmas interior design? The truth of it is that your Christmas decoration ideas shouldn’t veer too far from the path that you’ve chosen for the rest of your home. If they were to, they would instantly feel out of sync, off-kilter and not at ease with the rest of your decor. That’s the golden rule – stay true to your tastes when it comes to the style of your festive interior.
This being said, remember that when it comes to colour schemes, there’s more maneuverability. If your home has lots of colour, don’t feel as though your festive decoration ideas must follow suit. In fact, selecting more muted colours (like in the Spectrum-designed Christmas decor above) or sticking to one shade throughout, from baubles to garlands, might be preferable. It stops things from becoming too busy. Similarly, picture a home with a palette of deep greys and crisp whites. Here, a tree decorated in white will undoubtedly work, but opting for a pop of colour will be a welcome surprise. Imagine antiqued golds and bottle green.
If you’re stuck for ideas or are hoping to add further fuel to the ones you already have, then below are eight Christmas colour schemes to ponder for the upcoming festivities.
Image Credit: Spectrum
Christmas Colour Scheme 1: Winter White
Even though white is one of the most ubiquitous and timeless colours of all, when it comes to Christmas decorating ideas, it’s actually more of a contemporary choice. It’s because of its crispness over archetypal festive tones of warmth and jolliness. Add to this the recent trend for Nordic-style interiors where all-white, pared-back Christmas interiors are celebrated, which always feel closer to contemporary, minimal design.
Pair white decorations with glass ones along with an abundance of fairy lights and candles to up the ante on the contemporary side to its character.
But if your home is more traditional, add white amongst lots of thick, evergreen touches and warm white bulbs on your twinkling strand lights to soften it. Plenty of decorations also help a tree to look more classic too rather than a sparse scattering. And remember that white has many forms, from Joanna Buchanan’s pearl-encrusted baubles to our smooth white Christmas crackers for the table. For a traditional take on white, it’s a case of more is more. Less is less on the other hand, and your scheme will feel more current.
Image Credit: Decorating by Revamped; Photography by Sara D. Harper
Christmas Colour Scheme 2: Frosted Blue
Icy blue shares some similarities with a white Christmas interior, in that it sits at the cooler end of the spectrum. But, because soft blues are such a pretty shade, it’s a choice that’s not aimed so much at modern tastes; it works best in period-style properties with elegant and more feminine touches.
Combine cool blue Christmas decorations with trees that have a frosted finish to play on the icy, winter wonderland feeling that this tone achieves so well. Try to avoid pairing it with bright silver and instead look out for mercury glass and hints of glitter otherwise your scheme will feel too bright and shiny.
Image Credit: Laura Hammett
Christmas Colour Scheme 3: Natural Feathers & Glints of Gold
This is a festive colour scheme that’s often overlooked because neutral tones simply aren’t often associated with Christmastime. The key here is to use natural tones with varied texture. The whole scheme will feel effortless, subtle and beautifully different.
Adorning your Christmas tree with hanging decorations made of real feathers is a perfect way to explore this look. They reflect the light in a very understated way and the feathers will often have a gentle, bronzed sheen to them. Look out for those dusted in glitter too so that your scheme has some sparkle. You could even try a champagne-toned feather wreath for your door.
Natural colour schemes suit other cream, beige and brown tones, so pine cones and twig-like decorations (such as Michael Aram’s partridge in a pear tree ornament and hanging pine cones) are a strong coupling. But also try hints of gold or bronze-hued glass decorations for a dose of glamour.
Christmas Colour Scheme 4: Opulent Gold & Majestic Red
Now to one of the earlier-mentioned colour combinations that have reigned supreme for longest of all. Red, loved for its link to holly berries and Santa Claus’ famous red suit, is so deeply festive. Next to gold, loved for its link to opulence, glamour and one of The Three Kings’ gifts, it truly is an iconic Christmas colour scheme.
Gold and red are most successful in homes that aren’t contemporary. They shine against period details, traditional furniture, majestic townhouse heights, and even beam-laden barn conversions and country retreats.
With red and gold, it’s easy to concentrate on tree decorations, but vases filled with poinsettias or clusters of berries, tall candelabras and even cutlery and napkin rings are all festive decorating ideas deserving of your festive palette. Look out for baubles that combine the two tones in one too, like our red and gold rhinestone enrobed bauble or red and gold blended glass decoration.
Christmas Colour Scheme 5: Rich Teal
Teal is a relative newcomer to the Christmas colour scheme scene. But what a beautiful option it is. More understated than emerald green and yet still with that beguiling, jewel-like quality, teal is a shade that suits every type of home. It pairs with silver, gold or bronze. It looks stunning aside glittered and sparkly decorations. And it suits warm white or cool fairy light bulbs.
Christmas Colour Scheme 6: Rustic Wood & Charming Tartan
This next festive decorating idea combines colour, pattern and texture in a more obvious way than the previous five schemes. And, like teal, it suits an array of decor styles. Whether your home has traditional wooden wall panelling, more rustic-luxe, vertical timber cladding, exposed wooden floorboards or beams, then bringing in tartan or plaid as an accent, be it through cushions or throws, will feel charming and Christmassy without being over-the-top. The occasional piece of tartan ribbon is an option too, or crackers on the table in tonal tartan. This is a Christmas decorating option for those seeking something that embraces autumn and winter as much as the Christmas season itself. Be sure to mix in the occasional red velvet ribbon and gleaming bauble or two so that the festive feeling isn’t lost – though the presence of your traditional Douglas fir Christmas tree should help with that.
Image Credit: Sophie Paterson x LuxDeco
Christmas Colour Scheme 7: Timeless Silver
Some Christmas colour schemes are best when viewed as a combination of tones, but there are others that are most effective when used in solo. Silver is a case in point. It certainly would complement numerous shades, like navy or green. Even gold and silver look lovely together, but silver shining on its own is a magical sight to be seen.
Just as you wouldn’t decorate your living room with the exact same tone of a colour and the exact same texture used everywhere, choosing silver decorations should follow the same line of thought. Mix bright, glistening silver with mecurised and dappled silver, silver sequin decorations, woven silver wire or glitter baubles, or those etched in silver sparkle to create a varied and very mesmerising Christmas colour scheme indeed. The occasional piece of antiqued silverware is the icing on the cake.
Image Credit: Guillaume Alan
Christmas Colour Scheme 8: Scandinavian Minimalism
Perfect for those who prefer a minimalist approach to holiday decorating, the Scandinavian Christmas style is known for its unassuming, pared back aesthetic. Lots of bleached white and natural tones along with felted woodland creature decorations and wooden beads.
Scandinavian Christmas decor is also particularly versatile throughout the year. Candle-filled hurricanes which decorate a Christmas mantlepiece with a seasonal charm can be used all-year long, as can stacks of logs by the fire, knitted throws with frosty patterns and simple woven baskets which can be seasonally updated with baubles or Christmas foliage. The charm in Scandinavian Christmas decor is its simplicity and nature-focused design which never goes out of style, despite the time of year.