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13 New Ideas/Trends That’ll Shake Up Your Old Christmas Decor (Whenever You Are Ready To Start)

I thought I would 100% not be ready for Christmas decor until after thanksgiving despite the internet’s November 1st push to try to sway me otherwise. I mean I was still trying to get off my zombie Thelma (of Thelma and Lousie) makeup off on the 1st. But then when this past Sunday rolled around I accidentally watched a new Netflix Christmas movie which then had me watching The Holiday right after. THEN yesterday morning, it happened. The little mini Target bottle brush trees I picked up on Sunday magically appeared on my kitchen self and I have to say they are extremely cute, have been putting a big ole smile on my face.

Now, this post is not to have you feeling like you need to deck the halls this weekend “or else”. Please don’t unless you want to! But if you’ve been circling the idea of wanting a couple of holiday cheer moments or simply start planning for them, then this post is here to help. Some new ideas, old ideas you may have forgotten about and a couple of trends to help you design the holiday/Christmas you want. Let’s get started with an unexpected one…

1. The Undecorated Tree

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Undecorated Tree
left to right: design by @_forthehome | photo source | design by @frengpartyof5

I know, I know. How? Why? Jess, are you trying to kill Christmas joy?! No. I promise I am not the Grinch reincarnate. Buuut you do have to admit that these trees look incredibly chic, incredibly beautiful, and are guaranteed to induce 50% less decorating stress (I believe lights are at least half the battle). Also to be fair, Christine from @_forthehome (the tree on the far left) did decorate her tree and it looks awesome. I mean, look. It’s an option and an easy, no-stress, free pass if you just don’t want to this year. OR it’s a good way to ease into decorating so that you don’t max out too fast.

2. Put It In A Basket or Bin

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Bin Tree
left to right: design by erin francois | design by the merrythought | design by lea johnson

But for those that want to adorn their trees with lots of ornaments but want to mix up the traditional tree skirt look then I’ve got you. You have so many options. Just choose your favorite (large enough) bin and stick your tree right in. From what we have saw from Erin Francois’ story highlight, you want to weigh down your bin with something like rocks, then choose a small traditional tree stand to put your tree in (so it stands up straight and can get water), and lastly secure with more rocks. Just make sure you can still water your tree (this also works with an artificial tree and probably with less fussy). 🙂 This might also be a good idea if you have a smaller tree in a different part of your house like your dining room.

3. Kitsch Is Back (But In A Cool Way)

Few things say cozy and nostalgic like some kitschy decor. But like in most things we recommend it’s all about balance. So set up a sweet reindeer scene (that may remind you of the classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer movie) but keep it simple like Sara did. Or get a sweet grandma candlestick holder like Cassandra did in her beautiful Scandi winter wonderland last year. It adds the perfect about of sweetness to a very pretty and chic Christmas look. If you celebrate, think we all crave that Christmas feeling we got when we were younger so bringing in those moments helps us recapture that in my opinion.

4. Unconventional Tree Skirt

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Unconventional Tree Skirts
left to right: design by little merchant goods | design by kristin dion design | design by amanda holstein

Bins are great but if you want a softer look that is in the tree skirt family then we also have some great ideas. Both Arlyn and I love love the thick knit tree skirt. And guess what?! They are for sale on Etsy. Merry Christmas. However, if you want to get crafty, you can make a cool patchwork shirt like the indigo one above. Just find or buy a bunch of your favorite fabrics, sew them together (skills permitted) and BOOM a cool and custom piece. Then lastly, for the people who want something truly unique and something that requires truly zero effort, I present to you the “Rug Pillow Skirt” is for you. It’s cozy, adds a ton of texture, and couldn’t be easier to accomplish. Just literally throw down some small rugs and pillows at the base of the tree and finish it off with turning on the *NSYNC Christmas classic, Under My Tree.

5. Add In Light Olive To Your Color Pallete

I’m forecasting this as a trend given the decor I’ve seen on that market this year. I am actually hopping on the light olive green train this year myself. Some of you might remember my accidental “goth Christmas” last year, so this color is still on the chic and cool side but happy. Plus if you want to use green as a main color to decorate for Christmas then this is a fun way to play with more green tones. It’s a slam dunk for me.

6. The Present Basket

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Present Baskets
left to right: design by päivi lemström | photo source

This was a fun and new concept to me and the team but we are into it. Say hello to “The Present Basket.”  It helps to keep presents wrangled and looking super organized. Plus, I will take any excuse to buy/use a pretty woven basket. Amiright?

7. The Half Garland Arch

Not a new idea but a great reminder! I think we are very used to the more dramatic “full-frame” garland over arches (and windows, and mantels, etc, etc). But this look is still beautiful, gives you plenty drama and cheer and it’s simply cheaper because it’s less product.

8. Magnolia Leaves

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Magnolia Leaves
left to right: design by amber interiors | design by roxanne west

Magnolia leaves are not new to the design scene but they have definitely become extremely popular over the past couple of years. They also happen to look extremely cool and stylish in garland form. We love the big leaves, warm golden brown color of the undersides, and the likely smaller mess they create. Dream with me…fewer pine needles to vacuum.

9. Asymmetrical Mantel Garland

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Asymmetrical Garland
left to right: design by kismet house | design by lindsey walker

I see you, you chic asymmetrical garland you. Ugh, it’s just so awesome and I hope that if you have a mantel or even a doorway that you will consider this garland look for. It basically screams, “I have style and I play by my own rules.” Sooo ya, you should go ahead and at least try. Also, if you are into that very cute DIY lightbulb garland add-on in the photo on the left, then head to @kismet_house for the tutorial.

10. Asymmetrical Stocking Placement

Wanna go asymmetrical all the way?? Then get your stockings to the mantel and over to one side. I just love the way it looks, a little unexpected, yet intentional and chic. I also really love the velvet bows in Chris Loves Julia’s old home. A really nice added touch.

11. Lean Into “Handcrafted” Scandi

This trend has been happening for a couple of years but is NOT losing any steam. It’s all about light wood accents, a balance of light and moody, and lots of handcrafted-looking pieces. Things like ornaments, detailed wooden Scandinavian houses, cut-out paper tabletop trees, and stars. Just make sure there’s not a lot of color but a ton of texture.

12. Unconventional Florals

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Forals
left to right: design by jojotastic | design by ashley fox designs | design by susan burns design

Next, let’s talk holiday florals. I am very into this cool dried flower look in the first two photos. It’s moody yet festive and you don’t have to worry about making sure they are watered (aka less stress). The key to the chicness of these florals is the asymmetrical look. Can you sense a theme?? But if dried flowers aren’t your speed then you can just use tree scraps (that you can get for free at your local tree lot) and drape a bundle on a shelf or surface. It’s messy and organic in a really good way.

13. Fun Decor Accents

Emily Henderson Holiday 2019 New Decor Ideas Special Accents
left to right: design by @_forthehome | design by @evaundich

These were just two ideas that we loved: The skinny tree trio and the elf door. First off/once again, Christine from @_forthehome’s styling is perfection. I want that whole forest in my home. But the true star in that shot is the tall tree trio with the faux fur pelt at its feet. You could actually even forgo the traditional Christmas tree if you wanted and mix it up with something like this. Basically, it’s just a really pretty idea. For the second and last idea is the elf door. If your heart doesn’t melt at the little detail then we are different people I guess (which is okay). But seriously how cute is it and how fun would it be to make with your little one. Plus, it would be impossible not to smile every time you walked by it.

Well happy holidays, merry Christmas, and happy decorating whenever you choose to start. I hope these ideas spark some creativity and that you are possibly even more pumped to get the decorating started. Also, don’t forget to use hashtag #ShowEmYourHoliday to show us your holiday decor (and for a chance to get featured on the blog). We love getting inspired by you. Ready…set… deck those halls.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Our Scandinavian (And Easy, Mess-Free) Holiday Living Room Reveal + How I Finally Figured Out My Biggest Styling Problem… And Solved It

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4 years ago

I love the I decorated tree! I only did it one year, and it was completely unintentional. I was just too overwhelmed to do the ornaments. My husband and kid aren’t into decorating, so it’s really all me. I think about the undecorated tree as an intentional choice every year, but so far, I’ve continued to decorate.

4 years ago

where is the wreath in Emily’s living room from? I love it!

4 years ago

Awwww thank you for sharing and I love all of these ideas! Especially the naked tree!

Tina Schrader
4 years ago

Love, Love, LOVE thid post! Thank you!

4 years ago

Love all of these. We are into a simpler look this year with white led birch trees with a few white and glass ornaments on each. Thanks for sharing these 7 ideas!

4 years ago

The present basket makes great sense where you don’t want them out all the time (toddlers, burglars etc), but they’re easy to bring out when you want to look more festive.
I don’t like the rug/cushion tree skirt: too much faff, not straight and guaranteed to be watered instead of the tree. I made my own tree skirt last year. It was ÂŁ90 for a good faux fur one, but only ÂŁ20 for the faux fur throw, so I diy’d. Very pleased with it, and I can wear it as a cape in January when everything is miserable! ?

Jennifer Laura
4 years ago

Love all these ideas! And I’ve even used a couple of them- I have a few undecorated trees in baskets 🙂

4 years ago

The present basket is the BEST idea ever and I’m loving how it looks under our tree this year!!!

4 years ago

The present basket is the best idea EVER!!! Loving how contained everything is under our tree this year!!!

2 years ago

I thought this was a great article, very well put together… but it seemed so familiar to me, then I realized it was from a year ago. While I know there’s so much valuable content on this site that can be reused, it seems like all the posts lately are linkups of stuff I’ll never buy, dialogs of shopping/thrifting outings or recycled posts. What happened to all the great design content? Emily, where’s an update on the farmhouse? I’m starting to feel like this site is not one I should check into everyday, like I have for years. Still love Emily Henderson Design, but the content hasn’t been great lately.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jenni

Couldn’t agree with you more, Jenni!

2 years ago
Reply to  Jenni

??? I don’t remember or can find any evidence for this post being recycled from previous years. I, for one, really appreciate the EHD holiday posts. As a young, secular, lower-middle-class professional, I have been slowly building our winter decor stash over the past few years (I’m talking $50/year tops, often much less), and I’ve found the ideas on this blog super helpful. You bet I got those cute reindeer from Target immediately after seeing them on Sarah’s mantel last year (in a Different post), and those ~$10 I spent brought me a not-insignificant amount of joy during the isolated 2020 holiday season. To those so very offended commenters–– if you’re not interested in a post or don’t need any holiday decor this year, how about just coming back tomorrow or at least withholding the complaints? This is a free blog, provided to you thanks to the carefully (and tastefully) curated links and sponsorships that many of us actually value––and without which there would be no blog to leave whiny comments on.

2 years ago
Reply to  Inga

Well as far as “evidence” goes, the first big clue is that the bulk of these comments are from a year ago. They rarely scrub the comments section, so those will usually reveal a repost even when the EHD team doesn’t.

Sarah Lovinger, MD
2 years ago

And EHD is busy working on a post on how to decorate for Hannukkah? I hope so. Inclusion is so important, especially in these times.

2 years ago

Do give it a rest. We are getting tired of the perennially offended, looking for things to criticise and creating hateful division from nothing.

2 years ago

These are all sooooo lovely and tasteful. Thanks for the great ideas.

2 years ago

Jess, this is a delightful collection review…I certainly do not remember all of these from a year ago, and I see them from a new perspective. This year the asymmetrical mantel and Cassandra Lavalle’s use of neutral candles Scandi style strike my fancy. Thanks so much.

2 years ago

Love this! Made me think of a new blog post idea…Find your Christmas decorating aesthetic and then tips how to fulfill it — like are you outdoor-centric New England barn minimalist, Scandi neutral simplicity, farmhouse maximalist explosion, nostalgic retro kitschy Christmas, or traditional upscale Nancy Meyers-esque?

2 years ago
Reply to  JR

I had a similar thought reading this! Would be fun to see inspiration grouped into different styles.

2 years ago

Loved this post & everything on it!

Lynn W
2 years ago

Fun ideas to try and I love the Elf door….I think my dogs would mess it up tho 🤣

2 years ago

Such cute ideas! Can you do a post on non Christmas, secular winter decor for those that don’t cerebrate Christmas? I love all the cute cozy details, but we don’t cerebrate xmas so we don’t do a tree, garlands, tiny Xmas villages, etc.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mg

None of this looks religious at all to me….. There’s no nativity scene, for example! Elves are a Scandinavian traditional thing, and I’m pretty sure trees are universal. Much of this is just ‘winter’. Most Christmas traditions have their roots deep in pagan culture anyway – the whole thing is a complete cultural mashup. I’m sure we all have the creativity to take what we want from these ideas and leave the rest behind, right?

2 years ago

Your writing is enough to put me in the Christmas spirit when I wasn’t, Jess!

2 years ago

I am TOTALLY ready to start decorating for Christmas, and actually got our Christmas trees out a few weeks ago because I wanted to find different containers to put them in. I have a few smaller trees and was hoping to use a big crock and a metal bucket, but it just did not work with their square bases. I picked up a jute basket at ikea on a whim, and it works great! Also found an old wood crate and an old wood bucket that work for others. Never going back to tree skirts!