Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas

Whether you’re snowed in or staying by the shore this Christmas, you can create the perfect holiday home with a few of our favorite (and super simple!) tips and tricks.

Living Room with Starfish Accents

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Use Holiday Accessories

Give your traditional decor the holiday treatment. Update everyday interiors with bright and cozy blankets, throw pillows in vibrant holiday hues and trees, and greenery studded with delicate starfish ornaments.

Christmas Tree By Sliding Glass Doors

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Show Off Your Tree

Position your tree in a spot where it can be admired indoors and out. If the weather isn’t too chilly, you can take your holiday party outside and still maintain a festive atmosphere.

Mini Christmas Trees

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Be Bright

Take a break from traditional holiday decor in favor of these adorable mini trees—especially when they come in fun, beachy colors. Decorate them with cheeky ornaments for a more casual vibe.

Outdoor Potted Christmas Trees and Luminaries

Photographer: Brian Vanden Brink

Plant Your Tree

Try placing a miniature potted Christmas tree next to your front entrance. Guests will be ready for your festive holiday get-together before they even step inside!

Nautical Holiday Living Area

Photographer: Roger Davies

Add Graphic Punch

Classic holiday colors look fabulous next to punchy nautical hues. Kick the festive atmosphere up a notch with candy red throw pillows, a red-striped rug, and adorable miniature potted Christmas trees.

Living Room With Square Christmas Wreaths

Photographer: Dominique Vorillon

Shift Traditional Shapes

Have fun with traditional holiday shapes when adding accents to modern decor. In this seaside home, square-shaped greenery replaces traditional round wreaths for an updated, modern look, while also drawing attention to the spectacular view.

Entrway Lighted by Paper Luminaries

Photographer: Kindra Clineff

Light the Way

Paper luminaries are an inexpensive way to add holiday spirit to a home’s exterior, as well as shed additional light on snowy walkways. These homeowners used hot glue to attach lightweight starfish and shells to heavy-duty craft paper bags. Filled with sand and a single votive, these luminaries create a glowing front entrance.

Front Entryway with Gifts and Greenery

Photographer: Dominique Vorillon

Enhance Your Entrance

Greet guests in style! Try draping your entire front porch in lush, fragrant garlands and filling the area around the door with a scattering of decorative gifts. For a coastal twist, tuck tropical fruit into greenery.

Balcony Draped in Magnolia Garland

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Beautify Your Balcony

This lovely dried magnolia garland adds the perfect touch of holiday cheer to this tropical locale. Tip: Use dried or artificial decorations for warm-weather destinations, especially if your garland sits in direct sunlight.

Poolside Outdoor Christmas Tree

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Decorate Outdoors

This fabulous Florida outdoor living area gets the holiday treatment with a giant, decked-out Christmas tree and dozens of pool-lining metal lanterns. The sparkling light from the tree and the lanterns create a romantic, festive poolside atmosphere—perfect for holiday entertaining.

Mitten Garland and Starfish Garland

Photographer: Eric Roth

Try DIY Decorations

Use handmade decorations this holiday season. Drill tiny holes through medium-size shells (another good use for your beachcombing finds!) and string them on fishing line. For the mitten garland, simply cut craft felt into mitten shapes and use fishing line to hang.

White and Silver Holiday Decor

Photographer: Jean Allsopp

Deck the Mantel

This dramatic display shimmers with holiday style. Using real or artificial paperwhite narcissus, secure plants in shiny galvanized tins and fill the top of each pot with textural Spanish moss. Display with gauzy fabric, glitter-dipped pinecones, and metallic ornaments to create an elegant, attention-grabbing display.

Entryway and Banister Draped in Greenery

Photographer: Dominique Vorillon

Make a Beautiful Banister

This homeowner dressed her foyer’s banister with a lush garland of festive pine branches and Christmas stockings. Tip: Mixed pine garlands are a great choice for transitional spaces, like hallways, back entrances, and stairways, because they’re generally less expensive than other garlands, such as boxwood or magnolia.

Blue White Tabletop with Glitter Pinecones

Photographer: Jean Allsopp

Set a Sea-Inspired Table

Put away grandma’s traditional china and opt instead for plates in fun coastal colors. To add a touch of coastal, spray starfish and pinecones with metallic silver paint and scatter them along the table. Tip: The pinecones double as place card holders.

Aqua and White Living Room

Photographer: David Hillegas

Have a Blue Christmas

To update your tree’s swag, try a dressing it in a striking new color scheme, such as aqua and metallic. Glass balls and metallic ribbon are inexpensive replacements for your old-school green and red Christmas ornaments, and beachcombing finds (like this tree’s sprigs of dried coral and driftwood) can be tucked between branches to create a fuller effect.

Holiday Dining Room with Metallic Ornaments

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Dress Your Table

Keep things easy. We absolutely love the metallic ornaments hung from this home’s dining room chandelier, as well as the homeowner’s creative starfish-themed centerpiece. Tip: For a creative and useful party gift, consider draping a bright wool scarf across the back of each chair.

Coastal Themed Wrapping Paper

Photographer: David Hillegas

Wrap It Up

To give your gifts a nautical look, forgo the traditional red and green wrapping paper in favor of print paper that looks like old-school nautical maps. To make printed paper stand out under the tree, pair with less-expensive solid-colored papers in metallic gold and soft blues. Give all your gifts a finished look by tying bows made of wide satin ribbon.

Dining Room With Simple Holiday Wreaths

Photographer: Tria Giovan

Opt for Simple Holiday Style

Going for a vintage Christmas feel? In a more rustic space, try using a natural palette with just a few hits of glint, like this dining room’s simple pine and magnolia wreaths, classic white floral arrangement, and distressed silver candlesticks. 

White Christmas Tree in Rustic Home

Photographer: Jeff McNamara

Fake a White Christmas

For an ultra-modern look, ditch the old-school green tree in favor of an all-white artificial tree.

Blue and White Holiday Table Decor

Photographer: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Design a Coastal Theme

For an under-the-sea tabletop theme, try looking for all-white plates, chargers, and candleholders that have the distressed look of shells. Paired with sea-urchin inspired glassware, a few clean white flower arrangements, and a simple aqua tablecloth, this table achieves a striking shore-side theme.

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