Christmas living room decor ideas - the 10 best ways to make your home look festive

Use our Christmas living room decor ideas for a picture-perfect, well-decorated home this season

A living room decorated with a Christmas tree
(Image credit: Soho Home)

Deciding on Christmas living room decor ideas can feel like a big task if you're just starting. After all, it's easy to get overwhelmed during this time of cheer and goodwill, given everything we want to accomplish. But if you break down how you will approach it, then putting up the decorations can be a fun activity; one you can (and should) involve your entire family in!

To make this task simpler, we've reached out to top designers and brands to help us curate a list of things that would make for great Christmas decorating ideas. Take a look at these, make your list, gear up to shop, and welcome home good, memorable times.

Christmas living room decor ideas

'As a season of festivities, fun, and celebration, Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to go all-out with beautiful decorations that extend far beyond the tree,' says Lucy St George, co-founder of Rockett St George (opens in new tab). 'From a decadent fireplace display with festive foliage to fairy lights and candles strewn around the room, Christmas is a time to unleash your inner maximalist.' 

1. Layer the living room with decorations and blankets 

A living room with Christmas decor and layered fabrics

(Image credit: Soho Home)

This is the time for hot chocolate, curling up in blankets, and reading a book by the fire. To enjoy the chilly season and to make your celebrations fun, cozy up your Christmas living room decor, and layer your space with throws, cushions, and all things warm and tranquil.

‘Winter is also all about layering,' says Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab).  'I use textures like wool and fur alongside kilim fabrics; rich autumnal and wintery colors provide a base for my Christmas decorations, with a different ‘theme’ thrown on top each year.’

2. Choose flowers and foliage that will last seasons

A living room with fresh flowers on coffee table

(Image credit: Jonathan-Adler)

Another important point for the Christmas checklist is foliage. ‘I believe that every good floral arrangement starts with the perfect vase or vessel,' says the luxury floral designer, Ronny Colbie (opens in new tab) . 'Choose a vase that suits your home's chosen Christmas colors and theme. Having the same theme run throughout your home and onto the table will add a tasteful touch for your family and guests.'

'Next step would be foraging or sourcing foliage that will last throughout the seasons as the base to all your arrangements,' says Ronny. 'English pine, holly, twigs, winter eucalyptus... anything that will dry nicely and add a festive scent. Once you have the base of foliage you can simply add flowers to suit and change as they wilt. For long-lasting flowers, you’re best off with Amaryllis, Hydrangea, or winter berries. For texture, you can add small baubles and dried fruits. 

'For the coffee table, I always suggest using plenty of eclectic small vases to add different heights and dimensions to the tables. Finally, to finish off, I’d suggest layering between the arrangements with antique candlesticks, loose pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and tea lights.’

3. Bring in vivid Christmas tree decorations

A living room with a brightly-lit Christmas tree

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

If color is your thing, don't be afraid to embrace it. Whether it's decorating your tree with brightly hued baubles or dressing your mantelpiece with vivid-hued pampas grass, be bold and release your inner Christmas artist. Get ready for some Christmas crafts by DIY-ing string lights on your tree.

'Don't be afraid to bring a glamorous tone with jewel shades of emerald, indigo, and fuchsia to your free,' says Abi Wilson of Habitat (opens in new tab), says. 

Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments from Target (opens in new tab)
Shop now

Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments from Target (opens in new tab)

These 42 ornaments handcrafted from glass in a variety of colors can be paired with a wide variety of lights and garlands. Perfect for the Christmas tree.  

4. Pack your tree with personality

dark Christmas living room and tree by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

'The main rule for Christmas decorating is to have fun with it,' says Connor Prestwood, interior designer at Dowsing & Reynolds (opens in new tab). 'Use your decorations as a tool to express yourself and to create a feeling of warmth and comfort during the Christmas period; ultimately it’s about what themes and ideas make you happy. Don’t follow trends or traditions just because you feel like you have to.'

For an effervescent festive decor, give the Christmas fireplace decor and the tree some extra love by adding eclectic decorations around it; the ones you've collected over the years.

5. Indulge in merry mantelscaping

Christmas living room decor with mantelpiece garland and baubles on deer antlers

(Image credit: K&H Design)

We talk a lot about foliage when it comes to Christmas stair decor ideas, but it can be used to full effect here, too. 'The popular mantelscaping trend offers a great excuse to get experimental with Christmas decorating,' says Abi. 'Fasten evergreen foliage to the mantel from which you can hang decorations and baubles. Stagger the hanging heights and mix matte and shiny finishes to craft a considered yet eclectic festive look. '

If you're looking for a more natural, minimalist Christmas decor look, use fresh foliage and flowers to create a beautiful display, and extend the decor to the window sills of your living room for a Christmas window for passers-by to enjoy.

6. Sprinkle unique baubles around the room

Large baubles displayed in the room

(Image credit: Paula Sutton)

Baubles aren’t just limited to Christmas trees and are a simple way to add more festive touches in the house. These would make for great Christmas door decor as well!

Fabulous baubles from your collection can also be hung from cabinet door handles or even from table lights and floor lamps. 'Unique ornaments hung with varying lengths of velvet ribbons make for a quirky eye-catcher,' says Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor at Wayfair (opens in new tab).

Baubles aside, this is the time for DIY. 'For a crafty spin, forage a large branch, or you can even use a length of painted wood, and dress with fairy lights, ribbons, and decorations,' says Abi. 'This can be hung from walls, ceilings, or doors for a creative Christmas feature in the home.'

7. Bling out your bar cart

basement bar design

(Image credit: Arteriors)

A vintage-inspired cart is a perfect place to store your favorite beverages and some Christmas nibbles; plus a lovely home bar idea. But what should you stock on it for visual appeal? 'Retro coupe glasses and stemless glasses are ideal to serve not only drinks but also their accompaniments, with their gold rims adding extra sparkle to your Christmas decor,' says Nadia.

It's also a cute yet chic idea to add foliage, a mini Christmas tree, and mini baubles or presents to the display for a truly festive scene.

Rolling Serving Bar Cart from Amazon  (opens in new tab)
Buy now

Rolling Serving Bar Cart from Amazon  (opens in new tab)

This bar cart with three shelves provides plenty of room to store all of your bar essentials like shakers, ice buckets, shot glasses, liquor, and more. 

8. Dress up your storage nooks

Christmas living room decor with styled dresser by Pooky

(Image credit: Pooky x Matthew Williamson)

Festive decoration ideas shouldn't be solely restricted to the tree; try giving your Christmas bedroom decor or living room decor a leg up by dressing up the shelves and cabinets for a curated and cozy scene.

Focus on the style spots you’ve already established. Adding Christmas table decorations, paper stars and festive faux foliage amongst your books, vases, plants and personal treasures helps to set the tone for the magic of the season.

9. Go traditional with a maximalist twist

A room with maximalist modern take on traditional colours

(Image credit: MindtheGap)

'There is something oh-so-comforting about a classic red and green color palette and traditional Christmas styling,' says Nadia. And when better to indulge in maximalism in interior design than at Christmas?

Get your outdoor Christmas lighting ideas together for the right festive vibe. For the interiors, 'try mixing in contrasting prints such as polka dots, stripes, animal print, florals, or gingham,' says Nadia. 'It pays to not have too many tones at play when combining different patterns, so limit yourself to a palette of three or four tones. A hint of glimmering gold offers the perfect contrast to all things crimson and emerald.'

'Christmas is a time to embrace this warm, inviting, and joyful trend,' says Stefan Ormenisan, founder and creative director at Mindthegap (opens in new tab). 'We opt for jubilantly dressed Christmas trees, bold and eclectic patterns, embroidered textiles, and layered styling; from fringed table lamps to fabric, tassel-trimmed pendant lights, richly adorned cushions, statement furniture, and exuberant wallpapers, each working together to bring warmth, joy and a welcoming setting for entertaining and celebrating.' 

'For those who prefer a more pared-back mood, consider adding an abundance of cushions, a rich patterned lampshade, and a beautifully decorated tree, which will provide a burst of maximalist style that’s easy to change after the festive season.' says Stefan.

10. Channel a California cool vibe

Christmas tree and garland draped around large mirror

(Image credit: House of Jade Interiors/Lindsay Salazar)

Pair a beautiful white and gold Christmas tree for a California cool trend. Design and renovation expert Laura Butler-Madden (opens in new tab) likes to use soft pastels in her Christmas color palette. 

'I love American design and the light and style in Palm Springs,' says Laura. 'When decorating for Christmas, I want to feel that less is more; I create a lovely tree but then use flowers, nature, and candles for the rest of the room, often in less traditional Christmas colors, like soft pastels.'

How to decorate a small living room for Christmas

A living room with a christmas tree outside it

(Image credit: Broste Copenhagen)

Just because you have a small home doesn't mean you can't go big on style. 

'We love to get creative, especially with small spaces,' says Dani Taylor, creative director at Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). 'Why not try a smaller tabletop tree on a sideboard or console table, or add a full pine garland to a mantelpiece or around a mirror? You can wire in your favorite baubles and add lights to create a warm inviting glow.'

'If you don’t have a mantelpiece, bringing in a foraged branch and suspending it against the wall in the area you’d usually expect to find a Christmas fireplace is a good way to achieve a focal point,' says Ailie Williams, stylist at Neptune (opens in new tab). 'You can then wrap around greenery, lights, and berries and attach your stockings too.'

Lindye Galloway, founder of Lindye Galloway Design Studio and Shop (opens in new tab), says the size of your tree is important in a small area. And before you get one at home, make sure you know all about Christmas tree care. 'Be sure to get a tree that is relative to the space that it will be in,' she says. 'If it's too small or too big it won't look right.'

And she suggests keeping it minimal when decorating the tree. 'Get in the mindset of less is more,' she says. 'Using neutral colors when decorating the tree won't draw as much attention to how small the space is.'

Where should I put my Christmas tree in the living room?

'We tend to place a Christmas tree carefully to one side in a sitting room, making sure that it is tastefully and beautifully decorated so as not to compromise its status as an eye-catching seasonal feature,' says Louise Wicksteed of Sims Hilditch (opens in new tab). 'This positioning helps to maintain a room’s functionality throughout the festive period.' 

Placing your Christmas tree in a window recess is also a popular choice. 'For front-facing living rooms, in front of the window is best, signaling festive ambiance to the world beyond,' says Abi. 'For smaller settings, tuck a slimline tree into the corner of the room to ensure you're maximizing living space for hosting family and friends.'

'The tree is always best placed nestled into a corner, and ideally near a window so you get the reflection and glow of twinkly lights, and so you can spread the cheer for passers-by,' says Ailie. 

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.

With contributions from