'It Makes Your Entire Space Feel Curated' - Designer Tricks to Decorate For the Holidays and Still Look Chic

Award-winning designer Dan Mazzarini shares his thoughts on the holiday neutrals trend and divulged some best practices for those looking to try their hand

Modern Christmas living room
(Image credit: izusek/Getty Images)

When it comes to holiday colors, red and green have the market cornered. It's a Christmas tale as old as time, a love story for the ages, one that has informed nearly every piece of festive decor for decades. Of course, other shades and hues — like this year's bright pinks and deep purples — often peek their heads through now and then, adding a surprise third element to an otherwise expected annual pairing. But, for the most part, red and green prevail.

Enter: neutrals, the perfect Christmas decorating solution for the minimalist and bright color-averse. Rather than leaning on the traditional (and at times artificial) holiday tones, why not experiment with a clean, design-minded, but nonetheless festive palette inspired by timeless shades that endure year-round and never go out of style? Of course, you can still work in those reds and greens — but the shades should be a bit different. Deeper, richer, and more organic. 

Neutral holiday decor is great because "you won't feel like you have to take it down by January 1st!" designer Dan Mazzarini, creative director at ARCHIVE, tells Livingetc. It can also "make your entire space feel curated with just a few touches. Buffalo plaid can feel jarring in your bedroom, but woven blankets and natural garland are an extension of your everyday decor." 

Dan Mazzarini
Dan Mazzarini

Designer Dan Mazzarini has over 20 years experience of creating award-wining decor - he is the principle and creative director at BHDM Design. His studio works on projects in California, New York and everywhere in between. He also runs Archive by Dan Mazzarini, a portal for incredible interiors inspiration. 

How can I decorate with neutrals while still feeling festive?

We get it — at first blush, neutral holiday decor + peak festivity might feel somewhat mutually exclusive. Of course, that's where you're wrong.

"Think natural and neutral when you shop for your decor," Dan suggests. "Pick out colors you’d see in pine trees, for instance – hints of deep forest green and wood tones rather than some of the brighter, more artificial-leaning options."

And you can even work hints of traditional red into the mix, as well. Just be cognizant of how you're doing so. "Yes to red berries, no to red ribbon," Dan advises.

Otherwise, "warm jewel tones – think merlots and plum – are great to pair with a cozy neutral palette," he adds. "I also love a copper, double-face satin ribbon on wreaths. Still neutral, but festive and sophisticated."

So if you're feeling ready to dive headfirst into the neutral decor, Dan's fabulous advice in mind ...  shop our official Livingetc edit from the best home decor stores below, which even includes a few selections endorsed by Dan himself.

The Livingetc edit of neutral holiday decor

Love this edit but still not sure where to buy Christmas decorations? The Livingetc team has you covered.

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.