2012 Top Christmas Trends

Christmas is all about tradition, but your personal style might not include midcentury nutcrackers and gingerbread men. Finding a balance between a traditional Christmas and a more modern style that fits your space isn’t an impossible feat.

This year’s Christmas trends don’t dismiss the traditions of the Christmas season, but they do update the traditional look and can bring sophistication to your space, whether you’re decking the halls of a small apartment or a large suburban home.Monochromatic Colors

The best aspect of this hot seasonal trend? It’s easy to incorporate into your home. Just choose a color—say, snowy white and champagne or shades of tone-on-tone winter blues—and run with it!

Silver and white Christmas decorations from Lushome.com
Silver and white Christmas decorations from Lushome.com

A white or ivory design would look fantastic with a snow motif, maybe featuring a collection of white Christmas trees. Blue is wintry, frosty and doesn’t clutter up the feel of a smaller space like the bolder, more traditional reds and greens.

To take advantage of this seasonal trend, all you have to do is keep your design simple—focus on textures and tone-on-tone hues, rather than color contrasts, to create interest. Using monochromatic ornaments on your artificial Christmas tree, similar shades in your table settings and centerpieces and consistent accents throughout a space, you’ll establish a simple style that guests will notice.
You don’t have to be an interior designer to own the monochromatic look. Just have fun looking for accessories, accent pieces and ornaments that fit your color scheme. Your options are only limited by your creativity.

Traditional—with a Twist

Modern Door Decorations from Southern Living
Modern Door Decorations from Southern Living

If the furniture and existing design of your home leans more toward the traditional or transitional styles, your best option for Christmas decorations is probably a bit more traditional as well. Embrace a few aspects of traditional design, but eliminate the tendency toward baroque busy-ness.

The best way to update traditional design is to keep it uncluttered. Keep the traditional fundamentals—a rich green Christmas tree and colorful lights—but simplify and streamline other aspects of your design. Think unity as you approach your decorations.

This isn’t the time to pull out every single Christmas heirloom you own; choose carefully to center your design within a theme (like snowflakes or bells) or a color (like traditional holly red or green). By narrowing your focus, you’ll update your traditional look and clarify your seasonal décor.

You don’t have to sacrifice heirloom ornaments or decorations to update your Christmas look—just choose carefully and keep a clear design goal in mind.


Vintage is everywhere this year. Whether it’s vintage lace wedding dresses, jewelry, furniture or home accents, vintage everything is trending—and Christmas decorations are no different. Rather than going all-out to invest in a new set of vintage decorations, why not raid your parents’ or grandmother’s closet?

Vintage Ornament Leaf from ARetroChristmas.com
Vintage Ornament Leaf from ARetroChristmas.com

You could reuse vintage ornaments in a festive wreath for your front door, repurpose old greeting cards to create ornaments or garlands, and use big, bright bubble lights on your tree to complete the retro look.

The charm of vintage design is the amount of handcrafted detail you can put into the process—if you want to. Break out the crafting supplies to turn vintage Christmas cards into an updated garland to adorn your artificial Christmas tree. Vintage is a great style to get your creative juices flowing.

The indie craft subculture has an edge on the vintage Christmas decoration movement. Browse websites like Martha Stewart and Cut Out & Keep for ideas on making the vintage look your own.

As you decorate, remember that finding the perfect style for your home depends exclusively on your tastes and your home. You know better than anyone else what will work well with your existing design, so let your inspiration start there.

As you hang the ornaments on your artificial Christmas tree, don’t forget that Christmas ambience is about far more than the colors and ornaments you use in your design. It’s equally important to incorporate the smells (mulling spices or evergreen, anyone?), sounds (there’s nothing like Christmas music to create a festive mood!), and tastes (egg nog for the win!) to complete a holiday experience, whether it’s cutting-edge modern or something a bit more traditional.