Holiday Design Trends

Holiday Design Trends

Another year of holiday cheer is upon us. Optimism in the air translates to an expansion of festive color and a proliferation of metallics. Here are holiday trends to inspire and delight in decorations.


With a longing for simpler times, many consumers like the idea of handmade decorations with found materials, as well as leftover bits and pieces: hearts, stars and wreaths made from cotton scraps, felt stockings and mason jars with lace, sheer or grosgrain ribbon. Patterns and details for additional layering include embroidered edges, whip-stitched or pinked-on cotton, burlap, felt, thick yarns, sliced branches, die-cut wood figures and buttons sewn on with contrast-color thread. Craft-paper and cardboard ornaments are abundant on the family tree.

Santa’s Favorite Treats

Santa’s favorite treats are sweets with a red-and-white palette. Fresh-baked goods; bakers' tools used as ornaments; and sugar cookies in Christmas shapes like trees, stars and snowflakes are abundant. Additional décor details and patterns encompass glazed ceramic cookie plates, snowflake and tree patterns, holly leaves and berries, dots, checks, plaids and Nordic sweater motifs. 

Peace and Harmony

A peace and harmony theme showcases musical scores, songbirds, deer outlined in glitter, sparkly owls, metallic-covered leaves, walnuts, apples and pears. Glasswork is iridescent. Patterns include yarn-wrapped vines, hearts, snowflakes, holiday lyrics, metallic and punched-tin metal. Details are a mix of rustic and refined — pheasant feathers, faux fur, gemstones, beads, glitter, sheer ribbon, birch-bark and satin embroidery.

Grandma’s Treasures

The grandma’s treasures look includes iconic images such as sweet-faced children dressed for sledding or making snowmen; children surrounding Father Christmas walking through the woods; and simple toys such as teddy bears, drums and dolls. Décor elements include snow-dusted pine trees, trees decorated with holly berries and homemade ornaments. Patterns are simple and retro — tiny dots, ginghams, florals, plaids and retro backgrounds for appliqued designs of old Christmas cards. Final details to complete the look include rickrack, pom-pom edging, gold braid, buttons, lace, piping, rhinestones, cotton with homespun flavor and balsa wood and unfinished pine.

Contemporary Twist

Yellow, implying confidence and unconventional as a main hue for Christmas, shows off a modernist twist for the season. Yellow pairs well with white, silver, gold or black. With minimum detail, matte/gloss contrast and geometrics add interest. Traditional winter motifs paired with this color scheme look fresh and modern. To complete the look, add lacquered or matte-painted wood and fabrics such as lamé, velvet or silk taffeta.

Medieval Opulence

This dramatic trend highlights traditional styles with flair. Motifs are damask-inspired designs; fleur-de-lis and acanthus leaves; and roses, hearts, medallions and lacy elements with scalloped edges. Ornament shapes include angel’s wings, scrolling, latticework, orbs, teardrops, eggs and lanterns. Metallics are everywhere in gold and copper, while layered details are oversized gemstones, large pearls, gesso, glitter, beads, lace and embroidery. Matte marble is a base with mercury glass, cut crystal, colored glass and capiz shell, providing additional ambiance. The fabrics are sumptuous: plain/cut/burnout velvet; jacquards, linens, lamé; leather that is plain or embossed; and accents in faux fur and suede.  

Snowy Night

The snowy night look showcases crisp colors and layers of snowflake crystals, as well as pine boughs, pinecones, birch-bark trees, berries and leaves coated with thin layers of frost. Ornament ideas include white amaryllis petals; perching doves, snowy owls and white foxes; twinkling stars, icicles and other shapes like teardrop, pear, lemon, onion and hearts. Details include fine and chunky flocking, faux fur, die-cut felt, yarn, crochet, pearls, gems, glitter, beads, clear and frosted acrylic, snowflake-frosted and colored mercury glass.

Holiday’s Blush

Colors are chic and include traces of warm pink, peach, ivory and beige with warm, dark neutrals and metallics. Patterns include soft scrolls, curvy acanthus leaves, brushstroke ovals, sweeping teardrops, flowers and leaves. Add layers with flowers, including hydrangea, roses and tulips. Pearls are key to the trend, while additional touches include sequins, satin ribbon, satin piping, glittery embroidery, short-pile and burn-out velvet, and mercury glass accessories decorated with gemstones or pearls.

All is Merry and Bright

Happy colors and fun icons we know and love are integral to this trend, and colors pop in brights and saturated mid-tones, with pinks and yellows taking center stage. Red is not too far behind. Playful shapes are rounded and childlike — rubber duckies and dodo birds, bulbous daisy blossoms, puffy hearts and concentric stars. Ornaments include shapes for trees, cars, dogs, snowmen, moose, deer and owls. And patterns are youthful with dots, snowflakes, zigzags, stripes and thin lines providing added fun. Finishing details consist of glitter, pom-poms, buttons, rickrack, grosgrain ribbon, highly glazed ceramic, colorful cellophane and die-cut metal.


Sara McLean, Allied Member ASID, CMG
Specs + Spaces Editor
Dunn-Edwards Corporation

Categories: Home Design