Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Article Posted By: Kristin Cadwallader

Kristin Cadwallader's Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

There’s a process to creating a beautiful decor. A well-decorated room doesn’t just pull itself together, after all. This is all the more true when it comes to Christmas decorating, which calls for special attention. Kristin Cadwallader, author of the popular design blog Bliss at Home, is comfortable in this space, though. She makes it look effortless, but she has a plan going into it.

These Christmas decorating ideas she shares are part of our Holiday Style Challenge series. We sent her a mystery box of Home Depot Christmas decorations, and stood back to see how she’d incorporate them into her holiday decor.

She decorated her living room, fireplace mantel and Christmas tree in an elegant mix of colors and textures that’s bright and festive. And best of all, she lets us in on the process for creating her Christmas look.

For this Holiday Style Challenge, I approached it just like I would a room I am designing or styling. I start with the basics– usually traditional elements for the foundation. Then, I find something that inspires. This could be a color, a textile, a piece of artwork. Once I get that thing that makes me excited, I design the rest around it, always with a pop of color and some modern pieces worked in. That is exactly what I did here. So, come on in and I’ll show you my merry and bright take on holiday with some bonus entertaining and styling tips too!

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home


The Basics for Christmas Decorating

It started with traditional basics. Some pre-lit pine garland, a pre-lit wreath, and a pair of pre-lit Christmas trees with urn bases. I was sent a traditional holiday color combo in my mystery boxes…red, green, and silver. I knew I wanted to do a modern take on the traditional and I have been loving jewel tones lately. I worked off the red and silver and mixed in a lot more color. And when I say a lot more color– I mean it!

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Merry and bright, don’t you agree?!


The Holiday Mantel

The mantel became the jumping off point for the rest of the room. It is my twist on the traditional. With some creativity and a touch of modern mixed in, it makes for a very festive setting! The sleek design of the coffee table blends nicely with the more classic pieces in the room. A mix of ornaments and antlers in a tray are the perfect adornment atop the table.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

As I stated above, the mantel is the jumping off point for the entire space. I worked golds, blues, and pinks into the reds and silvers. Instead of a more traditional use of the lighted pine garland I chose to cascade it off the edge of the mantel for a more modern look. I color-blocked the ball ornaments to give it a fun, more relaxed feel. It’s still very polished, but a bit whimsical too.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Simple white candlesticks hold LED candles that I wrapped with some ribbon. They also have a timer which comes in handy. I love the studded ribbon, such a great embellishment!


The Christmas Tree and Bookcases

The tree I kept simple with gold and silver ornaments, but it carries the same colors with the ribbon and presents underneath.

Presents are always a chance to do something new every holiday. Simple packaging with beautiful ribbon is so striking. I also had some fun making my own wrapping paper design based off of some art I painted for our living room.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

On our bookcases I hung the square lighted wreath. Gorgeous ribbon is all it needs. It’s so beautiful already.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

I had some fun styling up my bookcases with a few holiday touches too. Some more ornaments and presents, mixed metals, and some beautiful flowers are just the right touch.


The Beverage Table

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

I love to entertain family and friends around the holidays as I’m sure you do too. I used the pair of holiday trees on each side of our entry way table. Here is the perfect spot to welcome guests and have a hot cocoa bar ready for them. I’ve posted more photos of the entry way decorated for Christmas on my blog. You can also see a gift wrapped in paper I decorated myself. Click over to my blog, too, for the DIY Abstract Gift Wrap tutorial.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

The trees got a little extra something with strings of twinkling tear drop lights. I added some more ornaments. A mix of new silver and red ornaments with my older vintage ones. I also made some festive confetti ball ornaments. You can see the confetti ball ornament tutorial on my blog.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

The cocoa bar is set and ready for guests. Thermos containers keep the cocoa hot and guests can help themselves with mugs on the table. Easy holiday touches like this tissue garland are easy and inexpensive to make for eye-catching decorations.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Here’s a quick tip:  Use flat tree ornaments for drink coasters at your next holiday gathering. It’s a fun little touch!

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Presents are not just for under the tree. Use them throughout your home for an inexpensive holiday decoration.

Christmas Decorating Ideas for a Merry and Bright Holiday Home

Our merry and bright home is ready for the holidays with some help from The Home Depot!

Take a look at Kristin’s holiday gallery for some great holiday projects, inspiration and more. And here on The Home Depot Blog, don’t miss the gorgeous fall harvest party she styled for our Halloween Style Challenge.

Kristin Cadwallader writes the DIY and design blog Bliss at Home, where she shares her latest DIY project, room makeover, or furniture transformation. Kristin lives in Rock Island, Illinois with her husband and two boys.

We have more holiday decor ideas here on The Home Depot Blog in our Holiday Style Challenge series. Follow our Holiday Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest, too.

Visit The Home Depot’s online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Related Pinned Items