When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Some people create a theme and color scheme, while others use it to display ornaments from travels, homemade gifts from their kids, and vintage ornaments that have been passed down through generations.
Traditionally we see decor and ornaments in colors of red, green, silver, and gold, but do not feel restricted to that color palette. No matter what direction you go in when decorating your Christmas tree, at the end of your decorating session the most important thing is that the tree brings you happiness and joy.
This year we’ve seen some fun, unique, colorful, and creative trees. With everyone spending more time at home, we’re seeing decorations go up earlier and people getting more creative than ever with their holiday decorations. From offices to playrooms, people are putting Christmas trees up all over the house. Some are even getting creative in our favorite way—decorating their plants.
We rounded up examples of some of the best Christmas tree design trends and chatted with the creators to find out how they made their unique creations.
01 of 09
Succulent Christmas Trees
Eileen Tongson, owner of FarmGal Flowers, teaches floral design and gardening workshops and started creating the succulent Christmas tree when several of her students reached out and requested a class after seeing these trending trees online and in magazines. “The succulent Christmas trees make people happy, and we need all the happiness we can get right now,” she says.
With more than 40 succulents on this tree, it can be challenging initially learning to attach the succulents to the moss topiary, Tongson explains. Once it’s created it does require a little TLC. “You need to water it regularly and give it appropriate sunlight,” she says. “What’s great is that you can remove the succulents from the topiary after the holidays and create a succulent bowl.”
What makes the tree even more special are the scattered ornaments and star topper that are stuck between the succulents. “Hobby Lobby has a wide assortment of ornaments for mini Christmas trees, which were perfect for finishing off the succulent Christmas tree,” Tongson says.
02 of 09
Since we’re spending a lot of time at home, especially in designated workspaces that we’re in most of the day, it only makes sense to spruce up and bring holiday cheer into those rooms as well as the rest of your house.
Lifestyle influencer Tiffany Davidson told us her favorite color has always been pink, and this year she wanted a pink tree to match her office decor. “I love how unique and beautiful it is," she says. "It’s an eye-catcher and helps inspire me throughout my workday.”
Davidson says her biggest challenge was figuring out a color scheme to go with the pink tree. We think she nailed it with gold, white, and pink tones.
03 of 09
We absolutely love what design professional Jenny Reimold did with the tree in her kids’ playroom. As a mom of seven, she wanted to get creative and make a tree her children would love. “Although I love the looks of the more traditional evergreen glam and frosted berry trees, the retro sugarplum tree in my children's playroom is my favorite because it allowed me to be more creative,” she says.
Inspired by an eye-catching, retro, plastic radio that she found for less than $15 at HomeGoods, she used her “shove and stuffing” method to create this statement-making tree. “When you’re making a statement tree, find an item that inspires you and is bigger than your typical ornament,” she says. “Embrace those oversized pieces and stuff them throughout the branches. Find other ornaments and ribbons that play off of your statement piece and start decorating.”
Reimold also reminds us to not look for perfection when decorating our trees. Forget even ornaments and just have fun with it.
04 of 09
Amber Oliver loves color—“like ALL of the colors!”—so she went for a rainbow-themed Christmas tree. Her entire home is colorful, so it was only natural that there would eventually be a rainbow Christmas tree.
But what really made this tree stand out was the variation in ornament sizes. “I love that it fit so well with our home decor,” she says. “Using small and large ornaments, I was able to give the tree great variety and dimension.”
While you typically don't see ornaments in a wide range of colors, that didn't stop Oliver and actually brought out her crafty side. “One challenge I faced is that it was hard to find Christmas decor that isn’t traditional red and green.” Enter bargain shopping and spray paint.
To achieve the perfect color, Oliver got crafty and "used some spray paint to get the exact colors I wanted,” she says. Oliver suggests hitting up her favorite spot for affordable items you can DIY: “If you’re looking for items to customize, I always scour the Dollar Tree and craft stores to find little gems that I can easily customize without spending a fortune.”Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
One color that is making a big statement this year is emerald green. "Green is associated with hope and power," says Rafael López, president of the event furniture-rental company The Lounge Design. "Green comes from nature around us and symbolizes the birth of something so small that can last forever."
“When mixed with metallics, it enhances lights and brings a bold and cheerful color to your tree without being too over-the-top,” López says.
Inspired by nature for her Christmas tree this year, interior decorator Maricela Caballero wanted to create a tree with a snow-covered pine tree base. “The winter pine trees covered with snow were my inspiration, which is how I decided to add emerald green and snow-covered magnolias to this year’s theme,” she says.
What stands out the most is the emerald green, which wasn't supposed to be the main star. “In the beginning, I was having a hard time deciding the color theme. I love gold decor and accessories and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add the green, but the green color kept coming to my mind,” she says.
“In the end, I absolutely love the pop of emerald green against the white needles and gold decor,” Caballero says.
06 of 09
Buffalo Plaid Everything
Meg Peacock has been saving Christmas tree decorating ideas to her Pinterest board for the past few years, and 2020 was the year she was finally going to make her dream tree a reality. “With 2020 being anything but magical, I wanted to create a tree that would give me a reason to smile each time I walked past it,” she says.
Benet Velasquez embraced her love for the pattern and tied everything in her house together with the decor. “I'm into anything farmhouse and buffalo plaid: My curtains, living and dining room chairs, and other furniture are all dressed with plaid fabric,” she says. “Each corner in my home has a plaid decor, so it’s only natural that the tree get dressed up with buffalo plaid ribbon and ornaments.” With both of these trees, the ornaments have outdoor elements, like small birdhouses and white pinecones, that help embrace the farmhouse aura of the buffalo plaid ribbons.
07 of 09
Orange Is the New Red
Decorating for Christmas goes way beyond your classic red, green, silver, and gold. If you look closely, this farmhouse lover's dream tree, decorated by Becky Mickelson, glows warmly with tones of orange. Featuring homemade ornaments composed of tassels, dried orange slices, and pampas grass, the warm tones and natural elements instantly excite us.
“This is definitely my favorite tree so far! Simple, yet modern and elegant. It has a very cozy feel with the handmade ornaments and loving the way the oranges glow when the lights are on,” says Mickelson. “This year my favorite color is orange! Who knew it could be the perfect color for Christmas!? Orange is the new red!? Yes ma’am!”
08 of 09
Really thinking outside the box, wedding florist Laura Wilson of Flaura Botanica was inspired by a pampas grass tree she saw another event team create and she had to make one for herself. “As a wedding florist, I’m always testing out new concepts in my studio so I can translate them into real-life designs for my clients. Pampas grass is an unconventional material on a Christmas tree and I live to be unconventional,” she says. The pampas grass makes a dramatic impact with fluffy texture, romantic movement, and a beautiful natural color.
Since pampas grass sheds naturally, once it dries and becomes fluffy, the seeds dislodge in fluffy tufts. Wilson suggests spraying pampas grass lightly with hairspray to keep the shedding under control.
Wilson also points out that once dry, pampas grass is highly flammable. “These lights don’t remain on for any extended period and I also don’t recommend candles anywhere near it,” she says.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Got Plants But No Tree? No Problem
Plant, lovers, listen up! If you don't have room for a Christmas tree or are foregoing one this year, take note from Emily Lucille Sather and get festive with your plants. Between working from home and storing items for her 2021 wedding, there wasn’t much room in the apartment for a tree in 2020. But that didn’t stop Sather from getting in the holiday spirit! “We’ve had our birds of paradise plant for years and got the twinkle lights on Amazon for under $20,” she says.
And forget about spending a small fortune on a tree and decor. Sather explains how easy and affordable this project was: “We were able to string the lights in under 10 minutes, and I love how easy and inexpensive it was to decorate the plant.”
Where to Find the Right Ornaments and Decor
If you’re having trouble finding ornaments and decor to fit your themes this year, some of these creators' favorite places to find what you are looking for are HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, Macy’s, Amara, Frontgate, and Michaels. They carry an extensive variety of high-quality ornaments at affordable prices.