How to Choose a Color Scheme Combination for Christmas Decorating

Christmas decor

The Spruce

Although red, green, gold, and silver are the favorite choices for Christmas decorations, almost any hue can create a beautifully decorated home for the holidays. Find inspiration from a variety of places, then carry the scheme through your entire home to make it look as festive as possible.

When choosing color combinations, remember that most colors of equal depth and intensity will harmonize with each other. Pastels, for example, mix easily with other pastels such as pink, peach, butter yellow, baby blue, lilac, and mint green, while the deep jewel tones of navy blue, hunter green, and deep red combine well. Most colors, whether pastel or jewel tones, mix well with crystals, white, and ivory, and metallic tones such as gold, silver, iron, brass, and pewter look great with almost any color.

Color Scheme Inspiration

There are a number of ways you can determine or choose a color scheme you want to follow with your Christmas decorations. They include:

  • Your home's color scheme: Focus on the colors you have in your home year-round, and select complementary colors that bring out the seasonal feeling. For example, if you have a beachy color scheme in your home, select holiday decorations in blue, white, and silver hues. It will not only match your home but also evoke a feeling of winter without being a Christmas cliche.
  • Colors from your childhood Christmas memories: If you have particularly happy memories from Christmas past, try to choose a color theme to enhance that memory. If you loved all the candy canes, choose a red and white color scheme. Did your tree have shiny silver tinsel laid over the boughs? Maybe you'd like a silver glittery color scheme. How about the bubble lights from the '50s and '60s? Choose a color scheme that brings all those colors to mind.
  • A tablecloth or throw pillow: If you have a tablecloth, throw pillow, or other piece of holiday-themed fabric that you love, draw your Christmas colors from the fabric design.
  • A sentimental Collectible Christmas Decoration: Were you given a special Christmas decoration from your childhood home? If so, make that the focal point and use the colors from it for your color scheme.
  • Photos from magazines and books: Though the pictures might look casual and lived in, most photo layouts from magazines and books are staged by professional designers. Use their ideas to bring the color scheme and designs into your home.
  • Holiday gift wrap: You can see lots of color schemes used in Christmas gift wrapping paper. See which ones you like and think about the style, the motifs represented, and the colors. Choose a paper that would look good in your home and find more decorations to place around the house.
  • A monochromatic color scheme: If you really love one particular color, consider a monochromatic color scheme. However, that doesn't mean that everything needs to be the same color. If red is your color, think of all the hues of red, starting at the pink end and move on to fuchsia, rose, cherry, firecracker, ruby, cranberry, burgundy, and maroon. Find balls, bows, garlands, and other decorations in every shade of red. Even with a monochromatic scheme, it's important to have some texture for interest. A tree decorated with only balls can look boring, so use garlands, different finishes on the balls, and ribbons to add different textures and balance.

Decorating Throughout Your Home

Once you choose a color scheme, carry the color through all connecting rooms for a look of consistency and harmony. Don't use silver and white icicles in one room and rustic twigs and calico ornaments in the adjoining room. Instead, try to repeat main decorating colors in each room. The decorations don't have to be the same, but use decorations that have several colors in them. Then, use one of the main colors in one room, another in an adjoining room, and the third color in the third room. Tie the spaces together with a common garland or decorative ribbons.

Additionally, take a cue from your current decorating style. If your home is decorated with a contemporary interior of black and white and chrome, don't try to create a rustic space with twigs and birds nests. Focus on the space as it is with silver, white, glitter, and crystals, maintaining the minimalist look. On the other hand, if your home is decorated in warm, colorful tones, don't try to make it look sleek and sophisticated with silver and white Christmas decorations. Choose colors from the decorating plan and draw them out for the Christmas decor.

Tip

Bows and ribbon can be a unifying element in holiday decorating. Use the same ribbon in every room, or buy coordinating ribbons in contrasting colors—for example, a gold ribbon with red stripe and a red ribbon with gold stripes—to use in various rooms. Purchase more ribbon than you think you'll need, as you may not be able to find more later. French ribbons with a wired edge cost more than regular soft ribbons, but are a great investment as they can be used year after year. With the wired edges, you can make a perfect bow, arranging the loops and tails any way you like.