16 Minimalist Christmas Decorating Ideas

Minimal Christmas decorations in white living room with fireplace

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

If decking the halls for the holidays feels like an overwhelming chore on top of hosting family and friends, wrapping gifts, and spreading holiday cheer, consider being a minimalist. Minimalism doesn't mean having no decor at all; it means having less, more quality decor. (Bonus: you'll likely end up with an understated Nordic feel.)

If you're ready to scale back on your holiday decor (while still creating a gorgeous, festive space), glean inspiration from some beautiful minimalist decorating ideas you can copy in an afternoon.

  • 01 of 16

    Go Bare

    bare christmas tree minimalist

    Finding Lovely

    When creating a minimalist Christmas setting, focus on only the essentials. This stripped-down Christmas tree trio from Finding Lovely features simple white lights and a few golden balls. The look is calming and inviting without all the extra trimming, especially when eyesore tree stands are hidden in woven baskets. 

  • 02 of 16

    Create a Natural Centerpiece

    wreath centerpiece

    Home and Spirit

    Wreath, meet table. Buy a small wreath (live or artificial), lay it on its side, and put your candles in the middle. Faster than you can say "Kriss Kringle," you've got an elegant holiday centerpiece.

  • 03 of 16

    Branches Everywhere

    christmas bathroom

    Milk and Honey Life

    Any flat surface is ripe for being accented with a garland or greenery. Add foraged branches and pinecones to a shelf in the bathroom as Milk and Honey Life did, or turn to your bookcases, mantel, sideboard, and console table as spots to add a little holiday cheer.

  • 04 of 16

    Twist the Traditional Advent Calendar

    minimalist advent calendar

    Home and Spirit

    There are many ways to DIY an advent calendar, but this hanging idea from Home and Spirit is one of the simplest and most customizable we've seen. To create your own, use clothespins to attach small drawstring bags to pieces of yarn, ribbon, or string tied to a dowel. Fill with candy, gum, magnets, mini decorations, and anything else small and fun you can think of.

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  • 05 of 16

    Simplify Deliberately

    minimalist christmas kids bedroom

    Design by Emily Henderson / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This "Merry Christmas" banner from Emily Henderson is the perfect minimalist decor idea for a child who might not enjoy the muted festivity of a green garland as much as an adult. Take an afternoon to cut out your letters with some cardstock, then use a hole punch to create space to thread the string. Not feeling "Merry Christmas"? Try "Ho Ho Ho," "Santa Stops Here," or, for a long one, "Jingle All the Way."

  • 06 of 16

    Rethink Your Wreath

    minimalist wreath

    Valiance Home

    At first glance, this wreath by Valiance Home may not seem super minimalist. But consider what you usually see in a holiday wreath: glassy baubles, twisting, ribbon, a fake dusting of snow, plastic snowflakes, twinkling lights, and a huge bow. This wreath goes a more minimal, natural route with some extra added greenery and dried orange slices.

  • 07 of 16

    Add a Bit of Christmas Everywhere

    minimalist christmas kitchen garland

    Finding Lovely

    Sprinkling Christmas decor around your house doesn't have to feel overwhelming or overpowering. Finding Lovely's kitchen window is adorned simply with a garland, but still feels festive and cheerful. Look to other large rectangular features (like bookshelves and headboards) to add similar green accents to.

  • 08 of 16

    Head Outside for Free Decor

    minimalist christmas dining room

    Finding Lovely

    Who needs mini artificial trees when you can get a cut of a real one? This gorgeous holiday dining room uses a small tree and winter greenery to set a cozy mood. Besides adding a tiny tree cutting, you can add foraged greenery to a floral hoop with wire, and smaller cuttings to vases on the table. Add flowers (grown or store-bought) to elevate the look.

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  • 09 of 16

    Bring the Wreaths Indoors

    minimalist wreaths

    Home and Spirit

    These wall hanging wreaths from Home and Spirit are incredibly easy to copy and they look great in any room. While you can pick any type of greenery to recreate this look, consider using dried florals for a farmhouse look, or the classics (holly, eucalyptus, or pine) for a more festive style. While the beauty of these wreaths is that they can be used all year long, they shine when paired with other minimalist Christmas decor. 

  • 10 of 16

    Tie Up Packages with String

    minimalist giftwrap

    Valiance Home

    Once you've got the minimalist Christmas tree down, it's time to focus on what goes underneath. This simple paper wrapping just needs twine and a bit of greenery to make it almost too pretty to open. Step it up a level by adding in an origami star and dried orange slice. 

  • 11 of 16

    Starry Night

    minimalist christmas decor

    Home and Spirit

    They're so minimalist, you almost don't realize they're there. Take a cue from Home and Spirit and hang a few paper stars from the ceiling—you've created a winter wonderland in no time at all.

  • 12 of 16

    Charlie Brown Christmas

    christmas kitchen

    Lemon Leaf Home Interiors

    We learned in A Charlie Brown Christmas that a tree with few, sparse branches is still a beautiful tree. Add your own Charlie Brown tree to your home, situating it in a corner in need of some cheer or on the kitchen island as a centerpiece, like Lemon Leaf Home Interiors did here.

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  • 13 of 16

    Replace Don't Add

    minimalist christmas bar

    Design by Emily Henderson / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Instead of adding more and more decor items to your home, swap what you've already got. In this space by Emily Henderson, whiskey glasses have been traded for copper Moscow mule mugs to match the shiny copper trees, and holiday-plaid took the place of standard drink napkins.

  • 14 of 16

    Bathe in a Forest

    minimalist bathroom christmas

    COTTAGE + SEA

    Not a twinkle light or Santa in sight, but this bathroom by COTTAGE + SEA is still in full holiday mode. To replicate the look, surround your own tub with thin artificial trees. If you love the idea of being surrounded by a forest but don't have the space near your tub, recreate it elsewhere—around your favorite reading chair, at the head of your bed, or beside your desk. (Can't find trees that are thin enough? Take wire cutters and carefully trim the ends of a larger one to the size of your liking.)

  • 15 of 16

    Small and Subtle

    minimalist christmas shelves

    Design by Emily Henderson / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Small home decor pieces can still be minimalist, as Emily Henderson proves here. You just have to choose ones that blend in with the rest of your home decor, rather than stand out. These small wooden houses do double-duty, holding white knit stockings in place.

  • 16 of 16

    Go For Green Greenery

    christmas bannister

    Finding Lovely

    Are you seeing the greenery trend yet? Skip the garlands accented with scratchy, shiny ribbons, lights, baubles, bright colors, lights, and maybe even fake birds. Be a greenery purist like Finding Lovely and wrap your bannister with a simple garland, secured in place with neutral-colored ribbons or strips of fabric.

Originally written by
Ashley Knierim
Photo of Ashley Knierim
Ashley Knierim is a home decor expert and product reviewer of home products for The Spruce. Her design know-how is self-taught. She is passionate about all types of design, with a personal preference for midcentury modern. She has over 10 years of writing and editing experience, formerly holding editorial positions at Time and AOL.
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