Red & Green Not Your Thing? Try Neutral Christmas Decor Instead!
If you’ve been coming around here for any number of holiday seasons, you likely know that decorating for Christmas isn’t my favorite. I know, I know…kinda weird for a home blogger (whose birthday is on Christmas), huh? It’s not that I don’t love the shimmer and shine and dazzling displays (of which I very much do!) It’s just that when those displays fill up my home, my anxiety rises and I can’t seem to enjoy them. But a few years ago, I (finally!) landed on a trick that still gives me a beautiful, festive home without feeling like I’m living in the toy shop at the North Pole: use neutral Christmas decor instead! Not only does this significantly reduce the “visual clutter” common with holiday decor, but it also works with practically any decor or color scheme. Think neutrals are boring? Let me show you how dazzling they can really be!
What Colors are Considered “Neutral” for Christmas?
Although each person may describe “neutrals” differently, I personally consider neutral Christmas decor to include these shades:
- Whites – Bright White, Ivory, Beige, Cream
- Metallics – Silver, Gold, Brass, Copper, Rose Gold
- Naturals – Wood, Greenery, Burlap
- Blacks – Black, Grey, Charcoal
- Glass – Clear, Mirror, Mercury Glass
Why Use Neutrals In Your Christmas Decor?
In the same way that diamonds go with pretty much every outfit, using neutral colors in your Christmas displays will always work…no matter what kind of “everyday” décor you have. So instead of in-your-face accessories, neutral seasonal items add to the ambiance in a more understated-but-sophisticated way.
Less Visual Clutter
Contrasting colors can be jarring to the eye, causing a room to look busy, full, and maybe even hectic. And while some people find that contrast fun and exciting, others (like me) interpret the “busyness” as cluttered and stressful. Placing neutral Christmas decor alongside your everyday items instead will allow it to blend more seamlessly, which provides a cleaner, more orderly appearance.
If you have a bold rug or bright sofa and the reds and greens of Christmas always seem to compete (making neither look very good), switching to neutrals will instantly make everything work in harmony!
Easy to Coordinate
When you rely on neutral Christmas decor, it becomes much easier to add to your existing decor or rotate items around the house because all the subtle shades play nicely together.
If you want to refresh your “usual” fireplace mantel setup, you can easily swap items from the dining room table or Christmas living room because the neutral color palette works in every space.
Since we move homes so frequently and are constantly having to re-figure out what goes where, it is incredibly helpful that practically everything we have…from the vases and throw pillows to the tabletop trees and candles…work in every room!
Always On Trend
As a true lover of color, I can be a total sucker for the new fun holiday decorations available for purchase in the stores each year. But I’ve finally realized that that these color schemes are very much based on trends and don’t ever feel as fresh in follow-on years as they did at first sight.
Whites, neutrals, and metallics…on the other hand…are always in style. Like a classic subway tile or those diamond earrings mentioned earlier, you will always be able to find fresh layers for your collection. While the items you bought in seasons past will continue to work year after year.
How to Make Neutral Christmas Decor Look Interesting
If you stick to 100% white decor, yes…it will likely feel a little bland and stark. But if you mix that white with some ivories, silvers, and golds…it instantly becomes more visually interesting.
And don’t stop at just mixing shades of whites. Different metallic hues (e.g., gold, silver, white) can also be put together to create beautiful combinations!
Incorporate Different Textures
Similarly, try to add in different textures across the basic color scheme. Avoid all glitter or all matte finishes, as everything will come across as too matchy-matchy. Instead, use as many textures as possible including shiny, foil, fur, glossy, and even rough textures.
Vary the Scale
This concept is true whenever you are decorating but much more so when you are relying on a more simple color palette: change up the scale of items. By including big and small items together, your overall display will look interesting and intentional. In fact, it likely won’t be obvious at all that you used just one or two tones!
Mix In Some Black
If you look at a lot of neutral Christmas decor inspiration ideas, you’ll notice that many of them have a strong farmhouse vibe. While I certainly love to look at that style, it’s not my preferred aesthetic for my own home.
So one easy way to modernize neutral decor is with black. Buffalo plaids, houndstooth, stripes, polka dots, and even chalkboard surfaces on anything from art and gifts to blankets and baskets, can all provide a lovely contrast to your all-white scheme!
Pair with Natural Elements
Finally, one last trick you can use to really amp up the style of your neutral Christmas decor is to pair it with very rustic items such as raw wood surfaces, tree branches, pinecones, and green garland.
The striking contrast between shiny baubles and raw elements of bark or leaves creates a super stylish result for your mantel, centerpiece, Christmas tree, and more (and these decorations can likely be found in your backyard!)
Over the last few years, I’ve slowly eliminated a lot of my more colorful holiday decor in favor of almost all neutrals. While I absolutely love the look of bright, whimsical displays, I tend to reserve them for the kids’ bedrooms where they work a little better (and I don’t have to see them all the time!) By relying on a wide array of neutral colors and natural textures, I feel more confident that my Christmas decorating will truly result in a home that reflects the peace and joy I crave during the holiday season!