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Modern & Merry: Expressively Styled Spaces for Holiday Entertaining

by Allie Roqueta

POSTED IN: Design Trends

Wish list season is finally here, which means it’s also time to determine what steps you will take to transform your home for holiday entertaining. A dream winterscape is about so much more than design alone Your aesthetic selections should invite friends and loved ones to experience the true joys of the season: celebrating milestones, reinforcing bonds and making new memories that will last.

Whether you are planning to host a large celebration after years apart or a small, intimate gathering, decorating in a way that embraces your style is sure to bring each of your guests a sense of merriment this season. While there is no wrong way to decorate your home for seasonal festivities, these tips can help to elevate your home with a warm, upscale holiday atmosphere that makes every space merry and bright:

Embrace Your Gathering Space

Decorating for the holidays can feel like an enormous undertaking, but it doesn’t require a ton of effort to create the perfect seasonal ambiance. Since the most engaging holiday spaces are still a reflection of the people who live in them, the best place to start is simply to take note of your home’s unique (and already personalized) design aesthetic, then use that look and feel to your advantage.

Does your home already have an established theme or color scheme? Then use this as guide for your holiday styling endeavors rather than starting from scratch or feeling the need to “over-transform” your entertaining and gathering spaces.

For example, a modern home wearing a neutral color scheme year-round can be given a holiday boost by incorporating monochromatic lights, ornaments, and frosted garlands. Alternatively, you might adorn a rustically styled home with warm-toned lights, raw textures like hammered metal and unfinished wood, and cozy blankets. Or you can showcase hand-crafted ornaments, macrame stockings and lush seasonal greenery to embrace holiday cheer in a more bohemian space.

Wheaton Country Ledgestone

Consider a Festive Facelift

The best outdoor displays aren’t necessarily those that double-down on massive lighting rigs and animatronic wizardry, although that can be appealing to a younger crowd. Rather, the holiday displays that make the biggest impact in terms of sophistication and thoughtfulness are often those that integrate seamlessly with the structure and layout of your home and property, instead of contrasting with the existing aesthetic.

Rustic décor and warm lighting can delicately dress up craftsman, farmhouse, colonial, and ranch-style homes for the holidays by embracing and enhancing their inherent charm. Alternatively, you can beautify a Victorian, cottage, or French country home with matching window wreaths, classic holiday colors and grand garlands. Finally, for midcentury modern and other contemporary styles, explore bold pops of color and expressive lighting accents to provide a lively contrast to more monochromatic and angular façades.

Minimalist Beige Modern Design Moodboard Photo Collage (4)

The Delight is in the Details

In most homes, the holiday season provides a multisensory opportunity to delight guests and loved ones with time-honored traditions that encompass sights, sounds, food and fragrance. The signature scent of the winter months might be evergreen…the experience, though, is anything but. That’s why so many of us spend countless hours paying attention to every intricate detail. Simply put, this holiday season only happens once, and it deserves to have its own distinctive feel.

As the end of the year approaches, embrace the excitement of gift-giving (and receiving) with coordinated wrapping paper that complements the overall theme of your holiday décor. The cohesive display will elevate the look of your living space and amplify the enthusiasm your kids and other loved ones feel as they anticipate opening their gifts. You can take this sense of visual unity to the next level by coordinating similar colors in wreaths, centerpieces, table runners, stockings and throw blankets to make your space warm and inviting from every angle.

Minimalist Beige Modern Design Moodboard Photo Collage (1)

When it comes to the holidays, seasonal styling and décor is all about your personality, intentions and lifestyle. The biggest consideration to bear in mind is to keep everything unified and cohesive with your “everyday” aesthetics and the design style you’ve already embraced for your home. If you trend toward a more glamourous modern look, take the same stance during the winter months; similarly, if you’re unafraid of basking in the warmth of a more traditional approach, maybe your home deserves the “Hallmark holiday movie” treatment.

Once you’ve curated an overarching mood in the outdoor/indoor aesthetic, it’s time to get to the good part with special seasonal recipes, holiday soundtracks and all the scented candles you’ve been pining for since you put them away last year. And, of course, the laughter and lively conversation of a holiday gathering or two.