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A Room-By-Room Guide to Holiday Decorating

Decorating for the holidays always makes me fall in love with our home all over again. From the moment I string the twinkling lights and hang up the stockings, I’m reminded of how much this sweet home means to us. And this year, holiday decorating has felt particularly sentimental. As much as we’re excited to start a new chapter at The Austin Tudor, I know we’ll also miss this home that’s been the backdrop to our life for nearly a decade.

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Ribbed Champagne Coups

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Cypress Wreath

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Mauve Velvet Garland

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Fresh Garland

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Wood Star Tree Topper

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Brass Bells

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Plaid Throw

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Artificial Spruce Tree

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Velvet Stocking

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Fresh Olive Wreath

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Knit Stocking

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Brown Velvet Ribbon

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Gingham Duvet

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Rosemary Cone

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Gingham Tea Towel

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Velvet Ribbon

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Plaid Duvet

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Beeswax Pillar Candles

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Taper Candles

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Moss Ball Decor

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Copper Bells

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Fresh Rosemary Wreath

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Advent Candle

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Cashmere Throw

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Design & Styling: The Interior Collective | Photography: Madeline Harper

Over years of sharing our holiday tours (revisit 2021 + 2022), I like to think I’ve put up a few tricks of the trade. Today I’m sharing my strategies for holiday decorating, with no room off-limits. Festive touches aren’t limited to the living room, and I’ll show you how to add some texture and richness to every space.

The Living Room

Let’s start in the most popular space for holiday decorating: the living room. I treat the mantle as the primary focal point in the living room and always decorate using fresh greenery and garlands. I like to start by clearing everything off the mantle so I’ve got a fresh slate to work with. From there, I secure the garland, layer in some twinkle lights, and hand stockings with luxe velvet ribbon and brass bells. Once the mantle is set, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the space. I focus heavily on adding lots of texture, pattern, and seasonal color tones through my textile selections. Keep in mind that sometimes the biggest impacts you can make with holiday decor aren’t holiday-specific at all.

Living Room Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Decorate the Christmas tree in a way most meaningful to you – don’t forget the tree topper
  • Secure fresh garlands on the mantle 
  • Hang your family’s heirloom stockings + add a signature ribbon color
  • Swap in cozy, holiday-inspired throw pillows and blankets
  • Add seasonal coffee table decor (candles and fresh greens are always understated + elegant)
  • Hang fresh mini wreaths in all the windows
  • Style shelf decor (try adding a few small accessories, like ornaments or pine cones in a bowl)
  • Bonus: Swap in a wool chunky-knit rug for added texture

The Kitchen

The kitchen doesn’t need much to get dressed up for the holiday season, but a few simple touches can go a long way. Try hanging a wreath above your range hood, and add fresh potted rosemary to your countertops. Don’t forget to swap out your everyday tea towels for a classic gingham or plaid pattern for a subtle nod to the season.

If your kitchen features open shelves (I’m going to miss ours terribly!), it’s always a fun opportunity to get extra festive. I like to swap out everyday dishware for my favorite champagne coupes and ​​decorate with the season’s harvest, like bowls of persimmons and pomegranates. Round out the look with mini wreaths here and there until the shelves feel well-balanced.

Kitchen Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Hang a wreath above the range hood using a nail-free hook
  • Swap your tea towels for subtle holiday patterns or color tones
  • Add potted rosemary to your kitchen countertops
  • Style a bowl of fresh persimmons or pomegranates

The Dining Room

Our current home doesn’t have a stand-alone dining room, but that hasn’t stopped me from decorating. We’re lucky enough to have a huge window in the dining area, so I’ve previously used that as a blank canvas to hang an array of fresh wreaths dressed up with ribbon. For the table centerpiece, I like to keep things understated and simple. I’ve found a bowl of natural moss adds just enough color without going overboard. When we’re hosting, I always pull out our prettiest plates, glassware, serveware, and linen dinner napkins to help set the scene. 

Dining Room Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Hang a set of mini wreaths in the window or on an open wall
  • Style a bowl of natural moss as your centerpiece
  • Pull out your best (or most sentimental) serveware for hosting
  • Layer a few taper candles on a buffet cabinet or table

The Entry

If your entryway involves a staircase, now is its time to shine. I love running fresh garlands along the banister for a classic holiday look. Secure the garlands using velvet ribbons every few feet to keep the greenery in place. The entry is also a great place to swap around your everyday artwork to something more seasonal. Snowy landscapes look gorgeous throughout the winter months and just make your home feel really special. 

Entry Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Hang a gorgeous fresh wreath on the front door
  • Swap in your entry artwork for winter landscapes
  • Add potted rosemary to your console table
  • Fill a decorative bowl with natural moss
  • Hang fresh garlands along your banister with ribbon, brass bells, or dried citrus slices

The Bedrooms

Bedrooms are often the most overlooked area for holiday decorating, but I’m a big believer in bringing a festive touch to every corner of the home. It can be as simple as adding an extra cozy throw blanket or swapping in a new seasonal throw pillow combination. I sometimes hang a set of stockings on the wall in your primary bedroom, or add some brass bells to the decorative ladder in our guest bedroom. Of course, garland on the mantle is a holiday decor must, but you can also run garland over your headboard with the help of a few well-placed hooks.

Bedroom Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Swap in a seasonal duvet cover + add a cozy wool throw
  • Change out your decorative pillows for a seasonal-inspired look
  • Hang stockings, brass bells, or ribbons for a festive touch
  • Bonus: run fresh or faux garland along your headboard

Bonus: The Bathrooms

Hear me out on this one: I’m not suggesting you go wild on holiday decorating in the bathroom. But I do think a few subtle touches can completely dress up the space—especially if you’re throughout the season. I like to tie our signature ribbon on our bathroom sconces with a few brass bells, and sometimes I’ll even add a fresh wreath or garland. Last year I went all-out with garland along our shower’s archway entry and it was pretty epic.

Bathroom Holiday Decorating Checklist:

  • Tie ribbon and brass bells on the bathroom sconces
  • Style some fresh greenery in a small vessel on the vanity
  • Bonus: Hang a fresh wreath or even a garland

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BY: ANASTASIA CASEY

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