A guide to three popular trends in seasonal décor

By Pam Sunderman


The holiday season is a time of contradictions. It is at once a time of joy and love, spent gathered with those we care about. At the same time, it can be a season of stress as we make our lists of cards to write and mail, gifts to buy and wrap, events to block on our calendars, and crowded streets and shops to traverse. And then there is getting the holiday decorations up!

This year, however, is an exciting season for holiday décor because there are more options on decorating styles than I can ever remember seeing in one season. A small sampling of the various options I’ve come across include: Mother Nature, Folklore Influences, Minimalist, Hygge, Eclectic Gatherings, Vintage Opulence, Red Christmas, Recycled Décor, Winter Wonderland White, Blue Christmas, Ombre, Homemade Holidays, Red and Green Traditional, Pink Christmas, Farmhouse Holidays, Venetian—just to name a few.

For many people all of these options can be overwhelming and a source of stress and anxiety. The majority of households will decorate to some extent for the holiday season, and most will host at least a small gathering in their home. If you do plan to decorate for the holidays it is helpful to start with a theme to guide the process in a focused direction.

To help navigate the wide range of options for holiday decorating themes, here are three of my favorite trends coming on strong for the 2019 holiday season:

Mother Nature
The trend toward nature-inspired décor continues to dominate the 2019 holiday season. Eucalyptus is still very much in demand as it was last year, but it is joined by other greens like olive branches, as well as a host of nature-inspired accessories like antlers, wood textures,pomegranates, snowflakes, animals and all things Mother Earth.

To achieve this look, think natural and textural. For the holiday table or the mantle, try mixing various sizes of birch candles in with other natural elements like deer antlers and pinecones. I suggest candleholders that are clear glass, muted color tones or weathered metallics.

If you like to use table runners, try using runners made out of linen or burlap coupled with a garland of your favorite greenery. Carry this look onto the tree with white lights and ornaments that are a mix of clear glass, muted tones and weathered metallics. Also consider adding other natural garland options besides greenery, like small brown pinecones or wooden snowflakes.

Vintage Eclectic
If you are sentimental and have saved ornaments all of your life, this décor style is for you! This whimsical holiday look is full of vibrance and energy, and it brings out the child in all of us. Rich jewel tones, colorful twinkling lights, toys and trinkets overflow in this Christmas wonderland.

Start with multi-colored lights on the tree. Layer in garland in gold or silver (or both) tinsel and jewel-tone beads. Then pack your tree, mantel and holiday table with all the wonderful vintage toys, ornaments and objects that you love. Perhaps what makes this style so fun is that there really are no rules. Russian nesting dolls go hand-in-hand next to silver pipe-cleaner trees and vintage glass ornaments. Let your inner Santa Claus take over and have fun.

Each of these decorating trends has its own unique style, but all three represent a pureness of the season in their own way

Homemade Holidays
Confession: The times when I am the most content during the holidays are the times when I am making homemade crafts with friends and family. Christmas decorating doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. What makes a DIY. holiday theme that much more special is when you create memories with your favorite people by making the project a group effort.

Throw a casual party and make holiday cards, wreaths, garland, stockings, ornaments or gifts, and enjoy the special memories that come with your time spent together. Not sure where to start? The internet is full of fun and creative DIY holiday projects to kick-start your creativity.

Each of these decorating trends has its own unique style, but all three represent a pureness of the season in their own way: a simplicity, an honesty, a childhood association that gets to the heart of the holidays. Whatever your holiday decorating style happens to be, from traditional to minimalist, what makes a home magical during the holiday season is the time spent in celebration with the people that you cherish most. Have a very happy holiday season, everyone!

Here’s my final decorating tip: We are fortunate to have a wealth of local sources in Northern Colorado. A few of my favorites for holiday decorating in the area are Curate Consignments, Sense of Place, The Cupboard, The Light Center, Blue Moose Gallery, Palmer Flowers, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, and The Cozy Cottage.


Whether I am working on an interior design renovation, or helping a client decorate for the holidays, I always strive to communicate how important it is to pay attention to your lighting. Lighting plays an important role in how a space looks and feels.

Holiday Lighting Without the Hassle
Putting up holiday lighting used to be a yearly ordeal, to say the least—pulling out the rolls of string lights, untangling them, checking to see if they work, then figuring out why they don’t work, followed by hours of nailing them to the sides of the house and stringing them around the tree.

Fortunately, easier options now exist.
• Pre-lit trees have become standard and are available in white and colored LED light options.

• LED projection and laser light shows are inexpensive, easy to set up and can be used inside or outside.

• If you insist on using real trees and string lights, there is still some good news: Most areas have companies that can be hired to install holiday lights so you don’t have to.

Decorating with Light
White vs. colored holiday lights: This really comes down to personal preference, but unless you are planning a holiday design saturated with jewel-tone colors like ruby red, sapphire blue and emerald green, odds are most holiday themes look better with white lights.
Candles please: Good holiday décor includes a mix of ambient light consisting of the lights on the tree and string lights, candles and other light sources such as a fireplace, table lamps and household lighting on dimmer switches. Flameless candles are a very popular option due to the realistic flame and decreased fire hazard.

Keep in mind these safety tips
Only burn real candles when you are present, never leave them burning unattended. Older holiday lights were notorious for overheating. If you are still using them, consider switching to modern LED light strands that are cool to the touch. Always turn your holiday lights off when leaving or going to bed. Don’t overload your outlets with too many holiday lights. This may cause your circuit breaker to trip. If this happens, reduce the number of lights plugged into the affected outlet. For questions about electrical issues, consult a licensed electrician. And finally, if you use a real Christmas tree, keep it adequately watered. This will help prevent drying out which makes the tree more susceptible to fire.