Why We Want Our Home to Look Like Brady Tolbert's This Holiday Season

holiday decorations

Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

When it comes to holiday décor, there's an extremely fine line between festive and gaudy—and we're always looking for ways to keep it fresh. Enter Brady Tolbert, who's clearly mastered the art of tasteful, chic holiday décor by the looks of his stunning Los Angeles home. Tolbert recently shared the stunning transformation exclusively with MyDomaine, cueing us into his holiday design golden rules and favorite Target buys in the process. Replete with evergreen garland, natural textures, and a high-low mix of pieces, the stylist's home is a coveted mix of aspirational and achievable.

Click through below for major holiday décor inspiration, plus the holiday decorating rules Tolbert lives by.

Meet the Expert

Brady Tolbert is the stylist and editorial director at Emily Henderson Design.

Simplify the Color Palette

living room
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

There may be a go-to palette depending on which holiday you celebrate, but if you want to forgo the sometimes cheesy color pairings, opt for a more pared-down look consisting of your favorite neutrals.

living room
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

Remember, your holiday décor will be on display for at least a month, so it should fit in with the rest of your space. For instance, if your living room consists of mostly grays, camels, blacks, and creams, bright accent pieces may feel slightly out of place. On the other hand, if you have a really colorful space, buying all-white décor could look a little wonky. 

modern fireplace with holiday garland and candles
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

Tolbert says, "There is nothing more 'holiday' than the traditional red-and-green palette, but I love to keep my color scheme more neutral and monochromatic. Mixing greens, creams, browns, and wood tones with a few graphic hits of black and white help it to feel fresh while still being interesting visually." We couldn't agree more. Though we love the classic color palettes that indicate the holidays are underway, there's something soothing about a more relaxed palette.

Add Some Sparkle

holiday gifts
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

When it comes to wrapping gifts, go as big or as subtle as you want. This is definitely an element with which you should have some fun and get creative.

gifts
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

Tolbert admits, "I love using the yellow-hued bulbs for my tree and then mixing in mini-LED twinkle lights throughout the rest of the décor. Not only does it add an extra layer of texture, but when the sun is down and you turn the lights on, it gives everything such a magical and soft glow."

christmas tree
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

So many people have generations-old decorations that are so special to them. Mix these treasured accessories with contemporary finds that really speak to you. The combination of old and new will give your space a unique and warm feel, which is what the holidays are all about.

Keep It Natural

living room
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

"Growing up in Utah meant that the first weekend after Thanksgiving, the entire family would get together with all of our cousins and head up into the mountains to chop down a fresh tree together. Twenty years later and living in sunny Los Angeles, I don't quite have the same option—but I still always try to incorporate some natural elements into my holiday décor," Tolbert says. If you want a touch of greenery without the hassle of real plants, get the fake stuff. No one will know the difference; we promise!

archway
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

Mixing both artificial and real elements into the décor will help it feel more authentic and festive, so maybe accent tables with festive sprigs and keep the bigger pieces faux.

mantle
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

"This year I used a fresh tree and DIY'ed some real garland wreaths for each of my windows, but even if you prefer the larger elements to be artificial, try to include something real into the décor, whether that be a few pine sprigs in a vase, some tree boughs on the mantel, or a fresh wreath on the door," Tolbert notes. If your space is more on the neutral side, adding pops of greenery is an easy way to introduce some color.

Keep a Stylish Bar Cart

bar cart
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Sara Tramp

"No holiday party or get-together is complete without a little area to pour yourself a drink. Having it all set out in a bar area in festive decanters and shakers allows you to enjoy the party rather than having to refresh everyone's drinks throughout the night." We couldn't agree more. While playing bartender can be a fun way to interact with your guests, you probably won't have a ton of fun if you're stuck mixing, stirring, and shaking all night. Keep your cart stocked with the essentials and go enjoy yourself.

bar cart
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