How to Decorate a Chic, Festive Home (That Won't Break the Bank)

Updated 12/05/17
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Nothing compares to the nostalgia we all feel once the holiday season hits. This really is the most wonderful time of the year—a moment for us to sit back and reflect on all that we've achieved, embrace our family and friends (without the nagging of work emails), indulge in the art of feasting, and prepare ourselves (both emotionally and physically) for the New Year ahead. If you're feeling the festive spirit too, then it's officially time to set the mood and create a space where memories can be made.

While many of us can't wait to break out the tinsel and glitter balls come December 1, the green-and-red Christmas home décor isn't everybody's taste or cultural tradition. It is possible to style a home without the classic ornaments and still fill it up with holiday cheer? To find out how, we tapped Williams Sonoma Home's VP of product development, Lainey Hollis, for her holiday décor trend predictions along with a few tips on how to style it yourself at home (without denting your wallet too much).

MYDOMAINE: What is the number one rule for holiday decorating at home?

LAINEY HOLLIS: The holidays are a time of year when you can really go all-out with decorating. More is more. Focus on laying in elements versus editing. I personally love adding warmth throughout the home with fresh greenery and live flowers like magnolia leaves and bright red amaryllis plants. I also always recommend making any space your own by decorating with an abundance of your favorite personal items like family photos or treasured ornaments.

MD: What are some holiday-inspired trends for the living room that aren't too traditional or kitschy?

LH: There are two decorating trends I'm currently loving. 1) Bring out the bar cart. They're a showpiece and add instant holiday glamour to any space, big or small. Bar carts are extremely functional for entertaining guests and look festive with brightly colored glassware and greenery. I also love using them as a chic accent table beside a sofa.

2) Add a layer of warmth with lambswool throws and pillows. They're a top pick for cold winter months, perfect for the holiday season when you just want to curl up by the fireplace. Throws and pillows are a great way to transition a space from season to season.

MD: Can you share your holiday entryway dos and don'ts?

LH: Everyone loves a gorgeous mirror. Dress it up by flanking it with sconces or live topiaries. A beautiful console also makes a great first impression as you enter a home. It's functional and serves as the perfect foundation for decorative pieces. You can't go wrong with adding an orchid in a blue-and-white cachepot. It's elevated, classic, and festive all at the same time.

MD: What are the big holiday décor trends for the dining room?

LH: Lighting always sets the tone of any space. We've noticed that customers are loving dramatic chandeliers. The right chandelier, especially for the holidays, makes a stunning focal point above your dining room table. Look for cues for shape and scale from your table. I love pairing our linear Nash Chandelier over a rectangular dining table.

We also love the combination of candlelight and crystal in the dining room. We offer an entire collection of crystal in geometric shapes—from block vases to hurricanes to sculptural candlesticks. Candlelight illuminates these pieces and adds a stunning glow to the entire table.

MD: How can we bring that festive cheer into the kitchen?

LH: A beautiful oversize bowl on a kitchen table filled with an abundance of fruit is such a welcoming centerpiece and serves as a focal point in the kitchen. Stylish choices are persimmons and pomegranates.

MD: Share some of the new tablescape trends you're seeing (that aren't green and red).

LH: Candlelight is taking center stage on the dining table. I've noticed a trend of creating vignettes by grouping together candlesticks and hurricanes of varying heights. You can also add short vases filled with tight floral arrangements for a finishing touch.

MD: How do you make a home modern and fresh during the holidays while still ensuring that traditional/classic feeling is present?

LH: We love giving a fresh take to classic pieces. This year we are all about tartan, but tartan reimagined. Our in-house design team reinvented something ultra traditional and made it feel modern by creating oversize tartan prints with textiles for pillows, throws, and bedding.

We also took the traditional tartan print and gave it a new look by printing it on silk at a bias angle for throw pillows. You can keep tradition alive by combining modern styles with traditional ones. We love mixing tartan pillows with leather, hide, velvet, and even equestrian-inspired printed pillows.

MD: What is the biggest mistake we make when decorating for the holidays?

LH: Just have fun, and don't stress; let creativity guide you. Express your personal style. Even one or two pieces can transform a room.

Skyline Furniture Throw Pillow $75 $57
CB2 Leisure Grey Pillow $40
Plaid Lambswool Throw
Williams Sonoma Home Plaid Lambswool Throw $169
IKEA Tejn $15
Agate Bookends
West Elm Agate Bookends $44 $19
Aaron Probyn Brass Candleholder
West Elm Aaron Probyn Brass Candleholder $32 $23
Park Studio Sonoma $1700
LightingAlchemy Cluster Black Chandelier $99
Juno 52
Williams Sonoma Juno 52" Linear Glass Chandelier $1950
French Blue Bouquet Serving Bowl
Williams Sonoma French Blue Bouquet Serving Bowl $60
Alta Reactive Glaze Oval Serve Bowl
West Elm Alta Reactive Glaze Oval Serve Bowl $29 $23
Veracruz Blue Melamine Serving Bowl
CB2 Melrose Gold Serving Bowl $45
20-piece rush gold flatware set
CB2 20-Piece Rush Gold Flatware Set $80
Gibson Home Paradiso 16-Piece Dinnerware Set in Black $70
Jewelry Napkin Rings
West Elm Jewelry Napkin Rings $29 $23

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