Decorating for the holidays can be overwhelming. Do you go all out with lots of color and texture or try a more minimalist take this year? Do you have too many decorations or way too few? With the pressure of having an IG-worthy (or Pinterest-worthy, if you're really putting a lot of pressure on yourself) celebration, deciding your holiday style is no easy task.
That's why we polled our favorite designers to see which holiday decorations they always return to. From sentimental family heirlooms to clever finds from Anthropologie, these decorators know how to make their homes feel like the holidays.
Christmas Tree Ball Ornaments
"Add a personal, meaningful touch to your decor like items passed down through generations or something you've collected together as a family. I love to use Christmas tree ball ornaments that I have collected through travels from different countries. Each one tells a story and represents a memory. They also make for amazing holiday gifts! ." — Desiree Burns of D Burns Interiors
Evergreen Garland and Turned Wood Candles
"I have such a soft spot for evergreen garland—lots and lots of it! I love how simple yet impactful it is. Anywhere you put it feels instantly holiday ready. In the past, I'd use real garland in places like over our kitchen window and on our dining chandelier, but I was always picking pine needles from our food. So last year I invested in a couple hundred feet of faux garland and draped it all around the house. Best decision I ever made—there's no shame in the faux game!
I'm always a fan of buying timeless basics in large quantities, rather than having lots of one-offs of individual things. You'll always reach for them even as your style changes—and you can always add in inexpensive unique accents from year to year. For example, I have dozens of turned wood candle holders that look beautiful en masse down the center of our dining table or grouped on an entryway table. They don't scream holiday decor' but when those babies are all lit up, you can't help but feel the magic!" — Anne Sage, co-founder of Rue Magazine and Light Lab
"I am Jewish, so I love an architectural or sculptural Menorah. There are so many incredible options available now. I have always loved how beautiful the Menorah is on its own, but it is symbolic and meaningful in the Jewish faith as the centerpiece of our Hanukkah ritual.
There are pieces that could be heirlooms, passed from generation to generation. Because they are not disposable items and because the options are plentiful, I would find a piece that suits your home and your style. The holiday season has unique significance to everyone. I try to find items that are special, will stand the test of time and that my family will enjoy and find significance in as well." — Tyler Karu of Tyler Karu Design & Interiors
Candles and Glassware
Table decoration is always at the forefront of my mind as the holiday season approaches. I love to adorn my table with beautiful candles and glassware. For me, the holidays are an excuse to decorate to excess—more is more! Make it personal and don’t be afraid to be dramatic. Let your imagination run wild, and don’t be afraid to be creative. Think about scale, I love to use large oversized candlesticks with smaller objects. It’s all about details and personality.
A beautiful centerpiece whether it be a set of candlesticks or a large ceramic bowl is a great investment that can be used year round. Changing the color of the candles or the contents of the bowl can instantly change the feel of those pieces for the holiday season." — Sarah Peake of Studio Peake
Mercury Glass Trees
"Every year I put a trio of mercury glass trees on my mantel. I got them when I was working for Anthropologie and they just add a nice touch of 'winter' without being too holiday specific (aka red and green). Pick up timeless winter-themed decorations rather than super kitschy styles. Opt for whites, blues and silvers rather than red and green. Mix in touches of wood and garland for a festive touch!" — Michelle Gage of Michelle Gage Interiors
Plenty of Wreaths
"I love my wreaths! It signifies that the holidays are here and instantly add so much cheer. Invest in a few quality pieces that work for whatever your theme is: Ornaments that commemorate a special time or person, a tree topper that works with various ornament styles and color variations, a few core pieces that you'll be excited to use over and over again." — Candace Griffin of Candace Mary Interiors
"Beautiful tablescapes are a perfect way to layer china and dinnerware that has sentimental value with new accents like holiday-themed salad plates or new napkin rings, and greenery (live, or high-quality faux) is a must!
Keep your decor 'evergreen'. Choose decor that can essentially stay up for a month or so after the holidays. This could include more winter-themed (versus holiday-themed) touches, like greenery, trees, shimmery objects, candles and votives, and winter-inspired jars and vases. And buy early so that you get exactly what you want!" — Janelle Blakely Photopoulos of Blakely Interior Design