11 Understated (But Still Gorgeous) Holiday Decorating Ideas

published Nov 25, 2016
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(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

“Decorating for the holidays” often feels like an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, but there’s another way to do Christmas: embracing the Danish concept of hygge (simple, cozy and comforting). Often nature-inspired and monochrome in look, check out these ideas for a Scandi-inspired, minimal holiday at home.

Above: A clever DIY advent calendar via My Scandinavian Home counts down to Christmas in a minimal and modern way.

(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

A clever take on the traditional advent bowl/wreath, this “advent tray” was also found via My Scandinavian Home. As a bonus, it doesn’t require buying anything new: just use a tray you’ve already got, four candles, and some found greenery.

(Image credit: Buzzfeed)

I love the trend in recent years for “wall trees”— they’re practical for small spaces, and there’s no end to how creative you can get with them. My flatmate and I do the classic fairy light tree on our stair landing every year. Via Buzzfeed.

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can also buy into the wall tree trend. This jute-and-branch hanging version is available from Cox & Cox in the UK. Here, it’s been styled with lights and ornaments (but I think I’d almost like it without).

(Image credit: These Four Walls)

As for what to put under all those simple trees, there’s nothing chicer than brown paper packages tied up with string. Add a bit of greenery and some minimal name tags, and you’ve got gifts almost too pretty to open. Inspiration via These Four Walls.

(Image credit: The Merry Thought)

Another holiday trend I’ve noticed recently is for deconstructed and partial wreaths, as seen here from The Merry Thought. Utterly simple and gorgeous.

(Image credit: Salad Days)

I’ve always loved a hanging wreath over a table or kitchen island, as well. It’s so elegant and simple to do with a hook in the ceiling. Found via Salad Days.

(Image credit: Découvrir Design)

A holiday vignette on a side table is sometimes all it takes—think a bit of greenery and a lot of candles, as shown on Découvrir Design.

(Image credit: My Desired Home)

Actually, here’s an even more minimal arrangement—greenery not required, just use some branches and pinecones from the garden or local park! Via My Desired Home.

(Image credit: Futura Home Decorating)

Christmas garlands sometimes bring to mind an OTT, staircase-drowning-in-Douglas fir situation. Not necessarily true, as this window strung with tiny gold bells, via Futura Home Decorating, proves.

(Image credit: Bungalow 5)

For those with a bit more DIY skills (and patience!), these strands of holiday bunting from Bungalow 5 are adorable, and look as though they’ve been cut from wallpaper.

Looking for something with a little more pizazz? Click through for 13 over-the-top but gorgeous holiday decorating ideas:

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)