These Retro Trends Are Taking Over Holiday Decor

published Nov 26, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

You can always go classic with your holiday decor (hello, winter whites, greens, and reds!). But part of the season’s fun is seeing what new goodies and trends retailers come out with each year to help you refresh your holiday decor aesthetic.

In 2022, there are lots of decor styles to love, and they’re all over the map. From clean, Scandi-inspired woods and whites to cozy cabin plaids, you’ll find tons of beautiful holiday items on the market. If you’re looking for something extra special, though, you might want to consider some time travel: Two of the biggest and more surprising holiday decorating styles available this season — Victorian glamour and ’90s fun — both call back to holidays past.

Credit: Alina Hvostikova / Stocksy

Victorian Glamour

Time traveling stop number one: the sultry, saturated glamour of the Victorian era. This holiday season, many retailers are looking to the rich brocades, luxe patterns, and supple textures of the late 19th century for a seasonal style that feels decadent and welcoming all at once. Pair these picks with real evergreens and your favorite retro record for a holiday season that envelopes you like a warm hug. 

This pine cone wreath — in jewel-toned blues and greens — feels festive but not specific to any holiday. Use it to add some Victorian-esque joy to your door for the season.

If there’s one combo that’s right at home in a Victorian-inspired decorating scheme, it’s velvet and fringe. This standout stocking — designed in collaboration with renowned design brand House of Hackney — touts both those features and comes in an opulent and unapologetically bold pattern that will make it an heirloom for generations to come. 

Bottlebrush trees are a holiday classic, but they don’t exactly jibe with a century like the 1800s. For a similar vibe that’s a bit more fitting, consider this collection of velvet-covered firs from Lulu & Georgia. Complete with sparkling beadwork, they’ll look absolutely magical sprinkled down your tablescape. 

For Hanukkah party place settings, spring for these Sur La Table napkins. The ornate menorah motif calls back to Victorian needlepoint — but the napkins are made of cotton and machine-washable.

For a festive touch on your tree or garland, look no further than this trio of paper ornaments from West Elm. They come in a very Victorian-era mauve hue and tout playful tassels and shiny metallic detailing. 

Dressing up your tree isn’t limited to ornaments, of course. This year, give it another way to stand out with this Victorian-inspired maximalist tree skirt. With sweet details like bow closures and a scalloped edge, it’ll totally have your holiday party guests wondering if it’s a very lucky vintage find. 

Personalize a store-bought wreath or add some jingle to your door knob with this bell swag from Magnolia Home. Aged to appear vintage, it’s finished with a velvety ribbon in your choice of hue (ranging from mustard and burgundy to emerald). The old-timey touches will bring the cheer. 

Mercury glass ornaments are a hallmark of the Victorian era, and this reproduction piece — which offers a twist on the traditional star topper — looks just as good as the real thing. 

Credit: Sean Locke/ Stocksy

Back to the ’90s

Bust out your Mariah Carey Christmas album — we’re jetting from the mid-1800s straight to the 1990s for the second half of our seasonal showdown. If you’ve spent any time on social media this year, you probably already know that everyone’s favorite decade is back in a big way, from butterfly clips and Birkenstocks to belly-baring shirts. Well, the holiday season is getting in on the trend, too, with neon details, cheeky throwbacks, and lots (and lots) of sparkle.

Channel your love for Lite-Brite with your outdoor (or indoor!) bulbs this holiday season. Available in a slew of ombre shades, including blues, reds, and purples, these Stargazer string lights let you choose your own colorful adventure for a festive and fanciful touch. 

This cheeky hooked pillow reads, “Say It Ain’t Snow” — serving up a spin on one of the most famous lyrics from blink-182’s “All the Small Things” in a trio of saturated shades that will add a playful edge to your holiday decor. 

How fun is this pastel menorah? It nods to a ’90s color scheme without feeling over-the-top trendy.

Lean into the ’90s with a pink faux tree that would look right at home in a Barbie Dreamhouse. Available in six different heights (perfect for apartment dwellers!), this festive style is pre-lit, saving you tons of energy stringing up lights, and is even cute without ornaments. 

Have your home sparkle and shine this December by hanging a slew of these disco ball ornaments on your tree or garland. They’ll instantly bring back memories of spins around the roller rink or middle school dance floor. Bonus: They’ll reflect whatever lights you already have on your tree, making the whole thing extra sparkly. 

If you were a child of the ’90s, chances are you had tinsel on your Christmas tree growing up. Bring back the iconic finishing accent for your “grown-up” tree — and maybe finally figure out why your mom was always so into vacuuming during the holiday season. 

Nod to seasons past — and delight the members of your Nice List — with totally rad ’90s-themed gift wrap under the tree this year. It’s also sure to be a conversation starter at your next holiday party or seasonal gift exchange. 

The ’90s were the days of roll-on glitter, butterfly clip glitter, glitter slap bracelets… Are you sensing a theme here? Get on the glitter train this season with these fun foam Hanukkah shapes and letters.

Add some personalized flair to your tree — or treat a pal to the perfect Christmas present — with this charming hand-painted ornament. Designed in decade-appropriate neon hues and featuring the name of your choice, it’s an ideal stocking stuffer to surprise and delight a ’90s baby.