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The Top 5 Holiday Design Staples That Start My Holiday Transformation Every Year

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

When it comes to decorating for the Holidays here are 5 decor items to check off your list for a subtle, cozy, Holiday interior.

This year has had us all spending many more hours inside our homes than any year before, for better or worse!

With December right around the corner, and everyone searching for a little extra joy to spark this year, it’s no surprise everyone is bending their Holiday decorating rules a bit, and have already started prepping for the season.

If it’s early, or right on time, here are 5 simple things that can help elevate any home for the Holiday season.


My goal as an Interior Designer is to, yes, make spaces look great, but more importantly, to make them feel great. Our senses play such a significant role in how we feel and perceive the space around us.

Candles have always been a way for me to incorporate that feeling into any space I’m working with. Whether I’m preparing a home for sale, or just settling in for the evening, waiting for the sun to go down, there is always a candle burning, especially this time of year! The subtle scent of tree needles or vanilla, combined with the ambience a lit candle provides, is second to none.

One of my go-to’s for the last few years has been the Thymes Frasier Fir Candle. If you’ve opted for no tree or a faux tree this year, I can’t recommend this scent enough to bring that coveted Tree Farm scent right into your living room.

Thymes Frasier Fir Candle

If you’re looking for a flameless option, I recommend the Pura Smart Home Diffuser. It allows you to control everything, from the scent level to timing options, all from an app on your phone. Havana Vanilla is my latest obsession.

Pura Smart Home Diffuser

Greenery in Vases

Opting for greenery as opposed to your typical florals is a modern way to elevate your Holiday decor and wow your guests. You can buy from a local florist, or even cut some yourself. I usually get a few extra bunches when buying my outdoor holiday planter material. Don’t be afraid to mix textures, heights, or multiple vases together.

Larger vases on the floor of your entry, or a few sprigs in some bud vases on the coffee table can go a long way. Whether you fill a vase to the max, or have a single stem for a minimalist approach, these branches are subtle in nature, yet big in visual impact. No matter big or small, I encourage you to try this super simple trick to bring that outdoorsy winter feel indoors this season.

Image via Pinterest

image via Chris Loves Julia

image via Chris Loves Julia

A Bowl of Pinecones or Ornaments

A wooden bowl works best for a more organic feel, but any bowl will do. Out of all the items on this list, this is one that takes almost zero effort or know-how.

Consider this fail-proof holiday decorating. It works with any bowl, any style, and any winter themed filler or decorative bulb. From vintage to glitter – all bulbs look great gathered for a statement piece in the middle of a table. There’s something about the allure of ornate decor that draws the eye.

Bonus tip: place an ornament at each place setting or down the middle of your table when you host for added glitz.

Winter Textiles

From plaids and knits, to furs and cool-tones, textiles are a fabulous way to bring a little “merry & bright” to your space. You can incorporate textiles in any number of items: think rugs, throw blankets, pillow covers, etc. Swapping a few pillows and throw blankets, for some deep, rich greens, reds, or blues immediately brings a cozy winter feel to any space.

Paying attention to texture is important too: think boucle, knit, velvet, and fur. The key to making these all work well together is to mix some solid textured colors with one or two patterned or textured pieces. A lumbar pillow is a great way to throw some variation into your collection. Blankets can also add another element (and they serve a function too – which is my fave!)

Throw a blanket over a chair, or roll a few in a basket. Either way, they’ll be sure to bring a level of coziness to a season where no one can resist being curled up with some coffee or hot chocolate.

Cut Firewood or Birch Logs

Nothing says winter is here like a fire and some chopped firewood waiting beside it. Plus, you already know we love functional design and it doesn’t get more function than this!

Wood burning, gas burning, or no fireplace at all, having a bin or basket in your home with some chopped wood is a great way to create that cozy feeling.

In terms of placement, next to your fireplace is an easy option, but you can also try your entry, outside of your front door with other decorations, or in a seating room. If you’re hoping for more of a lush planter look, you can use a mixed grouping of birch logs and bushy greens.

image via Pinterest

This time of year can bring some magic, but it can also bring some added stressors, and this year hasn’t been lacking on that front.

Without risking adding another ounce of stress to your current day to day, I’m hoping these simple decorating tricks bring some extra merry and bright to your home this season.

From my home to yours we are wishing you a warm Holiday season.


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