Expert tips on how to make your holiday decor look festive and pulled together

I love holiday decorating—there's no question about that. This year, I started on November 1st as soon as the Halloween decorations were packed away.

Each year, I add a few new decor pieces to my collection to keep my home looking fresh. I also move pieces around creating themed areas and nooks throughout the house. Since I’ve had kids I’ve really had to adjust my decor to avoid smaller pieces and breakable ornaments, although I do take the risk with a few items that I just can’t resist. To keep my festive decorating effortless, I stick to five themes, incorporating elements from each of them throughout the house.

Here are some suggestions for themes to stick to and pieces I’m incorporating this year (some of these I’m already using and some are still on my wish list)...

1. Choose a colour paletteTepi Red Christmas Throw Blanket from Crate and BarrelCrate & Barrel

Deciding on a colour theme is a great way to simplify your decor decisions. I use a lot of neutrals, then choose a pop of colour to add a festive feel. All year round, I love gold and white so those are staples in our home. This year, I’ve gone with a few shades of red as my colour highlight. Reds undeniably bring the Christmas spirit into your home. The colour is so classic and there are lots of options to choose from in this theme. Below are a few suggestions to add shades of red to your decor.

2. Make and share memories

Nutcracker mugThe CrossThe holidays are all about family so I love to include a personal touch to my decor. During the season, I swap out a lot of our family pictures for Christmas pictures from the past, including some of my sister and I when we were little. We’ve started a few fun traditions with the boys, like filling the advent calendar and getting them a special ornament that represents the year for them—this year was a bulldozer for Pierce and a soccer ball for Bence. Here are a few of my favourite picture frames, and an adorable mug that you can kick back with and take it all in, that will help you personalize the holidays year after year.

3. Get the glow of twinkly lightsFirecracker String Lights from West ElmWest Elm

There’s nothing more festive than twinkling lights. I love to dim the house lights after the boys are in bed and have a hot tea (or glass of wine!) and enjoy the warm twinkles. I also love walking down our street and seeing the lights shine through the neighbours' curtains. Lights really get me in the spirit of the season. They remind me of memories of my childhood and how magical Christmas felt. I’ve also heard twinkling lights can produce dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brains. Here are some great options for adding festive lights to your decor.

4. Add greeneryDesigner's Choice Fresh Winter Wreath from Garden Party FlowersGarden Party Flowers

Having natural-looking and -smelling elements in and around my home in the winter is so refreshing. There’s something so cozy about bringing the outside in. I also love a live wreath on the front door to greet guests when they arrive. With a fresh wreath, you get that incredible pine smell, which gives you such a warm welcoming feeling when you get home. Inside the house, I love using natural green to complement my reds and neutrals. The best part? Greenery feels effortless as it requires very little styling. You can also add lights bringing two themes together. I’m feeling very classic this year and pine green is perfect for that. Here are a few greenery options, fresh and faux for bringing nature inside this year!

5. Embrace the magicAlexis Wine Glass from The CrossThe Cross

Christmas is all about the magic for me. It has been ever since I was very young, and I love having the chance to keep that magic alive for my boys and even to create new enchanting memories. I love shopping and seeing eyes light up when I know I’ve nailed the perfect gift, so that’s definitely some of the magic for me, but I also love the quieter magical moments. The smell of food and pine needles in the house after company has gone home for the evening, or a hot coffee and a chance to read before anyone in the house is awake. There is so much to be grateful for and excited about this year, I have no doubt there’ll be plenty of magic. Here are a few items that really offer my home that special holiday feeling as well as some of the gifts you’ll find under my tree this year.

I hope these five holiday themes will help you organize your home decor for the season. Sticking to a vision can make shopping and choosing what to display so much simpler. I do have one caveat though: listen to your heart. There’s always one or two nostalgic pieces that completely conflict with my style, but I just can’t say no and I put them out anyways. It’s worth it to see the smile on my mom's or Gary’s face as they relive those memories. The holidays ultimately are about surrounding yourself with what and who makes your heart sing. Wishing you and your loved ones a very warm and joyful holiday season!