When it comes to decorating your home for the festive season, a good place to begin is by picking your preferred Christmas colour scheme. This will make it simple to shop for decorations now, and always in years to come. While you'll no doubt have plenty of Christmas ideas to inspire your decision, knowing which colour schemes are out there, and on-trend, will help you to narrow it down.
Red and green is a traditional favourite and it will never go out of style, but if you're looking for a more contemporary approach, then there are plenty of rainbow-inspired colour combinations to choose from.
Christmas colour schemes
Emma Bestley, Co-founder & Creative Director for YesColours says, 'There is a whole wealth of colour schemes when it comes to Christmas, which can be a little overwhelming to some. To begin with, look to your existing décor as your inspiration and direction.'
'Those who have a traditional style might prefer deeper, jewel-like hues such as berry reds, forest greens and deep velvety teals. While those with a contemporary home that are looking to add vibrancy could take inspiration from the Miami/ Beverly Hills trend that we’ve noted a recent resurgence in.'
'For this, stick with bright and sunny colours featuring candy stripes, pastels, and metallic detailing.'
Whatever your current style, don't be afraid to mix things up for Christmas and take inspiration from our ideas below.
1. Opt for a colour clash
Throw out the rule book and go for a joy-inducing, colourful Christmas! It may not be a traditional scheme for Christmas, but it's a surefire way to bring some vibrancy and fun to your home this holiday, especially to a Christmas table decoration idea.
Sam Hood co-founder and CCO of Amara says, ‘Forget the traditional this Christmas, it’s all about the bright, the bold and the beautiful with our trend, Circus. With a carousel of rainbow tones and sequins galore, you can create a festive funhouse to brighten your home this season.'
'Don’t hold back, add every colourful bauble to your tree to have real impact, and don’t forget plenty of fairy lights to really let the colours shine!’
2. Turn traditional on its head
While technically this is a classic combination of green and red, it's actually a very contemporary way of pairing the two shades, with use of fresh eucalyptus keeping it modern. The dark sage green walls creates a background that is calming and cool, while the touches of red have been added in small doses via ribbons on the chair backs and the occasional bauble too.
Burnt ambers, copper and golds give it a glamorous touch and the use of kraft paper decorations and wrap make it homely. This is also an easy Christmas colour scheme to incorporate into decorating a tree with.
3. Combine shades of berry and blush
While pink living room ideas are big business in interiors, pink dining rooms are also gaining traction, and offer the perfect backdrop for a grown-up Christmas setting.
If your walls are a paler shade of pink, opt for a tablecloth in a rich berry shade to compliment and flatter, then bring in shades of copper, rose gold and champagne through glassware and crockery.
Fresh foliage will bring a bit of life to your scheme and while we've kept things fairly simple in this dining room, you could add a berry-studded garland to the tabletop to really up the ante.
4. Go for the quiet luxury look
The quiet luxury trend has taken over interiors in 2023, so it's only natural that it continues its reign right through to Christmas. The aesthetic is all about neutral colour palettes and plenty of texture, creating a high-end design.
For those who are lovers of pared-back palettes and tend to keep to a neutral living room, this will be an easy Christmas colour scheme to go for. You can stick to a white foundation and include pops of other neutral tones such as beige and coppery-brown.
Just make sure you add plenty of warmth through soft furnishings such as boucle, then let the tree do the talking.
5. Express yourself with rainbow brights
Throw tradition to the wind when selecting which of this year's Christmas colour schemes to experiment with.
Add joy by liberally using your favourite rainbow bright shades as a Christmas mantel decor idea. Mix and match colours, but make sure that one has dominance. If you choose pink, for example, different tones of pink throughout will help keep the look feeling designed rather than too random.
Nod to classic festive decor by updating elements like garlands with colourful flowers instead of natural foliage.
6. Layer with playful pastels
Pinks are going absolutely nowhere from our homes - and Christmas is no exception. Make like the Sugar Plum fairy and layer up the softest pastel shades.
'Give your home a sophisticated and elegant feel, with hints of snowflake whites and icy blues,' says Sam Hood, Chief Creative Officer at AMARA. 'Combining jewelled pieces with a sprinkling of sparkle, the collection will transform your home into a magical winter wonderland.
7. Go moody with terracotta reds
Add some drama to your home this festive season by turning to sultry terracottas and burgundy. Whether it's in a living room or for a Christmas hallway idea, it's bound to create a warm and inviting feel for those entering your home.
A more grown up take on the classic Christmas reds, this deep brownish-red works beautifully when paired with fir tree greens. It's especially effective and warming in the evening, so light generously with candles for the ultimate cosy night in.
8. Choose a fresh white and green combo
Capture the serenity of a snowy forest with gathered foliage, rustic wood and green decorations in a soft white setting.
Teaming your fresh whites with natural greenery warms up the bright neutrals. This also feels like a more contemporary take on the more traditional Christmas colour schemes which we're all used to.
It's a great look anywhere in the home, but the tops of dressers and Christmas mantel decor will feel energised and refreshed with this combination.
9. Go all-natural with taupe
Not every home wants their colour scheme to stand out too much. Take a more subtle approach with taupes and creams.
A softer look than the usual festive neutral - white - shades of tan work wonderfully well with green foliage and touches of metallics.
10. Create warmth with copper tones
Metallics needn't mean blingtastic, as this bronze decorating scheme proves. Burnished bronze and aged brass tones can welcome a more sophisticated tone, to the glam look an elegant edge.
Warming tones of bronze pair perfectly with current on-trend mustards and rust shades.
11. Tone down sparkle with greys
We love a metallic at Christmas, but not every home style is crying out for glitter.
Consider using various tones of greys for a cool and modern take on sparkly silvers. Pair with fairy lights and lashings of seasonal foliage to keep the look warm.
12. Introduce on-trend jewel tones
Create a captivating Christmas scheme with the introduction of richly saturated rich jewel tones. From emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple and citrine yellow.
The fusion of warming shades helps to add a decadent touch to festive decorating. Any of the on-trend tones pair well with existing gold or bronze decorations. As seen here the jewel hues are enhanced beautifully by darker wall colours, especially on-trend in recent years.
13. Go for gold
Don’t be afraid of a little bling! From soft, aged tones to brassy and rich bronze shades, gold adds warmth and elegance. It’s a no-brainer at Christmas, but gold can be used as an accent colour all year round to lift and finish a simple room scheme.
If your room is neutral, a gold-finish lamp or metal-frame side table will add polish without introducing a colour contrast.
14. Add monochrome to your home
Black and white is an extremely fashionable Christmas concept, and styled well it can be very warming and festive.
Try adding discreet twinkling fairy lights to add some sparkle to the dark room and position beneath modern, metal wreath wall fixtures.
Finally, full bushy trees are a thing of the past for the fashion pack so go for a sparse tree adding softer, wooded tones to the room.
15. Try dusky pinks
With the growing popularity of the pink poinsettia, this pigment is quickly gaining its place on the Christmas palette. As a softer alternative to red and a warmer one to white, this shade covers an enormous spectrum, so homeowners are sure to find a tone they love.
Compliment a grey and pink living room with shimmering pink baubles and wrapping paper, or add a rich, velvety arm chair if you dare.
16. Go traditional with red and green
The colour of Father Christmas' jacket, winter berries and Rudolph's nose, nothing says Christmas like a splash of red, especially when partnered with lush green foliage.
Choose a traditional Christmas decorating idea this year with rosy red candles, tree decorations, blankets and wrapping paper. Hang a garland made with real pine and dotted with red berries for a fully festive Christmas stair decor idea.
What is the colour scheme for Christmas 2023?
As with every year, the colour schemes are getting broader and more varied as people get braver with their choices, and this year the theme is colour, colour and more colour.
'Interiors trends have seen a resurgence in the palettes and styles of the past and this Christmas the retro revival is here to stay. A brilliant trend for those who like to mix and match their extensive decorations collection, eclecticism is the name of the game, so don't be afraid to combine colours and textures,' says Jennifer Derry, chief merchandise and design expert at Balsam Hill.
'Another really easy way to begin building this look is with multi-coloured lights which impart an instant touch of nostalgia,' she adds.
'A luxe way to lean into this trend is to pair earthy tones that scream seventies with pops of bright blue. The most important thing to remember with maximalism is to ‘go big’. I recommend experimenting with proportions; layering oversized decorations, for instance, is a great way to create depth and give a playful feel.'
What are the basic Christmas colours?
The most traditional Christmas colours have to be red, white and green. Essentially, look to seasonal nature and you'll find these core, classic Christmas colours. The red of holly berries, green of evergreen foliage and fir trees and white of mistletoe and snow.
But how about being a little braver this year and going for a bolder colour scheme in your home?
Emma says, 'Christmas is about injecting joy around you and an exciting paint colour is the perfect ingredient to do just that. Get creative with your sample pots and leftover paint by giving a new lease of life to tired baubles, candle holders or plain lampshades. Give your decorations the perfect backdrop by zoning a wall in a colour that will bring you joy not just at Christmas, but for the rest of the year too.'
'Injections of small accents help to accentuate the colours you already have. It could be a bold pink, a zesty yellow or even a retro olive green. Look at your current scheme and work out what could tonally work to create festive harmony or choose a colour which gives that impact as a dramatic contrast.'
Which palette takes your fancy? Are you inclined to keep it traditional or add in a pop of pink? Whichever you choose, your home is guaranteed to look and feel thoroughly festive.
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Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years.
She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.
- Holly WalshContent Editor
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