Country Christmas decorating ideas for the perfect cosy season

Be inspired by welcoming rural cottages for a nostalgic Christmas

a cosy country living room with wood panel wallpaper, a roaring fire with a white mantle, a red armchair, a decorated christmas tree with presents underneath and a wreath and white star decorations on the wall
(Image credit: Future PLC)

There's nowhere quite as magical at Christmas than a cosy cottage, with candles aglow and snow falling outside... But, that's not most of our realities. Instead, take all the key country Christmas elements to create a welcoming rural feeling, wherever your home is.

The country vibe is by its definition slightly eclectic, so whichever of the many Christmas ideas you're experimenting with this year, you're sure to be able to work in a touch of country magic.

Country Christmas decorating ideas

Gather the season’s deep winter colour palette of pine green, holly red and charcoal and decorate rooms with modern traditions. Let classic country tartans meet bohemian florals, mix button-back furniture with the latest folky cushions and hang natural decorations, garlands and wreaths with wild abundance.

Read on to discover how to interpret a country Christmas in your home...

1. Embrace the season

a hallway with blue paint pattern walls, white staircase with christmas garland and baubles along the railing, a white bench seat with red, blue and white cushions, red and gold wrapped presents and a mini christmas tree with fairy lights

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Minimalism and country Christmasses don't go together. Forget about restricting the festivities to a handful of rooms, and instead fill your home with joy from top to toe.

The hallway and staircase is a key place to begin. Not only will your guests be welcomed by your warm Christmas hallway decor, but you'll be giving yourself an extra lift every time you walk down the stairs, or come in the front door after a long day out.

Decorated benches with cushions and blankets aplenty are a must-have in this spot. Then, let yourself go wild. Presents? Mini Christmas tree? Stockings on the wall? Whatever takes your fancy!

2. Include rustic signage

Blackboard with Let It Snow written in chalk, leaning against a white wall on a wooden surface containing flowers, teapot and cups and mince pies

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Handwritten signage throughout the home not only adds a touch of personality to the space, but it evokes the honest and back to basics feeling of a country Christmas.

Blackboards are a great options for cute signs for festive gatherings, as you can change them up quickly and easily. Alternatively, attach a length of brown paper to a rail, write your signage or menu on in felt tip, then tear of each piece when you're done with that message.

For a more contemporary take, try looking for a pale wooden cinema-style pegboard instead.

3. Utilise vintage pieces

Vintage suitcase filled with Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Take inspiration from the upcycling movement and dig out vintage pieces in your attic to become a festive focal point.

Lovingly worn leather luggage is a perfect example. Pile up a few suitcases, and fill generously with baubles, pine cones and sprigs of fir, then drape with a length of Christmas lights, or even a garland.

This display would look great in most areas of the home, but especially great as a cosy corner as part of your Christmas living room decor.

4. Create a country advent calendar

advent calendar on wooden backdrop with small bags, with a woodeburner to the right and a wood log pile underneath

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Alternative advent calendars are all the rage this year, and there are plenty of options for creating a country look.

A wooden wall, or simply a panel of wood leaning against a wall, is the perfect backdrop. Attach hooks or hammer in nails to the wood - don't worry about making it look perfect, the imperfections are part of what makes a country Christmas feel authentic.

Attach a small bag, stamped or labelled from 1 to 24, and place small treats in each. Once the bags have been opened, either place some seasonal foliage inside, or drape with baubles to keep the look feeling complete until the big day.

5. Add warmth to mantels

Mantelpiece dressed for Christmas with candles and wreath, with gold candles and gold star decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Christmas mantel decor is a stalwart in any home dressed for the festive season, but there are a few musts when going for that country feel.

Hang a wreath and lay a fir garland - both real if possible - and dot through extra pieces for seasonal scenting. Think dried orange slices, bindles of cinnamon sticks and tiny sprigs or rosemary or eucalyptus.

Consider your lighting carefully, too. 'Lighting is key to creating a cosy interior,' says Katie Thomas, founder of KTM Design. 'Warm coloured lights should be used over white light, to fulfil a "cabincore" aesthetic.'

6. Curate a country table

Christmas place setting with red napkin with cutlery on top of a gold rimmed plate, and a festive cracker next to it

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Give country celebrations a little rustic razzle-dazzle with the glowing and burnished tones of the season. Put on the glitz in a low-key way with comforting blush and spice shades; layering shimmering copper with feel-good felted textures. Vintage-style finds and authentic wooden furniture add heritage and reassurance.

Place settings should have that rustic, homemade feel. Think linen napkins and sprigs of seasonal foliage.

7. Flaunt seasonal foliage

wooden dining table with wicker chairs, decorated in a country Christmas theme with green foliage with red berries, matching candles and vase, with red and blue napkins

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Make your dining table the centre of attention with smart chairs, painted finishes and a run of decorative foliage to draw the eye along the table. With a nod to a more refined Nordic style, this look blends neat furnishings with painted and light-toned woods, wicker and woven textures.

8. Adorn a dresser

cabinet with blue wooden frame

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Dress cabinets and dressers with ornamental glassware featuring mountain views and foliage, alongside everyday pressed glass and candlesticks. Bronze and copper, paired with spruce and pine shades, add the final touch for a country-style Christmas.

9. Style a ski lodge look

a cosy country living room with wood panel wallpaper, a roaring fire with a white mantle, a red armchair, a decorated christmas tree with presents underneath and a wreath and white star decorations on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Get a cosy ski lodge look with a traditional feel. Have a Highland fling with deep reds, woodland motifs and plenty of plaid. Red velvet upholstery, touches of tartan and a roaring fire create the feeling of a Balmoral Christmas.

Hunker down with some Scotch and a plate of mince pies. Layer sofas and armchairs with seasonal cushions depicting forest friends likes owls and stags. Don't forget a soft throw for curling up on a snowy day. Save money on wood panelling and cheat the look using a wallpaper instead.

10. Share a simple feast

a dining area with a black tartan tablecloth, a bench set with a grey sheepskin rug and presents on top, red and green themed table dressings, wood panel walls and a chandelier made of real foliage hanging over the table

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

The new way to lay the table is with a relaxed and informal spirit. Try stylish tartans with simple red candles and bubble glassware. The wow factor comes from a real foliage chandelier garland hung from highland ribbons.

11. Wake up to Christmas

a bedroom with a blue four poster bed, wooly blankets and tartan cushions on top, a red vintage suitcase on the floor and a black floral dress hanging up on a wall that has a green floral wallpaper on top and on the bottom wallpaper with black and gold lined panels

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Open your presents in a snug-as-a-bug sleigh bed. Inspired by our love of chalet style celebrations, we’re keeping it cosy this festive season. Mix winter weaves in favourite tartans, plaids and stripes in a seasonal palette of berry reds, cool sky greys and deepest indigo blues.

Make it even more inviting with soft brushed-cotton bedlinen, woolly knits and patchwork throws.

12. Make it merry

Green country living room with red Christmas decorations, a red wreath on the walls, and a grey sofa with cushions and a red throw

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Give your scheme a real country Christmas feel by decorating with a real tree with wood cut stars and paper shapes. A smart herringbone sofa is made cosy with knitted throws while a bohemian rug keeps the room toasty for present opening.

13. Lovingly decorate a real tree

a cosy country living room with blue walls, wooden beam ceiling and red brick fireplace, with a christmas garland above it, a decorated christmas tree to the side and a blue tartan armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachel Whiting)

A generous Nordic pine provides plenty of greenery on which to hang folk-inspired country ornaments. Once it’s decorated, gather around for that special ‘light the lights’ moment. Add embroidered cushions to complimentary chairs in plaid and tweed for a snug spot to warm up fireside.

14. Opt for a rustic-meets-industrial scheme

a wooden rustic country kitchen with a real christmas tree decorated with old black and white photos

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jonathan West)

Give your Christmas tree the personal touch this festive season with decorations that mean something special to you. Photographs, childhood toys and trinkets brought back from holidays all make for unusual ornaments with sentimental value.

For a cutting-edge kitchen, mix and match rustic and modern materials, such as reclaimed wood and concrete, then scatter your worktops with an eclectic mix of appliances and accessories from different eras.

15. Work with raw materials

bedroom with lime-washed boards on both the floor and walls, a grey bed with blue coves and colourful striped throw, a picture on the wall next to a hanging lamp above a pile of magazines, a blue chair with a sheepskin draped over it, and a green foliage garland along the top of the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jonathan West)

Embrace ski-lodge chic in your bedroom with lime-washed boards on your floor and walls. Laying the wall and floor boards perpendicular to one another adds interest to the scheme, while mid-century furniture evokes a trendy Scandi vibe.

A stack of magazines doubles up as a bedside table and bedtime reading. Complete the look with fur throws, wall-mounted horns and fir garlands for an extra festive touch.

16. Hang stockings above the fire

Country Christmas living room with red and blue knitted stockings hung up over a woodburning stove, next to a christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jon Day)

Get ready for Santas imminent arrival, with a row of colourful knitted stockings pegged up on a length of bobble trim. Co-ordinate the stockings with your tree decorations, giftwrap and ribbon for an elegant folk feel in your living room.

In front of the woodburning stove, soft sheepskin and reindeer hide rugs make for a warm welcome.

17. Provide a festive welcome

a porch with dark grey walls and green door, decorated with country christmas decorations including wreath on door, red vintage suitcases, wrapped presents and red and green plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Welcome friends old and new by decorating the porch with a woodland and rose wreath, pots of cyclamen and gathered holly. A vintage trolley helps guests with their luggage and piles of presents. Stick to a traditional palette of green and red for a classic look that is guaranteed to impress any guest.

18. Get into the spirit

country christmas decorations on a wooden display cabinet in front of a wall with wallpaper featuring alpine scenery, mini fir trees and carved wood houses and wildlife, underneath a wooden beam with foliage and berries garland

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Create a Scandi-inspired display with a statement wallpaper featuring alpine scenery, mini fir trees and carved wood houses and wildlife.

Ring the changes of your Christmas countdown with an Advent calendar suspended along a beam.

19. Love those layers

a mauve hallway with a selection of coats including a bright orange coat hanging up, with a wire storage unit underneath containing winter wooly blankets

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Scott)

Hang and display winter coats, scarves and bags in ember and bark shades above a metallic storage unit filled with throws. A woven blanket serves a door curtain to beat the chills. Rustic honey hued baskets and boxes to add texture and interest.

How do you make a country Christmas?

A country Christmas is all about embracing nature in the cosiest way possible. Anything you could imagine in sweet, dreamy cottage on December 25th will work to make a country Christmas. To stop the look from becoming too urban and contemporary, you must also embrace imperfections. 'You have to remember that within nature and rural areas, there are no straight lines but instead soft curves and a variety of textures that provide us with such idyllic views,' says Katie Thomas, founder of KTM Design. 'This principle should be taken forward to encapsulate the desired cosy effect. You can achieve this by incorporating handmade accessories which naturally allow for more unique shapes to be formed. These shapes create a layer of imperfection which is found within true nature.'

What colours are Farmhouse Christmas?

In a country Christmas, colourways have two main directions. The first are shades found in nature, your deep browns, calming creams and warming oranges. Then, to make things extra festive, layer in traditional Christmas decorating ideas  - all the classic Yuletide shades, with greens, reds and whites.

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.