Rustic Christmas decorating ideas for a natural and relaxed home

Create a welcoming and cosy look with a rustic theme this December

Dining table with wreath and pine cone centrepiece
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Christmas is the perfect time to get cosy at home, snuggled up with the ones you love and appreciating the simple things in life. Rustic Christmas decorating ideas are an authentic way to embrace the warm and welcoming woodland theme this year.

Out of all the Christmas ideas, the rustic, Scandi style is one of the most inviting - and bang on trend. You don't have to live in a quirkily cosy cabin to make this look your own, as you can create your own country retreat even in an urban home.

Rustic Christmas decorating ideas

The rustic look is all about putting the natural world front and centre. From forest finds, layered fabrics and handmade decorations, there are so many easy to achieve ways to embrace this scheme this December.

1. Decorate the heart of the home

Armchair beside stove with cushions and blanket

(Image credit: Future PLC)

You'll spend a lot of time in the kitchen over Christmas, so dress dress it with festive flair. Dot baubles and tea lights on shelves or mantels and drape hand-tied pine fronds to gently scent the room when there's nothing on the stove.

'Bringing in the natural elements will help you achieve the aesthetic,' says  Katie Thomas, founder of KTM Design. 'This can be achieved by adding a fireplace or log burner to add warmth and cosiness to your home. Accessorise your fireplace or stove with freshly cut wood or add a stone hearth to add texture.'

Make it clear when you're off cooking duty, too, but switching off the main lighting and replacing with candles and the best Christmas lights in warm yellows.

2. Hand make decorations with natural materials

Hanging decoration with pine cones and mushrooms

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The handcrafted look is key to the rustic theme - and the less 'perfect' it is, the more authentic, so have a play with creating your own decorations this year.

Natural textures and woodland finds are the essentials of a rustic country look. Think pine cones, leaves and berries in shades of coppery orange, sunset red and rich terracotta. Forage in stores, too, for woodland-inspired baubles to create a uniquely pretty pendant display.

3. Create a natural centrepiece

Dining table with wreath and pine cone centrepiece

(Image credit: Future PLC)

You don't have to spend a fortune on Christmas decorations to achieve a rustic Christmas look. Go foraging for pine cones and arrange them down the length of your dining table to  create a simple but effective Christmas table centrepiece.

For a little extra sheen,  spray some of them gold or silver, to reflect flickering candlelight.

4. Layer textiles for warmth

Made up bed with blankets with wooden walls and sleigh

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Even the most rustic of rooms needs a luxe touch. Load up beds with satin cushions, cosy wool throws and relax in style.

'The trend is all about adding warmth to your home and you can do this by simply using blankets and throws to add texture,' says Katie Thomas, founder of KTM Design. 'It’s also a very practical way for you to cosy up in winter. Varying textures should be applied from coarse textures on wood to light, soft textures on cushions and blankets.'

5. Create a rustic advent

Handmade advent calendar hung from fir branch

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Alternative advent calendars are one of the biggest festive trends this year, and the rustic Christmas look is the perfect place to experiment with a handmade version.

A fir branch can be hung from an existing picture hook using textured brown string or invisible fishing wire. From the bough, tie pretty envelopes, each labelled with an advent n number. Either hide a light treat inside or a note describing the Christmas activity to do that day.

Alternatively, string from an unused fireplace to fill the space with a Christmas mantel decor calendar.

6. Make a wreath decorated with pine cones

Outdoor Christmas wreath

(Image credit: Ben Anders/Homes & Gardens)

For a frostier look try your hand at recreating this simple frosted wreath made from foraged materials.

Use a hot-glue gun to attach different sized pine and large cones to a wreath blank. Start with larger forms, then fill in the gaps with smaller ones. Once secure, lightly dust with artificial snow spray for a frosted look. Finish with a sparkling silk rose and an off-centre ribbon.

7. Juxtapose with colour and styles

Rustic Christmas decorating ideas

(Image credit: TBC)

When considering your rustic Christmas living room decor, mix a modern colour scheme with rustic accessories and furniture for an aesthetic that is contemporary yet cosy.

Go that one step bolder by introducing heaps of jewel colours and mismatched patterns for an interesting look.

8. Make your own fragrant fire lighters

Rustic Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Setting the stage for a perfect rustic Christmas isn't just about what your home looks like but what it smells like too. Make a bundle of scented fire starters to fill your home with a gorgeous festive smell.

Gather aromatic materials such as cinnamon sticks, pine cones and dried fruit slices. Bundle them in squares of newspaper, roll up and tie with jute at both ends to resemble a cracker. Arrange them on top of a wooden box filled with rustic logs.

These scented treats also make a great gift for a friend with a log burner or open fire.

9. Stage a cosy outdoor spot

Outdoor Christmas decorations

(Image credit: TBC)

Take inspiration from wintry woodlands and country copses this season. With a nod to a more refined Nordic style, this look blends neat furnishings with painted and light-toned woods, wicker and woven textures.

Style up a favourite bench as the perfect place to greet guests to your home. Add a snug stove or brazier and set out mulled drinks to keep the cold at bay.

10. Make your living room warm and cosy

Living room with woodburning stove and Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Your living room is going to be your hibernation spot over the Christmas period, so make it as cosy as can be with sumptuous cable-knit blankets and cushions and soft faux fur throws.

Drape a rustic pine cone garland along your mantelpiece and hang a star made from twigs on the chimney breast above.

11. Pair natural materials with neutral colours

Living room with fireplace and Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Begin with a huge Christmas tree, add foliage to your mantelpiece and cabinets and hang hessian stockings.

To accompany these natural textures, invest in a woolly rug and thick cable-knit blanket for the cosiest of Christmas living rooms.

12. Create an indoor woodland

Christmas dining room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Create a winter wonderland in your dining room this Christmas, with pine cones made into wreaths, mini Christmas trees and garlands.

Stick to a neutral palette for your table settings, with a cream linen tablecloth and mink table runner. Hang white cardboard stars from your mirror and wooden deer silhouettes on the wall.

13. Create handmade gifts

Rustic Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Little brown gift boxes wrapped with strips of hessian and twine will not only look wonderful under your tree, they will make your loved ones feel extra special on Christmas Day.

14. Add snuggly sheepskin and faux fur

Chalet-style living room with Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Spike Powell)

Create a luxurious laid-back living room by covering sofas, chairs and floors with sumptuous sheepskin and slouchy wool bean bags. Give the tree a frosted theme, light tea lights and ramp up the wood burner then snuggle down and wait for the sound of those jingle bells!

15. Go for all out cosiness

Country Christmas living room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jon Day)

When it comes to rustic Christmas living rooms, you can never have too many soft and cosy textures, from your cushions and blankets to your rugs.

In this room, even the armchair has been upholstered with snuggly cable-knit fabric. Go all out by adding a woolly stocking for Santa to fill with well-deserved goodies.

16. Decorate the bedroom

Bedroom with grey writing wallpaper and Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Christmas need not be confined to your living room and dining room. Take the rustic theme into the bedroom, snuggling up under cosy blankets, with stockings and a pine cone garland hung at the end of the bed.

17. Hygge up your home

Rustic living room with grey armchairs and Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Stack up logs ready for night after night of toasty fires. Add a mini Christmas tree, some faux fur rugs and a couple of glasses of warming red wine for the ultimate hygge night in.

18. Coordinate colours

Country living room with Christmas tree and wool throws

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Rustic Scandi decorating isn't only about neutral colours, it actually takes some inspiration from traditional Christmas decorating ideas, too. Nordic Christmas decor can often be found in bright shades of red and blue.

If you have a bold decorating scheme, coordinate your cosy throws, cushions and wrapping paper with those colours. The combination of white faux fur and red blankets looks just like Santa's jacket!

19. Channel a modern Scandi vibe

Dining room with blue walls, fireplace and Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Add a subtle Christmassy touch to your modern Scandi-style dining room with a mantelpiece garland with fairylights, a minimalist Christmas tree and a few simple tabletop decorations.

20. Deck the hall

Rustic country hallway with Christmas wreath and decor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Who says a wreath is only for the front door? Add some magic to your Christmas hallway decor with an indoor wreath and a winter village scene atop your console table.

What is a rustic Christmas?

A rustic Christmas is all about celebrating the best of seasonal nature and creating a warm and welcoming retreat for you and your guests. Natural materials, from woods to wools, and handmade or artisinal decorations instantly transport you into a rustic frame of mind. In terms of colour palette, look to earthy tones like browns, creams, oranges and greens.

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.