19 Modern Christmas Decor Ideas That Put a Twist on Tradition

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Every year, many of us stick with traditional holiday decor and deck the halls in more or less the same way. There's nothing wrong with doing what you love year after year. But sometimes, shaking things up and creating new traditions when hanging your Christmas wreath and trimming that tree is just what your Yuletide needs. Refresh your holiday home decor and celebrations with these modern Christmas decor ideas and start some novel (and on-trend) traditions while you're at it.

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19 Modern Christmas Decor Ideas

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1. Add an unexpected color.

Reds and greens are the predominant Christmas colors we turn to year after year. But why not express your holiday spirit with something surprising, like a few pops of pink in different shades? Whether it's for a festive feast or a cool cocktail party, a pretty pastel palette (like this one from Sugar & Cloth) is sure to put a whole new spin on the holidays.

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2. Be elegantly low-key.

Instead of pulling out all the stops with twinkly lights and tinsel, take an elegantly low-key approach. Add some simple greenery, like The House of Silver Lining did here. This sweet touch will add just the right amount of holiday spirit. For a little more sparkle, add Christmas lights.

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3. Use what you have on hand.

Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

Work with what you have! Take simple glass vases and deck them out with a festive touch of florals and pine cones. This holiday look is chic and charming, but it won't dominate your decor. Plus, it's super easy to refresh the foliage all season long, especially if you can forage for trimmings in your yard or neighborhood.

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4. Try an unconventional tree.

Instead of going with a traditional tree, try something new, like this Scandinavian-inspired DIY. Create one of your own using wooden dowels with this tutorial by Caroline Burke. Hang a few minimalist tree ornaments from the branches and you're finished. It's that simple, and it still looks festive and chic.

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5. Create a contemporary centerpiece.

Lose the holly and evergreens and go with a strikingly chic centerpiece, like this easy-to-make arrangement designed by Sara Albers. It's proof that when it comes to modern Christmas decor, less is more.

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6. Upcycle a tree.

Use either reclaimed wood or cardboard to create a Christmas tree you can install on any wall. This one by DIY Huntress is a cool, rustic look for the holiday season. Plus, an upcycled beauty like this can work in any space, big or small.

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7. Reach for cane and leather.

If you're looking for a neutral take on Christmas decor, make these eye-catching cane and leather trees by Trisha Sprouse. They're wonderful for adding texture and warmth to your home and for using up leftover materials from past cane projects. (And they also make a great gift idea.) For an Insta-ready setup, create a cluster of trees in different sizes and style them with simple greenery.

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8. Celebrate with clay.

Often, the best projects are the simplest, and these DIY clay Christmas trees by Francesca Stone are the perfect example. Simply roll out a sheet of clay, add texture, and form it into cones. Bake them, allow them to cool, and just like that, you'll have a set of charming tabletop trees you can paint to match your existing decor.

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9. Add a couple mini trees.

You don't need a full-size Christmas tree covered in glittery ornaments to set a festive mood. Just a couple of unadorned mini evergreens inside your front door can make a gorgeous holiday statement on their own. Follow Studio McGee's example and carry your room color scheme into your gift wrapping for a cohesive look.

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10. Go for an understated garland.

Timeless doesn't have to mean tired. Magnolia foliage is traditionally associated with Christmas, but you can make it look modern by taking a minimalist approach. This understated fireplace mantel garland from Amber Interiors teams classic with contemporary to excellent effect: simple, stylish, and celebratory.

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11. Add a touch of glam with gold tassels.

A white and gold color combo screams high-end luxury when done right. The tall, tassled tree in this room for Homepolish and Emily Henderson adds some glam and keeps the white room from feeling sterile. Additional gold touches, like the throw cushions and wrapping paper, unite the decor perfectly.

12. Make a metallic centerpiece.

To give your tabletop a modern twist, try adding metallic elements. This simple white, gold, and silver color palette is clean, cohesive, and contemporary. Pampas grass and a frosted finish are festive without being OTT. Make your own version of this arrangement designed by Trisha Sprouse and you'll definitely impress your guests.

13. Say yes to a white Christmas tree.

The neutral base of a white Christmas tree is an excellent fit for a clean, bright, and modern interior. Just take a look at this festive living room by Emily Henderson. Follow her lead with colorful Christmas tree decorations or stick to gold or silver for a minimal, elegant vibe.

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14. Go boho with bottle brush trees.

Modern seasonal decor doesn't have to be sleek and minimalist. See this lovely boho display by Aurelie Erikson for inspiration. Bottle-brush trees in shades of pink and white look pretty and unexpected, while dried pampas grass makes a dramatic statement.

15. Opt for minimalist entryway decor.

You might not want to overwhelm visiting guests by filling your entryway with garish garlands. Instead, hint at the holiday season with a bit of winter foliage and a trio of paper trees, like @alexis.mbrink has done here. The "merry Christmas" banner reflecting in the mirror makes the message clear.

16. Make a creative advent calendar.

What better way to build Christmas excitement than by counting down with an advent calendar? Rather than going for a store-bought calendar, create your own unique design. We love this sweet winter wonderland by Sophie of @at_home_with_the_ryans featuring a ladder shelf, white lights, and tiny paper houses.

17. Complement your existing decor.

Make your Christmas decorations feel personal by matching them to your home's existing style. This festive display from Ashley Savage combines rustic, natural elements with a bit of sparkle to create a modern farmhouse winter wonderland that perfectly fits the entryway decor. We especially love the wooden Christmas village and the dried botanical wreath.

18. Warm up your decor with faux fur.

Add a cozy but opulent touch to your modern Yuletide theme by including some faux fur. It's an excellent option for turning sterile minimalism into inviting warmth. The Christmas stockings in this display from @victoriatik add just the right amount of luxury.

19. Go monochrome.

Stick with a simple white color scheme if you love uncluttered spaces and a timeless yet modern holiday mood. The white Christmas mantel decor in this design from Nicole Jenkins adds a Scandi-chic vibe. The greenery provides a touch of warmth and interest.

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