Holiday decorating tips—according to a designer

October 25, 2022 — Written by Yasmine El Sanyoura

As an Opendoor home designer my job is to turn a blank living space into one that reflects a potential home buyer’s personal style and embodies what home means to them. It’s so rewarding to turn an otherwise impersonal space into one that expresses what is truly unique to each new homeowner. That’s why I love to see people display their own design sense during the holidays when decorating is a nationwide pastime.

We’ve learned that Americans like getting an early start on decorating their homes for the holiday season. According to our survey, many begin decorating either right after Halloween (20%) or right after Thanksgiving, but before December 1 (40%). As we head into the season this year, here are the trends we should expect to see, plus my tips for incorporating design into your holiday decor.

2022 holiday decor trends to keep an eye on

This fall and winter, I expect we’ll see a lot of these trends: 

Embracing the natural elements. Incorporating nature into home decor is a holiday staple. Flocked trees will be popular this year, as will the perennial favorites, natural wreaths, garlands, and botanicals. This year, try incorporating these elements in unique ways.

For example, don’t limit wreaths to the front door. Consider hanging wreaths of different sizes throughout the home. Opt for classic winter botanicals like cypress, pine, and spruce. These touches of nature are good for the soul, so even if you opt for the faux variety, placing them in vases and stoneware throughout your home can inspire joy and calm for months.

Let your personality shine through details like the ornaments you place on the tree, the vases you choose, and even the use of ribbons on your wreaths.

Candles, candles, candles. Candles are a holiday staple. Choosing a signature scent for your holiday candles (pine, fir, gingerbread, baked apple — so many are available!) will make your holiday memories resonate for years to come. 

Try adding beautifully crafted tapered candles to your holiday decor, set in distinctive candle holders that match your decor. Candles come in a huge variety of shapes, colors, and lengths, so there is something for everyone. Go classic or get playful with textured candles or bold with dark colors — they’re sure to add something special to your decor.

Switching from one holiday decor set to another with ease

The last few months of the year can feel like a blur, and moving from one holiday theme to another takes a bit of work. I recommend decor that evokes your favorite holiday feelings and can last all season. Use colors and textures to evoke festivities without referencing a specific holiday. For example, get throw pillows and cushions with dark green, charcoal, and sienna tones that broadly encompass fall and winter, and skip more specific holiday pillows (pumpkin, turkey, snowmen). 

That said, some people do love going all out for each holiday, and we respect that. When switching from one holiday theme to another, consider decorating with items that are simple to change but still reflect the season. I love using botanicals for this. In a signature vase, place dark, looming branches with cobwebs for Halloween. Swap them out for a dried bouquet of fall florals in November. In December, switch to a beautiful arrangement of dark greenery. The same idea works for your holiday table: use different colored napkins for each celebration. 

According to our survey, many people (38%) enjoy having a decorated mantel. Include a mix of natural elements, candles, and sentimental items. Consider a grouping of different elements, like a garland, several mismatched candle holders and custom stockings from a local business hung beneath.

Taking down and storing decor (without the stress)

Almost all respondents (84%) from our survey said that decorations come down in January, with 51% aiming for New Year’s Day or soon after. To make this process as easy as possible, I suggest: 

Have a storage plan. Categorize your decorations and pack them away in sturdy boxes you can stow somewhere dry and cool. Invest in specialized boxes with padding for more delicate or sentimental decorations so you won’t have to worry about them.

Make it fun. If you have family or friends staying over or have little ones at home, make a tradition out of the changeover from one season to the next by taking down the holiday decor together. Turn on your favorite non-holiday music (or savor a few favorite tracks before you move past the season!), make a special breakfast, hot cocoa or other treats, and enjoy each other’s company as you pack it all away for the year.

If you’re interested in selling your home, request an offer or check out our current homes for sale. Don’t forget to check out our open roles, too.

Yasmine El Sanyoura is a Home Designer at Opendoor

Methodology: The Opendoor Survey was conducted online by Qualtrics among 800 nationally representative U.S. homebuyers ages 28+ between September-October 2021 who are interested in either decorating or remodeling their home (or have remodeled in the past two years). The data has been weighted to ensure reliable and accurate demographic representation of the U.S. homebuyer population ages 28+. For the purposes of this report, Millennials are defined as ages of 29-39, Generation X is defined as ages 40 to 55 and Baby Boomers are defined as ages 56 to 74.