Dressing the tree for Christmas is the ultimate holiday ritual, and you know that once Thanksgiving is over, those ornaments are coming straight out of the loft. If you're not entirely sure what look you want for your home this year, there are a bunch of cute ways to get it right in 2022.
It's all about getting creative and decorating your tree in a way that feels right for you and your space. Whether you'll be using what you have or buying a couple more Christmas decorations for good measure, your spruce will look holiday-ready in no time.
Anthony Immediato, an interior stylist based in San Diego, California, and founder of Immediato Interiors (opens in new tab) notes how this year's Christmas tree themes seem to be leaning toward three blanket looks that are nonetheless super festive. "So far, in 2022 we have seen a wide spectrum of design trends and I feel that most people are falling into three categories: maximal, minimal, or traditional," says Immediato. "It only makes sense that these design styles will reflect this year's popular tree decorating themes."
All out modern or pared-back and trad? The choice is totally yours.
1. Pretty in pink
Pink is the perfect color to brighten your mood and for those that want to tap into the maximalist side of tree themes, this one is for you.
Esther Parkhurst, the Senior Director of Designs & Trends at Lowe’s notes a resurgence of pink after years of more neutral and monochrome Christmas tree looks, saying how the rise of Barbiecore may have played a part in this trend too — and that it is sure to dominate this holiday season!
Parkhurst recommends pink-flocked artificial trees (opens in new tab) for those wanting the full look. Of course, if you do buy a new artificial tree, be ready to commit to it for many years to come to nod to sustainability still.
For anyone who wants to add a dash of pink Christmas decor and that's perhaps not in a place to buy an entirely pink tree, Parkhurst has some budget-friendly tips. "If you want the Barbiecore pops of color but aren’t ready to commit all the way or want to avoid the hefty price tag, make a nod to this trend by decorating your tree with purple and pink wired craft ribbon." Noting that even pink ornaments will nod to the trend, "from soft pink to more Barbie-inspired hot pink hues" says Parkhurst, everything pink is totally a tree vibe for 2022.
2. Rustic Farmhouse
Following Barbiecore–esque trees, Parkhurst says that Rustic Farmhouse is up there. "This beloved seasonal look has evolved from traditional to transitional aesthetic." Says Pankhurst. "We’re going to see that reflected in tree decorating themes this year, with trusted and true farmhouse materials – think burlap, rustic finishings – at the top of shoppers’ lists."
Admittedly, we have still seen a lot of this look on the gram like this gorgeous setup by talented DIYer and home decorator Leslie Jarrett (opens in new tab). Parkhurst recommends displaying cute rattan gift boxes near your tree, and hanging burlap red bows amongst the branches. Parkhurst notes also how this is a good look to choose if you're on a budget. "Achieving this cozy farmhouse look can be as simple as weaving a festive glitter embellished burlap ribbon around your tree branches, complemented with a few boughs of baby’s breath for a vintage feel. To pull the farmhouse aesthetic into the entire room, you can dress up your mantle or tabletop with these cost-effective artisan decorative metal trees and this pre-lit faux pine garland."
3. Scandi-inspired trees
Scandi-inspired anything is here to sleigh, not just at Christmas. In 2021, Jessica Harris, interior designer, Living Spaces (opens in new tab) named this as her favorite Christmas tree theme, adding "This approach to Christmas decorating stands out because of how naturally the tree is incorporated into the surrounding space. Instead of being conspicuously designated as a focal point, the tree simply adds to the space's overall look."
Using natural materials that feel cozy is the best way to pull this look together. "Some key points to achieve the 'Scandinavian' holiday tree design is to put your tree in a wicker, jute or seagrass basket, use neutral colored ornaments, and intersperse a wood garland throughout the sparse branches." Adds Harris.
4. OTT Ornaments
There's no better way to liven up your lounge than with an eclectic mix of figurine baubles, iridescent ornaments, and more colorful quirks. We're here for cute cat heads (opens in new tab) and pink cars any day and they sure as hell look cute packed into this fir.
"Decorate and then decorate some more!" Says Evelina Kravaev Söderberg, H&M HOME (opens in new tab) Head of Design & Creative, noting that you just shouldn't hold back for the holidays. "A nice Christmas tree sets the holiday atmosphere. Find a color theme that you like and decorate the tree with an excessive amount of ornaments in that color theme."
5. Japandi calm
This hybrid decorating trend combines the modern simplicity of Scandinavian Christmas decor with the timeless elegance of a Japanese aesthetic, creating a relaxed style rooted in authenticity and nature.
This was a key Christmas tree theme in 2021 and as Dani Taylor, product and creative director, Cox & Cox (opens in new tab) says, Japandi is less of a trend and more of a modern style philosophy so there's no reason why it can't stay around for 2022.
"This isn’t an interior trend, it’s more of a style philosophy, with a focus on raw materials and simple, natural elements and colors," says Taylor. "Clean and minimalist yet simultaneously warm; the neutral palette of muted colors and natural hues from creams through to deep beige, is punctuated with hints of grey and black."
6. Candied cottagecore
If ever there is a time for nostalgia, it's at Christmas, and we're into this slightly fresher approach to Cottagecore for the holidays. Full of pastel-colored ornaments and oversized everything, Wayfair (opens in new tab)stylists note how this look is a little romantic and OTT.
"Add a little floral fancy to your tree, by interspersing oversized flower heads: pom-pom hydrangeas and faux peonies are the perfect pick." Says Wayfair’s Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill. "Then top your tree with paper palm heads for a look that’s a maximalist dream!" So to make this work, take an all-frills approach and you are golden.
7. Brighter baubles
Extroverts rejoice, as approved by Immediato, oversized baubles and carnival brights are on point for 2022 tree maximalism.
The rules are, there are none. The bigger, brighter, and more color clashing, the better. For added fun, choose a colored tree and surround the base with a riot of multi-hued paper honeycomb decorations to continue the frivolity into the surrounding space.
"More is more this season, inviting color and fun into your home." Says Hill. "Think bold, jewel-bright shades, mixed patterns, metallics and plenty of personality! Pops of pink, teal and brilliant whites will liven up any space and instantly add a celebratory feel. With a dash of sparkle and glitz, this joyous decorating trend will certainly inject holiday cheer."
8. Wild and cozy woodland
Welcome the outside in with biophilic vibes, earthy tones, and cozy neutrals. Green hues are a trusty look for the holidays and this works well if it's your go-to color around the home anyhow as you'll be able to set off any houseplants and that green velour couch of yours too. “The trend captures the essence of woodland charm, but its overall simplicity displays how easy it can be to give your home a harmonious festive makeover," says McCowan Hill. "Incorporating greenery into decorating schemes will instantly lift a room, but the complimentary tones in this look of comforting oatmeal, verdant greens and pale woods help foliage displays take centre stage." Top off your festive scene with a garland for good measure and enjoy the coziest finish.
9. Trad candy cane
If you're a stickler for tradition, tapping into a more classic finish with moody candy can notes is a total vibe. Nod to a reworked and rich palette of jewel grape, deep forest green, and timeless gold and silver, then glow it up with warm string lights and layer on the texture with a mixture of glass, metallic, and paper hanging ornaments for full effect that guests will most definitely approve of.
10. Blue bejeweled
Elevate your tree to glowing glory with elegant baubles, jewels, and glitter foliage in a frosted peacock palette of mint, lilac and blue. Gold accents shower this trend in high-end pretty. We think it’s time to open the bubbly... For added style detail, present gifts in coordinating shades so that your Christmas gift wrapping ideas become part of the overall scheme.
11. Alternative Christmas trees
Branch out with a fun and sustainable alternative Christmas tree to the traditional spruce. Spray a foraged branch and stand in a sturdy vase; adorn statuesque cacti with twinkling lights; or get your indoor jungle of house plants in on the action – a Christmas tree can be whatever you want it to be.
Be inspired by this take on a diverse Christmas window display and grow the seeds of change.
"Christmas offers a great chance to celebrate diversity and community, so why not show your colors with a beautifully inclusive advent window tree?" Says McCowan Hill. "Creating a window display will add a decorative touch to the inside of your home, whilst brightening up the outside view for the local community and neighbors. Advent windows have continued to grow in popularity with no signs of slowing down for 2021. They are also an ideal crafting project to get the kids involved and highlight the positive power of inclusivity and togetherness."
12. Calm and bright
Lowe's shows us how you can keep it cozy with light blues and cream baubles. Vary shapes and sizes for added depth and nod to the color pairings with clever choice of cushions, wreaths, and more in your surrounding space. Lighting is a must at Christmas and layering up with a side lantern is such a good way to add more warmth to a living room over the holidays.
How can your decorate a tree on a budget?
If there's a particular tree theme that your home cannot live without but that your budget could do with avoiding, Immediato serves up some helpful pointers. "If you want to recreate these looks on a budget I recommend finding inspiration from some of your favorite designers and/or home decor stores, that may be a bit pricey, and finding similar alternatives for cheaper." It's all about shopping around, starting early, and being less fussy with the results.
"If you're going for that minimal look, that's already going to be on the inexpensive side considering you're using a lot less material, but the maximal and traditional look can certainly start to add up. I've had so much luck finding some hidden holiday/tree decor gems at places like Walmart and Michaels. I would say to splurge on some pieces that really speak to you and go for the cheaper alternatives for the rest in order to save some money." Adds Immediato. It's worth noting that Black Friday is prime time to pick up last-minute ornaments and other tree decs for less!
What are Christmas tree themes?
Christmas tree themes or trends refer to a particular look or aesthetic. A theme can be inspired by a variety of subjects, such as a place, nature, color or an idea. When decorating with a chosen theme, there needs to be continuity between a common element, such as color palette or materials, in order to achieve a unified and strong aesthetic. Think of a Christmas tree theme as telling a story that transforms the space into a magical wonderland.
Where there's a room, there should be a Christmas tree set up is our motto. Kids will go nuts for a whimsical and wacky, novelty themed trees in a play den, whilst cocktail-sipping gossip queens can ooh and ahh over a glimmering, champagne hued design at the kitchen island. Real, faux, or DIY Christmas trees come in every shape, size and color imaginable so you're sure to find a trend you love.
What is the most popular Christmas tree trend this year?
It feels like 2022 is a year that deserves brightening up for the holidays and so whatever theme you go for, try to simply take joy from the decoration process.
Rustic Farmhouse however and more trad looks might be one that homes feel the most aligned with this year's most popular themes says Parkhurst who notes a huge search in Pinterest searches for this look. "The popular farmhouse aesthetic of years past isn't going anywhere – it’s actually seen a whopping 316 (opens in new tab)% increase in Pinterest searches since May 2022." Says Parkhurst. It's also one of those themes that you can really build on to make feel like your own.
Similarly, Jarrett noted that she has been seeing less glam and glittered looks, owing it to a couple of hectic years and people wanting more relaxed finishes now, "people are wanting more cozy and casual Christmas trees." Says Jarret. "Lots of relaxed ribbon bows, dried oranges, homemade garlands and just keeping things simple!"