Expect the unexpected this Christmas. For decades, red and green have been synonymous with the festive season, but this year’s holiday palettes are more creative than ever. ‘Tis the season to be jolly with a range of vibrant, whimsical, and nostalgic shades guaranteed to brighten your home.
“People are ready to express their personal taste and individual love of color,” says Sophie Robinson, interior designer, colour expert, and host of The Great Indoors podcast. “Christmas is the perfect time to ditch trends and surround yourself with all the twinkle, all the sparkle, and just do you,” she adds. Colour is the perfect way to channel your unique personality and create a space that brings you joy. Here are some favourite Christmas colour scheme ideas to get you started.
Red and green is an iconic Christmas pairing and a good go-to colour scheme if you’re more of a traditionalist. However, simply taking green out of the equation and relying solely on red and white immediately gives the festive palette a fresh, contemporary update and Scandi-chic vibe.
“Red and white is a classic Christmas combo that reminds me of candy canes,” says Robinson. She recommends buying a box and hanging them on the tree as a fun (and tasty) motif. White Christmas trees are soaring in popularity this year and make an excellent blank canvas for red ornaments.
Red and green haven’t always been the signature Christmas palette. In the Victorian era, blue was equally popular. Travel back in time with blue beadwork, ribbons, porcelain figurines, and delicate snowy white lace. Continue the theme with fine vintage blue-and-white China and polished glassware on a white linen tablecloth. Finish the look with candle holders and a centrepiece of fruits and nuts for added Old World charm.
Blue is a cool shade with a soothing quality, making it an obvious colour to represent the winter season. Mix different blue shades “like navy with cobalt and turquoise to make it tonally interesting,” says Robinson. Add white for a crisp look and gold accents to warm up—and glam up—the scheme.
“Pink really pops against green foliage,” says Robinson, who recommends mixing it into a lush green fir tree or holly branches to prevent the scheme from becoming too sweet. Pair pale pink shades with light green accents for a contemporary spin on the classic Christmas palette. Replace holly branches with eucalyptus and set gold and silver aside in favour of copper, rose gold, and champagne metallics.
Rich Shades of Green
“I think it helps if your Christmas decor complements your interior style, mostly from a sustainable point of view,” says Robinson. “We all know that chucking out last year’s decorations to buy into a new color trend is really wasteful.” Instead of buying new green Christmas decor, explore nature’s own collection of pinecones, acorns, and branches. Dust them with glitter or paint them with metallic paint for an update, then showcase the DIY Christmas decorations on your tree or mantel.
For Robinson, Christmas is about applying a “more the merrier” ethos and turning her home into a festive funhouse to enjoy with family and friends. “My Christmas decorations are similar to the color palette you see in my home. I love the saturated jewel tones, like cobalt blue, purple, fuchsia, emerald green, and canary yellow,” she says. “Like a box of Quality Street chocolates, they are perfect for the festive season.”
Ready your home for hosting with a crisp white tablecloth and simple matte black dishware. Keep table decorations simple with metallic mini trees or an evergreen centrepiece decorated with black-and-white bows or ornaments. Add warmth to the Christmas colour scheme with soft textures, like a faux fur blanket or white knitted throw, and the gentle glow of scented candles. For a hint of colour, Robinson suggests throwing in “an accent of red or canary yellow to bring this combo to life.”
Line your mantel with all-time Christmas classics, like gingerbread houses, nutcrackers, and ceramic Christmas trees. “Go all the way with retro kitsch baubles and fifties nostalgia,” says Robinson. Dig out those old Shiny Brites in retro shades, like mustard yellow, aquamarine blue, bright pink, and malachite green. Pair them with silver or copper accents for a sparkling finish.