Holiday decor to add style to the comfort of home

Sparkle inside and out with this season's hottest decorating trends.
By aha insurance - Dec 3, 2020

At aha insurance we continually explore ways to stay in control of all aspects of life – because we know life is about more than insurance. In our Life Matters series we talk about staying in control of your life and living on your terms. Control feels great!

This year stores began stocking holiday items early in hopes of reducing last-minute crowds in shopping centers, and many people opted to put up their lights and trees a little sooner than usual. Good Housekeeping argues that there’s psychological evidence to prove that “savouring” the holidays with early preparation helps lift your spirits by extending the feelings of childlike wonder and anticipation many of us associate with the festive season.

“In other words, thinking about and planning a holiday extends its bliss beyond a few short weeks.”

With both Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, if you haven’t already started decking your halls, you’re certainly not early, but don’t worry; it’s not too late to begin savouring the season by decorating your home. This year’s holiday decor trends are all about embracing tradition, simplicity, affordability and sustainability – making holiday decorating incredibly accessible.

Brighten your neighbourhood with front door decor

Did you know that your neighbours may be more likely to view your family as friendly and approachable if you decorate your home for the holidays? Stringing festive lights on your home is a traditional way to brighten your neighbourhood this time of year, but decorating savvy Pinterest users are driving a new outdoor decor trend by searching for inspiring ‘Christmas door decorations’ in record-high numbers this year. Type in this search term yourself, and you’ll find a treasure trove of pin-worthy ideas.

Want to stand out with bold designs that wow from a distance without spending a fortune on lights that will make your home visible from space? Our favourite door-decking ideas include:

  • Framing your front door with DIY jumbo wooden lights from Sugar & Cloth spray painted to match your favourite holiday colour scheme.
  • Triple the visual impact of one festive door wreath with this heavy-duty Christmas wreath trio how-to from Decor & The Dog or this faux boxwood wreath trio from RemodelaCasa.
  • You can also add to your home’s curb appeal with plastic toy balls fashioned into giant colourful baubles with this inexpensive and easy craft from Tanya Memme.

The best part is these outdoor decorations shine without electricity in the daylight and can be accented at night with a few strings of lights hung around your porch if you wish. There’s no need to climb on your roof in the name of spreading holiday cheer unless heights and ladder safety are your specialties, and you can avoid any Clark Griswold-style mishaps.

Save the planet and your wallet by reusing, recycling, and DIYing

From reusable fabric wrapping paper and cloth gift bags to upcycled Christmas tire ornaments, keeping things thrifty and eco-friendly is a major 2020 holiday trend.

Faux Christmas trees aren’t the best for the environment, but chances are you have one or two in storage that don’t get much use anymore. Instead of tossing all those plastic evergreen branches, you can give them new life by transforming them into garlands, clip-on swag wreaths, or even a whole new tree with a trunk made from a real tree branch.

The “farmhouse Christmas” holiday aesthetic is an enduring holiday decorating trend identified by Better Homes & Gardens and backed by Google search trends for 2020. With its neutral colours, wood-tones, and shabby chic charm, farmhouse-inspired decor lends itself perfectly to using thrifty recycled and natural materials to create this cozy, stylishly lived-in look.

  • Pre-loved skates, skis and sleds make unique holiday accent pieces that can be as painted and polished or natural and rough as you like. We love these chalk painted skis for a winter porch or the idea of giving a used pair of skates a holiday makeover with festive laces and faux fur trim. If you don’t have any winter sporting equipment kicking around in your attic, a trip to a local thrift shop should provide you with the supplies you need.
  • Make a rustic mailbox vase by filling a vintage mailbox with a low-cost bouquet of found birch and evergreen branches and tying the look together with a bow made from an old scarf, recycled ribbon or fabric.
  • You don’t need to be a talented painter or DIY expert to pull-off this charming buffalo check canvas artwork. Use it as the focal point for your coziest room or paint one as a home warming gift for a plaid-appreciating loved-one. Looking for more handmade gift ideas? We’ve got you covered; check out our homemade holiday gift guide.

No fabrics are better suited to modern farmhouse decor than buffalo plaid and burlap, which can be used to make everything from gorgeously rugged tree trimmings to wreathsgarlands and tablescapes. Burlap, plaid fabric, and even repurposed old flannel shirts also make great reusable wrapping paper alternatives, and who doesn’t want the gifts under the tree to match their country cottage or farmhouse themed-decor?

Go green with natural accents and Scandinavian minimalism, or get funky with technicolour-tinged, retro nostalgia

While these two holiday decor trends seem like total visual opposites (because in many ways they are), both styles value timeless tradition and thrift over potentially fleeting modern trends. If you opt for a nordic holiday motif, you might find yourself foraging for pine cones and hanging orange slice garlands, bringing a naturally elegant vibe to your home. Whereas festive design inspired by the glittery aluminum trees and brightly coloured ornaments of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, are sure to bring joyful feelings to anyone with fond memories from those decades as well as younger admirers of vintage style.

From Farmhouse to Scandanavian Chic

Like farmhouse holiday decor, Scandinavian decor uses neutral wood tones and natural elements to create a warm, homey, ‘hygge’ atmosphere. However, if you’ve ever marvelled at the clean, utilitarian furniture at IKEA, you’ll already know that Scandanavian design is strikingly more minimalistic. In addition to being refined, minimal design trends are exceptionally affordable and easy to recreate, even in small spaces.

  • Make a minimalist plywood wall sign with a festive greeting like “Glaedelig Jul” (Merry Christmas in Danish).
  • Adorn your mantel and parchment paper-wrapped gifts with pretty twig stars; you can pair them with lights, wooden bead strings, fresh greenery, cinnamon sticks or anything else your imagination draws you to for an extra special touch.
  • Craft non-breakable Scandinavian folk art-inspired ornaments with the kids using kid-friendly materials like felt and salt dough.

Do decorating inspo vlogs help get you in the mood for the holidays? Check out Scandinavian style Christmas decorations from Simple Living With Scandish Home for a unique take on nordic decor, full of ingenious paper crafts.

Suppose all this talk of Scandinavian holiday decor makes you want to hit up an IKEA catalogue to get startedIn that case, MaCenna from XO, MaCenna does just that in her recent Christmas decor ideas video.

For cheap decor that looks expensive, Love Create Celebrate has six clever dollar store DIYs inspired by modern Scandinavian decorations.

Your Grandmother’s and Mother’s Holiday Decor is Back In Style

This year more than ever, people are looking to holiday decorating for a welcome dose of happy childhood memories, meaning that holiday nostalgia is extra in this year.

  • If you don’t have luck finding one of these on-trend gems in your grandparent’s attic or from second-hand retailers, you can purchase replicas of the iconic ceramic Christmas trees that hustled onto the holiday scene in the 1970s.
  • If you don’t want to purchase mass-produced mid-century modern ornaments, you can add some handmade flair and adorn your tree with Whoville-esque printable Retro Ornaments from The House That Lars Built.
  • White and forest green bottle brush trees are a classic holiday accent that compliments Scandanavian decor. You can give this staple a vivid colour makeover to fit the colour palette for a retro theme or use crepe paper for an even more handmade rainbow-coloured mini tree look.


Don’t forget to pick up a strand of multi-colour retro-inspired string lights and maybe a starburst tree topper to complete your journey back in time to holidays past.

From hot modern trends to popular vintage throwbacks, holiday decorating is less about following what’s “in” and more about finding ideas, tutorials and aesthetics that inspire your creativity. After all, if your circle of loved ones is enjoying the giving spirit, maybe with a festive mocktail, nobody’s thinking about how much (or little) money you spent on the decor. And, they’re certainly not worrying about whether your decorating theme should be classified as country cottage neutral or Scandanavian chic.

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