My House: Bringing Out the Red & White for Christmas

When I was growing up, there were basically two colors to decorate for Christmas with: red and green. It wasn’t that long ago that seeing other holiday colors was pretty unusual–in 2008 I posted photos of a blue Christmas that got mixed reviews from readers who felt it was straying a little too far from the traditional.

But now there are so many other color combinations being used out there–pale greens, sky blues, hot pinks, daring purples, you name it!–that I’m actually starting to feel a little old fashioned with my tried and true traditional reds.

I still love bringing the red out every December, though. It just feels “merry” to me.

In our last house, red didn’t work at all with our furniture and wall colors. I went with burgundy and pink for Christmas, which seemed really daring at the time.

When we moved here and changed to a more neutral palette, I was able to go back to classic red. I had missed it.

I do love seeing how other people decorate with different colors, though. And sometimes I wish I could try something new. When we turned our front living room into a dining room, it gave me a chance to play around with silver and gold:

I love the way my dining room glows at night with the silver and gold. But I think I’ll always have to have a little red somewhere in my house.

What colors are you using for Christmas this year? Are you trying fresh new combinations or rocking it old-school with red?

P.S. Visit My House to See More!

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  1. Christina from Dallas says

    I love silver and gold for Christmas with a splash of red and green. I am still not sold on the new color trends for Christmas. I saw a show on cable last week where professional decorators decorated celebrity homes for the holidays. One designer decorated Cheryl Burks home all pink for Christmas. including pink Christmas trees.From her reaction, I wasn’t sure she like it. She seemed to be faking her reaction to it.They decorated Dee Snider’s( Twisted Sister) house with peacock colors and spray painted their tree a greenish blue. They seemed to like it.

    • Lisette Drake says

      I saw the episode and didnt much care for the pink decorations that were done for Cheryl Burke, I did like most of the decorations at house at the Snider’s house but dont think I would spray paint my tree

    • says

      I missed that! I always like their Christmas specials where they decorate for celebs’ houses. They come up with some pretty wild stuff!

  2. Liz says

    Christmas is still red and green to me! In the dark days of December, a pop of red is just what my spirit needs!! Pink, blue, purple just doesn’t cut it. I love your red and white home, it’s just lovely.

  3. Brandy says

    Hey, don’t forget “crazy Christmas colors” can actually be old fashioned, too–anybody else’s grandmother have an aluminum or silver tree and Shiny Brite ornaments in candy colors? And the Victorians did a lot of pastels for Christmas.

    Love the Scandinavian-style reds and whites, Julia. Me, I’m more of a white tree + candy colored ornaments kinds girl, but I’ve always wanted to do a red and white look.

    • says

      Very true! We have some vintage ones from Dave’s family that are very cool in turquoise and pink. Now they’re popular again!

  4. laney says

    …Christmas comes in any color…whatever makes your heart rejoice…that is the color for you…blessings julia…and all! laney

    • says

      I agree–no right or wrong when it comes to these things. I think it’s fun to see all the variations in Christmas decorating now, even if I’m sticking to red! :-)

  5. Lisette Drake says

    I am a red and green girl, with silver and gold thrown in for sparkle.

  6. Paola Segnini says

    I am also a traditional girl. Because I haven’t been able to find the “right” shade of green for my decor I’ve been using red and gold, but my tree def has to be green. The non traditional colors don’t feel “christmasy” to me. I do know quite a few people who love to decorate in turquoise and purple though, but my family has always been on the traditional side.

  7. says

    Love the red! I’ve gone pretty classic this year with mostly green, red and gold. BUT I also have a little white tree with blue lights, so it changes it up a bit too. Loving how “merry” the red does look though!!

  8. says

    I had a red and white tree for years and still love it but I mix in sky blue with it now. Although this year we did a mix of bright colours on a small tree because we won’t actually be here for Christmas so I let the kids run wild. I just adore red though and your home looks so lovely!

  9. Alie B says

    Your home and photos are beautiful, Julia! Looks like you’re all ready for Santa! :-) For my own home, I’m a traditionalist. I love how a real tree smells, and a real tree’s imperfections speak to me more than an artificial one in all its perfection. I also prefer tried and true red, white and green for my place, with my nostalgic nature. However, I so enjoy seeing what other people do with their homes. I don’t think the decorating style or color scheme is as important as the sentiment and feeling that the decor invokes.

  10. Teresa says

    I went a little non-traditional this year and used turquoise, silver and white. I decided I would go with a more “Winter” theme and decor this year and used snowflakes, deer and mercury glass. On my front door wreath I even used some antique crystal prisms which really dressd it up. By using this theme I can keep it up longer into January.

    This past weekend I was on a Christmas house tour and one of the houses was owned by a interior decorator and he used black, white and silver. It was a more formal look but still very beautiful.

    • says

      Your turquoise, silver, and white sounds beautiful, Teresa! And I’m intrigued by the black, white and silver scheme. That could be really cool.

  11. KellyW says

    I’ve taken my inspiration from my veterinarians office, of all places. They go all out with white and silver, it’s gorgeous. So over the last several years I’ve slowly replaced my decorations with white and silver along with splashes of red here and there. Pine cones mixed with silver ornaments in a large glass container is my favorite thing.

  12. Terry says

    I have gone off the reservations several times since the children became adults and moved on their own. But! They won’t let me make any changes to the tree. When I have, they complimented the effort but asked where the real ornaments were. Several times during the “off season” people have asked if we were Swedish. I am. My home is predominantly blue and yellow. I never realized it but I seem to be living inside a Swedish flag. Christmas is red and green around here but I also use yellow candles and lots of lemons. I tuck bunches of them where they make sense. I am obsessed with lemons – the color, the texture, the shape, the taste, the aroma. I’m also obsessed with yellow. My cat Daffodil, a long hair yellow Tabby looks suspiciously like my yellow VW Beetle. There is a green wreath in every window (hung on a wide yellow ribbon), a simple but elegant traditional look that I love. I’ve wanted to do it for years but with the price of wreaths was impossible. Guess what?! Twenty-five inch plain green wreaths at Hobby Lobby are $10.00 each and are marked 50% off! They look a little sad and skimpy in the store until you get home and fluff them up. Whee! There is a large red berry wreath on the front door. And yes, my tree is very traditional and contains all the ornaments my children made over the years. Except for my husband who rolls his eyes and then admits that the house looks nice, everyone is happy.

  13. DEH says

    I have a yellow Christmas tree that belonged to my grandparents. I decorate it in bright pinks, bright greens and teal, then I have it in my purple bedroom. It is lot of fun and different. However, in the rest of my house I am still traditional.

  14. says

    I’m a traditionalist. I always decorate with red and green Your decorations look lovely!. ~Amy

  15. martha says

    I love to see what everyone does at Christmas and enjoy all the color schemes. For myself I like good old red and green with pops of gold and crystal. We just had our house painted with Benjamin Moore’s Barn Red with Martha’s Vinyard Green for the shutters…..I have always been obsessed with these colors and they now dominate inside and out…makes it easy to decorate this time of year. Love your home! The pictures are great!

  16. Kate says

    I really love red or burgundy and gold for Christmas, I really don’t put out anything green except for fresh greenery (tree and garland everywhere).

  17. Amanda says

    Julia, your house looks very festive! I have a bit more red this year in my house. I went to Ikea one day and came home with red pillow covers, red checked towels for the kitchen, and red candles. New AND cheap!

  18. Sarah says

    I’m still a traditionalist too. We decorate the house with varying shades of red/burgundy, green and gold. I did, however, purchase some outdoor greenery urns that had bright blue bows and sticks, but it just didn’t look right, at all! The blues were pulled out and replaced by leftover and saved reds from previous years.

  19. Julie B. [Holland] says

    Happy Holidays Julia, I have to say I love red also , always have for Christmas, with a touch a silver and now the mercury glass is pretty too!

  20. chrissie says

    I have a red and green look in my lounge and a pastel tree in the conservatory. I love old silvered mercury baubles but also rustic decorations. I am schizophrenic in tastes or as I prefer to say eclectic so must have two trees !

  21. says

    Addicted to red girl here! So I am loving all your red and white!! I have done other colors before – blue, maroon, all white, but I still come back to red. So it is EVERYWHERE. If you get a chance please take a look at all my “Christmas Traditions” posts this month – you will see the overdose on red!! Green will make its appearance in the playroom, and yellow will arrive in the study but everything else gets decked out in red…can’t wait to show the screened porch all dressed up for Christmas!

  22. kasey says

    both areas are beautiful. there’s something about the classic red around the holidays. I was absolutely dancing in the salvation army store because I found a little mug with red moose (mooses?) and holiday ivy on it. And I finally found a dollar tree with the red reindeer fabric ornament that ‘Delightful Order’ used for a diy pillow in a recent post (only her reindeer were gold — i have one more dollar tree to check for those). If I can find enough of those ornaments, there were only 2 at the store I went to, I’m going to take one and use it as a template for making spray-painting the design on round wood pieces.

    I love the red & white pitcher set on the tray in your sun room. As well as the red candle lantern (i’ve been looking for one I can afford – i think it’s going to be fake brass & spray paint in the end). And Maisie looks oh so comfortable on her couch. :-)

  23. Mopsy says

    Love Maisie’s red collar. There’s a girl who knows how to put her fashion paw forward! (And the rest of your house looks WONDERFUL!)

  24. Terry says

    You know, Julia, I forgot to mention that I think your house looks lovely. Don’t even get me started on your adorable dog!

    Merry Christmas!

  25. says

    I am a lover of traditional red, and I suppose I always will be. I branched out a little and included some blue this year, but in the main I’m a traditionalist. Since we have fresh greenery, it makes sense to use Christmas red–hard to beat complementary colors, if you ask me!

    Your house is looking very festive. Thanks for including the photo of sweet Maisie!

  26. Jano says

    Bringing out the red and white – I thought perhaps I’d wandered onto a wine blog. Speaking of which, a few bottles of the same would look nice with your scheme.

  27. Renita says


    Your house looks absolutely beautiful! Red is definitely my favorite color. I was in an antique mall this past weekend and saw a small pink tree which was adorable! I am sorry I did not buy it.

    Happy and healthy holidays to you and your family!

  28. Tracie says

    I went for greens, greenery, and whites.creams with pops of red this year. It’s fun to mix it up a bit from year to year. This felt like a good year only to take out the really special decorations. :)

  29. Cheryl-ann says

    Because it is really hot here in Australia at Christmas time, we decorate our houses with neutral colours, and yellow is really big this year.

  30. Kim says

    Your home is so beautiful! You always do a great job decorating it.

  31. says

    I love your Christmas decorations!!! Everything is so festive!
    Your home is unique…

  32. Autumn says


    Merry Christmas !!

    Your house is beautiful. I too; have red as my favorite color and no matter how hard I try; I always drift back to a mostly red decor (I am a retired nurse/interior redesigner/home stager…..but red red is red and I hate beige!!!!

    Goc Bless!

  33. Michele says

    Very traditional here – greenery with white lights and lots of red and gold with a touch of silver here and there. Now that my kids are beyond preschool age and out of destructo mode, I have a formal tree upstairs in addition to the family tree in our finished basement. So now I’m much more laid back about the family tree and let the kids go to town on it with all our special and fun keepsake ornaments, and the tree upstairs is MINE! It’s a real tree, so I string white lights in it, wrap it in a beautiful textured gold ribbon and decorate it with an assortment of beautiful ornaments I got from Target in various shades – lime green, traditional green, red, gold and silver. Different sizes and textures (some shiny, some covered in glitter, some patterned, but all very complimentary). The end result is traditional and festive, but gives me the more formal look I don’t get with our beloved family tree. I i turn it on first thing in the morning and enjoy it day and night!

    I love your red and white, by the way. Perfect for your porch! And the gold in the dining room is perfect.

  34. E. george says

    Hi Julia I love your home it looks beautiful and warm. My Christmas tree is a kind of stick tree with snow and the colours I use to decorate are mostly a bit of gold then there is the Christmas green and lots of beautiful Christmas red. Regards Esther from Sydney.

  35. says

    The red looks fabulous in your home! Very pretty and fresh! It works very well with your existing colors. I swooned over your gold sparkly dining room! I used to do red and green but it always looked funky in our house. Several years ago I decided to do a color theme that worked with our living room and family room’s colors. It was much prettier to me.

    We’ve moved, so now I’ve done a different color scheme that works nicely in our new living room: Teal and lime green. The family room in our new house has colors like our former home’s living room, so I’m using that color scheme there: Copper/bronze and gold.

    You can visit my blog to see my decorating if you’d like :-) and

  36. says

    Red is just so Christmas-y, perfect. In general I don’t like to decorate with red, so when it does come out, you know it is Christmas in our house!!

  37. says

    Hi Julia,

    You know how much I love your house and I always have your dining room and your white Christmas tree in mind at this time of the year. Your home has being an inspiration to me.

    Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pictures, Julia. The sunroom is feeling happy and very welcoming.

    Have a great day, my friend.


    Luciane at

  38. ShabbyChick says

    It looks great, Julia! And I LOVED your dining room photos last year! My decorations are burgundy, pale green and gold…. 😉

  39. says

    Well, I adore your home. Okay, my favorite thing in your house is the dining room. I think the metallic gold/silver looks pretty hot. If I have a theme it is BRIGHT green and silver. The brighter green the better. I don’t put out a ton of Christmas decorations because mid-century moderns are really small. I get a little claustrophobic if I load up the stuff, then invite 50 people over (which we do). I finally got the inside of the house decorated and posted it last night. The only thing really mid-century is the shiny-brite tree topper which is your basic purple, pink and turquoise. haha.

  40. Michele says

    I think you are correct in saying that red and green have been the traditional decorating colors for Christmas. I think now, though, that Blue (and silver) is a staandard palette. It could be I have gotten used to seeing it. Isn’t that how we come to accept these changes anyway? I decided early I wanted to decorate blue and silver this year. I think Christmas decorating is so much more than just color and that many color schemes can take on Christmas. Decorating is a combination of individual taste and convention (or trends). I am sure there are many who have never liked red and green, some who only recently have come to dislike red and green, and those who will always love red and green (and a dozen other possibilities!). Fortunately, there are so many options, there will be no two homes alike!

  41. says

    Your home is so fresh and pretty with the pops of red! I would love to spend time in your sunroom with a few magazines. I’m almost done with decorating, I think I’m just overwhelmed with too much stuff and too many ideas.

  42. Nita says

    When I had surgery last week, the hospital had this huge coppery decorated Christmas tree in the foyer and it was just gorgeous. I should have taken a photo.

  43. Nino says

    You’re so right going for red at christmas.
    Every year I bring out my red and silver decorations. I even change my interior of my beach house sunroom. I remove al the blue, white and beige and bring in my red silver and green.

    And christmas gives me two enjoyable moment…….the time to decorate for christmas and the time to bring everyting back to normal…….I just love decorating.

    wish you all the best for christmas and the new year!!!!

    Monique (the Netherlands)

  44. Empress says

    Those look exactly like my eye glasses sitting on the stack of books. LOL.