How To Choose A Christmas Color Palette

Get tips for choosing the perfect Christmas color palette for your home this Holiday. The right color palette will make Christmas decorating so much easier and give your home a beautiful, festive holiday look and feel.

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What Is A Color Palette

A color palette is a group of curated colors used together in a space. It is a guide for decorating your home. A color palette creates a cohesive look, evokes an emotional reaction, and creates beauty.

It can also…

  • create harmony
  • make it easier to decorate
  • make a room look finished
  • create a consistent look in a room.

A color palette can also be known as a color scheme and a color story.

Wouldn’t it be simple if you could look at any decor and know almost instantly if it would look nice in your home? A color palette can help you do just that!

A Quick Color Story Guide

A color scheme or palette is usually a grouping of 3 to 5 colors that work together to create harmony and evoke an emotion.

Here are some of our emotions and feelings colors can make us feel…

  • happiness
  • airiness
  • moodiness
  • coziness
  • safety
  • alertness
  • sleepiness
  • cheerfulness
  • and more

The colors you choose are basically up to you. Let your eyes be your guide. Just make sure you like how they look together.

I love neutrals and enjoy living with their clean airy look. They evoke a light and spacious feel.

I recently bought a new bookcase and created a color palette to help me decorate it.

color palette of a bookcase

Using a color palette for everything you decorate will help your home look so attractive.

The Decorating Funnel

Think of a color palette as a funnel.

Imagine a big, big, wide funnel with a small hole at the bottom end.

I imagine sticking all my decor in the top of the color palette funnel. Everything.

What does not fit the scheme will not come out! I use only the things that come out of the bottom of my color palette funnel because I know they will work wonderfully together.

If you use this color funnel idea, you end up with harmonious colors that look amazingly well together!

I hope the imagery of the funnel helps.

One Little Exception

There is one little exception for creating and using the perfect color palette. Make a little room for something unexpected or interesting or something that has a big sentimental meaning to you.

Designers make a lot of exceptions, and their rooms can look stunning.

If you have a beautiful Japanese kimono in Imperial yellow, go ahead and add it as art to a wall in your home. Or if you have a collection of orange leather-bound books owned by your great-grandfather, put it on a bookshelf. Enjoy the extra special things you own! There should be room in your home for them, no matter what your colors are.

More About Color

A color palette also gives you a guide for adding or buying new items for your space.

It is like a Christmas decorating miracle! It works like magic! Use the decorating funnel idea for the new things you bring into your home too.

Really, there’s a tremendous amount of science, psychology, and art in a pretty color palette. And it all can be used to create beauty and harmony in your home.

Why Create A Christmas Color Palette?

Christmas mantel with greens

Just like choosing a color palette for your home, choosing a Christmas color palette will make your home look beautiful, cohesive, interesting, and much easier to decorate.

There are many Christmas colors, as there are homes that celebrate the season! Yes, red and green are the traditional Christmas colors, but you can choose any colors you like.

Creating a Christmas color palette will give you a sense of direction. And it will help you decide what Christmas decor you will and will not use in your home this year. It will also help by making it easy to buy the decor you need to add to make your Christmas home sparkle!

How To Create A Christmas Color Palette

Here’s my Christmas decor from last year! I started with a color palette for Christmas, and it was so much easier to collect the Christmas decor that would work best.

There is one thing to consider when choosing a Christmas palette. We should be aware of the colors of our homes. We want our holiday decor to play nicely with the rest of our home decor! The easiest way to do this is to incorporate some of your home’s color palette in your Christmas colors.

Here is my Christmas color palette from last year…

Christmas color palette for this year

I was inspired by the Christmas decorations I used in my master bedroom the year before. I loved the brown and white ribbon I used on the tree and wanted to use in again in the main part of our home.

Christmas bedroom with a tree

So for Christmas, I’m using a lot of the same colors, and I’m adding just a sliver of red this year.

My home colors are warm, so a little bit of cool red will give lots of interest!

Here’s a peek at my color palette for this year…

Christmas colors for 2023

This is a real departure from what I usually use. I think these colors can work for late fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It’s all about what other seasonal decor supports them.

Here’s a dough bowl I created for our Christmas Centerpiece Tour on Monday. You can see a couple of the colors I’ll be using throughout our home.

Christmas doug hbowl

Go ahead and mix colors in your home with colors you want to use for Christmas. Play around with lighter and darker shades and tints and hues of your colors to find the perfect Christmas mix.

Greenery Is A Free Color

bowl of Christmas greens with a white candle

For me, greenery, fresh or faux, is a free color at Christmastime! Go ahead and use lots of different greenery in lots of different shades of green!

A Christmas tree is definitely free! A pine wreath is too!

Someone once told me that all greens work together, and I think that’s true. Or at least that is what I choose to believe!

Beautiful Metallics

greens, candles and metallic Christmas balls on a metal tray

Metallics are freebies too. Not the color per se, but the finishes. So if you want the color gold to be part of your Christmas color palette, then it counts. But if you are using goldtone candlesticks, they can be used liberally as well as a bronze platter or silver bells.

Metallics should play a big role in Christmas decorating!

Two Other Free Colors

Chair with Christmas pillows next to a Christmas tree

Two other colors I don’t count in my color palettes are white and black. White is so reminiscent of snow, so use it liberally. White also lightens up and gives a more modern look to Christmas decor.

And as long as you don’t use a lot of black, you can use it without counting it in your color palette too.

8 Popular Color Palettes For Christmas

Here is some beautiful color inspiration for Christmas …

Traditional Christmas

Christmas color palette-

This color palette is quintessential Christmas! It’s brimming with holiday cheer! Use red, green, white, and one more color in a very small dose. Here black was added to the holiday trio!

Use lots of white to make the red pop! I love this look.

Here are a few ways to use this color palette in your home this Christmas…

  • String popcorn and cranberries on a Christmas tree. Beautiful and traditional.
  • Add a red and green velvet pillow to a sofa.
  • Put a red, green, and white tartan throw over the back of a chair.
  • Hang red, green, and white stockings on the mantel or going up the stairs.

Whites And Neutral Christmas

Christmas color palette-

Whites and neutrals are beautiful Christmas colors, especially when mixed with glistening gold ornaments and other sparkly metallics. These colors are also classic winter colors that are reminiscent of a snowy landscape.

White, cream, pearl, ivory, off-white, bisque, and more are all gorgeous colors to use!

Keep this color palette on the warm side so it looks beautiful and inviting. Crisp whites and other cool colored neutrals will tend to look stark. To create a bit of depth to a white and neutral color palette, add the tiniest hints of brown tones. This frosty color palette needs a bit of warmth.

Here are a few ways to use this color palette in your Christmas home…

  • Wrap gifts in white and brown craft paper and tie them up in neutral colored ribbon.
  • Tuck a collection of white and neutral trees together with a few wispy greens.
  • Add neutral and metallic Christmas balls to a tree.

Warm And Toasty

Christmas color palette-

This is the year of the dried orange! I’m seeing them everywhere! Who says you can’t use orange in a Christmas palette. It’s not traditional, but it is so beautiful!

This palette uses beautiful earthy colors and leans heavily towards warm colors. Even the cool gray is warmed up! Use warm browns, beige, burnt sienna, caramel, gold, whites, and off-whites!

Here are a few ways you can use this pretty cozy feeling color palette in your home…

  • Add greens to a fireplace mantel and string dried oranges on a ribbon, and use it as a garland!
  • Make cinnamon scented pinecones and pile them in a bowl with cinnamon sticks! Or hang a pinecone wreath on your front door.
  • Put amber colored Christmas balls in a bowl with fairy lights and a few springs of greens.

To keep this color palette more updated, use lots of white!

Gold And Metallics

Christmas color palette-

This color palette is magical,l sparkly, and opulent. Use colors like gold, copper, silver, and bronze to create breathtaking Christmas designs. Choose one predominant metallic color and sprinkle in a few other metals.

Use one other color to ground all the metals, like green or even a warm burnished brown.

Here are a few ways to can use this color palette in your home…

  • Put beautiful metallic Christmas ornaments in a large shallow bowl with snippets of greens and mix in a string of lights.
  • Add mercury glass and gold candlesticks and votives down the center of a table.
  • Tuck bronzed glittery leaves or flowers into your Christmas tree.

Greens And White

Christmas color palette-

Green and white is a beautiful and sophisticated Christmas color palette. Use different hues and shades of green together for a rich look! But use lots of white so this color palette does not get too moody.

Metallics will brighten up greens and add a bit of magical sparkle!

This is a very comfortable color palette to me as I LOVE green and a very tight color palette.

Here are a few ways to use this lovely color palette…

  • Use flocked or frosted greens to make pretty arrangements, and add lots of metallic elements like leaves, gilded pinecones, and sparkly berries.
  • Add white berries or other white items like snowflakes or stars to a garland.
  • Put a big evergreen wreath on your front door with a white monogrammed hooked inside the center of the wreath.

Teal, Mint, And Silver

Christmas color palette-

This color palette is for beach lovers. The little house hanging in the tree above is from my friend Julie’s Christmas decor. She blogs at My Wee Abode. Julie lives near the beach and uses a bit of these pretty aquas and teals in her decor.

These coastal colors are best used in soft tones with lots of white. So pretty!

Here are a few ways to use these colors in your Christmas home…

  • Add other elements from the ocean, like starfish or white coral, to bowls of light aqua and mint colored ornaments.
  • Fill aqua mason jars with fairy lights.
  • Use chunky rope as garland in a tree.

Green, Gold, And Brown

Christmas color palette-

This Christmas color palette incorporates the beauty of gold with classic natural Christmas elements like evergreens and pinecones. This is a rich color palette. Keep it fresh by using lots of light neutrals and white.

Here are a few ways to add this color palette to your Christmas home…

  • Use burnished bronze and light green velvet pillow on a sofa or chair.
  • Tie citron silk ribbon to metallic Christmas balls or large jingle bells.
  • Group white houses together and tuck greens around them. Add little white bottle brush trees.
  • Add lots of faux snow to the greens.

Blue, White, And Red

greens in a pedestal bowl with a green candle

My friend, Ann from On Sutton Place, is the most beautiful blogger. And Ann’s blog is full of such amazing ideas! Click HERE to see her rag balls. Wouldn’t these look so pretty in your Christmas decor?

Red, white, and blue make a stunning Christmas color palette! To keep it from looking overly Americana choose mostly blue and white and add in just a little bit of red! As always, keep it light and airy by using lots of white. Or create a moodier look by using a deeper blue.

Here are a few ways to use this color palette in your Christmas home…

  • Add red and white candy canes to a big glass jar and tie a blue and white check bow to the lid.
  • Put a white pedestal cake plate with red berries and white candles on the kitchen table. Put it on a blue and white striped table runner.
  • Fill and blue and white ginger jar with greens and red and white flowers.

Choosing a color palette will make it so easy for you to decorate your Christmas home.

What color palette are you using this Christmas? Share with us in the comments!







Decor That Will Go With Any Christmas Palette

pin for Christmas palette post

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  1. This article was so helpful to me, thanks Yvonne and Merry Christmas!

  2. Love the color palette idea for Christmas. I was inspired by some placemats I picked up at Home Goods. They are a muted red and green with cream woven into pattern. I also found a muted red and cream table runner. I will be adding hints of brass gold too. So excited to pull out what I have and the go from there to start decorating. Thank you!

  3. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Yvonne, Tell me about the white fur throw on your bed, by fire place, please.

    1. I’ve had this faux fur blanket for almost a decade. Sorry, Nan! I can’t remember where I got it.

  4. Rose Monty says:

    Yvonne, as always, your ideas and suggestions are so very lovely. I have been thinking of changing my Christmas décor this year, In fact, your Bookcase color palette and Christmas White Neutrals examples are what I had in mind.
    Thank you.

  5. Love your decor so much! I have a small child that gets excited about all of the traditional Christmas decor in the store. However, I love a neutral color palette. If I keep them separate in different rooms, do you think this could work? Thank you!

    1. Hi Savannah, why not try it. Children grow up so so fast. You will have time for color palettes in a few years. I’d give anything to have my children little again! Enjoy the wonder of Christmas with you kiddo!

  6. So many beautiful color options!! My wheels are turning – this has helped me figure out how I can adjust my existing palette, while adding in the new color that I want to add. Thanks so much for all of your suggestions!!

  7. Hello, do you have an article where you show how you did the ribbon on the garland on your mantel. I adore it, so simple yet just stunning. I love your decor. Thanks

    1. Hi Debbie, I don’t have a tutorial. However creating this look is so easy. I cut 4 to 6 ft. lengths of the ribbon and dove tailed each end. Then I cinched the ribbon, about every 18 inches with wire. I stuck the cinched area into the greens and tied it to the greens with the wire. One tip, let the ribbon poof out a little so it has that pretty bowed look. Hope this helps.

      1. Hi Yvonne:

        Thank you so much. I struggle with ribbon esp on my tree as well. I would gladly pay a professional to come and do it for (well almost Ha ha). Is this how you do your tree ribbon as well? And yes it does help.

  8. So extremely helpful and caused me to narrow down my choices to our new home that is so much smaller than our last one. I need to re-orient my mind around decorating small and keeping the color palette tight. This kind of decor calms my mind, too, especially in a stressful holiday season. Thanks!
    Oh! P.S. — can you please tell us where you got the ceramic trees with the holes in them? Lovely!

  9. My favorite is the “Warm and Toasty” palette. I find using these colors allows me to start my holiday decor before Thanksgiving, even putting up my trees. Then, after Thanksgiving, all I have to do is edit, adding in my greens and golds. Whites and neutrals with accents of gold are my backdrop throughout the year, so warming things up for the holidays is easy. We are book lovers, so I have to work with dark and white wood bookcases filled with books. Thank you for your inspiring posts, Yvonne!