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Christmas decor doesn’t have to be red and green to be festive. Image Source: Popsugar.com

The holidays are almost upon us. Traditional Christmas decorations are warm and inviting, but those felt stockings, candy canes and wooden reindeer might not be a good fit for your home if you’re a fan of modern design.

Modernists, rejoice! We’ve put together some uniquely modern Christmas decorating ideas for a contemporary home. We’ve skipped the cliches in favor of what’s new, trending or simply irresistibly cool. Ready to be inspired?

Here are some modern Christmas decorating ideas:

Black and White

Black and white is a crisp, graphic combination. Why not transform the color combo for Christmas? Santa will be perfectly accentuated in his red suit coming down the chimney into a black-and-white Christmas wonderland.

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Photo: TomKat Studio

Bold, graphic black-and-white art is a simple alternative to red and green. Image Source: The TomKat Studio

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Photo: Kara Allen Christmas

This black-and-white-themed Christmas tree features gold accents. Image Source: Kara’s Party Ideas

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Treetopia tree

This striped tree is an ideal base for a black-and-white Christmas theme. Image Source: Treetopia

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Black and white is very contemporary. Image Source: Eenigwonen

Birds and Feathers

Feathers are like the first snow of winter: pure and fluffy. Add a modern twist to your Christmas decorating by using whimsical birds or owls, or feather ornaments, topiaries or wreaths. If you already have a collection of feathers, use them to fill clear glass balls for a unique display.

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Add birds to your existing Christmas decor. Peacocks are particularly festive! Image Source: West Elm

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Photo: The Feather Girl

A white feather topiary-style tree strung with tiny lights is a fresh update. Image Source: The Feather Girl

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Photo: Roost

This alternative Christmas look features glass balls containing feathers hung on manzanita branches. Image Source: Roost

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Photo: K&K Interiors

White feather owls add some whimsy to your Christmas decor. Image Source: K&K Interiors

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Roost’s porcelain feather ornaments have an earthy but contemporary feel. Image Source: Roost


Living succulents are earth-friendly, low maintenance and an excellent modern Christmas decorating idea. Arrange a few in a centerpiece, or go big with a succulent wreath or garland; however you use these hardy, low-water plants, you can enjoy them long after Christmas is over.

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Photos: Square wreath - Etsy, Round wreath - Lila B Design

A square succulent wreath with red berry trim complements contemporary homes, while a round wreath has a more classic look. Image Sources: Easy and Lila B. Design

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Photo: diyandmag.com

Trim small glass terrariums with red ribbon and fill them with succulents. Image Source: diyandmag.com

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Photo: JL Designs

Succulent topiary trees are a new trend in Christmas decor. Image Source: JL Designs

Modern Wreaths

Wreaths may be classic Christmas decorations, but today’s versions offer much more than greenery and pine cones. You can use a modern, innovative wreath:

  • On your front door
  • In a window
  • Over the mantel
  • As a centerpiece
  • Around a group of candles

Another bonus is their versatility. Add elements such as small objects or oversized ribbon to change a wreath’s look.

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The contemporary Polygon wreath from the Frye Art Museum store is playful and geometric. Image Source: Frye Art Museum

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Photo: corkandspoon.files.wordpress.com

This DIY cork wreath is perfect for wine lovers. Image Source: corkandspoon

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Place a candle in the center of a succulent wreath on your tabletop. Image Source: Valiant Design

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Photo: West Elm

Use paper to create an unexpected, modern wreath. Image Source: West Elm

Pine Branches

The fine quality of pine needles create a fresh, modern look. Keep your pine display minimal by using small ornaments and lights to accentuate the beauty of the pine’s texture. Use silver pine in your Christmas decorating; it’s an especially contemporary-looking pine species, known for its beautiful silvery-sage color.

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Make a simple, modern wreath of silver pine. Image Source: Janis Gosbee Design

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Photo: janisgosbee.com

Accessorize a pine-needle garland with ornaments and candles. Image Source: Janis Gosbee Design


Lights have always been the go-to decor for Christmas trees. But the latest LED string lights and fixtures illuminate rooms and objects in new ways. Go big with your light show; the more you use, the cooler the effect.

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Photo: Z Gallerie

A grouping of delicate LED Christmas branches. Image Source: Z Gallerie


Today’s stylized snowflake decorations add a modern look to any room. For maximum impact, hang them in varying heights and sizes to replicate falling snow.

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Hang snowflakes in a corner of the room for a winter wonderland effect. Image Source: Digs Digs

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Use large paper snowflakes as part of a minimalist Christmas theme. Image Source: notonthehighstreet.com

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Glue together cutout snowflakes into a round (or square) wreath. Image Source: Creative Entertaining

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Photo: West Elm

Use an assortment of party paper globes mixed with snowflake decor for a festive look. Image Source: West Elm

Festive Dining

A little Christmas spirit can really elevate a dinner table. Use some of these ideas for your next holiday meal to surprise and delight your guests. Pick a color theme, borrow some Christmas ornaments from your tree and create a modern, festive tablescape.

For more ideas on how to create a table setting, see Fresh, Modern Table Setting Ideas to Wow Your Guests.

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Photo: fitzsu.com

The reindeer art and red accents make this contemporary setting more Christmasy. Image Source: Fitzsu

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Photo: Terry's Fabrics UK

Use mirrors under your centerpiece to reflect candlelight. Image Source: Terry’s Fabrics UK

We hope our modern Christmas decorating ideas have inspired you. How will you make your contemporary home more festive this season?