12/10/2014 01:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Unique Holiday Decorating Ideas

Clever alternatives to traditional decorations.


photography by DITTE ISAGER

It's not really Christmas until your home is full of shiny things and smells like pine. Here are a few loosened up takes on traditional decorations to usher in that yuletide feeling.


photography by DITTE ISAGER

dressed-up wreath
Instead of hanging one above your fireplace, establish a focal point by using a mirror to "frame" it. (Particularly unexpected in the bedroom.) Embellish a plain, ready-made version with tiny gold and silver ornaments, which don't clash with grown-up decor.

Another decorating tip: you can never have too many frames...


photography by DITTE ISAGER

welcoming garland
With dialed-down decorations, a classic garland looks chic and relaxed, not prim. Instead of braiding together boughs, save a few hours and buy a rope of pine. Keep things low key with asymmetrically placed ribbons and unkitschy ornaments like these metallic stars and snowflakes.

Into metallic? Check out our silver belle cravings.


photography by DITTE ISAGER

creative card display
Instead of slapping greetings on the fridge (or, ahem, tossing them), turn them into an evolving installation-which can make the corniest family portraits look cool. Clear off a bulletin board, cover it in wrapping paper or fabric (tack in the back) and compose a collage of notes, ribbons, photos and invitations.

Check out our holiday festivities -- you can create your own wall art and entertain guests at the same time.


photography by DITTE ISAGER

ornate chandelier
A zero-commitment way to glitz up your dining spaces, this hanging centerpiece lets you show off your ornaments without having to sweep up the needles. Plus, if you stay away from a Christmas-centric scheme of all reds and greens, it can remain up through New Year's Eve. This looks best if you string baubles at different levels with colorful ribbon and don't go overboard. (As with accessorizing, it pays to take a few items off when you're done.)

With a living space this fabulous, go ahead and make it a fancy fete.

photography by DITTE ISAGER

2-D tree
If you want to save a fir (or don't have space for the real thing), plastic isn't your only alternative. With this whimsical, minimalist option, even those with teensy apartments can enjoy a little yuletide magic-and big-home-dwellers can use it to brighten up a hallway.

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