There are some general rules to follow when bringing a Christmas (or any seasonal temporary) color scheme into your home.
Harmonize with Your Interior
If your home is decorated with a contemporary interior of black and white and chrome, don't try to create a rustic space with twigs and birds nests. Focus on the space as it is with silver, white, glitter, and crystals, maintaining the minimalist look.
On the other hand, if your home is decorated in warm, colorful tones, don't try to make it look sleek and sophisticated with silver and white Christmas decorations. Choose colors from the decorating plan and draw them out for the Christmas decor.
To summarize, if the space is warm and cozy, choose Christmas decorations in shapes and colors that retain that feeling. If the space is cool and sleek, choose decorations that are also sleek and sophisticated.
Transition from Room to Room
For continuity through your home, coordinate you Christmas decorations from room to room. Don't use silver and white icicles in one room and rustic twigs and calico ornaments in the adjoining room.
Try to repeat main decorating colors in each room. The decorations don't have to be the same, but bring colors from one room to the next. Try to find some decorations that have several colors in them. Then use one of the main colors in one room, another in an adjoining room, and the third color in the third room. Tie the spaces together with a common garland or decorative ribbons.
Why Color is So Important
Color evokes strong emotions in people and the colors chosen for a Christmas color scheme might be more important than the items chosen for decorations.
Think about walking into a room that's black. Black walls, black floors, black furniture, black lights. Then see a bowl of plain round silver sparkling ornaments in a black bowl. The silver ornaments are the only thing you really see. The ornaments could be green, red, gold, or purple, but they'd still draw all your attention.
Now think of a white room. White walls and everything else white. What would attract your eye the most? Something, anything, that's not white.
Choose the colors you like the most for your Christmas decorating. Choose what will draw your eye and make you feel joyous and festive.
A Monochromatic Color Scheme
If you love things harmonious to look at, all in a family of colors, you may choose a monochromatic color schem. But that doesn't mean that everything will be the same color. In fact, your monochromatic color scheme will be much more dramatic if you select items in many shades of your chosen color.
If red is your color, think of all the hues of red. Start at the pink end and move on to fuchsia, rose, cherry, firecracker, ruby, cranberry, burgundy, and maroon. You get the idea. Find balls, bows, garlands, and other decorations in every shade of red. That's a monochromatic color scheme.
Do the same thing with greens, blues, purples, whites, silvers, golds--whatever color you choose.
Use Color to Add Texture
Even with a monochromatic scheme, it's important to have some texture for interest. A tree decorated with only balls can look boring. Use garlands, different finishes on the balls, ribbons, nosegays to add different textures and balance.
Warm Colors and Cool Colors
It's known that certain colors evoke particular feelings. Reds, yellows, and golds are warm colors. Blue, white, and silver are cool colors. If you choose a decorating scheme of snow, you'd probably gravitate towards cool colors. If you're focusing on the cozy feeling of a winter fireplace, you'd choose warm colors. If you live in a climate that's freezing cold, you might want to warm up your interior with warm colors. If you live in a tropical area, you might want to bring the coolness of icicles into your home at this time of year.
Tie it up with Ribbon
Christmas decorations are temporary and can be over the top and whimsical. Bows and ribbon can be a unifying element in holiday decorating. Use the same ribbon in every room or buy coordinating ribbons in contrasting colors (for example, a gold ribbon with red stripes, and a red ribbon with gold stripes) to use in various rooms. Purchase different widths of the same design ribbon so you can use narrower around candlesticks and wider on wreaths and garlands.
Use ribbons and bows to add color and a holiday mood to garlands, wreaths, mantles, swags, and candlesticks. Learn a simple way to make floral bows to use anywhere in your home.
French ribbons with a wired edge cost more than regular soft ribbons, but are a great investment as they can be used year after year. With the wired edges, you can make a perfect bow, arranging the loops and tails any way you like for the best effect.
Be sure to purchase more ribbon than you think you'll need. You may not be able to find more later.
Read on for some examples of Christmas color schemes.