I’ve spent this week focused on decorating our home for the season ahead. I always enjoy this festive time of year… unboxing seasonal decor, carefully unwrapping ornaments I’ve collected and tucked into boxes over the years, and adding a few new ones to our collection every holiday. One of my friends recently asked how my collection seemed so cohesive, yet I change the look each year. I’m obviously not buying entirely new Christmas ornaments every holiday. I wanted to share how I’ve come to collect classic ornaments that make a great base for decor of any aesthetic! Click through for a fun roundup and my tips & tricks…
Obviously, every tree and holiday decor is unique to your personal aesthetic, but these are my favorite ornament picks if you’re going for a traditional and classic look. These make an excellent foundation for styling and filling, while leaving room for your personal touch… and they work with any aesthetic.
Tips for Creating a Cohesive Ornament Collection
My best tips for creating a cohesive ornament collection to build upon? Start slow and be intentional. I always buy 3-4 new ornaments each holiday season.
- Choose classic materials– opt for ornaments made of timeless materials… metal, glass, wood, velvet, etc.
- Be intentional– allow yourself a set number of ornaments every holiday… my number is four, so I’m very selective with the ones I choose to buy each season.
- Invest in quality– over the past decade, there are very few ornaments I’ve discarded… all of those were cheap, trendy, and impulse purchases that didn’t withstand the test of time.
- Select neutrals that make a good foundation– while you’re still building your base collection, choose neutrals you can expand upon. Once you have a great base, then you can begin to branch out. Some seasons, I’ll grab three neutrals and one eclectic or fun colored ornament.
- Consider scale & shape– depending on where you plan to style the ornaments or the height of your tree, you should take proportion into consideration. You’ll want a good variety for visual interest… some small options and some oversized options. Similarly, consider shape… some should be round, some oblong, etc.
Ornament Styling Ideas
Even if you don’t have a tree, ornaments can be styled in so many fun ways during the holidays! Here are some ideas to brainstorm and try…
- Grouped together in a bowl– on the coffee table, counter, console, or sideboard.
- Hanging from a light fixture– picture a delicate ornament hanging from the bottom of a sconce or chandelier.
- Hanging from wreaths– dress up your wreath with a centered ornament and ribbon.
- Contained in a hurricane or clear vase– for a sculptural look… try styling it on the mantel or built-ins!
- Hanging from furniture hardware, a cabinet, or door knob– (for non breakable ornaments), like tassels or bells.
- Nestled into garland– occasionally, I’ll affix a few ornaments into a garland arrangement for added interest.
- As gift toppers– small ornaments make the perfect gift topper for holiday packages.
- Create a centerpiece– mix greenery and ornaments for an interesting centerpiece for a tablescape.
- Obviously, on the tree– the classic way to style ornaments… I prefer a full look with lots of ornaments.
Tips for Styling Unique Seasonal Looks, Using the Same Ornaments Each Holiday
Like I mentioned in the intro, over the years I’ve acquired quite a large collection of ornaments. I also like to slightly switch my holiday look each year because I enjoy styling and it’s fun to play & experiment. For example, this year (as you’ll see next week)– I’m going with a brown palette and equestrian theme (I say that loosely). Last year, I opted for a blue palette… click here to see my 2022 holiday home tour, if you’re interested! All of that to say, I don’t buy new ornaments every year. I use what I have.
So how do I achieve totally different looks? It’s more about mixing in additional elements along with your ornaments…
- Use ribbon to reinforce your color palette.
- Choose a fun wrapping paper to nail drive home your aesthetic.
- Incorporate textiles (pillows, blankets, throws, etc) to add stylistic interest.
- Swap out your coffee table books or easy seasonal artwork that feels cohesive with the look you’re going for.
- Enjoy seasonal fragrances (candles and diffusers) that bring you holiday joy… bonus points if the vessels work well stylistically.
Keep in mind, ornaments don’t define your entire holiday aesthetic… they’re only a small part in curating your seasonal style!
Classic Ornaments That Never Go Out of Style
Here are 30 of my favorite ornaments… all in classic neutrals, made of timeless materials. They also vary in price- so there’s something for any budget.
You can shop and see more by clicking on each ornament below!
Do you have any favorites from the collection? I’d love to hear! I actually own a lot of these, and you’ll notice many are from my Tuesday Made shop. My philosophy there has always been to provide timeless options that friends will love and use for many years to come. I love picturing families pulling out these ornaments I curate for the shop to create traditions year-after-year. That’s pretty special.
How to Incorporate Quirky Ornaments
Once your tree has been prepped and filled with the classic ornaments, you can begin to add your personal touch… more color, quirky items, sentimental pieces, handmade things, sentimental, and unique ornaments. Build your base, then take creative liberties! I love that no tree is perfect and all have interesting items to find. It’s representative of you and your family. Here are some tips for styling a tree with quirk, while keeping your holiday traditions intact…
- Use quirky ornaments in moderation… this actually makes them feel more special because it’s fun to discover them within the tree! My “strange” ornaments are some of the ones I like best (handmade ornaments from nieces & nephews, weird animal ornaments, vintage ornaments, etc). My personal decorating rule is 70% classic and 30% unique.
- Style them in their own special place… perhaps in a coffee table bowl or on a smaller countertop tree?
- Strategically place the really weird ornaments… I’m not saying to hide them, but I’m saying- position it next to something that feels intentional and balanced.
- Gives kids their own small tree to decorate… so many of my friends have tiny “bedroom trees” for their littles and it looks like such a fun tradition- and a great place to display their holiday artwork or handmade ornaments.
If you’re wondering where I keep all these ornaments in the off season- they live in my basement prop closet! I keep them in this handy ornament storage bag, but I really want to invest in this fancy five tray telescoping ornament storage system. I feel like if you’re spending the money on nice holiday decor, you should keep it safe. In the last twelve years, I’ve only broken two of my holiday ornaments! I feel like that’s pretty impressive.
Absolutely! In fact, I’d encourage that. I always mix silver, brass, rose gold, and even copper. It’s easy to pull that off with holiday decor.
This totally depends on the ornament and material. I’d say a “nice” ornament starts in the $8 ballpark and goes into the $100’s (yes, really). There are some seriously fancy crystal and designer ornaments floating around out there.
While I like repetition, I always hear designers say, “buy 10-12 of the same ornament.” Personally, I don’t agree with that design rule. I think ornaments can be impactful in lesser quantities and I never buy extras to account for breakage, as they often suggest. I think it’s more about how they’re styled. You can also buy a few of the same ornament in different sizes for a nice design impact.
Use pretty ribbon to affix them to your tree (velvet, satin, silk, linen, etc) and style them alongside a few nicer ornaments. I’m all about mixing high & low! Some of my ornaments are higher-end and handmade, while others are mass produced and came from places like Target or Amazon.
Looking for more holiday decorating inspired posts? I’ll link some of my favorites for you below…
- Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas
- 10 Ideas for Styling Garland
- Exterior Holiday Home Tour
- Vintage Christmas Ornaments
- Wispy Pine Needle Arrangement
- Simple Holiday Tablescape
- My Holiday Home Tour
- DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas
I hope you liked this one! Be sure to check out my annual holiday gift guide if you missed that on Monday. I got the post up a bit later than usual due to some technical difficulties. After a short break from this series, I’ve also got a new Facebook Marketplace Finds post coming on Friday for you! Be sure to check back for that. It has been a busy and fun week of decorating over here! Have you started yet?