Style & Shopping

3 Festive Decor Aesthetics to Try in Your Space This Holiday Season

published Nov 14, 2023
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Young woman decorating her living room for the upcoming holidays
Credit: AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

If you’re anything like me, the literal second Halloween is over, you’re blasting Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” and unpacking your box of holiday decor at full tilt. You’re also probably a little bored of the same mismatched garlands and old warped string of LED lights you’ve been using to deck the halls in your college home for the past few years.

This holiday season, I’m graduating from haphazardly decorating my college bedroom to transforming my space with a few new, budget-friendly pieces, resulting in a festive and cohesive look throughout my home.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or simply the winter season, if you’re looking to give your space a festive glow-up, here are three aesthetics to consider — plus a handful of products that’ll help you achieve each look. 

Winter Wonderland Holiday Decor

You can recreate the serene beauty of white blankets of snow and ice-capped trees in your space with just a few simple pieces — just look for decor in white and silver, as well as snowflake motifs.

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LED snow flurry projections create a cozy atmosphere, even if you live somewhere that doesn’t get snow. Equipped with a wall mount and a 165-degree light angle rotation, this remote-controlled light setup will fully transform your room into a frosty palace.

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The ultra-trendy pampas grass gets a wintry update with this white version. Place a few branches in a clear vase and use it as a chic alternative to the traditional evergreen tree.

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From afar, this plush faux fur throw resembles a pristine snowdrift — up close, it’s an ultra-cozy blanket that will keep you warm on cold winter nights. Whether you’re cuddling in front of a real fire, or just a YouTube Yule Log video, you’ll be doing it in style.

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These branches are covered with 60 mini LED lights that create an illusion of snow-covered branches. Swap out your vase’s usual floral bouquet for these plug-in bendable twigs to create a festive centerpiece.

Cozy Après Ski Holiday Decor

If you dream of hitting the slopes (or just lounging in a hot tub during apres ski time), this aesthetic is for you. Rustic tones, warm lighting, and nature-inspired accents can transport any space into a makeshift ski lodge. 

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Your dorm room might not be equipped with a real, working fireplace, but you can make it feel like it is. As well as providing standard warm lighting, this four-mode light bulb can recreate the look of real flames — just like the ones you’d see if you were roasting s’mores in the comfort of a cozy chalet. You can even change the direction of the flame to correspond with the position of your bulb base for an extra-realistic effect.

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I don’t think you’re allowed to say your space has a cabin aesthetic without some sort of flannel element — and if you’re going to have anything flannel, it might as well be a cozy blanket! The pine tartan pattern on this throw evokes major rustic lodge vibes, while the reversible sherpa fleece brings all the warmth you could need on a chilly night indoors.

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Channel the vintage charm of an old cabin with this woodsy lumbar pillow. Made with New Zealand wool yarn, it looks like you could have knitted this by yourself during a particularly crafty afternoon at camp — no one has to know you bought it online!

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For DIY fans, peel-and-stick wallpaper is a fantastic option that can transform your walls, dresser, desk, nightstand, or all of the above quickly and without any lasting damage. This old-fashioned walnut wood design will make your surfaces look like they were crafted by a lumberjack, and when you’re ready to return your space to its original vibe, you simply peel it off.

Traditional Holiday-Specific Decor

One of the best parts of the holiday season is recreating memories that brought you so much joy when you were younger. Especially if you’re living away from home, decking out your college space with decor that reminds you of your childhood and family traditions can be super special. If you live with people who celebrate different holidays, implementing different holiday decor can be a great way to honor and respect each other’s backgrounds and traditions while creating new ways to celebrate the season together.

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Party City

Having a menorah of your own will allow you to carry on the tradition of lighting the menorah during each night of Hanukkah — this time, with your roomies! This nickel-plated option looks fancy, but is very budget-friendly.

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Party City

These blue Star of David silver dreidel cutouts are so simple, but so cute. The prismatic plastic will reflect the light in your space beautifully — so apt for the Festival of Lights!

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You can hang these wooden Kwanzaa figurines all over your home, or DIY your own garland by adding a handful of them onto a piece of twine. There are 30 pieces in this set, so you have plenty of options.

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This canvas painting of a traditional kinara will brighten up your space and remind you of Kwanzaa’s seven principles. Hang it up at the start of the holiday season and keep it up through New Year’s — or all year long, if you’d like!

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Trying to fit a huge tree into a small space isn’t necessary when these festive tabletop versions exist. This 22-inch option can easily fit atop a nightstand or entryway table. Bonus: It comes in a bunch of different colors.

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We’ll be letting our residence halls know we’re in the festive spirit with this red berry wreath. You can hang it outside your dorm room door with Command hooks or even place it above your headboard.

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Party City
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If you come from a family that celebrated multiple winter holidays, or you want to decorate your space in a festive yet holiday-neutral way, you can’t go wrong with a classic “happy holidays” — especially when it’s so charmingly embroidered.

Mia Diamond


Mia Diamond is a freelance journalist and cultural documentarian covering everything from fashion and beauty to career and wellness. She is a rising senior at Florida A&M University who loves reality TV, being out in the sunshine, and watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Mia's work has been published in Teen Vogue, Glamour, Essence, and Grazia US.

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SchoolFlorida A&M University '24
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