My 2023 Holiday Decor—How I Turn Our Home Into a Cozy Haven

My goal for this holiday season? To fully soak it up, finding those little ways to mark the moments so it doesn’t fly by in a blur. For many of us, December is an incredibly busy month, and making those core holiday memories requires an intentional approach. And one of my favorite traditions to kick off the entire season is decorating the house for the holidays.

So, today we are decking out our home for Christmas—it’s always been one of my favorite days of the entire year, and as an adult, I love getting to share this experience with our kids and make it really special. Below, I’m spilling all the simple details that transform our entire house into a cozy, Christmas-y haven. I’m keeping it simple by focusing on just a few elements that will make an impact and add wow factor: candles and twinkling lights, evergreen branches, and layers of texture. And you also cannot overstate the power of Christmas music—just turning on some tunes changes the whole vibe of a space.

First, watch the video below where I deck out our house from top to bottom… then scroll on for details and links to everything I used.

Our Christmas Tree

I get questions about our tree every year—it’s really large (12 feet!) to account for our high ceilings in the living room, and though it’s faux, it does look super realistic. Before getting this tree, I was a diehard “real tree person,” but thanks to Adam’s allergies and our crazy high ceilings, we switched to faux about 10 years ago and have never looked back.

Fake Christmas trees can be really expensive, so it pays to price shop a bit here. Ours came from Frontgate, and it’s the Noble Fir Slim Profile Tree in the 12-foot size.

The Fireplace Mantel—and Our Casa Zuma Wreath

The mantel is the centerpiece of our living room, so I like to use this area as a way to play with decor and give our holiday decor a different vibe every year. My friend Elle has made our mantel garland and wreath the past several years. She owns a company called Gracious Garlands that makes beautiful live evergreen decor. This year, we’re teaming up with them to make our Casa Zuma Holiday Wreath made of fraser fir, cedar and seeded eucalyptus. We wanted to do something natural and California-inspired, and I’m so excited for you guys to be able to experience it in your own homes this year. It’s on sale now.

For this year’s mantel, I’m going with an earthy, natural aesthetic with lots of evergreen. The focal point is this gorgeous evergreen garland that Elle created using different types of greens which give it so much texture and warmth. I love using asymmetry here—it makes it feel a little more artistic and looks visually pleasing when you hang the stockings.

We secured the garland to the mantle by sticking a few command hooks onto the mantle itself and then fastened it to the mantel at several points to support the garland’s weight. Then I wove some fairy lights and around the front branches to add sparkle.

The Cozy Details

I use our open shelving next to the fireplace as a continually rotating space to display my favorite things. During the holidays, I start by removing a few items to open up the space, then I add just a few holiday touches to make the shelves feel festive. I try to keep it in a neutral color palette that feels aligned with the room during the rest of the year, because I always want this space to feel calm and grounding.

The Front Porch

If you know me then you know I love creating a festive front door that welcomes guests into the coziness of the season right when they pull in the driveway. Last year’s Christmas front door decor was decked out with red berries, and the year before was inspired by a woodland fantasy.

Our front door opening is quite large, and it takes a lot to make an impact. I’ve found that streamlining to just a few elements but going BIG with them is the key; it’s really all about scale. So here, Elle used evergreen garlands and tucked pinecones into them using some floral wire—and she used lots of it. Then she (and her awesome husband Regan) used floral wire to attach the garland at each point where we wanted it to drape using command hooks that we stuck to my house.

To attach the Casa Zuma Holiday Wreath to the front door, we used a couple large suction cups, wove in a few wired pinecones and added a big velvet bow at the bottom for the finishing touch.

And THAT is how we transform our house for the holidays. The goal? To turn it into a cozy haven where we just want to stay in and drink hot chocolate by the fire all season long. Decorating the tree, reading the Polar Express with my kids, curling up in front of the Christmas tree lights to drink my coffee in the morning—those are things that awaken the spirit in me and add up to an unforgettable holiday.

I hope that you guys are having a beautiful start to the season! Savor it, enjoy those simple moments with the people you love, and have a very happy holiday.

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