Holidays often come with big expectations baked in, and there’s a lot of pressure to pull off the perfect Pinterest-worthy season. Which is why IKEA’s latest holiday photoshoot is both surprising and welcome: It breaks a lot of the traditional decorating rules. And if IKEA can do it, so can you.
1. You Don’t Have to Sparkle
No need to conjure false cheer if you’re feeling dark and moody this holiday. Sequins and shiny materials have their place, but dark matte materials and deep shades work well when you want to hunker down hard during the holiday season, with all of the cradling comforts of home. Cocoon yourself, and reemerge when you’re ready.
2. You Don’t Need a Tree
Conventional wisdom says the Christmas tree is the focal point of the room, around which holiday decorating revolves. In these shots, there’s no big bulky tree to take up a lot of space in a small home. Instead, gifts are tucked into shelving units, on rolling carts, and even under the coffee table. Likewise, ornaments are peppered throughout the space—strung on walls and hanging on ladders.
3. You Don’t Need to Spend A Bunch of Money
Holiday spending can quickly get out of control. One festive, yet inexpensive, way to decorate is to use real greenery and natural branches. Not only is it cheap, but bringing the outdoors inside feels grounded and organic—a nice counterpoint to the shopping season’s consumerism. Pair them with a basic string of lights for a little extra cheer if you like.
4. You Can Ditch Tradition
Sometimes a twist on convention is a nice change of pace—one that frees you up to do something you like even more. Garish red and green was replaced with rich cranberry and teal throughout IKEA’s holiday shoots this year. Both colors fit seamlessly into the holiday season, and you don’t have to pack everything up right after Christmas is over. They’ll look just fine hanging out throughout winter.
5. You Don’t Have to Go Big
Small humble moments have just as much power as grand gestures, if not more. Instead of going over the top with huge decorations that take days to put up (and take down post-holiday), choose a couple of quiet ways to deck your halls with a whisper instead a shout. Miniature trees in a tray lined with moss, for example, are simple, sweet, and take just seconds.