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How to Start Planning Ahead for Your Cozy Cottage Christmas Decor

Do you dream of getting a head start on the winter holidays and avoiding those last-minute headaches? Today I’m sharing ideas on how to start planning ahead for this year’s Christmas decor.

Does the holiday season have a way of sneaking up on you? If it does, you’re in good company. It happens to most of us.

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is only 5 months away. This is the snowy view from last year.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - holiday arrangement on kitchen table

I know it may be difficult to start thinking about Christmas when it’s still July and most of us are in the heat of the summer.

But once you do start planning ahead you will realize how easy it can be to get a jump on your Christmas decor ideas so you won’t be so overwhelmed this holiday season.

snowy Christmas view of greenhouse

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Christmas in July blog hop

Christmas in July Blog Hop

I’m joining many of my talented blogging friends for a blog hop, hosted by my friend Rachel at The Ponds Farmhouse, bringing you all things Christmas in July.  Whether it’s sharing DIY holiday crafts, Christmas decorating ideas, or some good old-fashioned inspiration, we’ve got you covered!

If you just came over from Anne and Ann Marie from Simply 2 Moms, welcome. I couldn’t be happier that you’re here. Didn’t you love their DIY Christmas craft ideas? I can’t wait to try a few of them myself.

If this is your first time here, you can find out more about me and my Shiplap and Shells blog here.

Christmas tree in cottage style living room

Plan Ahead for This Year’s Christmas Decor Ideas

Here are a few simple ideas on how to start planning ahead for this year’s Christmas decor ideas.

pink and turquoise ornaments on Christmas tree

1. Decide on a Color Palette & Theme for Christmas

Are you thinking of changing your color palette this Christmas? How about changing your theme or style?

planning ahead for Christmas decor - 
 turquoise Christmas ball ornaments
planning ahead for Christmas decor - 
silver, gold, and turquoise Christmas ball ornaments

Start by looking through Pinterest, Instagram, or your favorite blog to find your holiday inspiration.

red and white Christmas tree theme

Once you’ve decided on your colors and theme, take inventory of your Christmas decor and make a shopping list of items you need before it’s time to decorate.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas mini tree

2. Christmas Tree Themes

Do you plan a different Christmas tree theme every year? If you do, now is the time to plan this year’s theme.

black and white felt poinsettia
red and white felt poinsettia
planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas tree in bedroom

The guest room Christmas tree was decked out in a red and white Winterland theme last year.

believe Christmas ornament
snowflake ornament for Christmas
planning ahead for Christmas decor - 
leather couch and Christmas tree

I decorated the living room tree with neutral colors.

Christmas neutral poinsettia
Christmas tree ornament

CLICK HERE for my 10 favorite and fabulous themed Christmas trees of the season.

Christmas tree

Here’s a fun Christmas tree I found at Details Home and Garden in Poulsbo, WA. last year. I loved the snowshoes and plaid bows.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - coastal Christmas tree

How about a coastal-style Christmas tree?

garden theme Christmas tree

This garden-themed tree is so creative, don’t you think?

I’m in the process of picking the perfect flocked tree this year. It will be my first one and I’m excited to add my turquoise ornaments to it.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - wrapped gift

3. Christmas Wrapping Ideas

You may not think that gift wrap is considered home decor, but if you’re like me and want your Christmas presents to match the colors on your tree, start shopping around now to find the perfect wrapping paper to coordinate.

pink and red Christmas ornaments
dried oranges and holiday decor
supplies for Christmas gift wrap

CLICK HERE for 5 simple ideas that will make gift wrapping fun and easy this holiday season.

Shop for Christmas Wrapping Paper

planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas ornaments in a vintage create

4. Dress Up Your Christmas Home Decor with Holiday Ornaments

There is so much more you can do with your ornaments other than hanging them from your tree. I use Christmas ornaments all over the house during the holidays.

No matter what style or age… vintage, new, rustic, plaid, I LOVE THEM ALL!

mercury glass bowl with Christmas ornaments and greenery

Christmas ornaments are perfect for filling in holes when creating holiday vignettes.

Be on the hunt for vintage ornaments when you are out thrifting or any ornaments that are on sale.

I bought some clear ball ornaments and “looking glass” silver spray paint and will start creating some new Christmas ornaments that look like mercury glass in the next month or so.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - living room with ornaments in dough bowl and Christmas tree

This dough bowl filled with ornaments, greenery, berries, and pinecones for the holiday season brightens up my coffee table decor for Christmas.

CLICK HERE to see how to dress up your Christmas home decor with holiday ornaments.

Shop My Holiday Home Decor Favorites

Shop my favorite online holiday home decor items from Christmas trees and stockings to candles and pillows.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - dried oranges and garland

6. Using Garland for Christmas Decorating

Whether you put up fresh or faux garland, it always makes any space look festive and fabulous.

You may not be able to find faux garland unless it’s on clearance but you can inventory what you have and add it to your shopping list.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - bedroom decorated for Christmas

I tend to go with a more neutral approach when it comes to decorating garlands. As long as they have twinkle lights I’m good to go.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - greenery garland and dried oranges

At the beginning of the decorating season, I usually hang faux garlands. But as Christmas gets closer I add in or replace it with fresh greenery.

Costco is a great place to get real greenery for a reasonable price during the holidays. I also add leaves from my magnolia tree and dried orange slices.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas Santa cup and white mini tree

7. Use Vintage Finds in Your Christmas Decor

I tend to stick with a more vintage-inspired approach when it comes to my holiday style.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - vintage sled

Vintage sleds, snowshoes, and wooden skis are always perfect for winter decor.

I didn’t decorate my sled here but there are so many ways you can dress it up and make it look more festive.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - vintage books and Christmas tree ball ornaments

Vintage books look so lovely mixed in any Christmas vignette. They can also add so much color to the room.

CLICK HERE to see 14 ways to use vintage finds in your Christmas decor.

Bring your holiday shopping list with you anytime you go to a thrift store or antique mall. Etsy always has great vintage for sale that would be great for your Christmas decor.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - evening greenhouse with twinkle lights

10. Twinkle Light

Figuring out which twinkle lights still work and how many sets you need for Christmas is not a small task.

Be sure to make a plan for your twinkle lights now so you can have your supply ready to go when you start decorating for Christmas this winter. If you can find some online now, buy them before they are in high demand.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas greenhouse in the snow

Decorating Outdoor Spaces

We’ve been talking about decorating indoors but your outdoor spaces are just as important.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - Christmas greenhouse

Take measurements and review any notes or concerns you had last holiday when it came to your Christmas decorations.

I’ll be buying more garland for the greenhouse that is specifically for outdoor use. I also need to find berries that are waterproof so the color won’t bleed and come off when it rains.

planning ahead for Christmas decor - red Christmas metal reindeer

I hope you are inspired to plan ahead for your Christmas decor ideas. Leave me a comment and let me know what you plan to tackle first. I’m trying to finish deciding which colors I’ll be using this year.

9 simple ideas to start preparing for Christmas in July

Are you ready for more Christmas in July inspiration? Next up is Renae from Peacock Ridge Farm who is sharing her blue and white Christmas decorating ideas. You are going to love her gorgeous style.

Until next time,

Happy Christmas Planning!

Christmas In July Blog Hop

Welcome to our Christmas In July Blog Hop. Be sure to click on the highlighted links below to follow along on the tour.

The Ponds Farmhouse / Cottage on Bunker Hill / Midwest Life & Style / Cottage in the Mitten / Down Shiloh Road / Bricks N Blooms

Simply 2 Moms / Shiplap & Shells / Peacock Ridge Farm / WM Design House / Thistle Key Lane / White Arrows Home

Pasha is Home / Tater Tots and Jello / Robyn’s French Nest / Chas Crazy Creations / DIY Beautify / Cloches & Lavender

The Crowned Goat / Common Ground / Life At Bella Terra / The Tattered Pew / Design Morsels / Follow the Yellow Brick Home

plan ahead for this year's Christmas décor ideas graphic

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  1. You inspire me so much Kim. I love your house all year long, and it’s so special at Christmas! Love seeing all the inspiration from shops and your own cottage. The trees, the mantels, the coffee table… all of it is so beautiful! And your greenhouse, always leaves me swooning!

  2. Kim, your photos are always fabulous and your outdoor shots are so amazingly book worthy.. I love all the different ideas for trees and love the thought of birdhouses and watering cans even in December. I need to bring out and use more ornaments, you’ve given me so many ideas. You have ooak style. I’ll be looking back thru your older posts for inspiration this year!

    1. Thank you, Debra. You have the perfect space for a garden-themed Christmas tree. It would look so lovely in your home.

  3. Kim, your home is gorgeous year round, but there’s just something about twinkle lights that makes it look magical. Outdoors too! I especially love how you decorate with ornaments, and garlands that I want to try this year!

  4. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful decor, Kim. You blend old and new so seamlessly. I love it! And you shared great tips. I can’t wait for Christmas this year. Happy to be hopping with you. Pinned!

    1. That’s how I felt looking through everyone’s amazing ideas Jennifer. I love that we can learn from each other.

  5. Oh my goodness, I just fell in love with your tree ideas Kim. I just may have to try one of these this year. I think the birdhouses and watering cans are calling my name.

  6. I love every inch of your home for Christmas. The pictures of your shed are drool worthy. It looks like a Christmas card.

  7. So many great ideas Kim, your little cottage always looks so festive for the holidays! And your gardens too! Thanks for the inspiration, it’s always a pleasure to join you on these hops!

  8. Oh my goodness, Kim! All of your trees are iterally amazing. I love the one with the pinnk and purple mice on it. So pretty! And your shed all lit up is magical 🙂


  9. Kim you shared so many pretty ideas! I LOVE the fireplace with the mirror, wreath and ornaments and garland. So many pretty layers. So excited for Christmas now!

    1. Thank you, Kelly! I agree, this blog hop really did get me thinking about Christmas already. I can’t wait!

    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! Let’s put our heads together and figure out how I can be in one! Wouldn’t that be fun?

  10. You’ve shared so many great ideas and your Christmas decor is always so beautiful, Kim! I’m still deciding on my theme for this year. So good to hop with you!

    1. I’m still deciding too Kim. Now I’m really struggling after seeing all of these beautiful ideas on the hop.

  11. Kim, first of all I am jealous you have a magnolia tree!! There’s one down the street but I haven’t had the nerve to ask the owner if I can steal some branches. And I love your tip about starting with faux greens and then adding real ones as the holiday approaches. So simple yet brilliant. Love all your photos and your use of ornaments….I am going to do more of that this year. So many great ideas and those trees! Wow! Thanks for sharing and so fun to be hopping with you.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mary. I love having a magnolia tree except in the summer when the leaves fall all season long. It can be quite a mess. Maybe do a trade with your neighbor and tell them that you will help clean up the leaves if they let you use some branches.

  12. You know I love these ideas!!! I never thought about buyingy paper early! That’s smart! And the outside decor is dreamy!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Thank you, Jenn! The wrapping paper thing always stresses me out because the stuff I really want sells out so fast.

  13. Kim,
    Oh my gosh, I loved everything you shared. That image of your greenhouse in the snow is so amazing. I don’t remember the colorful pink tree before so it grabbed my attention. Everything is so amazing that you do and I’m so happy you shared with us today.

    1. Thank you for organizing this Rachel. It’s always so much fun to see everyone’s creative ideas. The Christmas tree is from one of my favorite stores.

  14. I can’t get over all these amazing trees, Kim. They’re all so festive! It definitely makes me appreciate all the hard work and planning that goes into decorating for the season. Thanks so much for the extra resources and inspiration! I can’t wait to get started and to see what you’re up to this year. Your garden house looks like a snow globe – I love it! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you CoCo. I keep changing my mind about the Christmas tree themes this year because of all the great ideas I got on this hop. I only wish I had the room to have big trees indoors. But at least they have mini Christmas trees these days.

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