John Lewis expert reveals 7 decorating trends of the festive season

Stuck for decorating inspiration? Expert reveals the SEVEN big trends this Christmas- including snowscapes, garden retreats and the ‘ABC look’

  • John Lewis’s Christmas buyer Dan Cooper shares his decorating tips
  • Explained there are seven key trends that anyone can try this festive season
  • Range from the wonderfully colourful ‘party’ to the paired back ‘garden retreat’
  • With the help of influencers, Mr Cooper reveals how to create the looks at home 

December is in full swing and many of us already have our Christmas decorations on display. 

But if you’ve yet to deck the halls or trim the tree then don’t despair, for you can take inspiration from these seven key trends. 

Retail expert Dan Cooper, John Lewis’s self-described ‘Mr Christmas’, highlighted the decorating themes shaping buying habits this festive season, from the 80s-inspired ‘party’ theme to the calmness of the ‘garden retreat’.

With the help of Instagram influencers from across the UK, Dan explains the message behind each trend – and how you can recreate them at home.   


More is more! Influencer Sarah Akwisombe, who is renovating a 1970s house, tried out the ‘party’ trend with her Christmas tree – finding time to decorate despite the work. Sharing this snap, she wrote: ‘Colour, maximalism, neon… it’s all my vibe. Fave decoration = glitter Brontosaurus. Or is that a Stegosaurus? Whatever, I love them all’

Dan said: ‘At the darkest time of the year, this 80’s and 90’s nightclub-inspired ‘Party’ tree pops and fizzes with hot pink, royal blue and neon orange. 

‘This striking tree will ignite a sense of fun and nostalgia in any household, and carry celebrations through to the eve of 2020. 

‘The colour palette of purples, oranges and yellows exudes playfulness and encourages the mind to escape from the everyday. 

‘Create an at-home disco with neon lights and iridescent glass to host your own party. This theme is full of energy and glamour, a true indulgence at Christmas time.’


Reminiscent of years gone by: Interior designer Frank Newbold, of Interior Design Masters, tried out the ‘traditional’ theme. He wrote: ‘Traditions play a huge part throughout the festive period. Sharing those special moments with family and friends is what it’s all about’

Dan said: ‘Nostalgia plays an important part over the festive season, it’s a chance to remember past traditions and create new ones. 

‘Influenced by a variety of traditions and family dynamics, this theme celebrates the season’s traditional activities such as tucking into mince pies, roasting turkeys, baking Christmas biscuits with loved ones, playing in the snow and ice skating. 

‘To achieve this look focus on traditional reds, golds and greens but look for fun and quirky decorations, such as the cookware baubles, to give it a modern feel.’


Clusters of colour: London-based blogger Kristabel Plummer brightened up her flat share with the Garden Retreat trend. She explained: ‘It’s all about bringing the outdoors in, so there’s mini greenhouses, succulents and even avocados. One way you can incorporate novelty baubles, is by creating clusters of different decorations and joining them with copper wire’

Dan said: ‘Surrounding yourself in nature can ease the mind. The trend to bring the outdoors in is reflected perfectly within this theme, hints of greenery and natural materials create a peaceful space. Use this style to escape for a moment of calm at the busiest time of year. 

‘Add outdoor lighting to create a tranquil environment that encourages time to be spent in nature, greenery, such as garlands and wreaths layered with pinecones and acorns, smell brilliant and transform a space. 

‘For your tree embrace garden animals, fruit and vegetable baubles to bring character to your tree. For those looking to make something themselves dried flowers or vintage seed packets would look wonderful in this theme.’


Bright and beautiful: Interiors blogger Geraldine Tan tried out the ‘ABC’ theme for the Christmas tree which is targeted at children. Geraldine wrote: ‘What I love about this tree is that you can place the baubles and decor anywhere with no need to plan and execute’

Dan said: ‘ABC Christmas is based on our alphabet wrapping paper. There is a toy or animal decoration for each letter of the alphabet, encouraging children to choose and cherish their favourite individual bauble, whether that’s a robot, a dinosaur or a digger. These decorations also provide nostalgia for adults reminding them of Christmases and toys-past. 

‘In addition, this fun theme stimulates learning through shapes, colours and textures. This is about picking interesting shapes and textures and mixing with bright colours. Use uncoordinated, mix and match decorations to create a strong, eclectic, personal tree.’


Fabulously frosty: Lucinda Mitra, of East Sussex, who blogs as Nest_Twenty_Eight, said of her Snowscape theme: ‘It made me think of a classic Christmas scene: those rare and magical dustings of snow, with happiness all around. I love the sophisticated, yet playful tones’

Dan said: ‘The snowscape theme is inspired by the memory of the first dusting of snow transforming the surrounding landscape into a stunning scenery. Crunchy snow, icicles and smiles from building snowmen are reflected in the mood, textures and colours in this theme. 

‘It has an element of playfulness from childhood memories combined with the serenity that a snowy landscape presents. 

‘This is a really warm winter look so I recommend using Eucalyptus and linen as new colours alongside white. Using large scale pieces such as owls or leafless branches breaks the traditional shape of the tree making it really standout.’


Quiet time: London-based Chloe, of Chloe Loves To Shop tried out the Sanctuary theme for the festive season. She said: ‘I love the idea of seeing Christmas as a time to take a step back from our everyday routines, take things at a slower pace and retreat to our private sanctuaries’

Dan said: ‘Christmas can be a moment to take a step back from the everyday routine and escape into our private sanctuaries. This look is driven by mindfulness and nature responding to new priorities of wellbeing, rest and rejuvenation. 

‘Harmonious, calm tones are mirrored with rose gold, bronze, pearls and crystals to create a soothing and joyful aesthetic. Mix with grey marble, knitted cushions and faux furs to create a cosy retreat to recuperate in.’ 


It takes two! News presenter Alex Beard puts the star on top of the campfire tree – with a little bit of help from husband and Great British Bake Off star Mat Riley

Dan said: ‘This theme is a reflection on personal passions. A reminder of hobbies and activities we enjoy throughout the seasons such as camping, fishing and bird-watching. Create a warming palette with ambers, coppers and deep oranges paired with acorns, owls and woodland creatures to recreate the look in the home. 

‘Layer garlands and lights in amongst standout baubles to bring together a natural look. The brilliant part of this trend is its versatility during the winter season, many decorations can be used throughout the season and not just in Christmas.’ 

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