Does this sound like you? You’ve started thinking about your annual ritual of decorating for Christmas, but this year you really want to stand out. You’ve had enough of traditional red and green, but you’re also not sure what other color schemes to try. Which ones are too crazy to work? Which ones will clash with your decor? 

Luckily, many other people have been in the same predicament and blazed the way with unexpected Christmas color schemes for tree decoration, lighting, table settings, and more. Use the color scheme ideas compiled below to help you feel confident in a new and different Christmas color scheme this year. 

Why are traditional Christmas colors red and green?

Before you pick an out-there palette to guide your Christmas decorating, you might be interested to know exactly how red and green became so cemented as the cardinal colors of Christmas. The answer is multi-faceted, but it may have to do with holly trees associated with winter solstice celebrations as far back as Roman times. 

In more modern times, a Coca Cola ad may be why red became associated with Christmas, and specifically Santa Claus. The artist illustrating the 1931 ad drew Santa Claus in bright red robes when previously depicted in a variety of colors. 

1. Pretty pink

Pink is undoubtedly one of the happiest colors you can use in decorating, so why wouldn’t you use it during joyous Christmas time? Try incorporating pink in the form of an ombre Christmas tree with black decorations. 

You can also use a white Christmas tree with pink lights and pink feather ornaments for a different look. Pink is also an excellent choice for Christmastime because it blends so well with the green of traditional Christmas trees and other seasonal greenery you may have around the house. 

If you don’t like the idea of such a punchy color in your main rooms, try a softer pastel shade or use a pink palette for decorations in a guest room or less-used space in your house. 

2. Natural browns and greens

In the same way that traditional Christmas colors were inspired by nature, other unique, unexpected nontraditional schemes take the same approach. One option is to pair green with brown for a soft, organic look. 

Opt for a real tree and lots of evergreen and pine boughs in multiple locations throughout the house, such as mantelpieces, windowsills, the middle of celebration tables, and railings, to name a few. 

To complete the look, incorporate natural brown elements gathered from the outdoors. With a little creativity, pinecones, acorns, sweet gum balls, and seed pods can all be used as decor elements. 

Don’t forget about tree stump slices, perfect for use on a Christmas dinner table to hold dishes. For a complete green and brown color scheme, stick with simple white Christmas lighting and minimal pillar candles to avoid upsetting the balance of this calm look. 

3. Mixed metallics

Gold and silver are relatively common colors to use around Christmastime, but have you tried combining different metallic shades? The fun part about decorating with metallic colors is that there are many options to select from, including gold, silver, copper, brass, wrought iron, and more. 

Unsure about how to mix metals the right way? Here are a few tips to follow for best results: 

  • Choose one metal to be your primary element, and then work around that color.
  • Pair cooler metals with warmer metals for a pleasing contrast.
  • Don’t go overboard with different kinds of metallic colors. Stick to a straightforward few for a color scheme that’s unique but also cohesive.

Mixed metals look great on Christmas trees and mantelpieces, where you can incorporate framed mirrors, candle holders, and precious family antiques. 

4. Bold and beautiful black, white, and gold

Go on. Don’t be scared to go bold with a black Christmas tree. Some artificial black Christmas trees even come with built-in lights for ease of decoration. Decorate your black tree with white and gold ornaments and extend the scheme throughout the house. 

Decorate gifts in white paper with black bows. Set your table with white linens, black plates, and golden chargers. This is an excellent look if you already have a minimal color palette in your house and want a color scheme that won’t clash with your modern surroundings. 

5. Ocean blue

Blue is an excellent choice for Christmas colors, especially if you want to create a beachy Christmas vibe. Use multiple shades of blue for candles, lighting, ornaments, and more. Add shells, starfish, driftwood, and beach glass in your decorating to bring in even more coastal style. Throwing in hints of tan, such as a tan tree skirt or tablecloth, can complete the look by recalling sandy beaches. Be sure not to forget the accent lighting to brighten up a table or shelf. Nova of California’s Surfrider Lamp in coastal colors of blue, fog, and sunset will enchant adults and children alike. 

6. Calm neutrals

If you have a modern farmhouse or if neutrals are just more your thing, sticking to white, cream, beige, and tan can be the perfect color scheme. On your Christmas dinner table, this can look like combining antique white linens, white plates of differing textures and shapes, and white flowers and candles. 

Add rustic and natural touches to the color scheme by creating a burlap tree skirt or using dried cotton stems and grasses as decor. For a slightly more festive spin, add some gold into the mix in the form of candle holders, gold ornaments, and gold twine on gifts.

7. Bright boho

Can’t pick a color scheme? Combine multiple bright hues, such as turquoise, pink, yellow, red, and green, for a joyful boho Christmas vibe. Go all-out with any bright, boho decor that strikes your fancy. 

Try multi-color tassel garlands around the house and on your mantle. A traditional green Christmas tree or a white or black faux tree all look great with a range of quirky ornaments, including felted llamas, colorful crocheted pieces, and pom-poms galore. 

Red and green may be the standard for Christmas color schemes, but they’re not mandatory. Shake up your decor this year, from lighting to tree choice, with these bold and uncommon color palettes.