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Retro Christmas Design Ideas

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Kate here, and I’m in the midst of the holiday whirlwind as we speak. How about you? Do you still have gifts to buy? Gifts to wrap? Food to prepare? Are you adding some final touches to your Christmas decor? You’re not alone! If you love retro style, today’s post is for you. I thought I’d share some of my holiday preparations with you, as I too am inspired by all things retro. I draw my inspiration from a variety of decades, but this year, my Christmas decor features hints of ’50s through ’80s style. Check out the pics below, then tell me about your holiday decor by leaving a comment at the end of the post…

Silver and Gold

When I was an antique dealer years ago, I focused on clean-lined pieces from the 1920s through the 1980s. This glass bowl with golden details was one of my last finds before closing my business to focus on writing. Rather than selling it off with the rest of my inventory, I decided to keep it! This year it’s the holiday centerpiece on my dining room table, and I’ve filled it with silver embellishments. It’s my homage to this season’s silver and gold craze

Retro style holiday sparkle 600x398 Retro Christmas Design Ideas
Retro-style holiday sparkle

I decided to display the bowl with my brass candleholders from CB2. I purchased silver taper candles to bring the silver and gold look home…

Silver and gold 600x398 Retro Christmas Design Ideas
Silver and gold holiday centerpiece

Another fun holiday decor idea? Decorating with minerals… They sparkle. They shine. Why not incorporate them into your Christmas decor? Below we see a quartz mineral specimen that I picked up on my fall trip to the Texas Antique Week festival. Read all about my adventures here. The silver, gold and white runner is from West Elm. It quickly sold out, and I feel so fortunate to have bought the very last one at my local store! If you like the look, you can still purchase the black and gold version here.

Mineral sample for a sparkling holiday
Mineral sample for a sparkling holiday

A funny story about my holiday tabletop trees… I purchased the white ones new a few years ago. Over time they have turned a brownish shade of gold. Rather than throwing them out, I decided to just go with it and add ornaments in shades of brass and rose gold. When combined with my silver tree, they achieved just the vintage look I was going for!

Retro-style trees in silver and gold
Retro-style trees in shades of silver and gold

DIY Gift Wrap

As I mentioned in my recent post on holiday gift wrap ideas, when it comes to the art of gifting, sometimes the wrapping is my absolute favorite part! It’s a chance to really get creative. This year I was inspired by the luxe look of bank and hotel lobbies, with their marble tiles and metallic planters. In fact, this DIY gift wrap idea has a hint of ’80s style. My other source of inspiration: these solid marble platters from Stone Theatre, available at Darkroom and pictured below. These gorgeous pieces are part of the So Sottsass collection, which you can read more about here.

Marble platters with '80s style
Marble platters with ’80s style

I figured: why not adapt this glossy, geometric look to gift wrap?! All you need is marble-pattern contact paper in the shades of your choice, gift bags or wrapping paper, gift bows, scissors and a ruler. The key to this project is contrast. No marble-pattern contact paper? No problem! Use any contact paper, shelf liner, craft paper, or wrapping paper to embellish your wrapped present or gift bag!

Gather your gift wrap supplies
Gather your wrapping supplies

Start by gathering your gift wrap supplies… Then let your creativity take hold! I stuck with metallics and shades of blue. A dash of black popped against the softer hues, and the shine of the metallic gift wrap really gave everything a glossy, seamless look. For a detailed tutorial, head on over to my retro design blog Mirror80

Geometric gift wrap
Marble-pattern geometric gift wrap

Delicious Sips

One of my favorite holiday memories is sitting by the fireplace each Christmas and unwrapping gifts with my family. One key factor I may have failed to mention: a delicious hot cup of cocoa in hand! Over the years, my holiday drinks got a bit more elaborate…

Two yummy holiday drinks
Two yummy holiday drinks

Some simple ways glitz up your holiday sips? Add some sugar to the rim, and use a candy cane as a drink stirrer, as shown below. Another fun way to top off your hot cocoa? Chocolate shavings! I used a vegetable peeler on a candy bar to create the chocolate bits below…

A candy cane and a sugared rim make all the difference
A candy cane and a sugared rim make all the difference

So what’s in these concoctions? It varies, depending on my mood! But I’ll let you in on a little secret… I love finding ways to make the simplest of drinks special. For example, sometimes I let a bag of mint tea steep in my hot milk before adding the cocoa. This transforms your basic hot chocolate into a peppermint hot chocolate! Or sometimes I add cinnamon, then stir in the whipped cream for a thick, seasonal take on a standard cup of cocoa. And of course, you can always spike these hot sips with the liqueur of your choice. Don’t forget the stirrers and the sprinkles!

Whipped cinnamon treat
Whipped cinnamon cocoa

How do you make your holidays special? I’d love to hear about your traditions and seasonal embellishments! Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. And from all of us at Decoist, Happy Holidays…

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