Christmas Is Coming… These Modern Tree Ideas Will Help You Deck the Halls and Keep It Chic

Don’t sacrifice style for cheer.

By Caitlin Clark
Camille Styles modern Christmas tree decorations.

For those who prefer a more streamlined aesthetic, decorating for the holidays can present a challenge. How do you deck the halls in a way that’s festive without going over the top? Can there be lots of cheer without red-and-green everything? The answer is yes, of course. Festive is in the eye of the beholder, but given that most Christmas trees are decked to the nines, it can be hard to discover a more contemporary look. So in an effort to speak to the modern aesthetic, we culled the best modern Christmas tree decoration ideas.

And since “modern” can be vague, we set out to find a variety of unique inspirations. From streamlined ornaments and a completely contemporary take on the Christmas “tree” to a more natural, woodland-inspired approach, we have your chic halls covered.

The Streamlined Christmas Tree  

We love a sentimental ornament as much as the next person, but the vacation keepsakes and DIY art projects can always find a home somewhere else if you want to have full design control of the Christmas tree from tip to trunk. Your family will forgive you.

(Photo by Homey Oh My)

The Scaled-Back Tree

The ultimate in Christmas minimalism: a bare, sturdy tree with a high-contrast palette. There’s nothing Charlie Brown about it.

(Photo by Hello C Rye)

The Scandinavian Tree

Scandinavian style is synonymous with sleek, modern minimalism, and the less-is-more approach translates beautifully to the holidays. Finding a way to make a natural tree warm and festive is peak Scandi-chic, and The Merry Thought pulled it off wonderfully. With a big basket, furry blanket, and barely-there twinkle lights, the look is simple but highly effective.

(Photo by The Merry Thought)

Threshold Round Decorative Basket Natural

A tree skirt alternative that doubles as a storage space post-holidays.

Threshold Round Decorative Basket Natural, $10

The Christmas “Tree”

Perhaps pine needles aren’t really your thing. Maybe you have a cat who makes mayhem of the whole indoor-tree situation, or you simply don’t want to invest in greenery, real or fake. Consider this contemporary option: a wooden or copper Christmas tree. It’s evergreen in its own way.

(Photo courtesy of Etsy)

camille styles christmas tree woodsy natural

The Naturalistic Christmas Tree

Last year, like so many, Camille decked out her Austin home a tad bit earlier than normal. And though she went all out, the natural vibe and neutral color palette kept things feeling organic.

The Mid-Century Modern Tree

We love a redemption arc. The shiny beauties captivated America in the 1950s and ’60s, only to be deemed a tacky symbol of the commercialization of the holidays by the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Now, the novelty fad is experiencing a resurgence fueled by modern design lovers. When done right, the gleaming trees are something special.

(Photo by Atomic Ranch)

Mid-Century Modern-Style Aluminum Christmas Tree

Let your streamlined ornaments really pop.

Walmart Mid-Century Modern-Style Aluminum Christmas Tree, $424.99

The Abstract Tree

OK, this is art. This is the distilled essence of a Tannenbaum. This also honestly looks like a bit of a challenging project per Curbly, but with a bit of patience and plenty of fishing line, the payoff would be well worth it.

(Photo Michael Haug for Curbly)

Woodpeckers 100 Piece Stir Sticks Paint Paddle

Made from recyclable hardwood, the stir stakes make for a more sustainable tree.

Woodpeckers 100 Piece Stir Sticks Paint Paddle, $17.99

When the Star Is a Star

The Christmas tree topper is often the icing on the cake, but what if you really gave it a moment. Pick an avant-garde take on the traditional star for a twinkling statement that draws the eye.

(Photo courtesy of Etsy)

Good on Paper

Leave it to the good folks at Lia Griffith (their crepe paper flowers are simply insane) to fashion a gorgeous full-sized tree using kraft paper. In the most genius of DIY moves, the clothesline is wrapped in string lights that shine through the hole-punched paper. According to Lia Griffith and co., “it really is easy!” We may have to take their word for it, but either way, the no-mess result is a minimalist stunner.

(Photo by Lia Griffith)

All About The Base

Never underestimate the trunk of your tree. When decorated thoughtfully, the often overlooked area can make a bold statement.

(Photo courtesy of Crate & Barrel)