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 Citizenry Chilean Brass Ornament Set

Minimal, timeless, and hand-crafted in Chile.


The Citizenry Chilean Brass Ornament Set, $150

Target Wondershop Round Glass Ornaments

Add a little sparkle to your monochrome lineup.


Target Wondershop 42ct Round Glass Ornaments, $42

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)

Pottery Barn Pre-Lit Twinkly Twig Tree

Instant minimalist cheer.


Pottery Barn Pre-Lit Twinkly Twig Tree, $199

Crate and Barrel Birch Tree

A bright white birch tree for understated cheer.


Crate and Barrel LED 7 ‘ Birch Tree, $199

Crate & Barrel Sphere Indoor/Outdoor Planter

Round out the clean lines of a bare tree with a contrasting planter.


Crate & Barrel Sphere Large Dark Grey Indoor/Outdoor Planter, $179

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

Target Wondersup Unlit Douglas Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

A convincing tree that will always be evergreen.


Target Wondersup 2.5ft Unlit Douglas Fir Potted Artificial Christmas Tree, $25

Threhold Faux Fur Sheepskin Throw Blanket

A dash of cozy style.


Threhold Faux Fur Sheepskin Throw Blanket, $25

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)

Etsy Branch Contemporary Wooden Christmas Tree

Simple, slick, and easy to assemble.


Etsy Branch Contemporary Wooden Christmas Tree, $324.95

CB2 Tannenbaum 60 Wood Christmas Tree

Who says minimalism can’t be warm?


CB2 Tannenbaum 60 Wood Christmas Tree, $399

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.

Target Wondershop Artificial Christmas Pinecones

With just a subtle touch of glitter, these natural-looking pinecones add to the organic feel.


Target Wondershop 12ct Artificial Christmas Pinecones Glitter and Natural, $5

Pottery Barn Faux Fur Tree Skirt

A touch of texture compliments the woodlands look.


Pottery Barn Faux Fur Tree Skirt, Ivory Alpaca, $129

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)

Silver Pine Artificial Christmas Tree

All that glitters isn’t always gold.


Joss & Main’s Tinsel Trees Silver Pine Artificial Christmas Tree, $55

Mid-Century Modern-Style Aluminum Christmas Tree

Let your streamlined ornaments really pop.


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

Williams Sonoma Silver Bells Clear LED Lit Faux Christmas Tree

Pre-lit for immediate gleam.


Williams Sonoma Silver Bells Clear LED Lit Faux Christmas Tree, 7′, $379.95

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

Stainless Steel Multifunctional Spring Snap Hook Quick Link Ring Set

Versatile hooks for your work of art.


Stainless Steel Multifunctional Spring Snap Hook Quick Link Ring Set of 100, $61.93

Excellante Nickel-Plated Steamer

Bring the steamer out of the kitchen and into your Christmas tree.


Excellante Nickel-Plated Steamer, 12.8 inches, $12.00

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)

CB2 Burst Gold Tree Topper

A joyful starburst.


CB2 Burst Gold Tree Topper, $16.95

Etsy Himmeli Star Tree Topper

This large star makes the holiday bright.


Etsy Himmeli Star Tree Topper, $90

Georg Jenson Christmas Tree Topper

A unique palladium-plated star straight from Denmark.


Georg Jenson Christmas Tree Topper, $59

Crate & Barrel Glitter Silver 3D Star Christmas Tree Topper

An eye-catching, three-dimensional flourish.


Crate & Barrel Glitter Silver 3D Star Christmas Tree Topper, $24.95

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)

Brown Kraft Paper Roll

The beginnings of DIY magic.


Brown Kraft Paper Roll – 18 x 1,200 (100′), $13.49

K&S Precision Metals 9311 Round Aluminum Tube

An easy base for your paper tree.


K&S Precision Metals 9311 Round Aluminum Tube, $32.94

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)

The Citizenry Prisha Linen Tree Skirt

Handwoven relaxed linen organically blends into your space.


The Citizenry Prisha Linen Tree Skirt, $125

Crate & Barrel Skei Wood Natural Christmas Tree Collar

A bold base of slick acacia wood.


Crate & Barrel Skei Wood Natural Christmas Tree Collar 27″, $99.94

Skagerak Stella Christmas Tree Base

Who says the star has to be on top?


Skagerak Stella Christmas Tree Base, Teak, $352

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