Modern Mountain Holidays at HGTV Dream Home 2019

Discover HGTV Dream Home 2019 decked out for the holiday season featuring modern mountain flair, festive rustic decor, and stunning outdoor spaces perfect for entertaining.

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November 20, 2018
By: Amanda Lecky

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Take the Long View

When you’re decorating a room—especially when it’s a large, open space like this great room—it helps to stand back and get an overview of the entire area before you decide you’re “done”. Let your eyes sweep the space, the way your guests’ eyes will. Your goal is to have a little something to surprise and delight everywhere the eye rests (without going overboard, of course).

Seasonal Color Scheming

What if the colors in your year-round decorating don’t look great with red and green? No worries: It’s easy to find holiday baubles and more in virtually every color of the rainbow—even ones that work beautifully with the great room’s western-inspired shades of terracotta and taupe. Also, don’t feel constrained by “traditional” décor choices. Add personality with off-beat and fun elements, like a cowboy hat tree topper.

Get Creative with Gifts

Choose wrapping paper, ribbon, and other gift-adornments that coordinate with your holiday decorating color scheme. Then, arrange presents beneath and around your tree so they’ll add an enticing design element until the big day.

Make a Match (But Not Exactly)

If you’re styling multiple trees in close quarters, choosing similar elements for each will create a coordinated, cohesive look. But, pay attention to scale, using smaller-sized ornaments for smaller trees, and consider different toppers for the “main” tree and the accent trees.

Triple Up

Sometimes, one tree just isn’t enough. In a space as grand as this one, a single tree might get a bit lost against the soaring glass backdrop. Flanking the main tree with two smaller ones that are set back a bit helps to make a big impact, and create a sense of depth.

Leave No Surface Behind

Delight guests by treating every nook and cranny to a splash of holiday fun. Hanging small glass balls from a decorative mount, for example, is an easy and whimsical touch. Here, the design team added greenery to table tops and layered super-soft throws over chair seats, as well.

Go Green

One of the easiest ways to add holiday flair—fast!—is to use nature’s decorations: swags and garlands of fresh evergreens. They’re even a perfect choice for the dining table, where gracefully drooping branches make softly scented vase fillers.

Make Every Seat Special

Go the extra mile to create an inviting dining atmosphere to elevate holiday meals. Soft cushions on the seats add color and comfort, and a mini wreath hanging over the back lends a “guest of honor” accent to each chair.

Stay on the Level

To get that pro-decorator look, be sure to hang all your chair wreaths at the same height. First, measure your wreaths and ribbon lengths carefully. Next, use a couple of upholstery pins to fix the ribbon in the joint where the chair’s back and seat meet. Last, measure from the floor to the base of each wreath; adjust the pin-job if the wreath hangs too high or too low.

Keep it Neutral

A palette of crisp neutrals—black and white, for example—can create a clean, modern backdrop for holiday entertaining. Layer on plenty of silver and gold, plus some hints of green or red for a look that’s seasonal, but sophisticated.

Get High (and Low)

One secret to designing an eye-catching tablescape: Varying the heights of your food and décor. Here, pillar candles cluster on a pedestal stand to create an instant focal point; plates and bowls are stacked for greater interest; and greenery rises from a glass vase and also snakes along the surface of the table.

Consider the Views

If you can see from one room into the next—or from a window or door to an outside entertaining area—it’s wise to check how your décor looks as viewed from afar. Here, the design team created a charming outdoor vignette, perfectly framed first by the indoor window treatments and then by a pair of bedecked trees.

Bring the Indoors Outside

Repeating decorative elements from inside the house—like a throw pillow and tree color scheme that also appear in the great room—helps create an easy flow between living areas. This is a particularly good idea if the outdoor areas are visible from inside.

Repeat a Motif

A subtle theme that reappears throughout the décor is a fun way to inject personality and tie your decorated spaces together. Here, the design team used cowboy hats both inside and out as a witty reference to its western setting.

Warm it Up

Ensure that outdoor hang-out zones are comfortable at any temperature by incorporating warm and cozy elements wherever you can. Here, oversized pillows on the rocker and piled on the deck invite leisurely lounging, and a plaid wool throw not only looks pretty, but offers an extra layer of warmth. Of course, there’s also the hot tub to really warm up!

Set a New Scene

Each separate entertaining zone is an opportunity to use a new color scheme. For the patio seating area, which is set off from the house, the design team switched from the terracotta and taupe scheme used inside and on the deck to a jaunty red, white, and blue combo. Greenery and that trusty cowboy hat tie the look to the indoor styling.

Play with Patterns

Layers of patterns—snowflakes, stripes, plaids, and more—help add energy to a large space, indoors or out. And, don’t forget about texture: Choosing fabrics and furnishings with fuzzy, nubby, touchable surfaces helps create interest, as well.

Go for the Garlands

Nothing says “holiday” like generously draped evergreen garlands. Add a little pizzazz to greenery with clusters of bright balls (here, the designers mixed matte and shiny red baubles, for a multi-dimensional look) and swags of ribbon.

Balance Warm and Cool

Bursts of vibrant, warm color—like red—make a bigger impact when paired with cooler shades, or with neutrals. Here, the designers chose a medium blue as the base color for the patio seating area, then added spark with bold red and crispness with strategically placed white accents.

Go Big

The holidays are the perfect time to go a little over the top with your decorating. Big statements like masses of baubles draped across a mantel or a reindeer figure standing in the middle of a seating area help create a truly special scene. Just keep your “wow” moments to one or two per room or area—otherwise your holiday fun could veer into “Santa’s Workshop at the mall” territory.

Take it Outside

When you’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful setting and have outdoor dining areas to enjoy, there’s no reason to keep your entertaining indoors. A wintery outdoor dinner party can be a truly magical experience for guests, so take care to set a table that plays up the special surroundings, complete with candlelight, flowers, a show-stopping centerpiece, and, of course, all the chilled bubbly.

Bring the Informal Elegance

Outdoor dining is typically a casual affair—but it doesn’t have to be. Surprise and delight your guests by setting an outdoor table with all the hallmarks of an indoor dinner party: masses of candlesticks, beautiful florals, and your favorite crystal. Encourage lingering over after-dinner coffee by adding soft cushions to the seats, and providing throws for added warmth on chilly evenings.

Let Nature Inspire You

When choosing your table decor, consider repeating some of the details of the natural surroundings. Here, the design team chose vertical glass candlesticks that reference the site’s towering trees, as well as the wintery gleam of icicles. Evergreen boughs add softness to the tabletop—just as they do to the view from each seat.

Plan for Evening

There’s nothing quite like candlelight to elevate a space from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether your guests are gathered around an outdoor table or glimpsing it from inside the house, flickering candlelight will help create a festive atmosphere. Hint: LED tapers or pillar candles look like the real thing, but can last through a windy evening.

Make it Easy

Who said grilling is only for summer? Turning out a finger-licking barbecue feast on a gas grill in the middle of winter—to be eaten in a truly elegant setting—is a sure-fire way to make your guests beg for invitations year after year.

Frame the Picture

Garlands are for more than mantels and doorways: Here, a large, flocked-evergreen garland with a cheery seasonal message helps lend a sense of “destination” to a covered balcony seating area.

Create Multiple Focal Points

From cozy throw pillows on side chairs to a pair of reindeer centerpieces on the cocktail table, the design team took care to add holiday cheer everywhere, even in a simple outdoor seating area. The look feels pulled together thanks to the subtle repetition of the color red in the pillows, centerpiece trim, the rug, and even the apples piled into a simple white bowl.

Think of it First

Here’s the secret to being a truly great host or hostess: anticipating your guests’ needs (and wants!) before they do. Going above and beyond a comfy seat by providing an easy-to-reach side table topped with a plate loaded with cookies beside a comfy chair is a great example of just how to do this.

Warm it Up with a Rug

To make an outdoor living area—porch, patio, balcony—feel more like a “room,” gather furnishings on an indoor/outdoor area rug. The color and pattern will add a decorative element underfoot, and the durable material will stand up to rain, wind, snow, and spilled cocktails.

Turn up the Texture

Varying smooth, soft, and rough textures makes any space more interesting, and it’s especially appropriate in a rustic setting. Here, a DIY framework of rustic branches anchors rough twine streamers from which smooth and shiny metallic holiday balls dangle. Luxe chenille throws draped over the backs of the counter stools add still more tactile style.

Use What You Have

You don’t have to spend a fortune on new holiday décor every year. Dolls, teddy bears, even a red wagon can come into play as holiday decorating elements. Here, a classic pull-toy gets loaded up with pillar candles and greenery for a fun and festive extra light source.

Do It Yourself

Catalogs and stores are filled to overflowing with holiday décor of all types, but sometimes it’s just as easy (and less expensive) to make your own. Enlist the kids in putting together a simple window or door topper like this one, with a few slender branches found outdoors, some lengths of twine, string, or ribbon, and holiday balls in a variety of sizes.

Craft a Grand Entrance

Make a bold impression on your guests right away by establishing your decorating theme at the front door. Here, the pair of mini-trees, the ornate garland, and the wreath hanger all display the warm terracotta and gold color scheme that continues in the great room, inside.

Expand Your Entertaining Areas

With a little creativity, you can add gathering areas all over the house, inside and out. A couple of chairs (piled with festive pillows and layered with throws, of course) and a few decorative accents are all it takes to make an inviting nook right beside the front door.

Holiday Decorating Pro Tip

Look for battery-powered faux greenery that you can re-use each year to reduce waste and extension cord hassles.

Keep Your Balance

Great design is all about striking a balance between big and small, hard and soft, plain and fancy—and holiday decorating is no different. For a look that’s rich and visually exciting, but not overdone or overwhelming, try to mix ornate elements (like the ribbon-and-bauble-bedecked garlands) with something simpler (like an unadorned magnolia wreath).

Add Some Artwork

Not everything has to be “holiday”. Incorporating some favorite artworks into your seasonal décor can help highlight your year-round style, and lend a little culture to your festive mood.

Make it Merry

Even the most utilitarian space (like an entryway bench) can sparkle with the season if you add some special touches. Here, a fleecy throw fancies up the boot bench; greenery and a row of sparkly white mini trees helps define the ledge a top a half wall, and a line of stockings is promise of the special night to come.

No Fireplace? No Worries

Just because you don’t have a traditional fireplace mantel to hang your stockings from doesn’t mean you can’t make them an important part of your holiday tradition. Weighted stocking hangers (like these “noel” hooks) make it easy to adapt any surface.

Remember Usability

Chances are, you still need to live in your house during holiday season, so you don’t want to obscure essential areas with decorations you’ll have to move to use the space. Here, the design team kept accents like vintage snowshoes visible but tucked out of the way, so they’re not at risk of falling over or blocking access to the entry and bench.

Indulge in Creature Comforts

Guests will be eager to return if you treat them to special extras, like a pair of plush, warm slippers, a stack of good books by the bed, and a vase of pretty blooms to lift their holiday spirits.

Pair Patterns with Ease

The simplest way to make sure multiple patterns work well together is to choose one or two unifying colors to repeat in each element. Here, red and black appear in the plaid throw pillow, gingham ribbon, and striped comforter.

Highlight the Windows

By day, ornaments—like these small evergreen stars—will stand out against the sunlit backdrop. By night, twinkling lights will brighten the dark window panes. Hint: Use fishing wire to suspend your decorations, so they appear to “float” against the glass.

Counter Color with Neutrals

To add holiday cheer to an already richly colored room, instead of layering on competing brights, your best bet is often to take the opposite tack, sticking with neutrals, metallics, or—as the design team did here—liberal dollops of crisp white.

Welcome in Nature

Greenery, pinecones, branches: These natural elements look right at home against any decorating or color scheme. For comfort’s sake, if you’re draping your bed with a garland, keep it high enough that you won’t lean against it when you’re nestled in bed.

Let it Snow

What better way to celebrate the season than with a little snow—indoors? Faux snow is inexpensive, and reusable, and perfect for transforming any surface into a mini winter wonderland. Here, the design team added a forest of flocked trees and a vase overflowing with baby’s breath to complete the snowy scene.

Go Vertical

Take your decorating to new heights by taking advantage of vertical spaces. This vintage ladder is the perfect spot to hang a pair of stockings—maybe for some private gifts only the couple of the house get to enjoy.

Incorporate the Unexpected

Snowshoes in a bedroom? Why not? They frame the window beautifully and introduce a textural, seasonal element to a simple, modern space. Pillows piled on the floor lend softness, and a pair of small white wreaths hung in the window draw attention to the light and view.

Match the Room

Ornate trimmings might look out of place in a room as simple and streamlined as this one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add some holiday cheer. Black watch pillows are a rich, wintery addition to the tailored bed clothes, and a super-simple garland draped across the headboard lends softness and a hint of nature.

Make it Modern

When choosing elements for holiday decorations, keep the style of your space in mind. In the bonus room, which has a sleek, contemporary look (despite the vintage ski-house accents), the design team layered on the holiday charm, but stuck with a cool palette of blue and white, with a few touches of black and gray. The result strikes just the right note for the room.

Dress Another Tree

Treat secondary living spaces to their very own trees—it’s a great chance to branch out from your main decorating color scheme and style to try something new and different. In the bonus room the design team used cool blues and swaths of silver create a glam look on the tree and at the window, with a large white wreath.

Swap Out the Pillows

Of course, you can’t redecorate entirely for every holiday, but it’s easy to switch your everyday sofa pillows with a few festive finds. This polar-bear pillow is a perfect example: It’s soft, highly textured, and fun!

Wrap Some Presents

Stacks of presents beneath the tree create a more finished look, adding layers of color and pattern, thanks to the festive wrapping. Not quite done with your shopping? Wrap a few empty boxes to pile up some faux presents until you can replace them with the real things.

Remember the Kids

Sophisticated and elegant décor is wonderful, but in this season of giving it’s nice to make sure your trimmings appeal to children (of all ages). Tuck some cute and cuddly ornaments or accents into your décor—and delight your youngest guests.

Flock On

Greenery covered with white “snow”, or flocking, takes your holiday style over the top into winter-wonderland territory, no matter what climate you live in. If you want to apply your own flocking, look artificial spray snow at a craft store or holiday store, and follow the directions on the can carefully.

Create a “Frame”

Some spots in the home lend themselves to symmetrical design scheming. Case in point: A desk set in front of a window. By flanking the window with a pair of branch “trees,” the design team drew attention to the sparkling wreath hanging against the glass and the mini desk-top forest.

Let it Sparkle

There’s plenty of room for evergreens of the all-natural variety in your decorating. Sometimes, it’s fun to add a little modern glamour, courtesy of décor covered in sparkling faux-snow. Add even more shimmer and shine with pearlescent baubles in blue or silver.

“Plant” a Tree

It’s easy to create indoor trees you can use year after year. Fill a medium-sized flowerpot with fast-setting concrete, then set a tree-like branch in the center. When the cement has hardened, hide the flower pot inside a pretty basket or other container, and decorate your “tree’ to your heart’s content.

Make it Odd

Here’s an easy rule of thumb for arranging groups of items: Always stick with odd numbers. This creates a less fussy final effect, and allows you to create a sense of dimension—as the design team did here, creating two rows of trees, with three in back and two in front. Varying the sizes and/or heights of your items will help create a more engaging arrangement, as well.

Don’t Forget the Floor

Adding a rug underfoot will not only add softness to a hard-surface floor, but can also help unify your design by visually containing the space. If you already have large area rugs or carpeting in place, no worries—just layer your holiday addition right on top.