Holiday Decor

Holiday Decorating Trends – Natural, Sustainable and Unusual Ornaments

Green is in vogue – at the world’s leading trade fair for festive and seasonal decorations, not only matcha green color but also naturalness and sustainability were on-trend. Appropriately, the canon of shapes is geared around the aesthetics of Scandinavia and Japan. It was also clearly demonstrated at Christmasworld 2019, in Frankfurt, Germany, that products are becoming more meticulously crafted, which means they are more individual, selective, and even luxurious. But charming and cheerful designs are also on the rise, and these are enriching festive holiday decorations.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


Christmasworld Design Trends 19/20

The Christmasworld design trends in detail: tender festivities, essential ceremonies, sweet traditions and luminous celebrations – this is how Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano describes the four big trend worlds for the 2019/20 festive holiday season. On behalf of Messe Frankfurt, the designer trio was once again responsible for the much-acclaimed trend area. To create this, they filter out current trends from society, fashion, architecture, and design, and transfer them to the upcoming colors, shapes, and materials. Tender festivities is a calm and peaceful trend with a minimalist design. Central to it are unusual shapes and surfaces, combined with matt finishes, stone effects, as well as creased or folded textures and exquisite papers. Naturalness and modernity, combined with rough and rustic aspects, are the distinguishing features of essential ceremonies. This trend is expressed in rough, untreated surfaces and warm, baked colors. The look, in general, is handcrafted and natural.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Sweet traditions, on the other hand, is a cheerful, charming and light-footed decorating trend: the surfaces are evocative of icing and sugar pearls, and there are hand-written patterns and drawings, as well as naive motifs. Norwegian patterns are also characteristic of the style, as are fresh colors – peach, red and berry shades, for example. With luminous celebrations, the name says it all: elegant, luminous and dark shades with intensive colorings and changing metal colors. Iridescent surfaces, spangles and sequins, ultra-shiny finishes and lurex effects, as well as velvet, make up an unusual Christmas ‘couture’. With their new products, the Christmasworld exhibitors offered retailers a rich portfolio of decorations.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


Deeper, Richer, Darker – the Trendy Color Palette

In addition to the matcha trend color and all the different tints, tones and shades of green, an intensive deep blue is also coming to the fore in the seasons ahead. In addition, powder pink and berry shades, earthy colors, and coral – Pantone trend color for the year 2019, have prominent decorative roles, but also the classic metallic and neutral palette – gold, silver, white and black. Serene pastel colors are as popular as ever. All in all, colors are becoming deeper, richer and darker.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Striking Baubles and Tree Decorations

Decorating stories can certainly be told on the Christmas tree. The variety of Christmas tree decorations knows no bounds and, together with winter as a popular motif, there are also many other decorative inspirations: decorations in the shape of food delicacies also adorn the tree, for example, soya sauce motifs, chocolate strawberries, doughnuts, croissants, and ice-creams – candies are an extremely popular motif this year. They are joined by pom-pom ornaments in cheerful colors, hand-blown teddy bears, emojis, lips, and modern interpretations of Miffy the rabbit, as well as figures reminiscent of children’s book illustrations.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  

At Christmas, however, silver wristwatches can also be hung on the tree or from twigs, and the sea can be brought into the wintery room with seahorses, jellyfish, and fish.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  

Also, one can choose simple glass baubles with a milk glass effect and restrained patterns, simple paper stars or solid wood baubles painted with, perhaps, delicate floral motifs and twig designs. Valuable and meticulously crafted baubles and tree decorations are also trendy: for handing down the generations, for example, there are bell-shaped baubles embellished with 24-carat gold, as well as elaborately painted baubles – painted with motifs from the Old Masters, such as Jan Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. 

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Nature – the Most Popular Material

Can consumption be ‘green’? Yes, it can: wood, cotton, linen, glass, ceramics, terracotta and recycled plastic and paper were the most popular raw materials at Christmasworld. Wood is the number one material – both in the floristry sector as well as for decorative accessories and gifts: the material forms the basis for displays in the shape of trees, animals, plant containers, bowls, small hanging shelves, candle holders, lanterns, baubles, tree decorations, and planters. They can be polished, painted, varnished and sprayed, or they can be made of several pieces, and combined with moss, twigs, and leaves. In the autumn and winter, wooden mushrooms with velvet tops decorate tables, and wooden candleholders combined with silver give winter decorations their festive note. Paper stars and trees in all colors imaginable adorn the wintery window and become hanging decorations on twigs and tags on gifts. Choice flowers grace both straight and opulent glass vases, as well as varnished, etched and untreated ceramic pots. Fresh blooms enhance hanging decorations and wreaths; ribbons and paper are decorative additions. Aside from artificial Christmas trees, many exhibitors also offered modern trees made of wood.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Trendy Shapes: Leaves, Blossoms, Winter Animals, Sea Creatures, Birds and Insects

Nature defines both the materials and the shapes: hanging ornaments in the shape of leaves made of pearls or paper, and in the shape of glass and metal blossoms, make up the stylistic palette. Traditional winter animals, such as polar bears, stags, squirrels, owls, and deer, continue to have a place in Christmas decorations – as stand-alone objects or small tree decorations. And birds and sea creatures also remain on trend in the coming season. In addition to this, insects are popular: beetles, dragonflies, spiders, grasshoppers, as well as butterflies and bees, decorate twigs, Christmas trees, tables, and chests. The beetles are frequently life-sized or even larger; they can be silvery, golden, filigree or made of pearls and combined with stone effects, hand-blown and elegant in glass, or young and cute in red and white.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Ribbons & Wrapping Materials

The trendy color spectrum of the style worlds is also reflected in the seasonal wrapping materials. With ribbons, natural materials are very clearly on-trend: there is a strong focus on cotton, linen, jute, and raffia. Renewable raw materials that are biodegradable come into play. The natural materials are reinforced by earthy tones, such as beige and nougat, but also red and blue, sometimes with an atmospheric sprinkling of gold.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  

The trend is complemented by traditional winter and also Easter motifs: rabbits, flowers, Father Christmases, squirrels, stars, hearts and spots, stripes and other different patterns provide a wide range of stylistic possibilities. To complement this, decorative gift tags made of thin wood, perhaps in the shape of cacti, or tassels and thick felt cords, broaden the scope for different wrapping possibilities.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Candles & Fragrances

There were hardly any exhibitors at Christmasworld who did not use recycled plastic for their tea lights. The transparent plastic packaging was frequently replaced by small paper bags. Also trendy are candles in different containers: in glass, but also in terracotta bowls and metal tins. Because candles not only provide a pleasant light but also take on a decorative character themselves, many exhibitors are offering a wealth of different shapes: small trees that are reduced in design or naturalistic, as well as candles in the shape of pine cones, slices of cake, doughnuts, and mushrooms.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  

In addition to this, candles with holders made entirely of wax, spherical candles with varnished, rippled and marbled surfaces, and traditional pillar candles were also available to order. But also abstract renderings of the Holy Family, stars, pineapples and, finally, candles with complex textures, such as scaly surfaces and ones that imitate embossed metal. The colors here: pastels and the trendy colors of blue, matcha green, powder pink and lilac, as well as the traditional festive colors of bronze, silver, gold, white and black. Also on-trend: scented candles – fresh and citrusy, for example, or calming with lavender. 

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Visual Merchandising & Lighting Trends

Beautiful lighting design – particularly from energy-saving LEDs – doesn’t just create an atmospheric mood in apartments, houses, shops, and restaurants. Shopping centers and towns can also score points with their own citizens and tourists if they tell the right story, so drawing visitors into town centers and shopping streets. The Christmasworld exhibitors showed very impressively how this works. It is clear that Christmas needs to be everywhere; visitors want to be enchanted and entertained, and they want to collect unusual selfies. To this end, towns and shopping centers are becoming backdrops and stages. When the curtain goes up, elaborate and, sometimes, enormous figures in exciting dazzling colors are displayed, transporting us into unfamiliar worlds; life-sized stags that change color or a dramatically lit flock of birds that seem to be taking loudly to the skies. At the same time, life-sized stylized trees in pink and white show the way to unforgettably beautiful festivities, and large hot-air balloons invite us to linger and observe with small stories. Of course, good old Father Christmas also needs to be there, with witches jumping out of delicious gingerbread houses and birds starting to sing – completely classic and wonderfully familiar: for the sake of the little ones.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Christmasworld will be opening its doors from 24 to 28 January 2020 in Frankfurt am Main. Its slogan this year: ‘coming home for business’.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Christmasworld Trends 20/21: Family Matters

Enjoying things in the company of others, celebrating and sharing beautiful moments have become more important than ever. This finds expression in the three style and color scenarios for the 2020/21 festive holiday season – ‘green ritual’, ‘silken party’ and ‘happy get-together’. These open up a host of decorative possibilities for the international decoration and window-dressing trades so that they can constantly surprise their customers with ever-changing mixes of products and product ranges. The dedicated trend area is the major source of inspiration for the colors, materials, and designs of the upcoming season and is devised and curated by Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  


Retail BLVD Provides Stimulating Ideas for the Customer Journey

Where do customers get inspiration from? What do they want when they go shopping? What possibilities are there for combining online and offline retail? Retail BLVD has some practical answers. Along the staged shopping street – with its three buildings: ’Social Media Playground’, ‘Convenience’ and ‘Experience-House’ – experts from the Institute for Retail Research (Institut für Handelsforschung – IFH) in Cologne will provide information on how customer needs can best be served. The Retail Boulevard (BLVD) 2020 will focus on the ‘customer journey’, by illustrating in different stores the steps towards the purchasing journey and good customer relationships.

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Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera  

Cover Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


For more decorating inspirationyou are welcome to follow on social media.  

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By Danica Maričić

Interior Designer and Integrated Marketing Communications Pro, Loving Writing and Photography, Passionate about Life & Style, “True Blue” Mediterranean Girl, Curious Traveller & Designer