Color up the "coolness" factor this Christmas with unexpected and zany colors..

Coolest Ways to Decorate Your Home for Christmas

by Lorna Hordos

When the old standbys -- pine garland, shiny red bobbles and silver tinsel -- just will not do, make it a Christmas to remember with some of the coolest decorating ideas for your home. Employ funky lights, dazzling decorations and unusual craft projects to make over your tree, living room, the kids’ bedrooms and the home’s exterior -- no one will be able to call your festive abode a snooze.

1. Lighting

If you could choose only one thing to make your Christmas decor the coolest in town, start with the lights. Some of today’s lighting options are vibrant, outlandish and without a doubt, eye-catching -- and often available in eco- and utility-bill-friendly, solar-powered versions. Go for the most elaborate strands for festive punch, such as purple icicles for the staircase railings, electric-blue flashers zigzagging from rooftop to front door and a hot-pink, tree-topping star. Your lighting extravaganza is sure to drop some jaws and raise some eyebrows -- likely the reaction or shock value for which your kids hope.

2. The Living Room

Ho, ho, hold the un-cool decor collection of yesteryear and bring on the showy extravaganza of today for the home's social hub -- the living room. You do not have to spend your kids’ college fund on modern or mind-blowing ornaments; just spend some quality time together pondering what your family considers “cool.” You could use vivid-colored icing to decorate gingerbread men and women as rock stars, with guitars and wild hairstyles instead of humdrum aprons or button-up shirts for the tree. Collect pine boughs for the fireplace mantel, stairway railing and upper cupboards, but do not put the woodland freebies in place until you spray-paint them neon orange, icy blue or bright yellow -- branches make an ideal display stand on which to nestle greeting cards and unusual-colored ornaments.

3. The Kids’ Rooms

Kids are born with free-spirited imaginations -- let them unleash some safe and festive creativity on their bedrooms this Christmas. Preteens and teens typically lean toward shabby-chic style or something with a hippie edge, while the 5-to-10-year-old clan normally goes for cute, furry, fuzzy or zany-colored decor. Either way, help them to put a spin on “traditional.” For the over-10 group, an artificial tree of their own, swathed in torn strips of denim, knotted end-to-end as garland, and trendy-colored shoelaces tied in bows to branches, may suffice. For the under-10s, an artificial tree laden with cheery-colored, over-sized buttons, tiny teddy bears, fluffy pompoms, star-shaped or swirly pipe cleaners, or superhero figurines brings smiles to young faces. Opt for cool-to-the-touch, solar-powered lights -- if the tree is near a window -- or skip the lights altogether for safety’s sake.

4. The Exterior

The entrance to your home is where you greet holiday guests, so make the front porch or entryway more than good -- make it a visual feast. If you have a living room tree decked out in fuchsia and violet decorations, for example, create a color-coordinating wreath for the door. If lime-green bobbles and aquamarine garland adorn your dining room, mimic the dynamic display along the front steps and around the front door. The idea is to give your extended family and friends a taste of the coolness they are about to witness when they step inside.

About the Author

Lorna Hordos has owned a home-flipping business for more than two decades. She uses her construction and interior design experience to write friendly, conversational home and lifestyle articles for Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes and numerous other publications. She also enjoys writing for children, and has been featured on the cover of Humpty Dumpty magazine.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images