11 Winter Decorating Fails So Hilariously Bad, They Give Us Chills

There’s cozy and festive—and then there’s a chance you’ll be smothered in fur, plaid, and all things white. Don’t let these holiday looks happen to you!

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We all want to be warm and cozy when the temperatures fall, which means winter decor is often a matter of layers and textures. But when these attempts at cold-weather design run wild, it’s time to step in and call foul.

Frankly, we’ve seen it all (so you don’t have to). Because it can be tempting to overdo it when at home hygge-ing it up, we’ve curated a look-see of the biggest winter decorating fails out there on Instagram.

From an explosion of pines to winter versions of “goblincore,” here’s what not to do.

1. Back off the fake fur

We get it—it’s cold out—and you want to drape your home in the warmest fabric you can find. But miles of faux fur is a hard no when covering tabletops and lamp shades. It’s an especially hard no around electricity and fireplaces since one wrong move could have all your fuzzy feels go up in flames.

2. Ban real fur, too

Aww, the poor guy! His fur coat is luscious, we know, but please don’t leave his head out for all to see and stomp on. We understand that 2021 was a bear of a year, but this is a bridge too far. For the love of all that’s right, leave deceased animals out of your winter decor.

3. Easy on the pine needles

If the first word that springs to mind upon viewing this winter decor is “ouch,” then you know you’ve gone too far.

This, um, dining room leaves no room for sitting and enjoying a meal, thanks to all the potted pines, boughs, wreaths, and miscellaneous needles that have exploded here. Remember—other rooms in the house are worthy of some greenery, too. Spread the joy!

4. Forget about the fungi among us

We just can’t seem to escape goblincore, the trending decor style that revels in toadstools, bones, dead flowers, and snails. You’d think some of this stuff would be hibernating in winter, but not if you glance at what folks are doing online to their homes.

Word to the wise: Cook, don’t decorate, with mushrooms.

5. Avoid whiteout conditions

You’re in big trouble in this house if you drink red wine. Or eat pizza.

An all-white look is stunning, of course, but for those of us with pets, kids, husbands (!), or messy guests, this color scheme is an accident just waiting to happen.

You’re better off leaving this design to those folks who live solo and never have people over. Otherwise, may you need an ample supply of stain-removing wipes stashed with your cleaning supplies.

6. Skip the knit wits

Yeah, these little perches may seem cute at first, but sitting on them isn’t easy. Nubbly bits of knotted yarn scratching your legs and poking your behind (and possibly leaving a deeply weird imprint) isn’t so fun. Texture is a nice idea when it comes to winter decor, but for our money, we’re sticking with a simple soft blanket.

7. Begone, buffalo plaid

Since when is buffalo plaid the go-to Christmas pattern? There are even queries online, similar to the “white pants and Labor Day” ones, asking whether wearing plaid after the holidays is gauche. (Umm, if you have to ask…)

This dizzying design splashed on a table runner, dishes, and coasters is enough to give your family a headache when they sit down to breakfast. Keep the peace, and nix at least half of this loud look.

8. Spare us the snowballs

Even the cat is confused by your basket of “snow.” Maybe it’s funny, but only for half a minute, and then you’re stuck with what looks to be a bunch of dryer balls—but they’re not nearly as useful.

Love the snow? Head outside for a walk or some sledding!

9. Ban the blanket overload

If it takes you 10 minutes to de-blanket your bed and rid it of an avalanche of throw pillows before you climb in, you’re being deprived of the shut-eye you deserve. Shed some of those layers lest you melt during the night—unless you live in the Arctic circle, in which case it’s A-OK.

10. Fend off a flood of plants

Truth: A lot of your greenery can’t survive the cold season outside, but bringing this many in means you risk becoming “The Plant People.” As in, those folks whose windows are so filled with leaves that they can’t see out. We love nature, too, but let’s show a teensy bit of restraint, OK?

11. No Christmas decor after the new year, people

Are you actually Kris Kringle, Mrs. Claus, or one of their helpers? Did you say no? Then don’t mount peppermints on all available surfaces and a sleigh where your pot rack used to be. All this sugary sweet decor is cloying. And if it’s past Christmas, well, c’mon now! It’s time to get with the Valentine’s Day theme. (We know you have lots of heart-shaped goodies tucked away.)

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