4 Trending Holiday Styles: ‘Mantlescaping,’ ‘Candycore’ and More

Thursday Dec 14th, 2023


By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey

Holiday decorations are channeling the most popular home design trends, bringing holly, jolly vibes that move beyond the classic red-and-green color palette. Etsy’s 2023 Holiday Trends(link is external) report recently called out some of the buzzworthy styles trending this holiday season, including:


Candycore pendants

Photo courtesy: Etsy

Channeling the “Barbiecore” and “Mermaidcore” design fads, “candycore” is adding a holiday twist. Candy-like hues are ushering in lighter holiday color palettes, such as teals, pinks, and pastels. Etsy says Candycore is “inspired by a sugary fantasy world filled with lollipops, candy canes and gumdrops. This playful trend taps into the childlike enchantment of sweet treats and features holiday stables in iridescent materials, playful patterns, and delicious colors.”

Candcore napkin

Photo courtesy: Etsy

Etsy reports Candycore-related searches are surging for items like “cotton candy cakes,” “iridescent sequined items,” “stained glass ornaments” and scalloped placemats, napkins, and runners—reminiscent of cake decorations. To round out the Candycore look, consider cake stands and dessert plates in colorful shades, pink tablescapes, candy cane décor, and glassy, pastel-colored ornaments.


Pointy decorations on mantle

Photo courtesy: Etsy

Make the fireplace mantle the focal point and “mantlescape” it into a winter wonderland. Etsy designers say the first step to mantlescaping is to pick a theme. For example, for a winter wonderland village, use vintage putz houses, snow globes, and iridescent baubles. You also could consider a forest scene with mini wooden trees, garlands, and seasonal flowers. Etsy says mantlescaping-related searches have risen for candle lanterns, ceramic trees, and accent ornaments.

To achieve a well-balanced mantlescape, Etsy designers say mixing up the height, shape, and texture is important. For example, layer in materials of varying heights that are made of metal, wood, and stained glass. And if the home doesn’t have a fireplace, Etsy’s report notes you can also mantlescape a shelf, sideboard, and TV stand into a holiday display.

Candles on mantle

Photo courtesy: Etsy

Gingerbread Girl

Bowl of acorns

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Offering up a seasonal spin to “Cottagecore,” the “Gingerbread Girl” style is about “returning to a wholesome, rustic lifestyle that celebrates simplicity, tradition and, of course, all things baking,” Etsy notes. The aesthetic features warm color tones, cozy textures, foraged décor and vintage items. Etsy notes online searches at its site that fit this style have surged for wreath sashes, ruffled bedding, classic country-chic gingham bedding, personalized recipe boxes, and holiday cookie cutters.

Gingerbread Girl mixes in earthy hues of browns, muted reds, and deep greens. It also includes plenty of nature-inspired accessories, like pinecones, as well as handmade rustic accents, such as a bowl of colorful felted acorns.


Photo courtesy: Etsy

Grandpa Chic

Plaid pillows

Photo courtesy: Etsy

“Grandpa Chic” offers a more masculine spin on the popularity of “grand millennial” and “coastal grandmother” styles. It pays homage to “a warm sense of history and comfort” and features rich tones like burgundy, olive green, and tobacco brown. It also incorporates darker woods, plaid textiles, and leather accessories.

Leather cutlery holder

Photo courtesy: Etsy

Etsy says searches are rising for grandpa chic-style accessories like leather poufs and wood and marble coasters. “Adding artfully collected vintage and antique pieces also add to the old-school, lived-in charm that makes ‘grandpa chic’ really shine,” Etsy’s report notes.

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