How To Decorate A Small Space For The Holidays
Design editor Kai Ethier shares small space holiday decor ideas.
I absolutely love decorating for the holidays — and that probably stems from my childhood. Each year, we’d buy and trim our tree on my birthday, which falls in mid-December. My mother would also let me go to town decorating our relatively small apartment for the season. So I’m always surprised when I hear people say that their home is “too small” for a Christmas tree — or to do any decorating at all!
When it comes to compact spaces, 10-year-old me would suggest simply placing a sprig of holly tied with oversized, red-velvet ribbon every 12 to 16 inches around your entire apartment or house. And while that is very festive, here are a few creative — and slightly less aggressive — ideas I’ve come across online for lending your smaller home some holiday cheer.
First of all: the tree. A couple years ago my friend was lamenting the fact that there was no “spot” to put a Christmas tree in her compact home. But a mini potted tree, like the one pictured, only takes up about a square foot of real estate on a console, desk or dining table, as Maria from the blog Dreamy Whites demonstrates here. (P.S. This beautiful image is available printed on a Christmas card, too!)
If you don’t like the idea of a tabletop tree, opt for a flat one. When I spent Christmas in Australia with some friends one year, we decided to make a 2-D tree out of wrapping paper to put our gifts under. This version of the same idea from Vancouver blogger Kendra, of Kit + Forage, requires a few more steps — but it’s much prettier!
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is seeing the creative window displays that stores come up with. Pictured above is a shot of a holiday window display at U.K. jewelry store Rust. Simple and lovely, this window treatment could be done on a smaller scale at home with some paper cut-outs, twinkle lights or candles, and a white dry-erase marker.
This shot from stylist Selina Lake’s blog also caught my eye. While this window display is a bit smaller in scale, I think it’s just as cheery.
If you’d rather not cover up your windows (or block any light from coming into your tiny space), a simple, festive gesture is to tape a favorite holiday card or photograph to a large, wall-hung mirror. Pair the image with a yuletide message, as seen in this shot from French language blog Armand et Louise.
Don’t forget about your other senses! Decorating with scent is an easy way to create a festive mood in homes both large and small. I personally love pomanders. They’re not only pretty to display; the clove and citrus scent they give off acts as a lovely natural air freshener. For instructions on how to make and store them, check out the tips from the blog Simple Bites.
Another recipe to make your house smell festive is this simmering “potpourri” from Half-Baked Harvest. (Best for when you’re hosting a gathering on a chilly day or evening!)
Or, if all of that seems like too much work, do as I do and purchase your favorite holiday scent in candle form. The great thing about living in a small space is a little goes a long way, so just one candle is often all you need! My personal favorites are the Snowy Pine & Fir Balsam and Crackling Firewood & Ember candles from Indigo.