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6 Small Space-Friendly Holiday Decorating Ideas

From houseplant Christmas trees to mantel displays and more, here are a few ways to dress up even the smallest of apartments for the holiday season. 

Dec 12, 2019

Decorating a small space for the holidays can be tricky. While tall Christmas trees and excessive seasonal items might seem like an easy way to spread more cheer, the truth is, a small place calls for scaled-down holiday decor.

To help make your small space holiday decorating endeavors go more smoothly, we rounded up six goof-proof ways to deck out even the tiniest of halls this season. From houseplant trees to shelf displays and more, here’s how to dress up a small space for the holidays.

1. Dress up a holiday houseplant tree

Holiday cheer comes in all shapes and sizes, and fortunately, so do trees. Instead of trying to squeeze a towering tree inside an already cramped space, consider adorning your houseplants, cacti, or even a tree branch with tiny ornaments and string lights for a festive look.

Image by Hey Wander Blog | ALIGN : LEFT

2. Forge a festive mantel (or bookshelf) display

Few things evoke the seasonal spirit like a holiday mantel display. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace mantel at home, deck it out in garland, stockings, string lights, and our glowing scented candles in frosted containers. And if you don’t have a mantel, forge the same setup on a bookshelf or end table instead.

3. Employ garland aplenty

Big on style and small in scale, garland is a cheap and chic way to bring some holiday spirit to a room without occupying too much space. Try strewing some garland along your bookshelves or mantel to spread a bit of holiday cheer in a small apartment, or wrap some around your headboard or bed to make a festive statement in an open layout studio.

Image by Almost Makes Perfect | ALIGN : RIGHT

4. Make a wall tree

No room for a tree in your small space? No problem. You can create a gorgeous, minimalist-style wall-mounted tree with rows of garland or pine tree branches like we saw on Almost Makes Perfect or buy a hanging twig tree frame to hang your favorite holiday ornaments from.

5. Put a wreath on it 

Never underestimate the impact of a well-placed wreath. Hang a larger one in the center of your bookcase for a simple seasonal display, or position smaller ones along your mantels, or place a few small ones gallery-style with the art on your walls for a bolder (but small space-friendly) scene.

6. Make a holiday window scene

Your windows are brimming with holiday decorating opportunity—it just takes a little imagination. Deck out your windowsills with candles and small bowls of ornaments or simply hang some string lights (or homemade paper snowflakes) in your window to forge a festive scene without taking up an inch of floor space.

If you aren’t working with a ton of square footage to decorate your home for the holidays, consider one of these small-space-savvy décor ideas to deck your halls out in style. 

Written by Caroline Biggs

Caroline is a writer living in New York City. She contributes regularly to publications including The New York Times, AD, and Apartment Therapy. When she’s not covering the latest in art, interiors, and design, she’s usually playing music, watering (and talking to) her plants, or hanging with her rescue bunnies, Daisy and Daffodil. You can find more of her work at

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