Great Holiday Decorating Tips for a Small Home

I often think when people are looking to build a new home plan, or are wanting to buy an existing home, one thing that comes to mind almost right from the start is, where am I going to put a Christmas tree, or other holiday décor?

When we moved into our newly built home a few years ago after living in an attached villa, you would think that we would’ve gained square footage rather than lose it. Although our home now is a bit bigger square-footage wise than our duplex home design, being one of those narrow lot ranch home designs, the overall width of the home is smaller. In turn, the interior spaces of our one-story are a bit smaller than our three-level villa that had a two-story cathedral ceiling in the great room!

When our first Christmas rolled around, I realized that my previous Christmas tree with an approximate base diameter around 6’ wouldn’t even begin to fit in our main living space on the first floor with all of our current furnishings. Of course, a bit of heartbreak and panic set in! I loved the way our Christmas tree previously looked, and I definitely wanted our tree in a space where it could be seen day in and day out. After all of the work of putting it up, I definitely wanted to enjoy its beauty all throughout the holiday season.

So, I realized I was going to have to get creative, possibly change things up a bit from the past, and I realized that my decorating style moving forward would need to adapt to our home’s current space restrictions. Most homeowners are opting for smaller spaces these days, so I’m sure many of you have run into a similar predicament whether you’ve downsized or moved into your first home.

Here are some great tips for making the most of your home’s space during the holidays!

tall narrow Christmas treeTHINK UP, NOT OUT

When it comes to the Christmas tree, our current large, wide tree just wouldn’t cut it within our current space constraints, so I saved it for when we finished our basement. The open space on the lower level begged for a bigger, wider Christmas tree like the one we had to fill it and make it feel cozier. For the main living space, I found a tree (by luck) that almost appeared like something from a Dr. Seuss book! It is an extremely thin 10’ tall pencil tree! Because of its height, I am still able to get all of the numerous ornaments onto it with ease, while it also provides floor-to-ceiling holiday lights that make the entire space feel so incredibly festive. I actually have never loved a Christmas tree more! It truly was not a sacrifice to change out our tree, and I think the look is a little less Traditional, too. You can also use this principle and hang ornaments above, or garlands around doorways to add holiday cheer without taking up critical floor space.

garland hung over furniture

Take for example, we decked out the bar with garland and decorated it with ornaments. This adds tremendous color and a festive feeling, while taking up no additional space in the room for decorations.

it all started with paint blog holiday kitchen
Photo courtesy of It All Started With Paint blog

It’s easy to want to cover the kitchen counters with candles, potpourri, baubles and figurines that signal the season, but isn’t this the time of year when you entertain the most? Doesn’t your kitchen need to be more functional and efficient than ever? Resist the urge to cover the counters with extra clutter and you’ll be thanking yourself when it’s party time! Instead, hang wreaths from the cabinets above for a festive look.

You can also use this tip in the bathroom and instead of cluttering the powder room vanity with decorations, hang a fun wreath over the top of the mirror with a hook or wire.

fun wreath hung over mirror

Christmas breakfast with holiday plates

holiday barwareFASHION PLATES
Swap out table linens with festive colors or patterns, or change up some of your serving pieces and dishes for holiday themed selections. You can even find some fun glassware for your bar that adds a touch of holiday fun without additional clutter. Just swap out your usual dishes and glassware for some seasonal ones and you aren’t wasting any extra space.

Or, add a splash of color with a bold table runner and you have instant Christmas without much effort or cost at all!

festive table runner

Another trick that fools your senses is to keep a delicious smelling combination of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, cloves and rosemary brewing for a little while each day on the stove. After all, smell often takes us back to some of our favorite childhood memories! Plus, it will always make your home feel warm and inviting when guests arrive.

narrow table with bright lit Christmas trees

This super-narrow wine table near our kitchen and living area is livened up with small lit trees tucked into already existing candle holders. No additional knick-knacks were added to this small table, but those trees add so much personality and color, they are almost always a favorite of guests especially the young ones.

Replace your standard couch and bed pillows with fun holiday themed designs that instantly add a punch of color and holiday cheer. An especially fun idea is to add a cute holiday pillow to a guest bedroom, which instantly gives them a warm, holiday welcome.

believe holiday pillow on chair

holiday pillows

Then take this great idea from Maison de Pax. Instead of scattering several individual stocking holders all down your mantle, save money and space by using an inexpensive curtain rod. Hang the rod with wire from two stocking holders, one anchored on each end and suddenly you’re able to hang as many stockings as you want without all of those holders lining your fireplace mantle. And, it allows you the space, so you can decorate the mantle with other sights of the season.

maison de pax stocking holder
Photo courtesy of Maison de Pax.

Roll Christmas, New Year’s and Winter all into one and add touches of elements that celebrate the season from start to finish. After Christmas is over, keep just the New Year décor up, and then remove the New Year’s hat for example, for a Winter Wonderland display that can span well into January.

all holiday season mantle

2 thoughts on “Great Holiday Decorating Tips for a Small Home

  • October 10, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Thank you so much for your tips on decorating your small home in the holidays. Truth be told, the holidays are really about family. With that in mind, it might not be a bad idea to put family wall art up to decorate.

  • October 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    I love the idea you mentioned of hanging stockings on a curtain rod. This will be my first holiday season living on my own, so I’m trying to find good ways to decorate my small apartment. Thanks for the advice on how to maximize a smaller space.

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