35 Holiday Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

From tree alternatives to window decor, try these space-saving designs for the holidays.

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October 08, 2020

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Evin Photography; Styling by Jenny Reimold and Sara Brigman

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Trim with Trees

Prep your petite pad for holiday festivities with this spirited and space-saving centerpiece idea. Takes cues from designer Brian Patrick Flynn and group similar seasonal accents in varied finishes together on single decorative serving tray. When an eclectic collection is arranged on a single tray, the items instantly appear intentional and polished rather than cluttered and chaotic.

Layer-Up

Dress your dining table for the occasion with layers of wintry texture, holiday hues and charming sculptural accents. This tulip table is made cozy for cocoa, cake and gift wrapping with a fluffy faux pelt on each chair, holly-red throw blankets and a sleek, snowy pine centerpiece.

Spirited Snippings

Skip the standard-size Christmas tree this year and create this fresh-and-festive tabletop alternative in its stead. All you need are a few fresh-cut evergreen snippings, miniature tree ornaments and a roomy vessel base. The secret to recreating the whimsical display is to maintain just enough length at the end of each branch so that the fragrant greenery overflows from the vase in an effortless and organic fashion. Pop baubles on the sturdiest branches and pile petite presents at the arrangement’s base to polish off the display.

Two is Better Than One

It’s true: size matters. That said, bigger is not always better and proper scale is crucial to achieving an inviting and comfortable holiday design in small spaces. Case and point? This little living room is much better off with two, petite and proportional pines than it would be with a single standard-size tree that scrapes the ceiling and leaves Santa little room to work with on Christmas Eve.

Christmas-Ready Cabinets

There’s no need to take up valuable walking space to show Christmas spirit in your tiny home. Keep floors clutter-free and bring cheer into your space by displaying festive accents around the perimeter of the room. Try dangling a ribbon-clad wreath in front of your built-in bookcase or drape it flush against your kitchen cabinets like this dreamy little number from Brian Patrick Flynn.

Flock Your Fixtures

Take your holiday decorations to a whole new level — literally. Adding playful details overhead like these snowy pinecones will draw the eyes up, distracting from the small quarters and accentuating the height of the room with holiday cheer.

Chance of Snow

Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow! Flock your walls with a flurry of icy activity courtesy of our easy, Scandinavian-inspired wooden snowflake craft. It’s a fail-proof addition to small space holiday décor because it lays flush against the wall and is serves as a neutral winter accent that you can use well into the new year. All you need to create your own snowflakes at home are a pack of wooden craft beads, red-and-white striped yarn, scissors, wire and wire snips. Find our easy-to-follow instructions and a full materials list in the link, below.

5 Must-Make Holiday Projects With Wooden Craft Beads

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Onate trimmings and flashy holiday hues may look out of place in simple spaces like this cozy bedroom but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some holiday cheer. Give your old evergreen garland a new lease on life by draping it across your headboard and swap your mainstay pillow covers for a pattern suited for the season.

Festive + Functional

All baubles aside, you still need to live in your small space during the holiday season, so function is key. Be sure not to overload essential areas like your entryway or kitchen with tchotchkes and trimmings that require you to move things out of the way in order to use the space in an efficient manner. Here, Brian Patrick Flynn keeps holiday accents like the snowshoes and stockings visible but tucked out of the way, so they don’t inhibit the homeowners from going about their everyday activities.

Make Spirits Bright

Follow our lead and make your bar cart merry and bright with a collection of vibrant bottle brush trees, a gilt reindeer duo and this zippy, rainbow pom-pom wreath. This easy DIY craft combines kicky neon poms with traditional silver jingle bells and a dainty, curled ribbon detail to create an effervescent accent fit for merrymaking, aplenty. Get the scoop on how to make a rainbow wreath and find a full list of materials to get started in the link, below.

How to Make a Colorful Holiday Pom-Pom Wreath

Wintry Window Wreath

Even the tiniest homes have the space to spare in order to display a darling, winter window wreath. This contemporary kitchen nook features a modest window clad that's with a classic, snow-dusted pine wreath topped by a bold, red-and-black plaid ribbon bow. Create a similar look in your windows at home using an unembellished evergreen wreath tied with a high-contrast, saturated holiday ribbon

Crafty Cocoa Station

No need to add holes in your wall to put your pad in a merry mood. This coffee and cocoa station celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with a renter-friendly, removable chalkboard paper backdrop embellished with holly berries, twinkling stars and a whimsical, hand-lettered motif in white and red chalk.

Sweater Weather

Take cues from designer Brian Patrick Flynn and cozy-up your sofa using pillow covers and throw blankets in timeless holiday patterns such as tartan, houndstooth, windowpane or the ever-popular buffalo check print. Flynn amps-up the Christmas cheer in this casual family room with a Rudolph-red, Scandinavian sweater pillow.

Sweet Seasonal Touches

Not sure how to fill that empty ledge, drab dresser or lacking shelf with Christmas cheer this year? Put your creative chops to the test this weekend with our low-cost gingerbread village craft. Each snow-capped house is made from cardboard and cut to size using our free house template. Glitter, puff paint and vellum paper bring the village to life while a blanket of faux snow brings softness to the scene and a bottlebrush tree forest wraps the community in color. Find a full list of materials and indepth instructions create a Christmas village at home in the link, below.

Cute + Crafty: DIY Cardboard Gingerbread Village

Makeshift Mantel

No fireplace, no problem. Call on unexpected spaces to create a makeshift mantel in your petite pad. This snowy staircase railing is Santa-ready with a lush pine garland, fluffy faux fur stockings and warm burlap bows. Other locations to consider? Your bedroom dresser, dining room buffet table, a coatrack, bookcase or the living room blanket ladder.

Floating Flakes

Holiday hack: Use fishing wire to suspend your window decorations, so they appear to float against the glass. This is a must-try technique for small homes and apartment because the “floating” accents add ample charm and cheer to the space without creating visual clutter in the already tight quarters.

Create a Cozy Countdown

Nothing builds excitement for the most magical day of the year more than an advent calendar and this cozy version is packed with treats and charm. Recreate this sweet vignette in your small home using a sofa table or bedroom dresser as your base and layering it with seasonal books, an evergreen arrangement and our DIY sweater advent calendar. Find a full list of materials and our step-by-step instructions in the link, below.

Turn Old Sweaters Into an Adorable Advent Calendar

Woodsy Winter Touches

You’ve spruced-up your stairs, decked your halls and flocked your family room to resemble a full-blown snowstorm. What’s next? Polish-off your holiday decorating by adding Christmastime delights to your powder room. This wintry-white bathroom is prepped for Yuletide celebrations with a perky countertop pine, a proud reindeer figurine and a black-and-white pom garland draped across the mirror.

Repurpose Like a Pro

Add emphasis to your small tree by placing it in a wine crate. Elevate the tree in the bottom of box so the branches sit above the top of the box. For a rustic look, fill the space in the crate around the tree with burlap. Add upholstery strapping for garland and simple ornaments.

Think Outside the Box

Turn holiday decorating on its head by filling glass cylinders in a variety of sizes with small pine cones. Turn the vases over carefully and wrap the vase bases with ribbon. Arrange the vases tallest to smallest in a cone shape to create a tree. Add fresh greenery and embellishments to the tops of the cylinders.

Make Pretty Paper Trees

Something as simple as paper can become a tabletop showstopper. Make cones from poster board and cover with coordinating gift wrap. For added interest, place a few of the cones on cupcake stands, pedestals, or candlesticks.

Add a few embellishments such as beads and group the cones together.

Use Unconventional Materials

Dress your door in style. Wrap a wreath form with a marabou feather boa and add your favorite embellishment. Choose wide coordinating ribbon for hanging.

For a unique accent, add your favorite cityscape to the center of the wreath.

Transform Basic Pillows

Add holiday flair to your sofa by making pillow covers with felt. Print simple, bold holiday graphics and use them as a template to cut out coordinating colors of felt. Sew them to the felt squares before making the pillow covers.

Utilize Windows

Show your holiday spirit to the world. String snowflakes and snowballs on cord or fishing line and fill a window with them.

Add a wintry white scene to the bottom of the strings for more impact.

Consider Kitchen Items

Brighten up your holiday tabletop with plenty of white. Gather a grouping of white cake plates and fill them with white candles and a variety of fresh greenery.

Add colorful ornaments to amp up the holiday spirit.

Install a Makeshift Mantel

Add vintage charm to your holiday with stockings made from vintage tea towels. For spaces without a true mantel, install an old branch to hang your stockings. Adorn the stocking loops with jingle bells for even more holiday goodness.

Don't Underestimate the Power of String Lights

Take ordinary mini-lights to new heights by creating a holiday chandelier. Use a wreath form to add varying lengths of lights in a circle and adorn the top with snowflakes and snowballs. Hang the lights over a table or chair for twinkly holiday impact.

Small Details Make a Big Impact

Dress up your dinner by wrapping basic chairs with ribbon or a fabric sash. Gather it together at the back of the chair and add greenery and a vintage ornament.

Holiday dinners just got a little more interesting.

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