The Small Space Guide to Decorating Your Home for the Holidays

After a year spent living the digital nomad dream of hopping about from city to city, I can safely (confidently, gratefully, enthusiastically) say that I’ve settled down somewhere that feels like home. While many of us romanticize a mobile, move-on-a-whim lifestyle, the reality can be a lot more challenging. But now, in a space I can truly call my own—I’m not pulling out my suitcase that could fit a large child anytime soon—it’s time to lean into all things cozy. And yes, that means stocking up on all the best apartment Christmas décor.
It can be hard to know what to do with a small space. Sure, you don’t want to overwhelm it with too many pieces, but the opposite approach can leave a room feeling sparse. And of course, there’s the whole storage component, too—where the heck are you going to store the fake Christmas tree once January rolls around? There’s a lot to solve when you’re shopping for apartment Christmas décor. Thankfully, as someone inhabiting a space that barely tops 1,000 square feet, I have a few answers.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
Image by Michelle Nash
Tips for Decorating for Christmas in a Small Space
It’s always been my dream to deck the halls in a huge home with an unlimited budget. But over the years, as I’ve moved from apartment to (sometimes larger, sometimes smaller) apartment, I’ve grown to enjoy the ways a lack of space challenges my creativity. I’ve discovered that I like being forced to make design choices: instead of saying yes to everything on my Christmas décor wish list, I have to select what I love most and what I think will fit best in my space.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of tips that have supported my search to perfect my apartment’s Christmas décor. Step number one? Less is more.
Pick a statement piece. If you’re decorating for a small space, you don’t want to send the eye in a million directions as soon as someone walks through your door. Instead, I like to think of a single object that I center my décor around. For me, that’s always been the tree—but you can let your tablescape shine, deck out your mantle, or create a beautiful dried floral arrangement that sits on your coffee table. Whatever you choose, stick to the plan—and resist the temptation to go overboard.
Stick to a focused color palette. Similar to the first tip, this is all about creating a coordinated, cohesive décor scheme. I like to pick three colors that will dominate the majority of what I choose to bring into my space. Typically, this means a neutral that I pair with two colors that sit opposite the color wheel (which explains why white, green, and red go so well together). Or, I try to pick a theme and identify three colors that evoke what I’m trying to express—this year, I’m all about browns, greens, and white.
Get creative with your tree. If you’re on the hunt for apartment Christmas décor, you might be having a tricky time figuring out the tree situation. Don’t worry, no one’s making you buy one! Yes, it might seem like a must-have, but with space constraints, you’re welcome to ditch it. Or even better—rethink it! There are plenty of tabletop options to choose from as well as creative alternatives. Find all the inspiration you need here.
Image by Michelle Nash
29 Apartment Christmas Décor Pieces to Outfit a Small Space
For the Tree (And the Tree Itself!)
Garlands, tree toppers, and ornaments of every stripe. And if you’re Team Fake Tree, I’ve rounded up the cutest (and small space-friendly) Christmas trees.

Cody Foster Felt Merry Merry Garland
This garland definitely screams merry. If you like a little festive color on your tree, this is the pick.

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Wondershop Christmas Tree Ornament Set
I love the idea of an assorted set of ornaments that brings variety and interest to your tree while still feeling cohesive. And those little deer? So sweet.

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Food52 Gingham Linen Holiday Tree Skirt
Gingham’s the move, y’all. It’s classic and crisp, while still adding a touch of whimsy to your tree.

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CBD Burst Gold Christmas Tree Topper
The topper to top them all.

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5ft. Layered Washington Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree
Bendable branches! Comes with lights! This tree is a lazy girl’s (i.e., my) dream.

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Farmhouse Pottery Mini Mug Ornament
A coffee lover’s dream ornament. I’d be tempted to hang these up all throughout the year.

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Felted Wool Mushroom Ornaments (Set Of 3)
Mushrooms are having a moment! These sweet felted ornaments give your tree the perfect woodland touch.

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Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Wooden Bead Christmas Tree Garland
If you like to lean a little boho when it comes to the tree, this garland gives the perfect vibe. It’s a beautiful backdrop to more natural, textured ornaments.

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Mueller Handcrafted German Beechwood Star Tree Topper
I’ve been coveting this tree topper for years and 2022 was finally the time for me to make it mine. Trust me, it’s just as gorgeous in person as it is in the picture. Now, how many online buys can you say that for?

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Burlap Wrapped Light-Up Tabletop Tree
This mini Tenenbaum is unbelievably charming. How sweet would it look on a window sill?

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Let There Be Light

Wondershop 100ct Incandescent Smooth Mini String Lights
Nothing beats the classic string lights. These provide 21.12 feet of warm illumination.

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Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle
I go through at least two of these candles every holiday season. If you love a pine scent, this candle offers the purest, longest-lasting scent.

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Threshold 8oz Tree Electroplated Metallic Finish Holiday Candle Gold
I always keep one of these on my dining table and think they’d be beautiful on the mantle. Bonus: The container can be reused long after the wax is gone.

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West Elm Brown Wrapped Light-Up Branches (Set of 2)
Looking for a creative way to add some festive light to your space? A vase of these sculptural branches creates a soft, warm glow.

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West & Arrow LED Curtain String Light
There’s something so magical about a million little lights strung behind a curtain. These come with eight light modes so you can switch up the sparkle.

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West Elm 20′ LED String Lights
I love a good battery-powered string light that lets me illuminate any corner of my apartment. Stylish and convenient.

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Image by Michelle Nash
It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Needle Pine & Snowberry Seasonal Faux Wreath
The bells, needles, and berries make this the most romantic wreath I’ve ever seen.

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Afloral Real Touch Faux Juniper Holiday Greens
I placed one of these in a thrifted clay vessel in my bathroom and the impact is pure, elegant Christmas.

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West Elm Pre-Lit Faux Mixed Seeded Eucalyptus Botanicals
Choose from a wreath, arrangement, or garland—or, better yet, one of each! No one will ever guess it’s fake.

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World Market Faux Seeded Eucalyptus and Pine Wreath
I’ll forever love the natural look of eucalyptus. It brings such a fresh vibe to any holiday scene.

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Image by Michelle Nash
To Top Off the Table

Pottery Barn Santa Claus Mugs (Set of 4)
My mom was gifted a vintage collection of these mugs from my grandmother, and I’ve grown up sipping hot chocolate (then coffee) from these every Christmas morning. There’s nothing more nostalgic.

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Anthropologie Holiday in the City Dessert Plate
Choose from your favorite city or collect them all. Is there any better way to enjoy your favorite holiday dessert?

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Meri Meri Festive Motif Large Napkins (Set of 16)
These sweet, illustrated napkins come courtesy of one of the most iconic Christmas brands. If you’re hosting a holiday get-together, these are perfect for appetizers and small bites.

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Williams Sonoma ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Embroidered Napkins (Set of 4)
There’s something about having a dedicated set of Christmas napkins that just makes the holidays feel so special. I love pulling out my treasured holiday décor, and to set the table with these would be such a treat.

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Image by Michelle Nash
Small Touches That Add a Festive Flair

Cody Foster Mini Holiday Bottlebrush Trees (Set of 12)
It’s my hope that the bottlebrush tree trend will never go away. Well, even if it does, I’m keeping mine for life. Setting a few out on a shelf or the table is an easy way to create a lovely Christmas vignette.

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West Elm Village Tealight Candleholders
How stunning are these? I love the romantic, soft light that shines through each house. It’s reminiscent of a small, charming town illuminated during the holiday season.

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Simon Pearce Glass Snowmen Collection
This one might be more of a splurge, but these sweet snowmen are the easiest way to create an indoor winter wonderland. Each piece is handblown in their Vermont factory. The craftsmanship and care is a sight to behold.

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Threshold Small Ceramic Decorative Tree
Can’t stop by the woods on a snowy evening? Bring the evergreen feel home.

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Garnet Hill Whimsical Felted Critters
My apartment is filled with so many fantastical creatures (my favorite is a felted penguin all cozied up in his scarf and hat). These little guys bring just the right amount of Christmas cheer.

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The post The Small Space Guide to Decorating Your Home for the Holidays appeared first on Camille Styles.

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