Packing in the Season: Five Holiday Decorating Tips for Apartments


Just because your apartment isn't exactly sprawling, and it lacks the space necessary for a full-size Christmas tree doesn't mean your holiday season has to be a bland affair. With a little creativity, you can capture the spirit of the season and enjoy festive decorations that make the holidays feel like they should.

1. Break Out the Bonsai
It is hard to capture the true feeling of Christmas without a charismatic conifer, but this doesn't mean you need an 8-foot-tall white pine. Festooned with the necessary bows, lights, and tinsel, a small tree can be just as magical as a large one. Many bonsai tree nurseries offer small shrubs and trees that have already been pruned into the proper shape, but you can also purchase a small juniper or fir tree from a garden center and prune it yourself.

2. Embrace the Vertical Space
You should maximize your wall space when decorating for the holidays in a modest apartment (just make sure you don't ruin the walls in the process). This allows you to deck the halls, without making your home feel cluttered. Wreaths, menorahs, and stockings are all traditional decorations that are easy to hang and will not extend very far into the living space of your home. You can also use lights to decorate the walls of your rental apartment with a variety of holiday-themed patterns or designs, such as a cross or the Star of David.

3. Maximize the Margins and Moldings
Decorate your door frames and windowsills with fresh garlands or decorative lights. In addition to improving your interior decor, these decorations are also visible from outside your apartment, which will help spread holiday cheer throughout your neighborhood. Add a little faux-snow to the windows to complete the look.

4. Liven Up Your Linens
Use holiday-colored towels, bed sets, and throw blankets to help add charming accents to your home. You already use these types of items anyway, so they won't take up additional space. Cloth napkins in holiday colors are another option, and they will bring some holiday flair to your dining table.

5. Ribbon Repetition
You can use red, green, and white ribbons (or lengths of yarn) in a variety of decorating contexts. For example, by tying a ribbon to a bell, sprig of mistletoe, or frosted pine cone, you can create inexpensive decorations that are easy to make in large quantities. Hang them between the stockings or tie them to your chairs, door frames, or cabinet hardware.

Have fun implementing some of these ideas and suggestions the next time you attempt to transform your home into a winter wonderland. Just be sure to tweak them to suit your tastes, use repetition and simplicity to establish decorative themes, and place your decorations in out-of-the-way areas to avoid cluttering your apartment home.