8 Christmas Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

With the holiday season fast approaching, you may have Christmas decor on the brain. The good news is, you don’t need a giant space to embrace the festive spirit, even if you have to downsize visions of that ceiling-touching tree to do so.

If you’re working with less space this year, use this guide to Christmas decorating ideas for small spaces to keep things festive and functional. These ideas will leave room to spare to spread some cheer with guests, too. Discover how easy it is to keep the holiday spirit going, no matter the size of your space.

Kitchen with Christmas decor

Go Big on Lights

Holiday lights, whether they’re giving the room a twinkle or adding to the existing lighting, are a great, easy way to make use of the space you have. Use them in focal points of your living room, or let them hang from high points around your apartment. 

The best part about lights is that they don’t need to take up any added space at all if you don’t want them to. Just a string or two can be effective if you’re thinking strategically.

Christmas lights in wine bottles home decor display

Trim a Tiny Tree

One benefit of a smaller apartment is you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to get a giant tree through your apartment’s elevator. Once you’ve identified the perfect spot in your place for a little Christmas greenery, find a mini version of what you were envisioning instead. Choose from a faux mini-tree or a potted version that will outlast the holiday season. 

A small tree doesn’t mean your space needs to lack on Christmas tree decorations, either. You’ll just need to think smaller when you’re shopping for ornaments, tinsel and tree lights. 

If you don’t want to commit to a tree, you have other options when thinking about how to decorate a small living room for Christmas. Dress up the indoor plants you already have, pick up some Christmas wreaths or potted poinsettias or incorporate Christmas tree branches for that holiday ambiance. It’s your space to decorate.

Apartment bedroom with a small Christmas tree

Create a Focal Point

In a smaller space, you may want to draw the eye toward one area of the apartment. It’s among those apartment interior design tips that are useful well after the holiday season has come and gone.

If you have a mantel space in your living room, that may be an obvious choice. Once you’ve chosen that focal point, feel free to go big on lighting, wreaths and all of the holiday cheer you can muster for that space. Keep the rest of the room clean and simple to keep the area from feeling cluttered.

Christmas decor focal point in a living room

Choose a Signature Scent

Picking out a holiday scent or two that will waft through your apartment over the holidays won’t only add to a cozy atmosphere for guests. It’ll put you in a festive mood, too. Think sugar cookies, cranberries, vanilla and cinnamon and spice. If you want a fresher scent, think pine, especially if you’re skipping out on the real tree this year.

Use scented candles strategically to add to the lighting in a room and add to the holiday mood as their scents burn down. If you really want to wow your guests, have something cooking on the stove that smells just like Christmas. Mulled wine, hot spiced cider and stovetop potpourri are all great options to fill a space with those Christmas smells.

Christmas candles

Add Personal Touches

The holidays are all about gathering friends and family together and spending quality time with those you love. Adding personal touches will remind you of the true reason for Christmas. 

Think about displaying any holiday cards you receive until Christmas arrives. Consider incorporating family decorating traditions into your own Christmas decor or tweaking those traditions to fit your space. If you have any holiday heirlooms in storage, now is the time to get them out on display. Think about what makes Christmas special to you, and make it happen as part of your decor.

personal touch added to Christmas decor using Christmas cards

Don’t Forget Forgotten Spaces

You may have areas of your small apartment that have gone forgotten over time. Instead, use those spaces as opportunities for whimsical holiday touches without taking away from the spaces you use daily. 

Decorate your door in a festive way to bring a little cheer to your hallway. Spruce up your hallway with lights or Christmas stars. Dress up your bookshelves with Christmas branches or votive candles. Add some sparkle to that neglected plant in the corner.

If you have a breakfast nook or dining area, choose a festive centerpiece to display. If you have a balcony, don’t forget about exterior spaces, either. Incorporate a festive potted tree or native holiday plant, or string up lights for all to see.

Using plants to make a festive holiday display

Go for Cozy Minimalism

You don’t need to cover every nook and cranny with apartment Christmas decorations to show that you’re feeling the holiday spirit. Focus on small touches that give off a cozy vibe instead. 

Dress up a mantle with Christmas branches. Add a Christmas wreath to a focal point in the room. Bring out the holiday dishes and kitchenware to add a festive touch if you’re hosting guests at a holiday party.

In a smaller space, less can be more, and that doesn’t make you a Scrooge. Practicing restraint with the holiday decor can make a room feel even more welcome and inviting, rather than overwhelming.

Minimal holiday decor for a small space

Have Fun With Your Decor

Your tiny tree doesn’t have to be a sad one if you play up a holiday aesthetic that brings A Charlie Brown Christmas to mind. Christmas decorating shouldn’t be stressful. It should be something that brings you joy and continues to bring you joy when you look around your apartment throughout the holiday season. 

Hang mistletoe if you plan on having guests that would appreciate the gesture. Pick up a throw pillow or two that feature Christmas designs or phrases. It could be as simple as playing Christmas carols when you’re expecting guests. Holiday music doesn’t take up any space, but it has a way of filling a space with holiday cheer.

Tasteful holiday tablescape

You’ve Got the Decor. Find that Perfect San Diego Apartment!

You have a plan now around how to decorate for Christmas. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, apartments in Little Italy already come with that Christmas spirit, as you’ll be in a very festive San Diego neighborhood. Schedule a visit to see the best Little Italy has to offer at the Allegro Towers, your perfect blank canvas for spreading some holiday cheer.