Published on November 20, 2016

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Small spaces can be challenging to furnish and decorate all year round, and successful holiday decorating can seem almost impossible. Of course you want to add festive cheer to your home, but it can be difficult to do so without feeling like you’re living in the Christmas section of a department store. From miniature trees to cozy seating options, we’ll help you navigate the woes of small space holiday decor.

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Fun Christmas Tree Alternatives

Domino has a list of Christmas tree alternatives that are perfect for you and your small space. Rather than putting up a tree that takes up tons of room in the corner of your studio, try one of these options. Bonus: You won’t have to drag a tree up three flights to your walk-up. You can easily put one of these up on your wall, and you’ll still have plenty of time to sit back and watch a holiday flick. And the best part is you won’t have to remember to water your tree or sweep up fallen pine needles.

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Tree in a Basket

If you rearrange some things, you might be able to fit a large tree in your home. But a big tree isn’t going to look so grand when it’s shoved between your bookshelf and media center with zero extra space to spare. If you don’t want to go with a modern treeless holiday, grab a little one. Try placing a small size tree on a stand, and put it in a basket. You can fill the basket with faux fur, velvet fabric or burlap to give it a nice filled-in look. By doing this you’ll give some additional height to the little guy without taking up much space.

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Lighten Up

Lights are a big part of the holiday season. Whether you opt for traditional, icicles, neon, or spherical, you can’t deny that they add to the overall festive look. If you’re not doing the tree thing this year, you can still incorporate lights into your home. Where do you put these lights if you’re sans tree? Everywhere! From framing doorways to dangling from the ceiling, turn your home into a twinkly wonderland. Our favorite way is to add them where you’d least expect it, like twisted and tangled onto a bike.

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Tabletop Trees

If you don’t have any floor space to devote to traditional decor, use the tabletop space that you do have. A simple tree or plant can be placed right on a dresser, credenza or console that you already have in your home. Your picture frames, perfumes, art and anything else you have styled already will all look great with the addition of your new plantlife.

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Mini Holiday Village

Make yourself a miniature holiday village. You can find miniature fake trees—that look either realistic or in glittery pastels—from a variety of craft stores. From there, add to your little village whatever you see fun and fit: snowglobes, deer figurines, elves, gnomes, cars, or trains all work. You can keep this village in one place or spread it around your home, but either way it’s fun and flexible.  

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Cake Stand Vignettes

Use a cake stand to create a mini holiday scene. It’s the perfect table centerpiece for the season. Whether you’re planning on hosting people for dinner or not, leave this adorable set up out, and you’ll be sure to smile every time you see it. If you have pets or small children this is a great option since all tiny, glittered pieces and wads of cottony fake snow will be kept under glass.

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Traditional Candles

Perhaps one of the easiest things you can do is add candles to your home. Simple white is best, and if you place them around your space with wreaths at the base, they’ll be barely taking up any space at all. They provide a traditional yet chic element, and the glow feels cozy and holiday ready.

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Bar Carts Decor

From vintage to modern, bar carts are definitely still having a moment. If you already have one, now is the perfect time to use it. The extra surface area gives you the perfect amount of space to display a holiday vignette. If you’re entertaining guests this season, you can raise your bar game and get it looking spiffy and functional for a party.

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Extra Seating Options

If you have minimal seating but are expecting some company this season, poufs are a great option. From extra seating to a spot to place a serving tray filled with snacks and drinks, you can’t go wrong having a few on hand. You can find these in a variety of styles from structured to pillow-like. Not only will these be great for guests, but they will also create a cozy element in your living space.

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Layer Up

If you don’t have enough space for poufs or ottomans, layering rugs is a fantastic alternative. The added textiles will keep your floors nice and warm for the winter and make getting out of bed a bit easier. Try adding rugs in warm, seasonal colors for a festive touch.

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Shelves Aren’t Just For Elves

If you have bookshelves, utilize them. Add pieces of decor here and there to your shelves, and you won’t be overwhelmed with holiday decoration strewn across your home. This controlled set of shelves allows you to play around with the placement of items and draw someone’s attention to your favorite pieces. 

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Stockings Hung With Care

Stockings are just about as traditional as it comes, but you don’t necessarily need a mantel from which to hang them. While there are tons of creative ways to use stockings, we are big fans of this simple, rustic idea. Hang a large branch on your wall, and you instantly have the best way to display both stockings, wreaths and garland. Bonus points for the monochromatic look.

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Hostess With the Mostess

If you have people coming over for the holidays, whether it’s family visiting or friends stopping in, we know hosting can be stressful—even more so if you’re working with limited space. Chances are people already know you’re living in tight quarters, so don’t feel bad if you don’t have endless seating options. Use the surfaces you have to display decoration and food, and you’ll be fine.

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Festive Gallery Walls

If you’re really working with limited space and can’t even find room for a mini tree, utilizing your empty wall space is easy and inexpensive. From simply hanging up holiday cards to taping up some pine cones or branches, you’ll be able to make yourself a seasonal gallery wall in no time. Don’t forget the mistletoe.

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Stove-Top Potpourri

If you don’t have the space for (or the interest in) decorating at all, focus on adding seasonal smells to your home. Stove-top potpourri is a super easy way to make it feel like the holidays. Since you have a small space to begin with, the smells will make their way from the kitchen and fill up the air with warm scents. Try a bunch of different combinations to find the one that’s perfect for you. 

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