If your home barely allows room for a full size sofa or two grown adults, it might be time to come to terms with the fact that this might not be the year when you finally get to decorate your own six-foot tall Balsam Fir or host the entire family over for a Hanukkah brisket.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sit out the season like a Grinch, either. There are plenty of ways to deck your halls or play hostess with the mostest without having to turn your home or apartment into a cluttered fire hazard.
Here, a few of the best.
1. Make Your Traditions Suit Your Space
If a full-size Christmas tree won’t fit in your home unless you get rid of an armchair, for example, go for a small tabletop tree, or one that only stands two or three-feet high instead. If you get the real thing, it will still give off that wonderful, woodsy smell, which is pretty much the best part of having a Christmas tree anyway.
No room for even the smallest of trees? Fill a large vase with evergreen boughs, or skip the tree tradition altogether and pile a clear decorative bowl with a string of battery-powered white lights for a twinkling centerpiece. No mantle for stockings? Hang them on a chest or console.
2. Re-think Your Celebrations
If you love playing hostess, remember this: You can accommodate far more people in a space when they’re standing up than you can when they’re sitting around a table, so forgo a seated dinner party in favor of a cocktail party with passed hors d’oeuvres.
Make your Latkes bite-sized, or bake that Christmas ham into mini quiches instead. If you need extra seating or additional serving space, consider purchasing multi-purposed furniture like small ottomans, which can double at extra seating or drink tables in a pinch.
3. Keep it Simple
When it comes to holiday decorating your motto should be “a little goes a long way.” Besides the actual square-footage constraints, small spaces can pose a challenge because one too many decorations can quickly make your home feel like the seasonal aisle in the grocery store.
To create a balanced look, create a holiday vignette with a few of your favorite decorations, then fill in your space with festive pieces that simply evoke the season – mercury glass vases, groupings of pillar candles and bunches of greenery will make a chic, simple statement. Plus, you can re-use anything without an overtly holiday theme later in the year for other occasions, cutting down on the decorations you need to store.
4. Consider Your Floor Plan
There’s a good chance you have more room in your home than you think—you just might not be making the best use of it. If clutter is a perennial problem in your home no matter what the season, and you’re truly dedicated to small space living, consider calling in professional designer to help.
Don’t worry, though. Hiring help doesn’t have to cut into your gift-giving (or holiday decorating!) budget. Online interior design services offer complete room makeovers—including everything from a new layout, to a shopping list of products to buy, and paint color suggestions.
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Have another small-space decorating tip that we missed? Share it in the comments section, below.
Gretchen Hansen is the founder and CEO of Decorist. Gretchen’s passion is to make great design accessible to everyone and to help make it easy for people to create an amazing space, that reflects their personal style, all within their budget. Read more about how Decorist started here.