9 Ways to Decorate Your Tiny Apartment for the Holidays

The average studio apartment size in the U.S. is 530 square feet. That may not seem like a lot of space to bring the holidays to life, but with bold colors and taking advantage of the wall space, it’s easily doable. And even though holiday shoppers plan on spending 4 percent more in 2019, a smaller space may mean spending less on decorations.

There are plenty of fun, inexpensive and creative ways you can dress up even the smallest of spaces. All it takes is a little bit of planning and a small budget to purchase necessary tools, such as tape, small hooks and twine.

Now, throw on your favorite holiday music and discover some creative ways to decorate your space for the holidays, without overwhelming your tiny space.

1. Fake a fireplace with some tapestry

chalkboard fireplace

Source: Pinterest

There’s nothing cozier than a fireplace burning when it’s cold and snowy outside. A fake fireplace can be made with some old paint drop cloth, cheap chalkboard paint (you can get this at any home improvement store) and chalk.

After hanging it on the wall, you can add to it by hanging stockings or holiday cards. The best part? It’s not a fire hazard.

2. Decorate with holiday cards

Christmas card display

Source: Pinterest

Rather than sticking those holiday cards on the refrigerator, use them as decoration and make a card wall. These are some inexpensive ideas to help bring photos and cards from loved ones to life. All you need is some tape, string and clothespins.

If you’re finding you don’t have enough cards, supplement it with cardstock. Use that to make snowflakes, a star or anything you like and add it to the wall.

3. Plump up your pillows

Christmas pillows

Source: Pinterest

Why not make your decorations actually functional, too? Holiday pillows may be a fun way to spruce up your couch. When the holiday is over, an option to save space is to simply cover them with a solid color, so you can use them year-round.

4. Hang twinkle lights

hanging fairy lights

Source: Pinterest

If you’ve decided against a tree, you can still get your light fix. Buy as many (or as few) sets of twinkle lights as you want, there’s no shortage of places to put them. Hang them from the ceiling or around doorways so you’ll feel like you’re walking through a Winter Wonderland.

You can also hang them on the walls around your decorative wreaths or drape them over a bookshelf or entertainment center. Mix and match snow-white twinkle lights and brightly colored holiday string light sets for extra flare.

5. Use simple winter bouquets

winter bouquets of flowers

Source: Pinterest

When in doubt, turn to flowers. While they won’t last the entire winter season, they’re a simple way to transform your tiny space, and for a reasonable price tag. Check out your local flower mart or even Costco.

6. Hang ornaments from walls or windows

hanging ornament chandelier

Source: Pinterest

Just because you’re not decorating a tree doesn’t mean you can’t use ornaments. With a little bit of ribbon or garland, hang ornaments of any size from windows, bookshelves, ceiling fans (just make sure you don’t turn it on) or even the ceiling.

Pick simple snowflake ornaments, bright reds and greens, shiny silver balls or get creative and mix-and-match. This combination from Pinterest is really festive and easy to recreate.

7. No room for a tree? No problem!

A tight space most likely means a large tree is out of the question. A typical Christmas tree is typically more than six feet tall. You can still get a tree, it’ll just have to be more economical. Here are three alternatives from Pinterest to a big tree:

Opt for a desk tree

desktop christmas tree

Source: Pinterest

Place it next to a window so it gets sunlight and make sure to give it some water when the dirt feels dry. It’ll most likely last you all winter, just like a giant-sized tree.

How about a twinkle tree?

twinkle light christmas trees

Source: Pinterest

They don’t take up any space and you don’t need to worry about watering them. Plus, they’re so pretty.

Skip the tree and get a wreath, instead

Christmas wreath

Source: dexorate

Save your precious floor space. Place them on bookshelves or dangle them from the backs of chairs, in addition to hanging them up on the doors and windows. Plus, if you buy a real one, they smell great, too.

8. Use candles

candle lit christmas centerpiece

Source: Pinterest

Light up your space and your senses with cinnamon or pine-scented candles. If candles aren’t your thing or you worry they’re a fire hazard, you can easily use fake candle versions.

These flicker and look just like real candles. Place a few in your living room and set the mood for cozy holiday get-togethers with loved ones.

9. Cover open surfaces with wrapping paper or bows

cabinet christmas bows

Source: Pinterest

If you have some open wall space, use your leftover wrapping paper and bows to make it look like a giant present. Big, colorful bows can be used to drape across walls, bookshelves, doors and cabinets.

You can choose to keep the color unified, like the Pinterest image above, or mix and match for a funkier vibe. The best part about this is that it’s easy to put up and take down. All you need is ribbon and some tape.

What’s your favorite way to decorate?

Living in a tiny space all year long means careful planning of what items you purchase. It’s one of the best (or worst) things about small spaces, depending on your living style.

However, a cozy space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice holiday cheer or spend a ton of money to decorate.

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Claire TakClaire Tak is a writer who previously served as head of content and chief editor for FinTech companies in New York and San Francisco. Her work has appeared on FOX Business, Bloomberg and Forbes. She writes regularly about travel, money and being a good human. Traveling and snowboarding are her two favorite things to do.

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