This post on the best Apartment Christmas decor, was originally written in November 2018, and updated in October 2019. Links updated again in November 2020.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my apartment! Decorating is so much fun, but it’s tough when you don’t have a ton of space. It’s hard to tell what will fit in a small apartment, and if you are like me, you’ll want it all! For three years I lived in a 500 sq ft apartment with two dogs, and now an 800+ sq ft apartment with my two dogs and Kale. In this post, I’m sharing all of my tips and tricks for decorating your apartment for Christmas!
How to Decorate an Apartment for Christmas
1) Start your Apartment Christmas Decor With the Tree
As the centerpiece of your apartment in the month of December, the Christmas tree is an important piece of your Christmas decorations. Remember, the taller the tree, the wider it is on the bottom. Even if you have high ceilings, you may not have the space for the circumference. I found that a 6 foot tree worked great in both of my apartments, due to width, despite my tall ceilings! My tree was only $39 when I bought it, but very sparse on the bottom, so I filled it in with wired branch garland (unlit garland here). I linked several under $60 6ft trees below with garland!
2) Have a Color Scheme and Merry Theme for your Christmas Decor
I’ve always admired beautifully decorated trees with perfectly organized decorations, a simple color scheme, and lots of ornaments, garland, and fluff. My family has always done a few “perfect” trees, and our big, main tree is decorated with ornaments from our lives. Each vacation we pick one out, and every Christmas Eve, my mom gifts everyone an ornament to hang. It’s eclectic for sure.
I decorated my tree with ornaments from Kale’s and my childhood, which turned out to be a theme in itself. Most of my ornaments are pink, so the tree is essentially blush and gold. I also wrapped a burlap ribbon around the tree as garland to match my burlap tree skirt. My Christmas decor is all gold, silver, burlap, and white, which matches the rest of my grey apartment perfectly!
Some people choose a theme for each tree, or room in a home, but when decorating for Christmas in a small space, you should make sure everything flows easily. Choose a few colors and make sure all of your apartment Christmas decor follows the color and style of your space.
3) Spread Christmas Cheer (By Singing Loud for All to Hear)
You can add figurines and little touches of Christmas in all of your small spaces! If you have space, I highly recommend putting a Christmas tree at the top of your list, even if it’s just a small one, or maybe the Peanuts tree is more your style! I added little touches to our dresser in the bedroom, my bar cart, in the bookcase, and even in the kitchen and bathroom! Everything from hand towels to soaps, to candles and tree decor. I love the way Christmas decor flows from room to room.
4) The Stockings Were Hung… No Mantle in your Apartment? No problem
Many apartments, including my own, don’t have a fireplace which means, no mantle to hang your stockings with care. I had to get creative with where I hung mine. I used to use command hooks, but I hated how they looked, so this year I removed the paintings above my bar cart and hung my stockings (similar also here) by the nails in the wall. I even added a few extras for the dogs’ stockings (similar furry stockings here)! I’m sure I’ll regret the extra nails come January, but it looks so much better with the Christmas decor!
5) Rethink Wreaths
I don’t mean where to place them, I mean re-think them all together. Wreaths are expensive. That’s why I ended up making my own for our front door originally (if you look close enough, you can definitely see the zip ties). I found a few that I liked, but not enough to spend the money, so instead, I grabbed two burlap bows to add to my balcony doors, and I actually think I like it better.
6) A Holly Jolly Balcony: Outdoor Christmas Decorations for your Apartment
I’m definitely not talking about those massive inflatables or big lawn reindeer (although I have seen a few very creative people add them to their apartment balconies- yes the inflatables), but there are few acceptable apartment balcony ideas for Christmas decor. Adding a wreath to your outside door or string lights to your railing would be a great way to spread the Christmas cheer outside. However, many outdoor Christmas decorations are not made for or allowed in apartments. Balcony decorations are most likely limited to a few low-key items.
7) Don’t Smell Like Beef and Cheese, Smell Like Santa
There are so many ways to make your home smell like the holidays! Bake cookies, light candles, use wallflowers, anything that floats your boat, but your Christmas decor is not complete unless your home smells like Christmas too! I grabbed a bag of potpourri which sits on our coffee table in the living room. It doesn’t give off a ton of scent, but it’s great when you do notice it.
Candles are by far the best way to spread the scent throughout your home. My favorite is called Christmas Cookie by Yankee Candle. That scent not only smells like Christmas, but it reminds me of home! It is the same candle my mom gets back in Ohio. I also love getting seasonal soaps for the kitchen and bathroom sinks. I love the Bath and Body Works scents of Toasted Vanilla Chai for the bathroom and Winter White Woods for the kitchen. This is a great way to spread Christmas cheer in a tiny apartment!
Shop my Favorite Apartment Christmas Decor
Much of my Christmas decor came from my childhood, past years, and home goods. Home Goods is basically impossible to find anything in again. However, I’ve done my best to grab the most similar items for you to shop!