Eight ways to decorate your small space for the holidays

If your home sweet home is more cottage than castle, you might be feeling the pinch for space this holiday season. Although your square footage might be at an all-time premium, the temptation to deck those halls doesn’t need to be ignored. Whether celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or just the general coziness of winter, the following guide can help you spruce up that small space before you get your jingle bells in a twist.

Light ’em up:

One of the most instant festive additions to any space, regardless of what specific holiday you celebrate this time of year, is light. As a smaller space usually doesn’t have room for a fireplace, strategically placed candles can offer a similar warmth and ambience that only the flicker of a flame can provide. Something else that doesn’t take up any space at all, but which can instantly add to the holiday feeling, is the scent that often accompanies candles. As you may not have room for a real, full-sized Christmas tree (or if that isn’t your thing), a naturally scented holiday candle in pine or fir can do wonders in enhancing your seasonal surroundings.

In addition to candles, another form of light that can instantly add some magic to your small space, are strings of battery-operated mini LED lights. As they are battery operated, you can put these twinkling lights anywhere, and that outlet can be used for what is was meant to be used for–charging your cell phone. Pinterest offers tons of ideas for how to use these lights all year round, with my favourites being here, from Brit + Co, and here, courtesy of BuzzFeed Life.


Accessorize to Winter:

One of the joys of having a small space, lies in the fact that huge changes don’t need to be made for big impact. Simply switching out or adding some accessories can enhance the overall feeling of a room, especially in time for the winter season. Some of my favourite ways to cozy up a smaller space with accessories include:

  • Adding cozy blankets, throws, and/or pillows in festive textures (knit, faux fur, etc.) and patterns (such as the plaid blanket shown, from Simons).


  • Bringing nature in and using twigs, pinecones, and greenery to add natural seasonal flair to your space.

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  • Changing out your artwork (where possible) to reflect the season. This needn’t be expensive, as there are so many free printable graphics and posters available online, as well as beautiful wrapping papers that can easily double as framed art for the holidays.


  • Paying attention to details, such as dish towels, soaps and your front door, that can easily be holly-jolly’d to add so much to your snuggifying efforts.


Pockets of Joy:

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you don’t know where to start when it comes to seasonal decorating, but in tackling small areas at a time you can easily add some cheer to your surroundings. One way I’ve dealt with this, is by choosing five small areas (the top of a shelf, the dining room table, the entryway, a bookcase, etc.) and found ways to add small touches of the season in bite sized pieces. Don’t underestimate the power of a handmade bowl filled with pinecones, or a vase filled with decorative ornaments placed in an otherwise undecorated area. These small vignettes instantly contribute to an overall ambience that will make you want to grab a mug of hot chocolate and snuggle up with that someone (or some-cat) special.

One of my favourite ways to add a dash of holiday to my apartment, is by placing tiny pieces of art around the place. Little handmade prints and greeting cards (the ones shown are by Vancouver calligrapher Fox & Flourish), add just the right amount of seasonal decor without being in-your-face Christmas red and green that many have an aversion to at this time of year. A subtle and minimal approach will always be in style, meaning you won’t feel the need to buy new ornaments every year in keeping up with decorating trends and fads (or is that just me?).



With a little creativity, there are decorating touches that can help welcome winter and all of the comforts of the season–no matter how small your home is.


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