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How to Decorate for The Holidays Without a Tree or Fireplace Mantle



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Happy December! Today, I want to talk about ways you can decorate for the holidays/Christmas while living in a smaller space. AKA: WITHOUT having a tree or fireplace mantle. This is a subject I am constantly asked about every. single. year.

Living in a small apartment has its challenges, and one of them includes not having space for a proper Christmas tree or not having the luxury of a fireplace. However, you can still add holiday cheer into your space with a few easy, simple touches. And to be honest, I actually prefer this way of decorating over having a tree (it would be nice to have a mantle though ????). Yes, yes, I know. It’s not traditional. However, it’s simple, easy to manage, and super chic.

Before I even get into these tips, the first and most important thing to note is that the key to decorating for the holidays in a smaller space is to keep it simple and NOT over-clutter. This is the biggest mistake people make in their homes, and it’s important to remember that more decoration does not equal more festive! Let’s say that again to ourselves:  More decoration does NOT equal more festiveness.

1. Utilize the surface space you do have

Whether that be your coffee table, dresser, or nightstand, small accents CAN make a huge difference in the look of your space. If you have ornaments you want to hang but no space for a tree, get a plush garland and hang your ornaments from it. This year, I went for a peachy look and decided to layer some peach-toned flowers over my garland as well as some satin ribbon.

Simply layering the garland over a piece of furniture, with some extra touches, can create the festive look you’re striving for in your space. And no fireplace, no problem! You can still utilize stocking hooks by placing them on furniture such as a console, desk, or dresser!

2. Utilize the wall space you do have

If you don’t have enough surface or floor space to work with, your next move should be to utilize the wall space you do have. You can hang your stockings using command hooks or display cute holiday signs around the apartment.  I personally didn’t do anything to my walls just because I didn’t want to overcrowd the space.

3. Utilize your mirrors

We ALL have mirrors in our home, and it’s important to take advantage of them for the holidays! The top of a mirror is a fabulous place to display your favorite wreath or garland. Similar to my console table, I added some peach flowers to bring in some unique colors. Additionally, I added some amazing starry lights from Bulbrite. Which actually takes me to my next point:

4. Utilize lights in not-so-obvious ways

Whenever you think about the holidays, what pops up in your mind? I bet the first thing you think of is all those sparkly, twinkling lights. I remember being a child and walking by my neighbor’s houses and feeling that inner spark of happiness when I would look through their windows and see holiday lights throughout someone’s living room. (fun fact: I am actually Jewish so I never had a Christmas tree or holiday decorations growing up) Whether that be tiny string lights or a color-changing bulb, try to utilize them wherever you can in your space, whether that be in your garland or surrounding your mirrors. Lights are not just for trees and outdoors!


And there you have it! Will you be trying this look in your home for the holidays??

XO, Chelsey

Learn how to decorate your home for the holidays/ for Christmas without having a tree or fireplace. #Christmasdecorations #christmasdecordiy #christmasdecor #holidaydecor #holidaywreaths

Read the Comments +

  1. Ramona says:

    I love your style. Where did you get the mirror that you show?

  2. Katie says:

    Where did you get the TV? I don’t see it in the Shop.

  3. Dawn says:

    How did you attach the crane wallpaper in a renter friendly way? I don’t think it is of the peel and stick variety.

  4. Dawn says:

    Thanks for responding so quickly. Did you apply the liquid starch to the back of the wallpaper, the wall, or both?

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

I’m an interior decorator, author, and “heirloom hunter”, discovering and returning lost family artifacts along my search for home accents. I'm also a dog mom, and very well aware there are some people who just follow me for him.

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