How to Deck Out Your City Apartment for the Holidays
With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better way to get in the spirit than to brighten up your space with a bit of holiday decorating. While holiday time in the city can be downright magical, you may feel your apartment isn’t sized right to fit in many of the traditional decorations. But don’t let that discourage you: Here are four ways to decorate your city apartment for the holidays, no matter how petite your pad may be.
Light It Up
Filling vases with mini string lights makes for a gorgeous holiday glow. Image courtesy of Restoration Hardware.
One of the easiest ways to cast a festive glow is with lights. Use string lights to line your windows, weave them through your shelves or bookcases, or even hang some icicle lights from your ceiling. Opt for white lights for a classic feel, or colored lights for a fun twist. Whenever possible, use LED bulbs and a light timer (doing so will save energy and shave some money off your electric bill, too).
If string lights aren’t your thing or if you don’t have the space to hang them, there are plenty of other options to make your home warm and welcoming. Battery-operated candle lights in your windows cast a golden glow and look lovely for your neighbors. Inside your home, good old-fashioned candles set a great ambience. For folks celebrating Hanukkah, make your own menorah with these pretty DIY options. One thing’s for sure: There’s nothing quite like coming home and firing up these lights just as it gets dark to get you feeling festive.
Your tree doesn’t need to be the real thing! Get creative with visuals or decorate just a few branches. Left image courtesy of Stephanie Girard; right image courtesy of Good Housekeeping.
Okay, so the 8-foot Christmas tree isn’t going to fit in your studio apartment. But there are all types of tree options to consider, urban dwellers. Opt for a smaller tree, or a potted pine tree, lavender tree, or holly bush instead. For those with a focus on eco-friendly options, note that real trees are often more sustainable than artificial trees, particularly if you buy locally whenever possible and compost when you can. (Better yet, make a day of it and zip to a local farm—no dragging a tree on the subway for you.)
Your tree doesn’t exactly have to be a tree, either. Buy a bundle of eucalyptus or other greens, or take a walk in your local park for fallen branches that you can place in a vase, and dress it up with a few ornaments or lights. And don’t forget to hang some mistletoe!
If actual greens are more work than it’s worth, opt for a small artificial tree that you can reuse in the years to come, like this one, which comes complete with lights for less work and more sparkle. For those with even tighter spaces, you can make a wall “tree” design using washi tape – which comes easily off walls without chipping your paint – for a cute holiday art project, too.
Get Cozy With Décor
Adding in a few holiday pillows and extra throws give your apartment a warm and cozy feel. Image courtesy of Target.
Regardless of the holiday you celebrate, this is the perfect time of the year to add in cozy decorative touches to your apartment. From tossing a few extra throws onto your couch or bed, to adding in an area rug for some warmth (like this one or this one), comfortable, homey vibes are what you’re going for here. Pillows can be another way to add a touch of holiday cheer, like these inexpensive, holiday-themed throw pillows. And no fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t hang stockings. You and your roommates can still hang them with care on the edge of your bookshelf, the side of a table, along the wall with some twine, or even with a curtain rod. (No fireplace also means no coal.)
Homemade potpourri can fill your apartment with the scents of the season in just a few minute’s time. Image courtesy of mommypotamus.
Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful, and is deeply associated with memories. For that reason, don’t underestimate the importance of scent in your home. Pick up a few candles that smell like pine, sugar cookies, or cinnamon, buy holiday potpourri and tuck it throughout the apartment, or make your own seasonal scents right on your stove. Mmm, smells like home.
What are your favorite small space holiday decorating tips? Let us know in the comments below!