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How to Decorate a Small Living Room for Christmas

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Simple and inexpensive ideas for adding Christmas decor to your small space. Learn how to decorate a small living room for Christmas without it feeling cluttered!

This post is sponsored by HomePop. As always, all opinions are my own.

Decorating for Christmas when you have a small living room can be quite a challenge!

There’s typically very little room for a tree and not many surfaces to decorate, so making it feel festive takes some creativity.

Our current home has a very small living room and each year we live here I find myself working hard to come up with new ways to maximize our space with Christmas decor without making it feel cluttered or “over the top.”

If you have a small living room and are facing this same struggle, try these Christmas decorating ideas for small spaces!


Christmas Living Room Decoration Ideas

When can you start decorating for Christmas?

I always say, do what makes you happy when it comes to decorating your home.

Want Christmas music on and the tree up in October? Do it!

The typical time frame for people to decorate for Christmas is between November 1st and December 15th.

How can I make my house feel like Christmas?

There are lots of ways to give your home the “Christmassy” feel – many of which have to do with what feels nostalgic to you.

What most reminds you of the warm, cozy Christmas feeling?

Is it the scent of fir trees? Or the glow of lights?

Maybe it’s the Christmas music playing in the background!

Brainstorm what makes you “feel” Christmas and do those.

In terms of decor, easy ways to make your house feel like Christmas include adding the following:

  • Greenery (tree, garland, branches/stems, wreaths)
  • Christmas colors – Red, Green, Gold, Silver (blankets, pillows, ribbon, artwork)
  • Holiday Themed Figurines (trees, santas, angels, stars, reindeer, etc)

Cozy Christmas Living Room Decor


One of the easiest ways to add a touch of Christmas to your small living room is by adding a holiday-colored throw blanket.

We added a lush green throw to our HomePop accent chair to give it a festive touch without taking away from the fabulous hounds-tooth fabric.

HomePop is one of our favorite small-space furniture suppliers because they have all sorts of affordable items for small spaces, including side tables, accent chairs, benches and stools.

Plus, they’re sold at many popular online retailers like Target, Walmart, and Overstock so purchasing them is convenient too.

Other HomePop items found in our home include our master bedroom side tables, our kitchen stools, our daughter’s nook bench, and my mother-in-law’s accent chairs.

Be sure to check out their stuff here if you’re in the market for some affordable small space furniture!


Dress up your sofa or hearth with some holiday cheer by adding a few Christmas or winter pillows!

They don’t have to be the traditional “christmassy” styles like santa or snowflakes either – try faux fur or textured white for a cozy holiday touch.


Candles are super cozy – so add a few around the room – whether that’s on a side table, coffee table or the mantel.


Make the space extra soft under-foot by layering your rugs or adding a soft rug to the top of a hard surface like a coffee table!


Christmas Tree Ideas for Small Spaces

Trees are a classic Christmas decor element, but finding space for one in a small living room is almost impossible!

Rather than trying to squeeze a huge tree into your space, try a pencil tree and a smaller skirt alternative instead.

Slim or Pencil Trees

If your small living room doesn’t have much room for a tree (ours definitely doesn’t!) then one of the best options is a slim or pencil tree.

Slim trees are designed to have a smaller base, but still keep the triangular feel, while pencil trees are super skinny and take up less that two feet of space in diameter!

We’ve tried the large trees before but it always felt shoved into a corner without enough space and never gave the room a classy finished look.

I love how this year’s pencil tree looks sophisticated and keeps the room from feeling cluttered!


Skirt Alternatives

Rather than the traditional large tree skirt (that takes up a 3′ diameter space in your floor) try an alternative like a throw or basket around the base of your tree.

A throw can take up just enough floor space to cover the stand, making the space feel larger.

Don’t plan to put gifts under the tree? Try a basket underneath it to give it the feeling of being a stand-alone piece of decor.

Gift Placement

If your space is limited underneath the tree, try placing them in creative spots throughout the room – like on the hearth or next to the entertainment center.

How much space do you need for a Christmas tree?

Depending on the type of tree you get, you’ll need a space that anywhere from 2′-6′ in diameter.

Traditional fir trees range from 3′-5′ in diameter and then you’ll want to account for about 6″ around the bottom of the branches for gifts to be on display.

If you have a small living room like us, I recommend you try a pencil or “slim” tree to save space like mentioned above.

Christmas Fireplace Ideas

Mantel Decor

One of my favorite decor items for the mantel during Christmas is garland.

To save on cost, get a basic, faux green garland strand (they’re actually pretty cheap!) to use as your base, and then each year simply change up its positioning and the picks/decor within it.

For positioning, try it laid on top of the mantel, swagged underneath, or like we did this year, offset to one side.

The wonderful thing about a mantel is it doesn’t take up floor space in your small living room so it’s a designated spot for seasonal decor.

Have fun with this space – add things you love!

A few decor ideas in addition to the garland are mirrors, large or small prints or signs, large or small figurines, vases filled with stems or bulbs, candles, or lanterns.

Hearth Decor

If your fireplace has a hearth, use it as a place to add a few more simple decor items, like a larger free-standing figurine, pillows or a basket of wood.

By putting pillows and/or a blanket on your hearth, you’re inviting guests to use it as seating – a great idea for maximizing your space in a small living room.


Other Christmas Decoration Ideas for a Small Living Room

Make the most of your small space with these simple xmas living room ideas!

Wooden Boxes or Bowls

To maximize on the small amounts of table-top space in a small living room, place groupings of seasonal decor in wood boxes or bowls as a way of adding lots of little things without feeling cluttered.

I placed bulbs, flowers, candles and pine cones in both a dough bowl on my coffee table and a pallet box on my piano!


Drape or lay non-greenery garland (like bead or pom pom garlands) in the few places you have available, like over a picture or sign, or on top of a simple tabletop display.

I love the way this gold bead garland looks draped over our “gather” sign and in our box of bulbs on the piano!


Grab a few festive holiday signs and hang them in place of your year-round prints or framed photos!



Try using one of your table tops to display a scene, like a nativity or village.

I use my console table in the dining room to display a porcelain nativity every year and love it!

Ok, let’s review, shall we?

How to Decorate a Small Living Room for Christmas

  • Start as early as you want – likely anytime after November 1st
  • Choose Christmas-themed decor elements to give it the Christmas feel
  • Add seasonal cozy elements, like blankets, pillows, candles and rugs
  • Use space-saving alternatives like setting up a pencil tree, using a throw instead of a tree skirt, and placing gifts on the hearth or floor
  • Maximize the use of your mantel and hearth by adding fun, simple pieces of decor
  • Group other types of decor in wooden boxes or bowls to make the most of your limited table-top space
  • Add decor to your walls by hanging non-greenery garland or seasonal signs
  • Put scenes like nativities or villages out on a large surface if there’s room

Easy, peasy, right?

I hope this helps you get some fabulous decor up in your small living room!

I know we’re sure enjoying ours this year. 🙂

Merry Christmas, friends.



1 thought on “How to Decorate a Small Living Room for Christmas”

  1. Hi Rachel, I wanted to share how great the Christmas tree decoration workshop was, I missed the live session but the replay is almost as good as being there. I enjoy watching & then being able to replay to review & zoom in on the detail.
    Your presentation style is engaging, comfortable & not intimidating. It has the same feeling as good friends having a chat, & sharing.
    Although it is the holidays & a busy time, hope you will consider sharing a few decorating thoughts/tips for New years eve celebrations.?
    Thanks, enjoy the holidays, Christmas & New Years!


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