The best holiday decorations for modern apartment living

December 6, 2019

Photo via Pexels

So maybe you don’t have room for a Norway spruce big enough to rival Rockefeller Center’s. Maybe you don’t even have a chimney from which to hang stockings with care. Or maybe holiday decorating seems a little old fashioned–which might be just what you’re looking for. The good thing about the season is that adding sparkle doesn’t take up a lot of space. The choices are nearly endless; what you choose should reflect nothing so much as your own personal style. From classic to retro to contemporary to some more out-of-the-box picks, here are some ideas for small-space holiday decorating.

All of these products have been hand-selected by team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links.

holiday, xmas, christmas, festive, decoration, dImage via Pixabay

Start with the basics:

  1. Lights: wind strings of battery-powered tiny fairy lights around anything and everything. Turn your favorite plants into tropical holiday trees, wrap your wreaths and garlands and roll them up inside glass vases. Light some candles, real or flameless, to bring a perfect glow to any room.
  2. Decide whether you want a tree, whether real or faux (just know faux is better suited to city living).
  3. Garlands are pre-made strings of holiday greenery, baubles, balls, leaves and lights. Run them along a fireplace, weave them into a stair rail, use them as table decor, or circle them for an instant wreath.
  4. Wreath: It’s round, and you can put it anywhere, but the front door makes a statement. Mistletoe, of course, is always an option.

And if the spirit moves you to add more:


These battery-operated LED String Lights turn anything into an ethereal, sparkly holiday statement.
This minimal, flexible wire wall tree takes up zero space and can be the backdrop for any kind of sparkle you like, from lights to foraged branches and shiny baubles. Ornaments and lights are included to get you started.
These minimalist wire wreaths are all the rage; yes, you could make your own, but this set of three keeps your decorating time to a minimum, too.
6' Mercury Tree Garland Color: White/Gray This vintage-y mercury glass garland, strung together on pale twine, can be intertwined with lights on a mantle, strung on a tree or draped anywhere you’d like understated shimmer.
This pretty leaf garland is all about a natural glow.
Who wouldn’t want these little woodland critters to help them celebrate the season.
Bake your own tabletop decorations with this sugar cookie tree kit.
These bohemian-chic ceramic birds add a Scandinavian vibe, and they’re seasonless.
Hanging Christmas Card Holder Raw Metal If it takes up any space, put it to work: Display your holiday cards on this raw metal card hanger for all to enjoy.

Elegant contemporary

This wintry birch branch tree is non-traditional and gorgeous.
A black holiday tree is every bit as chic as it looks.
Matte Shatterproof Christmas Ball Ornament Color: Lavender Purple Trim the tree in subtle hues like these lavender matte Christmas ball ornaments or with this monochrome black textured version.
This glowing snowball garland can be gathered in a bowl or strung anywhere.
This sleek, silver wreath says, “Modern lives here.”
These peacock feather table trees are a sophisticated addition to an elegant parlor.
This LED star hanging light will glow up any space.
Sleek, sculptural candles are just right in any season–but especially this one.


What could be more retro than a tinsel tree?
Perhaps this retro fridge ornament?
Or this tiki-tastic hula dancer ornament?
It never hurts to have a box of old-fashioned retro Christmas ball ornaments on hand.
These vintage Christmas lights are made for indoor or outdoor use.
You’ll have to find your own inserts (zippers included, though), but these vintage-y pillow covers summon another era without leaving the couch.
12 This silver ball wreath ties the whole theme together.


Over-the-top colorful 

You can never have too many rainbows in your life. This rainbow Christmas tree isn’t the only colorful contender (they come in, pink, orange, and ombre, just for starters), but it is every color in the rainbow.
Holiday Ornaments Full Sun Emotion Ball Ornament Glass Emoji 650030A O These sunshine-bright yellow emoji ball ornaments will let your tree do the talking.
These ball ornaments come in every color you can imagine, so you can mix or match.
Lights don’t have to be white. These colorful LED globes are programmable for an in-house light show or just a gently blinking wonderland effect.
And wreaths don’t have to be green. This one’s a cool blue.


Sullivans Mixed Foliage Pine Cone and Berry Wreath This mixed foliage, red berry, and pine cone wreath is holly and jolly all over.
9' Fresh Pre-Lit Garland This pre-lit faux pine garland is nine feet of holiday cheer.
You’ll probably want a genuine, live tree, and these red-and-gold balls will complement it nicely. They come in silver, too.
These pillar candles have just a bit of glow.
Winter House With Timer 17 The lights in this winter village come on via timer when your own lights are low.
This Moravian star tree-topper will give everyone something bright to look up to.

Hanukkah festive

This pretty tree of life menorah adds an Art Nouveau sculptural look to your decor.
Zion Judaica 45 Piece Premium Hand Made Hanukkah Candles Something different: These premium handmade Hanukkah candles add an eye-catching bit of artistry to the celebration of lights.
Children's Menorah KidKraft This children’s’ menorah is colorful and fun, we can see how it might not be just for kids.
Jewish Star Rope Light The Holiday Aisle This Star of David rope light will give your days and nights a festive glow.


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