RL Ideas: DIY Christmas Decor for Small Spaces (Part 1)

If you cannot fit a full-sized tree into your home, or you just don’t want traditional décor, here are some out-of-the-box set-ups


Read the original article ("Look, No Christmas Tree!”) in the December 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Deconstructed Wreath

Skip the conventional way of decorating your Christmas wreath and give a more tasteful feel to your home by setting up a “deconstructed” or “naked” wreath. Instead of hanging it on a door, give it a holiday twist by placing it in a tableau.


  1. Find a nice spot with a tabletop. This could be a console table, a chest of drawers, or a tall bureau.
  2. It would be lovely if you have a mirror. Regardless of its shape, casually place a simple, unadorned green wreath in front of it.
  3. Add trays or bowls of varying sizes in front of your wreath. Fill them with assorted ornaments and balls.
  4. Later on, you can ask your kids to fix up your “naked” wreath by letting them decorate it with the ornaments on hand. 
A Banner Year

Greet guests with a merry message or just let your family spell out their holiday cheer. This free-style banner works best tacked along a long shelf or on a windowsill.


  1. Get enough sheets of plain, beige-colored paper or parchment paper to spell out your greeting. Sheets with rough, uneven edges and an antique finish look pretty for this project.
  2.  Using a laser jet printer, print out large-size type or letters onto each sheet. If you want to make it look a little bit more vintage, you can print the fonts out on another sheet of colored paper, cut it out, and stick it onto your plain sheet.
  3. Using double-sided adhesive tape or old-school brass thumbtacks, stick on your sheets to the shelf or windowsill.  
Minimalist Magic

Perhaps you’re not the classical type and your home style runs more towards Eames than Empire Period. A more relaxed approach to holiday décor would work well in this type of minimalist abode, and no, you do not need a pink Christmas tree! Create a festive tableau by filling a tray or bowl with shiny holiday ornaments, and layer in front of artwork and accessories on top of a console.   

 *TIP If you use Christmas ornaments in neutral colors, this type of setup can be extended beyond the holidays! Or, fill the bowl with small, vintage toys or a handful of colorful jewelry. 



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