Too many Christmas decorations and too little space?
Even the most gaily decorated cozy spaces can leave you feeling cluttered and tense during the holidays.
But you can fill any room, no matter how small, with relaxing Christmas cheer if you follow three key common-sense design principles: height, light and compact size.
** Let there be height!
In your small room, tuck away the large lamps and any furniture you won’t be using until after the holidays. Opt for diminutive lamps that you can place on a mantle, a high wall shelf or atop a china cabinet. This banishes the dark corners and ceiling shadows, and makes your room look taller and wider.
Plan a ceiling-high ornamentation to draw your visitors’ eyes upward. String a lighted garland, swag-style, all around the room. Fill your top shelves with glittery collectibles, or drape them with tinsel to capture and reflect the room’s natural light.
Feeling really adventurous? Hang a small tree upside-down from the ceiling and decorate it from the top down! It’s an eye-catcher that frees up floor space and is sure to break the ice at any holiday gathering!
** Downsize and double up
In smaller rooms and homes, choose smaller-sized holiday decorations, and use them in threes, grouped by color or theme or design. Miniatures of all kinds — lightly beaded ornamental fruit, gilded globes, snow-splashed icicles — are a time-honored Christmas tradition!
Instead of pillar candles and tapers, opt for tea lights and votives, grouped in interesting displays — such as on an elegant little gilded mirror sprinkled with “snow” — for dramatic lighting effect.
Forego the wide, room-dominating Christmas tree and instead, choose a wispy, antique feather tree, made vibrant with an overall silver, cobalt and glass theme, from ornaments to tinsel!
And if one tree is good, why not three tabletop trees and miniature ornaments instead? Set off their tiny lights and reflective ornaments with a number of tiny gaily wrapped packages under each tree!
** Lighten up!
Light in any small place is good … reflective light to maximize the benefit is even better!
Banish the heavy, dark lampshades to storage for the season and use clear flame-shaped bulbs wherever you can to emit the maximum amount of light. Then enhance that light by decorating around it with reflective light:
* shimmering glass dishes filled with glass ornaments and tiny silver bells
* a silver three-tiered cake tray filled with a dozen glowing tea lights
* crystal wine glasses or punch cups glistening with silver and gold tinsel
* a set of three white taper candles on a plain vanity mirror, surrounded by half a dozen glittered pine cones
* a crystal punch bowl trimmed with tiny twinkle lights
* a brightly burnished copper teapot set amidst a set of three golden votives.
Buy a big box of inexpensive plain glass or plastic globe ornaments and be creative with glitter, sequins and iridescent beads!
Compact doesn’t have to mean crowded. With a little imagination, you can stretch your decorating dollar to make your small space look luminously larger!