Small Christmas tree ideas – save space without sacrificing festive style

Because size isn't everything
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  • Giant Christmas trees certainly make an impact but, let’s face it, how many of us live in houses with room for a 12foot fir?! This year, embrace pretty and petite options with small Christmas tree ideas which make just as much of a statement as any overly tall tree which must be overcompensating for something!

    When deciding which of the many Christmas tree ideas you’re going for this holiday season, first consider what your small home actually needs. Do you have low ceilings? Is floor space lacking? Once you’ve figured this out, finding a tree becomes so much easier.

    Small Christmas tree ideas

    ‘When you are debating what size Christmas tree you want, it is absolutely vital that you take the correct measurements, not just from top to bottom, but also you need to see how big of an area you have,’ advise the experts at Christmas Tree World. ‘Having a tree that is too big can make your room feel full, whilst a tree that is too small can be underwhelming. Getting a tree that is the right size can be the perfect addition to your home and ramp up the festive feel.’

    So whether you need a shorter tree, a tabletop option or something completely out of the box, read out to discover our favourite small Christmas tree ideas.

    1. Choose a half tree

    Christmas tree in front of blue wall and white bannisters

    Image credit: Wilko

    Perfect for narrow hallways, or awkward rooms, half Christmas trees from brands including Wilko, are a clever way to have an impressive looking fir in a small home.

    As well as fitting in neatly, you still have a full height and width tree to decorate, so you don’t have to sacrifice any of your favourite baubles because of a tree downsize. No-one really looks at the back of a tree anyway, but choose an oversized Christmas tree topper to give the illusion of extra dimension.

    2. Find a contemporary solution

    Wooden Christmas tree decoration with baubles

    Image credit: Habitat

    In a minimalist home, look for modern alternative Christmas tree ideas. A slimline wooden triangle becomes a cool geometric interpretation of the traditional fir.

    As well as taking up little space, a version like this option from Habitat, is perfect for really putting your prized decorations in full view. If you simply cannot sacrifice a tree topper, try attaching a 2-D star with a Command Strip.

    3. Go short but shapely

    Living room with small Christmas tree in baslket

    Image credit: Future PLC

    A small home doesn’t have to forgo looking at real Christmas trees. If low ceilings are an issue, choose a 3-4 foot tree. You can place on a stand and in a basket for a little extra height, but don’t try and raise things up to high as it will start to overwhelm the room and feel out of proportion.

    Shape is key here, so source a tree with plenty of branches and depth to it. Another bonus of a smaller tree such as this is that you can have all the benefits of a real tree, but at less cost and with less struggle to carry home and set up.

    4. Focus on the baubles

    Branches in vase decorated with baubles

    Image credit: Bloomingville

    If floor space is totally lacking, or you just prefer to be slightly alternative in your small home, then consider casting aside of preconceptions of what a Christmas tree really is.

    Reinvent your Christmas window decor ideas with a creative display. Forage for gently twisted slender tree branches and place in a tall, sturdy vase. Decorate with baubles as you would a traditional tree, but stick to your lighter decorations to prevent breakage. We also love this idea for adding a Christmas tree element into extra rooms of the house.

    5. Create a mini forest

    Three slim Christmas trees on mantlepiece

    Image credit: Layered Lounge

    Christmas mantel decor is always something to consider at this time of year, so why not kill two birds with one stone and add your tree in here?

    A selection of slim, miniature trees can be arrangement on your mantelpiece or shelving to not only add height but to create your very own winter wonderland forest. Make this work even harder by moving to your dining table when it’s time to start working on your Christmas table centrepiece.

    6. Choose a slim shape

    Slim Christmas tree decorated with baubles

    Image credit: Wayfair

    If your home is just a tad small in terms of footprint, then it’s delightfully simple to find a small Christmas tree to fit. Several of the best artificial Christmas trees are, or come in, super slim options.

    Be mindful to measure the area you plan to put the Christmas tree in before purchasing, paying close attention to the diameter as you need to make sure family and friends will still be able to walk buy without knocking your baubles off.

    7. Look to your walls

    Wooden wall hanging Christmas tree

    Image credit: Ginger Ray

    One of our current favourite Christmas tree trends this year is also tailor made for smaller homes.

    ‘If you’re short on space, but big on Christmas, hang this effortlessly simple rustic ladder tree on a wall or door for an instant festive finish,’ say the team at Ginger Ray. ‘Embrace a touch of Scandi styling if you haven’t got room for a big tree. Don’t forget you can still customise it with foliage and Christmas decorations!’

    You can even have a go at making your own, with some rope or ribbon, foraged twigs, and a picture hook.

    8. Think laterally

    Hanging centrepiece decorated with fir and baubles

    Image credit: Quince and Cook

    Yes, traditionally Christmas trees do tend to be rather vertical, but it’s always fun to turn things on their heads. Double up your Christmas tree with a unique hanging centrepiece for a quirky, space-saving alternative.

    Hang a branch using invisible fishing wire to either – strongly attached – pendant lighting, or heavy-duty Command hooks. Layer aith a length of fir and dress using paper decorations and light baubles.

    9. Show off the silhouette

    Decorated metal silhouette Christmas tree

    Image credit: Cox and Cox

    ‘Ideal for those with limited space or wanting to take a step away from tradition and decorate in a minimalist fashion this festive season, a silhouette tree is the perfect blank canvas,’ says Dani Taylor, Product and Creative Director of Cox and Cox.

    ‘To make the most of this modern tree’s versatility, hang with contrasting dramatic gold baubles, coordinating cool grey ornaments, or simply wind a set of fairy lights around the branches for a simple, but joyful look.’.

    10. Focus on the height

    Grey dining room with tall, thin Christmas tree

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If you just don’t have the floor space for a huge tree then experiment with some contemporary designs that accommodate city dwellers and apartment settlers.

    This one has a long stem with a bushy head so diners can still enjoy the aesthetics of a traditional Christmas tree without it getting in the way.

    11. Take it to the floor

    White living room with fireplace, garland, stockings and small Christmas tree

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If the small Christmas tree you’ve found is extra wide and plump, then it’s worth forgoing a height-adding base. Keep the tree low to the ground to avoid any off proportions when there aren’t presents to fill the space. If you’re taking this route, be extra aware to spread decorations out evenly, as by placing all your large baubles towards the base could make the tree feel too bottom heavy.

    12. Make it miniature

    Miniature Christmas tree on windowsill with presents wrapped in brown paper

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Lots of mini Christmas trees have come on the market over recent years. They look festive on window ledges and compliment big Christmas trees. If you have a small home then opt for a handful of these dotted around instead of one large one to add a Christmassy feel to multiple rooms without taking up the space.

    13. Switch up the location

    White living room with fireplace, striped stocking, brown leather armchair and decorated Christmas tree

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If you are worried about rearranging furniture for your fir then fear no more. We know that in a small home space is precious so rather than trying to fit your tree in a more central zone, place it in a corner position to increase the available square footage of the room.

    Learn how to decorate a Christmas tree professionally with lights and baubles to ensure that your fir remains the focal point, even if placed to one side. stick your tree in a corner that was otherwise sparse. A decorated, lit, fully sized plant will be handsome enough to be spotted behind an armchair or corner table.

    14. Take it outside

    Barn exterior with decorated Christmas tree, wrapped presents and wreath

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If you don’t have the space inside then utilise your porch and keep the tree in its natural habitat. Standing the timber outside the house will create lots of room for other mantlepiece and wall decorations inside, plus they are a merry welcome to guests popping over for Christmas nibbles.

    15. Raise it up

    Christmas tree decorated with white decorations on top of mirrored side table

    Image credit: Future PLC

    To free up foot space and some room for your dad dance moves, put your tree on a table and arrange your presents around the base. If you have one, a mirrored table reflects the tree to make it look bigger than it is. If not then just pick a pretty table top and cover it with ribbons and Christmas confetti.

    16. Choose a modern mural

    Wall mural with Christmas trees on blue staircase

    Image credit: Future PLC

    A 2D tree won’t take up any room this Christmas and will keep guests talking! Super innovative and really fun – get kids to decorate them with glittery designs, play pin the conifer cone on the tree or ask family and friends to sign their names and treasure as a Christmas keep sake.

    How do you make a small Christmas tree look good?

    Small Christmas trees are having something of a moment, and there are all manner of ways to dress them so that they look their very best. Small versions are excellent for committing to a theme, perhaps a colourway, because you need fewer decorations to complete the look and make it feel finished. If using a real tree, a bit of extra height from a base or a pretty basket will add give it more presence and impact.

    How do you decorate a miniature tree?

    Decorate small Christmas trees as you would a larger version, just using fewer baubles, and making sure the ones you choose stay in proportion to the tree. ‘A lot of houses will hang ornaments on their Christmas tree haphazardly, causing it to look populated and a little bit claustrophobic,’ note the experts at Christmas Tree World. ‘You can easily avoid that by having a plan of what you want your Christmas tree to look like. You should spread out your decorations evenly, whilst also considering symmetry. Your decorations shouldn’t just dangle at the edge of branches, make sure you are pushing larger baubles to the back of the tree where they will look best. The best decorations for the edge of branches are the longer decorations (e.g. icicles, candy canes etc). When the light reflects off them it gives the tree a warm and dazzling look from the inside out.’

    What can I do instead of a Christmas tree?

    Instead of a Christmas tree this year, think outside of the box. Wall hanging versions are especially popular right now – either bought or homemade. Some alternative advent calendars are even in the shape of a tree, neatly taking its place, while checking off another to-do on the Christmas countdown. Wall murals are coming into play slowly but surely, too, but make sure that the type you choose won’t damage your walls upon removal. There are even more wacky ideas out there, from stacking books into a tree, shaping one out on the walls with washi tape, or arranging balloons into a Christmas tree shape.

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