When a Full-Size Christmas Tree is Not an Option

So many of us are living in smaller quarters today that it is almost impossible to have a traditional full-sized Christmas tree.

We love the feeling of Christmas and all the warm and wonderful twinkling lights, but how do you get that feeling without an 8′ or 10’ tree filled with ornaments and garland?

Well, we thought about some alternative decorating ideas that would still give you the look and feel of Christmas.

Tabletop Christmas Tree

Our first option is to use our lighted 4 Foot Spruce Christmas Tree on top of our 36” Terrific Trio Table with Salisbury tablecloth. We decorated the tree in non-conventional colors of copper, burlap beige and spa blue for a sophisticated yet warm look.

The decorations are simple. We chose copper ornaments bought at a local craft store, matched with bows made of copper and spa blue check ribbon. Our Burlap Bird Ornaments simply clip onto the branches, and we topped it off with a beautiful Tree Topper for a great Christmas look.

The bottom of the tree is wrapped in some brown velvet fabric. We hung two of our Angel Bespoke Stockings in the hopes of Santa leaving us some goodies!

Spruce Christmas Tree

Dining Room Console/Buffet

Another space that has great Holiday Decorating potential is the console or buffet. We hung a beautiful 30” Boxwood Wreath above our Benedetta Console. We filled it with silver ornaments of all sizes for a sophisticated impact. Next, we pulled together all our Mercury Glass Ornaments, including Demijohns and Candle Holders. To finish off the look we added some fresh Christmas greens and a few wrapped packages. We think it is a spectacular look!

Christmas Console

The greenery around the pillar candles is a quick decorating trick. Here are the directions for our candle rings.

Christmas Candle RingItems needed:

  • Silk Christmas greens
  • Holly & berries
  • Small pinecones (or other embellishments)
  • Wire cutters
  • Styrofoam (2” thick at the most)

Step 1 – Cut a circle of florist green Styrofoam to fit the pillar candle and place it on the candle holder.

Step 2 – Cut the Christmas greens, berries, etc. leaving enough stem so that you can pierce the Styrofoam.

Step 3 – Fill greens around the Styrofoam making sure to cover it all.

Step 4 – Place the pillar candle centered on the Styrofoam.

Christmas BookshelvesTurn Your Bookshelves into Holiday Cheer

Pack up the books – the Holidays are here! You can transform your bookshelf into a festive arrangement worthy of any Holiday tradition. We have filled the shelves with our favorite mercury glass, a large wooden bowl of fruit, and votive candles. One shelf is even ready to serve wine to your Holiday guests. The top is adorned with some Christmas greens, providing a traditional feel to an unconventional Christmas tree alternative. Of course, you can fill your shelves with bowls of ornaments, wrapped packages or your favorite Santa collection. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!

When you find there just is no room for that great Christmas tree, try thinking outside the box. We know you can find areas of your home that can become alive with the spirit of Christmas! Look around see what kind of Holiday magic you can create. We would love for you to send us pictures of your alternative Holiday decorating ideas, maybe yours will be posted on Style Studio!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Liz Blount

    December 6, 2009

    for years now i have used the same style you have for your bookcases on my etageres. unfortunately they flank the flat screen tv but i have white coral branches, a couple of white ginger jars and some silver picture frames and some hardbound books displayed year round so i just add some fresh pine greeneries, tiny gift boxes and some mercury glass ornaments here and there and it never disappoints—-festive and personalized.

  2. Reply


    November 23, 2009

    Dear Pat: We love hanging wreaths on mirrors. Go for it! We think the dining room is a wonderful place to create a festive, Holiday look. Hang the mirror with a beautiful bow and you are well on your way to a warm and inviting Christmas look.
    The Style Studio Team

  3. Reply

    Pat Lyons

    November 21, 2009

    I always look to Ballards for my decorating ideas–inspiration. I love to decorate! The buffet, its simple and elegant!I love it!!! I have a mirror on the wall, do you think it will be ok to hang a wreath on the mirror?