Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment

Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment by style blogger Alicia Tenise

You know what the best part is about finally living in an apartment alone? The Christmas home decor is all up to you!

No disrespect to my mother or my other roommates, but it was pretty fun to finally be able to decorate my apartment exactly with the Christmas home decor that I wanted. The ornaments, the tree, the special little touches…you name it, I could pick it out — all by myself! I know this will eventually change once I move in with a significant other, but for now, I’m enjoying decorating while solo. 

The only downside to decorating a space all alone? Starting from scratch. Yikes. Here are a few things I did to make decorating my small apartment for Christmas for the first time a little less painful!
Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment by Washington DC style blogger Alicia Tenise

Don’t Have a Mantel? Improvise. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a fireplace or mantel in my space, so hanging up my Christmas home decor like stockings was a little out of the question. However, I made my TV area a lot cozier by throwing a few throw pillows underneath of my TV console and playing a fireplace clip on Netflix. Trust me, when you’re sipping on hot cocoa with loved ones in your space, that trusty Netflix fireplace clip will make you feel a lot warmer! 

Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment by Washington DC style blogger Alicia Tenise

Find A Color Scheme That Works With Your Existing Decor

As much as I love red and green, since I already have a ton of gold accents in my apartment, I opted for a sleek gold, white and silver theme for my Christmas home decor. Since my living room is more on the neutral side, I didn’t want to overwhelm my space with too many holiday colors coming through! Don’t feel the need to go for red, green or gold decor, either: blue is also a super chic option for Christmas accents as well! 

Candles that Smell Exactly Like a Christmas Tree - Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment by Washington DC style blogger Alicia TenisePencil Trees Are The Way To Go

I really don’t have a ton of space in my living room, so that’s why I opted for a pencil tree. I might not have a lot of width in my apartment, but I do have super high ceilings and fabulous vertical space to work with! The tree you see here is pre-lit and stands at 6.5 feet tall. Since I have a lofted apartment, I personally think I could have picked a tree that was a little taller, but this was a pretty solid choice for a first tree. 

Neutral Metallic Christmas Tree Decor - Stylish Christmas Home Decor for Your Apartment by Washington DC style blogger Alicia Tenise

Faux Tree? Get The Smell of a Real Tree with Candles

Every year growing up, my mom and I would pick out a real tree in our house. My favorite thing about the tree was the smell: nothing can beat the scent of good Fraiser Fur!

Now that I live in a smaller apartment on my own, a real tree isn’t feasible for my lifestyle. I’m on the go a lot, so I wouldn’t be able to water it enough, and it’s a little tricky for me to lug a real tree throughout the city without a car (I’d have to carry a real tree about 8 city blocks if I wanted to get it in my apartment!)

I worked at a boutique in college that sold Thymes Fraiser Fur Candles, and I was instantly hooked. As soon as I smelled one of the candles at work, I knew I had to scoop up one of my own. It smells exactly like a real tree! I bought the smaller candle the first year I bought it, and it ran out about two weeks after I purchased it. Whoops. Now every year for the past four years, it’s been a little tradition for me to buy a Thymes Fraiser Fur Candle (or two!) for my apartment. Trust me, even your roommates will love these candles as well, and I give them out as stocking stuffers to almost all of my girlfriends at this point. 

Do you live in a small space? How do you decorate for the holidays?

Thank you to Thymes for kindly sponsoring this Christmas home decor post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Photos by Tom McGovern

Leave a Comment


  1. Kay R. wrote:

    You did a great job decorating! Love your space and decor.

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  2. Dana Mannarino wrote:

    Such a great job decorating! Looks so cozy and still chic!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  3. Kasia Jaworski wrote:

    I love all your pictures! Great tips for decorating your first apartment. Have a great holiday season!

    Kasia |

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  4. Sophia Damasceno wrote:

    Your decorations are awesome. I was trying to think of ways to decorate my small space of a bedroom and you gave me just the inspo i need. Thank you!

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  5. Love this post and couldn’t agree more with doing it on your own!

    Xx Taylor

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  6. So many cool ideas! Especially adding the smell of a real Christmas tree by using candles ♥ By the way: your apartment looks picture perfect, I’m pinning this post to gather inspiration! Thank you!

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  7. Great ideas and looks so beautiful I need to get my Christmas tree out.

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  8. Megan DeMoss wrote:

    These are some great ideas. I’m wondering how I’ve spent the last few years without knowing Netflix had a fireplace clip! Love the idea of using candles to help bring in the Christmas ‘smell’. Thanks!!

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  9. Sara Montague Miller wrote:

    It looks great! Love that you created the feeling of Christmas even without a mantel or real tree–brilliant!

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  10. Elizabeth Satala wrote:

    Your decorations are adorable! I love the candle idea… I’ll have to try that!

    Posted 12.1.17 Reply
  11. Sara Nichols wrote:

    Such sweet ideas! I live in a house but it is TINY!

    Posted 12.2.17 Reply
  12. Ana Rozanova wrote:

    I love the tip on complementing the faux Christmas tree with the candles. This is the main complaint I heard from people about the faux ones – that they simply don’t smell of Christmas. This is such a simple solution!

    Posted 12.2.17 Reply
  13. Lauren wrote:

    I love that shelf! Where is it from?


    Posted 12.2.17 Reply
  14. Amanda K wrote:

    Your apartment is so cute! I love the gold shelf!

    Amanda ||

    Posted 12.2.17 Reply
  15. Makaela Premont wrote:

    Your apartment is literally super cute! I love how you decorated. I live in a college apartment so I would love to decorate but I have no where to store everything once the season is over. One day, I’ll be able to deocrate as awesome as you!

    -xo, Makaela

    Posted 12.4.17 Reply
  16. Your apartment is so beautiful! I love your design style and the holiday decor is so festive!!!

    Posted 12.5.17 Reply