Big festive decor ideas for small spaces at home

If you’re limited with the space or time to decorate a traditional Christmas tree, these creative designs are sure to get you into the festive spirit


Rustic nail

Tree decorations can be used for many things at Christmas and don’t always have to live on a tree. This modern, rustic design has been created using pine planks measuring 20cm, 40cm, 60cm, 80cm and 1m. The pine was painted in a testpot of Resene ‘Biscay’ and adorned with decorations hung on copper nails. Our wooden strips were hung using Velcro picture strips for easy removal.

Down to the Woods santa sack, $98, from Tea Pea; Bloomingville wooden diamond and house decorations, $9.50 each, from Father Rabbit; wooden star decorations, $12.99 each, from Spotlight; pine 10mm thick, 90mm wide and 1.2m long, $9.38, 1.8m long, $13.98, copper rosehead 38mm nails, $14.98 a pack, all from Mitre 10. All other props, stylist’s own.


Simplicity is the key to this look. Take 1m thick felt and draw a tree shape onto it, using our image as a guide. Cut and attach to your wall using picture strips. Add a star to the top and pin your decorations onto the tree using drawing pins.


Gold table, $39, from Kmart; gold wire decorations, $12 each, from Spotlight; gold brass gift decorations, $4 each, from Green with Envy; Umbra brass prisma wall decor (on floor), $69.99 for six, from Living & Giving; 3mm thick grey felt, $34.99 a metre, from Spotlight. Gold puffy decorations, stylist’s own.

Cork trivet

Cork is very much on-trend in the world of interiors at present. With this in mind, we thought we’d take some basic cork trivets (pot stands) and get creative with patterns using Resene testpots in ‘Riptide’ and ‘Bunting’. Simply Blu-Tack to your wall.


Living & Co cork trivets, $5 for three, from The Warehouse; presents wrapped in Rachel Kennedy Designs watercolour blue paper, $7.50 a sheet, from Bob and Friends; Muskhane France felt rug, $270, from Tea Pea.

Wall decal

If you’re looking for something a little different and have a spare wall that could do with a festive touch, then this easy-to-apply ‘brushstroke tree’ wall decal is ideal. It’s quick to put up, looks stylish and is easy to remove – a great option for renters. Add a ‘Merry Christmas’ decal as a finishing touch.


Black brushstroke tree wall decal, $45, ‘Merry Christmas’ wall decal, $29.90, both from; cardboard star (part of a pack of three), $3, from Kmart. Gifts and baubles, stylist’s own.

Triangle shelf

This shelf tree is perfect for monochrome-lovers. Hang three metal shelves above each other and style using small presents, decorations and candles to give a festive feel.


Schmick black cardboard star, $3, from $2 and More; triangle shelves, $17 each, wooden blocks with sticker letters and wooden trees, $15 each, from Kmart. All other props, stylist’s own.

Hex frame

This graphic Christmas message in frames is a simple yet effective idea. Just print out letters from your home computer and pop them into the frames. After Christmas, you can remove the letters and replace them with photos.


Cube side table, $44.90, from Bed Bath & Beyond; hex picture frames, $2 each, black marquee star light, $12, all from Kmart. Wooden bird, stylist’s own.


This leaning ladder is a great Christmas tree alternative. It doesn’t take a lot of room and you can hang decorations and Christmas cards from the rungs. Simply decorate and lean against a spare wall. It would look great at the end of a hallway, in an entranceway or in an empty nook.


Bamboo ladder, $27, from Kmart; tall reindeer gift bag, $3.99, deer head gift bag, $4.99, tree gift bag, $3.99, Nordic deer Christmas cards, $7.99 for eight, Jolly and Joy copper and mint baubles,
$3.99 for nine, all from Spotlight. All other props, stylist’s own.


Want a quick and effective tree idea that kids and adults alike will love? This colourful, fun tree could be your answer. Using a 2m sheet of plywood, draw your triangle shape and cut it out. Make smaller ply triangle trees using the off-cuts. Lean against the wall and attach your decorations using washi tape. You could keep the smaller trees plain with just a cardboard star at the top.


Aqua cardboard star, $3 for three, blue honeycomb decoration on floor, $2, both from Kmart; felt meri meri decorations, $12 each, MT washi tape, $6, all from Tea Pea. All other props, stylist’s own.

Words by: Vanessa Nouwens.  Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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