5 Tips for Creating Space for a Big Tree in a Small Home

Today is December first! For many people, the end of this past weekend also marked the day when they put up their holiday decor. The other night, I stopped by the home of a friend who'd proudly put up her tree. Despite the small footprint of her living room, the addition felt homey rather than crowded. If you're determined to put up a full-sized tree, here's a few ideas to make sure that you and your decor can coexist in peace!

  • Pick a tall, narrow tree rather then a short, full one. The tree will have a small footprint and be able to fit into the room more easily. Plus, the height of the tree will, oddly enough, make the room feel bigger, because it draws the eye upward, at the same time as it's taking up space.
  • Put the tree in a corner. With corners being the least used areas in a room, it's often easier to move a few pieces to put the tree here rather than anyplace else. For added impact, put it by the window. Not only does it look pretty, with the ligths reflected in the glass, but the openness of the window and the slight illusion of the doubling of the room, make the room feel bigger and less claustrophobic.
  • Bring the furniture in closer. Although it may crowd the room a little, cheat your layout by bringing the furniture in closer to the tree. After all, that's kind of the focus for the next few weeks. Two chairs that normally sit slightly askew with a small table in between them can be brought close together and the small table moved to one side or another. You're aiming for a mock L-shaped configuration.
  • Move a chair to the corner spot. Although it'll only be in the spot temporarily, make the spot where you move the furniture to temporarily feel less awkward and like you did it deliberately by styling it a little. A pile of books becomes a temporary side table for a cup of tea, orient the chair so that anyone who sits there becomes part of the conversation, tuck a throw over the arm or a textured pillow and it may become a favorite spot rather than just a temporary eyesore.
  • Repurpose the coffee table. Our friends haven't yet purchased a coffee table so they didn't encounter this problem but if moving your furniture will just makes the space feel like a furniture store on close out, instead of moving the coffee table away, why not put it to use and put the tree on top of the coffee table? You'll be able to buy a smaller tree and save a few dollars, and any gifts can be tucked under the table rather than being spread out over the floor. Plus, the height makes it feel majestic and, as with any tall piece in a small room, actually makes the room feel bigger. Make sure it's sturdy enough to hold the weight of your tree then cover it with a sheet of plastic and a tree skirt.

What tricks do you use to fit your full-sized tree into your small-sized space?

Image: Beth Zeigler