5 simple ways to make a Christmas tree fit in a small space – from someone who has mastered it

Struggling to know where (and how) to put a Christmas tree in a small space, I have all easy tips and tricks

How to fit in a Christmas tree
(Image credit: Future/The White Company)

As someone who lives in a city apartment, bringing a full-sized tree into my home is no mean feat. But as someone who also thinks a real Christmas tree, that's as large as possible, is an essential for getting into the holiday spirit, I have learned a few lessons about making a tree work in a small space. 

The obvious answer is of course to get a smaller tree, and while yes that would be my advice, I don't think you always have to massively downsize to make it fit and look lovely when square footage is tight. In fact, in the years I have had a much smaller tree, it doesn't quite work, a bit like having a small room filled with small furniture never quite works. You want to comfortably fill the spac

What I like to do is go as big as possible with my tree, within reason, and make the rest of the room and the decor I choose just work with it. It's only for a few weeks a year, I want it to be a real focal point in my home. So here are my tips for how to fit a Christmas tree into a small space. 

How to fit a Christmas tree into a small room

These tips really aren't tricky, they are things I do each year to ensure I can go big(ish) with my Christmas tree while still ensuring my space functions and I don't have to move too much of my furniture around. 

1. Choose a location that's practical but statement

Christmas tree with blue decorations

(Image credit: Future)

This is might seem like a lot of consideration before you get to actually picking a tree, but planning is important when space is tight. So before choosing a Christmas tree decide on the right space. 

When lacking in floor space, you might be limited to just one spot, but do think out of the box too. Your instinct of where to put the tree might not be the best one. And don't always think super sensibly, you need your tree's location to work practically and you need to be able to move around it easily, and all the furniture still needs to function as normal, but that doesn't mean you need to shove your tree right into the corner of the room.

My tree sits in front of my living room windows, opposite the apartment entrance so you notice it straight away. My windows are big enough to handle a tree, without it obstructing too much light, but if that's not an option for you and a corner would work best, just be sure to pull it out slightly into the room, so it's got a bit of breathing room, or if your window is bigger enough display it within there, or place it on a side table to ensure it's the focal point of the room. You want it noticed, to be front and center rather than really squeezed into a corner.

2. Rearrange furniture within reason

Every year I rearrange furniture to fit in my Christmas tree. Not massively but I do pull some pieces of furniture further into the room, away from walls and away from where the tree is so it has enough space for me and guests to still walk relatively easily around and it doesn't massively impact my living room layout.

I also put some decor into different rooms so the living room isn't totally crammed and you can still see some floor space. I tend to do this after the tree is up and decorated and I can notice what pieces are competing for attention in the space. A small space usually can’t handle two focal points. I often take any larger house plants out of the room too, again just to keep things minimal in the rest of the room.

3. Be realistic and measure before you buy

Christmas decor by The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company)

Know your ideal measurements before you choose a Christmas tree. Height is important, and always ensure you have enough room between the top of the tree and the ceiling for a tree topper, and space after that too so it doesn't look like it's barely fitting in the space. 

And when space is tight you need to consider circumference too, you don't want it to be pushing into furniture, but equally, as I have mentioned you do want it to fill the space nicely. 

You can pick a tree that’s not as bushy, it grows tall but not super wide. It helps that this style is very on trend this year too - look out for Fraser fir when choosing your Christmas tree type, these have a more slender shape but you still get all the lovely lush greenery. 

4. Allude to height without taking up extra space

Getting a smaller tree and giving it some height by standing it on a piece of furniture that is already in the room is a great way to bring a Christmas tree into a small space. Often the problem in a small space isn’t vertical space so make the most of that.

This way you still really notice it and it doesn’t look sad and teeny standing in the corner surrounded by a sea of floor. One year I left too late getting my tree to had to get a pretty titchy one, so I added it to a sideboard to make it look more dominant and then also created a display on the surface too with evergreen and fairy lights so it almost became part of the tree.

5. Stick with your personal style but be selective

christmas trees

(Image credit: Future)

While I am all for embracing any style over the holidays and more is more when it comes to color and sparkle, I do think a way to ensure your Christmas tree doesn’t title overwhelm a small space is to keep the decor minimal.

I don’t mean minimalist unless minimalistic Christmas decor is your style but more pared back. So even if you love a lot of color and bold ornaments, still go with that of course, just don’t totally cram the tree with them as this can look too busy when space is right.

This year my tree looked so lovely when all I had added was the lights, I left it pretty bare. Just twinkling fairy lights and I embraced the Christmas decor trend that’s everywhere this year for just using ribbons. It still looks glorious and festive, just better suited to my small apartment as it’s not adding loads of visual clutter.

You can always squeeze a Christmas tree into a small space, you just need to be a bit clever with positioning, decor, and what's going on in the rest of the room. You can opt for a smaller tree and just make it look taller or if you are set on a full-sized tree, there are varieties that are slimmer, and then just ensure it works with the layout and the surrounding decor. 

Head of Interiors

I am the Head of Interiors at Homes & Gardens. I started off in the world of journalism in fashion and luxury travel and then landed my first interiors role at Real Homes and have been in the world of interior design ever since. Prior to my role at H&G I was the digital editor at Livingetc, from which I took a sabbatical to travel in my self-converted van (not as glamorous as decorating a home, but very satisfying). A year later, and with lots of technical DIY lessons learned I am back to writing and editing, sometimes even from the comfort of my home on wheels.