The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

9 Dec 2013

The holiday season has officially arrived and with it comes the eagerness to deck your apartment in decorations from top to bottom. No matter what size of apartment you live in, you can make your home

The holiday season has officially arrived and with it comes the eagerness to deck your apartment in decorations from top to bottom. No matter what size of apartment you live in, you can make your home festive with a wide array of decorating ideas. If you’re a landlord, creating an inviting atmosphere in your building this holiday season is a breeze – and it can be a great opportunity to foster a community environment!Decorating your Apartment for the Holidays

To Tree or Not To Tree?

One of the biggest questions apartment dwellers ask themselves during the Christmas season is whether or not they can put up a tree. First things first, check with your building to see what kind of a tree you can put up. Due to potential fire hazards, some properties will not allow real trees to be put up inside apartments. Artificial trees are much easier to take care of and require minimal effort to set up – they also come in a variety of sizes that will suit your apartment. Miniature artificial trees are cute additions to your holiday decor that can sit safely on the floor or on top of a table and will not overwhelm your living room. They also require far fewer decorations and lights, saving you money overall (and who doesn’t want to save money at this time of year?).

If you have pets, remember to play it safe when decorating your tree. Don’t have tinsel or garlands hanging low where pets can easily ingest them. You’ll also want to keep the strings of lights on the higher levels of the tree to prevent any National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-type incidents.

Candles and Scents

The absence of a real Christmas tree does have one drawback – that lovely pine smell that indicates the holidays have arrived. You can easily remedy this with a candle that mimics the smell of pine (you can find a number of options, both inexpensive and expensive, at retailers like Home Outfitters, Walmart and HomeSense). Try grouping a few candles of different sizes together in a display tray on your coffee table, each with a different scent.

Of course, it’s important to keep fire safety in mind when you have your candles lit. Never leave them unattended and keep them away from pets and other decorations. Candlelight certainly adds to a holiday atmosphere, but safety always comes first.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

If you’re a landlord or superintendent, the holidays are a great time to get all of your tenants together with a decorating party. You’ll want to hold your event on a weeknight when most of your tenants will be at home – the ideal time would be between 5 – 8pm. Have a snowflake cutting station for the kids in the building, allow tenants to bring an ornament to decorate the tree with, and serve refreshments. This is a perfect opportunity to organize a toy drive or to participate in a local charity’s “Adopt-a-Family” initiative. A bake sale will also help to raise funds for a charity that your tenants have chosen. When it’s all said and done, your building will have a beautifully festive look that your tenants will be proud of.

Final Touches

Whether you decide to go with a tree or not, there are always little touches that you can do around your apartment to give it that welcoming holiday feel. Hang stockings, put a Santa Claus hat on your bedpost, string icicle lights in your living room or even swap out one or two of your light bulbs with red and green coloured ones. You can also put a wreath on your apartment door that you made yourself (or purchased – we all have different levels of DIY skills). There is no such thing as too much or too little when it comes to holiday decorations. Whatever makes the holidays special for you is the right amount!

If you’ve decided to go with a tree, Apartment Therapy gives you some advice with their article “5 Tips for Creating Space for a Big Tree in a Small Home”:

1. Pick a tall, narrow tree rather than 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.

2. 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 any place else. For added impact, put it by the window. Not only does it look pretty, with the lights 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

So stay safe and enjoy the great Holiday Season with your loved ones!!

The RentSeeker Team