St. Anthony's Senior Living

Embracing the Holidays in Senior Living: Six Decor Tips for Small Spaces

It’s officially the holiday season at St. Anthony’s! With this time of year comes all kinds of festive fun, whether with family or your fellow senior living residents. One of the most fun ways to get in the holiday spirit is to decorate your home!

If this is your first year in a senior living apartment, you may be used to having a much larger space to work with. While a senior living apartment means a lot less to worry about and take care of, it also means you need to get a bit more creative with your decorating!

To help you or your loved one feel right at home in senior living for the holidays, here are six decor tips for small spaces that will make transforming your new apartment into a magical wonderland as easy as pumpkin pie!



1. Start with the Door

Your front door sets the tone for anyone entering your home, and it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight your holiday spirit! Add a colorful, festive rug to your entryway and—if you have a little space next to your front door and permission from your senior living facility—add a small decoration next to your doorway. This could be a snowman or Santa Claus standee, a thin Christmas tree, or maybe a poinsettia, just to add a little extra fun to your front stoop!

Of course, no entryway door is complete during the holidays without a wreath. You may already have one that has hung on your door for decades—use it! If you don’t, wreath-making is a fun holiday activity to do with friends and family. You can even check your senior living community’s activities calendar to see if they will be hosting a wreath-making event on campus in December!


2. Less is More

You likely already downsized your holiday decorations before moving in. If you’re still working on making the move to senior living, however, keep this tip in mind when deciding what to keep! When it comes to decor for small spaces, too much can quickly look cluttered and messy. The key is to focus on a few select statement pieces that immediately draw the eye rather than covering every inch of floor space and all your surfaces with decorations.


3. Have a Cohesive Theme

Since you have a more limited selection of decorations on display, choosing those that go well together can make all the difference. Just like there are many home decor styles, there are many different approaches to holiday decorating! Here are a few “themes” you might focus on for your holiday decorating:


  • Classic Christmas: The holidays as you remember them from childhood. Lots of red and green—think of what Santa’s workshot might look like!
  • Winter Wonderland: In the words of Burl Ives, silver and gold decorations on every Christmas tree!
  • Cozy Cabin: For this theme, picture Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home for the holidays. Plaids and flannels, crackling fires, and plenty of plush blankets and pillows in festive patterns and colors!
  • Festive Forest: Bring the magic of walking through a snowy wood home with pinecones, birch accents, and a few evergreens!


4. Opt for a Tabletop or Skinny Tree

You probably don’t have room in your senior living apartment for the towering balsam fir you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a Christmas tree! Instead of trying to squeeze a full-size evergreen tree into your living room, invest in a smaller alternative. There are plenty of beautiful Christmas trees that are small enough to set up on a side table or ottoman off the floor. 

If you prefer something a bit closer to the floor-to-ceiling tree you’ve always had, choose one that has the height without the width. Slim, skinny Christmas trees will take up a lot less floor space while still bringing tidings of comfort and joy to the room! Many of today’s trees come pre-lit as well, which makes setup a cinch.


5. Swap Out Your Decorations

Instead of adding holiday decorations on top of your existing home decor, pack away some of your everyday decor in storage to make room for the festivities! This will also make it a little less sad when you put away the holiday decorations in January because you’ll get to redecorate with the things you said goodbye to for the last couple of months.

While you probably have limited storage space in your new apartment, it should be easy enough to have your everyday decor take the place of your holiday decor in your closet or under your bed. If you don’t have enough space, ask a family member who lives nearby if they can store a tote or two of decorations in their garage until you need it.


6. Showcase Handmade Treasures

This tip is great for any grandparent or great-grandparents’ space because it makes your space that much more homey! Having such meaningful pieces displayed in your apartment will make these chillier months spent indoors not feel so gloomy, energizing you to be well all winter long.

Handmade holiday decor from grandchildren is a precious way to decorate your space, and most of the things they make shouldn’t take up very much room! Handmade ornaments can hang from your Christmas tree, doorknobs, or cabinet knobs. Pictures they paint or draw for you can be tacked on a bulletin board or even framed on your wall. If they live nearby, invite the grandkids over for an afternoon of crafting, creating paper snowflakes or red and green paper chains! If they live over the river and through the woods, ask them to draw you a festive picture to hang for December and send it to you in the mail! It’s a fun way to stay connected even if you can’t celebrate face-to-face.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Apartment

The magic of Christmas and the other wonderful holidays this time of year isn’t about the gifts or the massive festive trees. It’s about the people we love and the memories we share! As a faith-based senior living community, for us, it’s also about celebrating the birth of Jesus. Decorating isn’t the only thing you need to enjoy the holiday season in senior living—you also need the right community to make it truly special! We’d love to be your home for the holidays and beyond. Contact us to schedule a tour and experience Christmas the St. Anthony’s way!