The Less-Is-More Guide To Holiday Decor

Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Eleven months a year we surround ourselves with carefully chosen decor that’s so us. But come December, the pressure is on to pack up the majority of it in favor of hyper-festive housewares and tchotchkes. Even if we did have the storage space to pull this off (we don’t), we’d much rather have our apartment look like our apartment for the squad’s white-elephant exchange and the ever-growing list of get-togethers we’re planning.

Turns out, we can have it both ways. Together with Command™ Brand — which knows a thing or two about decorating without making a dent in your apartment — we came up with ways to integrate all sorts of festive touches while leaving in place the frames, succulents, and travel souvenirs we have nowhere else to put hold dear. Whether you're aiming to keep it low-key or just a little selectively lazy, your effortless holiday decor is right this way.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Limit your decorations to a few statement pieces.
As tempting as it may be to clear off every surface, lay down some garland, and arrange kitschy figurines...not this year. Instead, select a few statement pieces — wooden reindeer or what have you — in styles that feel at home with your regular decor. Mix ‘em in as if they were there all along.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Rely on metallics.
If your apartment color scheme doesn't happen to have commonalities with your holiday's, up the festive quotient by playing up the metallics and focusing on the details. No, you won't replace your dishes, but sure, you could find a gilded tray and shimmery napkins to tie 'em in.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Layer on texture — the cozier, the better.
Ugly sweaters are to fashion as holiday throw pillows are to home decor. Do to your furniture as you would your OOTD, and layer up the chunky knits and flannels to make it feel cozy and wintry. You can even cover pillows with scarves you already have.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Wrap presents earlier (maybe wrap a few non-presents).
An incentive to get your shopping done early this year: Bunches of beautifully wrapped presents piled in the open get everyone in the spirit but also seem totally casual. While the gift wrap’s out, cover a few catch-all boxes or books you keep on display (grade-school-textbook style), too.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Bring in some greenery.
Boxwood wreaths and topiaries have a modern look that reads “holiday” even when you forgo the bows. Also take advantage of the houseplants you already have, sprucing them up with the endless supplies in the craft-store holiday aisle, from acorns to colorful jingle bells.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Consider string lights a focal point.
Not to be a grinch, but sloppily hanging up a value-pack-worth of multicolored lights will kill your apartment’s vibe pretty fast. Rather than using them to highlight already prominent items in your space (like bookcases and walls), think of twinkle lights as a stand-alone decoration better suited for an out-of-the-way architectural detail. And since less is more, opt for sleek, oversized bulbs.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Put old holiday photos in picture frames.
You’ve probably gotten at least a few novelty holiday photo frames from gift exchanges over the years. But you’re better off just dropping your favorite holiday pics into the frames you have out all year. Take the idea a step further by replacing a couple of prints on your gallery wall with seasonal art. (We won’t tell anyone if said art = the best of the best greeting cards.)