No Christmas Tree? No Problem!

For years and years, I’ve opted for no Christmas tree.

After all, until this year, I’ve been running Karen Rapp Interiors from my home. This means I’ve had anywhere from two to six or more fabulous humans in what would normally be my living and dining rooms—and my humble abode was already tight quarters.

Plus, there were some years when I just didn’t have the “oomph,” due to traveling and other demands on my time.

So, this year, our design team went searching for some great design inspiration for those of you who, like me, might not have the space or the commitment for a tree.


No Christmas tree? We’ve got you covered!

There are lots of reasons “why not”: maybe you’re traveling for the holidays. Maybe you’ve got a new pet or a child or grandchild who might get too close to your tree for comfort.

Or, maybe you just want to relax and remember what the season is about without all the usual fanfare.

So, for inspiration, I encourage you to sit back and relax with a cup of tea and admire other’s creativity when they decorate “sans” Christmas tree!

ballard designs entry decor

During the holidays, your home inevitably becomes a revolving door for visitors—from overnight travelers to dinner guests or to those who merely drop by for some holiday cheer. Set the welcoming tone with a cheery entry—and let your guests know they’re being invited with warmth. Photo via Ballard Designs

House Beautiful Boughs holiday decorHere’s an easy suggestion to “spruce” up an entryway or a tiny apartment with fir, spruce or pine branches in an oversize jar. It can be a great alternative to a traditional tree. Photo via House Beautiful

Holiday photo tree

A “holiday photo tree” is a creative idea for dressing up a wall with all those holiday photos you take throughout the season. Photo via Interiors Design Blog

With all the excellent, large-scale printing options available today, printing a vivid image of a tree on a large cloth and hanging it on the wall might be the perfect conversation starter! Photo via My Blue Flamingo

canvas painting christmas tree

Again, why not paint your own tree and create a hanging holiday wall tapestry? Photo via Apartment Therapy

Coming up with creative ways to make an alternative, do-it-yourself tree is sheer fun. Here’s a “tree” that was created using bits of nature collected from the outside, along with some other whimsical items. Photo via Free People

Those of us with a few woodshop skills can put their talents to the test by creating a really unique wooden tree with lights, like this one. Photo via Julia Palosini

The holiday tradition of decorating with paperwhites, greenery and wreaths will never go out of style. Here’s just one example of the beautiful accents you can create with these seasonal touches. Photo via Dear Lillie

Using strings of lights in creative ways can make for a striking holiday display. Here’s a waterfall of lights set over a window. Photo via

Here’s an idea for a modern alternative that can still feel like your focal point and smell like a tree too! Photo via Almost Makes Perfect

For something extra-special, try cutting out a window banner emblazoned with a cheerful holiday message. Photo via Sunny Side Up Blog

If you’re planning to spend the holidays idyllically, in a cabin in the mountains, here is an idea for decorating this very special space. Photo via Mountain Modern Life Blog


On behalf of our team at Karen Rapp Interiors, I hope you have a magical holiday season, no matter where your decorating adventures take you! Christmas tree or no Christmas tree!

No Christmas Tree? No Problem!