Designer Orlando Soria's Tips For Decorating Your Apartment For The Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching and the next few weeks are guaranteed to be full of cheer. With the holiday season comes decorating your home with plenty of festive details. Of course, there's always the question of when is the best time to decorate. Many start right after Halloween or even earlier if they can get away with it, while others feel like that overshadows important holidays like Thanksgiving, according to Reviewed. Ultimately, there's no wrong time to start decorating, even if you're the type who likes waiting until late December. Similarly, there's no wrong way to decorate.

Homing in on your preferred style of decorating can be difficult, though, especially when you're trying to deck the halls of a cramped space. But being in a small apartment for the holidays doesn't mean you have to skimp out on statement holiday style. Orlando Soria of the former interior design firm, Homepolish, shares with People Magazine how to infuse your apartment with holiday cheer.

Think winter motifs

Think of Christmas décor and you probably immediately envision a large evergreen tree with lights, ornaments, and a star on top. For Hanukkah, there may be stars, lights, and menorahs. But you don't always need to use these symbols to decorate for the holidays. "Some of my favorite Christmas decorations aren't specifically Christmas-oriented," Orlando Soria tells People Magazine. "Trees, snowflakes, even small wooden cabins or light-up villages are all holiday hints you can scatter throughout your home to create a festive environment that doesn't feel contrived. Anything wintry can be a Christmas decoration." When you have limited space, you may not be able to bring in a large tree, even if it's artificial.

Bottlebrush trees add that familiar holiday touch on a smaller and more modern scale. You can find them in a variety of colors and sizes, so they can be customized to your personal style. Use a collection of bottlebrush trees on the mantle or on flat surfaces to create a colorful miniature forest, suggests designer Jennifer Rizzo. Use them as a centerpiece on your dining room table, or consider creating a holiday village with pieces collected over the years, says The Espresso Edition. This type of décor is made up of little homes and figurines that sometimes light up or move. They're timeless options that you can use for years to come.

Make it your own

You may see a lot of inspiration online or even in the homes of loved ones. As much as you may adore what they've done, you have to remember to put your own personal spin on your designs. "I went crazy and have a huge tree and Christmas decorations all over my whole home," Orlando Soria tells People Magazine. "If you live in a small space or you don't care enough about Christmas to spend over 20 hours putting up and decorating a tree, there are so many fun ways to be festive without overdoing it." Since there isn't one way to decorate for the holidays, it's more important to do what you like and what you're comfortable with.

"Growing up, our house was always decked out. But my best friend's house had no tree in it. All they had were chili lights around the kitchen window and I thought it was the most exciting thing on earth," Soria continues. "Your Christmas should reflect who you are. And if you're casual and don't want to have a big froofy Martha Stewart Christmas (literally my dream), YOU DO YOU." There's nothing wrong with forgoing traditional holiday colors for more modern shades and patterns like bold neon colors or sophisticated dark hues, encourages Fracture. Infusing your unique personality creates holiday décor that feels right for your home.

Incorporate sentimentality

You don't always have to purchase your holiday decorations; sometimes crafted items can add that unique accent you've been looking for. "My mom saved little crafts and art projects me and my siblings did when we were little and would bring them out for the holidays," explains Orlando Soria (via People Magazine). "Seeing them only once a year made it really exciting and added to the nostalgic, warm feeling of the holiday. I have some of these crafts still and I love getting them out every year to look at them and remember past Christmases."

It's never too late to create an heirloom. Make holiday crafts on your own or with your kids to create little homemade items that you can display each year. Candy cane reindeers are an easy and classic craft you can make, suggests Happiness is Homemade. Try a tissue paper wreath or beaded snowflakes while you're at it. Just be careful about storage as these items can be very delicate, and you'll want to use them again next year.

Hang old holiday photos

Another way to put your own personal spin on your holiday décor is with old photos. Per People Magazine, Orlando Soria notes, "This year, I had my mom scan old photos and I had them printed at the drug store for a coffee table display of old Christmas photos. It not only makes a cute centerpiece, it's also so much fun to show to guests." With old holiday photos, you can reminisce on previous years and tell stories about the moments captured in the photos.

Taking new photos each year will help make new memories to display in years to come. Tiny Beans suggests matching holiday pajamas or taking a selfie in a reflective ornament for staged holiday photos. You can also take candid photos of holiday memories. Print them yourself or have them professionally printed and framed to hang in your home. Similar to the crafts, you can choose to only display them during the holiday season in order to make their appearance more special.

Bring in cozy pillows and throws

Ready to bring on a bit of holiday flare with comfy pillows and blankets? You don't always have to purchase specific holiday pillows to achieve this decorative aesthetic. "A fun fact about accent pillows is that most of them come with removable covers that can be changed every season," says Orlando Soria (via People Magazine). "I love adding in some warm, woven wool pillows during the winter months to up the cozy factor and accentuate my warm holiday color palette." Winter is no doubt the coziest season, so extra textiles are a must for the snowy days when you want to relax at home.

Mix up the textures with velvets, faux furs, and chunky knits, suggests Cloth and Stitch. Then play with different patterns to create a visually interesting and layered holiday look. Plaid is a classic for the holiday season, but you may also want to bring in holiday symbols like trees, stars, and ornaments. You can follow similar rules for arranging throw blankets for the winter. Toss them over the back of your sofa, over the arm of a chair, or across the foot of the bed for a quick, comfy detail.