Our Favorite Holiday Apartment Transformations

Claire Nicholas

By Claire Nicholas

Dec 08, 2023

Let’s face it: As we get older, it becomes harder to dive into the holiday season with as much spirit and enthusiasm as we had when we were kids. We once prioritized watching the holiday TV channel every night of December, but now we think more about our list of responsibilities  — which seems to grow with each passing day. But when all else fails, there is one way we can feel alive with child-like spirit once again: Decorate.

It’s a distraction from the chaos and the early sunset the season brings. Just ask EL-Bee London and Jasmine T., two content creators who transform their homes with holiday makeovers year after year.

You’ll notice right away that each of these crafty apartment decorators takes a unique approach, but each has the same goal of creating holiday cheer. In search of Christmas decor ideas or inspiration? Take a look behind the scenes at their dreamy holiday homes.

EL-Bee London, a lifestyle content creator and vlogger who lives in Houston, TX, has a simple decorating philosophy that yields stunning — and often viral — results: Everything in her winter wonderland is pink.

Apartment holiday decor transformations

Since she was a child, London has always had an affinity for the color pink. So, when beige and gray were taking over interior design and home decor in the mid 2010s, she became inspired to turn to her favorite color for her home’s décor instead. “When that’s all you see as inspiration on social media, it’s like everyone’s in a box,” she says. To satisfy her pink-loving inner child and to add a dash of color to her followers’ social media feeds, she decided: “I’m going to be myself… I want to stand out.”

During the holidays, she stays true to her one true chromatic love, showing her followers (including fellow pink-lover Paris Hilton) that you can be authentic, follow a budget, and DIY your way to “Pinkmas.”

What is your strategy for holiday decorating? It’s all about texture and color — but even though pink is the dominant color in her Houston, TX home, she also incorporates white and green around the holidays. “I like that snowy look,” she says. In terms of texture, she adds plenty of glitter, rhinestones, snow, “anything that gives it that feeling of Christmas,” she adds. And, of course, the centerpiece of it all, the pink Christmas tree in her glam room, was a must-have.

What are you most proud of in your design? DIY creations. This year, London decided to stick to a stricter budget, and ended up making some of her own pieces so that she would feel more inclined to reuse them next year. She made the cabinet bows out of Amazon headbands and pieced together festive, under-a-dollar items for the garland. “Why would you spend almost 100 dollars on a garland when you can make one?” she asks.

What was your biggest challenge this year? As you might imagine, finding “the pink section” of craft stores in the wake of Barbie-mania wasn’t a problem for London as she curated her Pinkmas ensemble. What was often a problem, however, was finding items that were in stock. She often had to travel from store to store to find what she was looking for in the viral hue. Worth it? We think so.

For content creator Jasmine T., who lives in a San Diego, CA apartment with her husband and son, holiday decor remains more minimalist, cozy and organic — with a flavor of dark academia.

Apartment holiday decor transformations

The first words that come to mind when you see Jasmine’s San Diego apartment: inviting, homey, warm. Using natural tones, Jasmine has created the type of space that makes you wish it was Christmas all year. It’s timeless yet nostalgic, contains just the right amount of detail, and, most importantly, it’s kid-friendly. “As a stay-at-home mom, finding decorations that my toddler won't be able to break — and that won't be able to break him — was definitely a challenge,” she says.

What did you add to your everyday decor to create the holiday look? One of the focal points of Jasmine’s home is the gallery wall above the dining room table. During this time of year, she likes to swap out the everyday photos in those frames with photos of moody winter-scapes and snow globes. She finds them online and prints out photos that match her existing aesthetic. She also decorates the sconces on either side of the gallery wall with bows and greenery. “The gallery wall is my most prized area,” she says.

What colors do you keep consistent? Jasmine sticks to a black and brown color scheme in her cozy Christmas decor, which tend to give way to the organic and high-end dark academia vibe she aims for (Think: grand college library meets mystery novel.) She also incorporates brassy tones and wood to mix up the textures. “For Christmas, I brought out hints of red,” she says, referring to the holiday-themed ribbons adorning the kitchen cabinets and electric candle holder sconces as well as the ornaments that dot hanging garlands. But one thing stays consistent: “I always go for cozy and comfortable,” she says.

How do you approach renter-friendly decor? “You’re kind of limited with an apartment,” Jasmine says. “But I feel like it’s also a good thing because it forces your creativity.” It’s all about getting that deposit back, after all. For her, Command strips are the end-all, be-all of renter-friendly decorations. That and not over-consuming on account of storage limitations. “We definitely have to be more selective with the things that we buy,” she says.

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