Whether you’re hosting a large family from out of town or invited a few friends over for holiday libations, you can get your home ready by adding a few simple touches to tie your home together in a festive way.
Add seasonal scents
You can’t go wrong by adding warm, seasonal scents to the home with candles, cinnamon sticks and fresh pine. If you’re in the artificial Christmas tree club or if you want to avoid perfume scents in favor of more natural aromas, you can still make your home smell festive for the season.
“I love to incorporate a single holiday scent in a home, such as pine or cinnamon,” said Tiffany Brooks, HGTV host and lead designer of her eponymous residential interior design firm in the Northern suburbs of Chicago.
“Candles can go a long way,” said Brooks. “Use them on table tops, on the fireplace and other horizontal surfaces. For a more modern feel, reach for white and metallic candles.”
If candles aren’t your thing, take cue from First Home Love Life and boil in a medium sized pot: vanilla, apple cider, oranges, lemon, cranberries, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary and fresh Christmas tree or wreath stems (which you can pick up at a Christmas tree lot or craft shop).
Stick to a theme
Brooks says that the most important things you can do are plan, budget and measure — especially if you’re living in a new home this year.
“Find a theme before you shop and set a budget — it will give you direction,” she said. “A lot of people do not know the property to estimate how many ornaments they need, or decorations, so I always use the rule of thumb that for every foot of tree you need 10 ornaments and for every foot and a half of tree, you need 100 lights.”
In addition, maintaining one theme will keep your decor theme and color consistent. If simplicity is your goal, Brooks suggests a pre-lit flocked tree, clean white tablecloths on your dining tables, bowls with ornaments and poinsettia plants instead of greenery. “The idea is to keep it simple and clean,” she added.
Decorate the spaces you’ll use the most
Whether your house is on the market or you’ve just moved into your brand new home, decorating for Christmas on top of your existing to-do list can easily become stressful and overwhelming. Brooks suggest keeping decor subtle, but strategically placing it in the rooms where you’ll spend the most time.
“Focus on the coziest areas of the home where the holiday decorations can be enjoyed the most,” she said. “If you have not unpacked your dining room, but your living room is almost done, concentrate your holiday decor in the living room.”
If you’re hosting guests, the powder room an area that people often overlook when decorating. Most holiday party guests will need to use the washroom at some point during your party, so a few simple touches will make the space feel festive, too.
“Add holiday fingertip towels to the powder room, along with pine scented candles,” said David Yates, interior designer and a member of the HomeAdvisor network.
Small touches will go along way so you can focus on the bigger tasks at hand.
Deck the windows and doors
If you plan to decorate inside and out, make your life easier by limiting decorations to your windows and doors. “Hang evergreen wreaths with red ribbon outside on the doors and windows,” said Yates.
You can make your own wreaths and adorn them with ribbon, cranberries or fresh flowers. Some home decor experts choose to create a statement wreath for the main entrance of your home and smaller ones for the windows, as simple accents.
“Taking the holiday cheer outside is a nice way to contribute to your neighborhood,” said Brooks. “If you’ve recently moved in, holiday decorations can be a great way to break the ice with new neighbors.”