A holiday home can mean a lot of things in terms of preparations: adorning the front porch with a wreath and lights, stocking up the bar cart with seasonal libations, and setting the table for a festive dinner. Even the tiniest of touches can make your home both more inviting to guests and a great wintertime sanctuary for you. “This is where the K.I.S.S. method comes into play—Keep It Simplified, Santa,” says Lisa Eckerle, professional organizer and founder of Indianapolis-based Sort Support. In terms of holiday home decor, this could mean sticking to one or two main hues to create a streamlined narrative between all the vignettes to make “your home feel festive, neat, and more upscale,” Eckerle adds.
As you spruce up your holiday home, keep function in mind. “Invest in an inexpensive bar cart to have festive cocktails at the ready, no matter in which room everyone is gathering,” Eckerle says. Since it’s wheeled, the cart can follow the party from room to room if needed. “If your meal starts with appetizers in the study and moves to the dining room for the main course, you’ll be able to wheel the drinks right along with you,” she says. Other items to place on the cart for easy access include napkins, toothpicks, stir sticks, bottle openers, a deck of cards, and a white paint or chalk marker for everyone to write their names on their drinking glasses. A bar cart will also come in handy when it’s time to gather all the holiday decor for storage.
Here, nine ways to transform your home for guests this holiday season.
Think about a nondenominational color scheme
You don’t necessarily have to commit to traditional decorations. Even if you’re getting ready for the annual Christmas party, there are plenty of other seasonal palettes to choose from. Ricky Gonzalez, senior creative director for American Signature, says sprucing up a holiday home for guests of every denomination can be easy. “Let go of green, red, or blue. Instead, stick with bright golds—either matte or with sequins and sparkle and a touch of blush to elevate the season,” he says. You can also choose to swap in fewer references to Santa and instead use things like faux fur pillows, like this one in Big Bear Blush from VCF. This will keep a feeling of coziness front and center, he says. “Or throw some small inexpensive gold mirrors around your home to reflect the glitter, candles, and holiday lights.”