Home Decorating for the Holidays

(Family Features) Chances are good that at some point during the holiday season, you’ll welcome guests into your home. Whether you lease or own your home, creating a cozy, festive setting for holiday gatherings can actually be quite simple, especially if you take on the project one room at a time.

One advantage of seasonal decorating is that it is, by definition, temporary. This gives you plenty of freedom to experiment with new ideas and completely transform your living space on a short-term basis. It’s also an opportunity to get creative with your home’s decor to create warm, inviting places for family and friends to gather.

Get started decking the halls this holiday season with these room-by-room decorating tips from the design experts at Invitation Homes, one of the nation’s premier home leasing companies with more than 80,000 single-family homes for lease in the United States.

Exterior

Curb appeal isn’t a concept reserved for buying and selling; set the festive mood from the moment guests arrive by enhancing your home’s outdoor space. Bold or twinkling, strings of lights add instant holiday appeal, and the possibilities for creating a custom look are nearly endless when you use weather-resistant removable hooks. You can embellish the design with fun, whimsical inflatables or go more traditional with stylish wreaths and garland to accent the door. Make the look your own with unexpected touches like an old sled propped against the porch railing. The beauty of outdoor decorating is that virtually all of it can be easily removed to make way for a new season or event.

Entryway

Delight guests from the moment they enter your home by paying special attention to the entryway. It’s a great place to introduce a theme you’ll carry throughout the house such as seasonal patterns or textures like a colorful plaid print. Create ambient light with strings hung from the ceiling or wrap banisters and stairs with garland (pre-lit garland adds a classic touch).

Kitchen

In most homes, the kitchen is an entertaining hub. While platters of food may occupy many of the available surfaces, you can still incorporate a holiday theme. Set the table with a festive yuletide log with faux berries, pinecones and candles artfully placed nearby. Seasonal candles, festive seat cushions and a cheerful table runner all add subtle touches of holiday flair. Other ideas include dangling lights from the chandelier or stacking pinecones with string lights in a bowl or vase to accent the buffet line or to use as a table centerpiece. Holiday desserts can be artwork in their own right, so get creative to make the dessert table a stand-out element of the decor.

Living Room

A comfy, cozy environment that invites guests to make themselves at home as they catch up with loved ones is a holiday entertaining must. Extend the holiday happiness into this space with little touches like a lantern filled with pinecones, faux gifts by the mantle, stockings hung from stocking holders that reflect your decorative theme, seasonal throw pillows and evergreen arrangements on the end tables and coffee table.

Bathrooms

It may be a smaller space, but the bathroom is a room every guest is likely to visit. Incorporate flameless candles and seasonal metallic accents that complement the fixtures. Hang holiday items from shower curtain rings and replace your standard curtain with a festive or candy-cane striped alternative. Be sure to finish the look with seasonal decorative towels.

Guest Rooms

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, but you can do your part to make guests feel comfortable by adding some cheerful touches to the area they’ll call home. A miniature evergreen tree in a planter or pot makes a fun addition to a nightstand. You can adorn headboards with garland or delicate lights and add festive throw pillows and blankets or even swap out linens entirely for a full-blown holiday welcome.

Holiday Hosting

Hosting guests can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These are some easy ways to prepare for holiday guests and make sure they feel at home.

Tidy Up

Before you go all out with the tinsel and holly, take some time to tidy up the areas in your home guests will use the most. Your decorations can shine brighter and make a better impression without school bags and shoes cluttering the display. Take advantage of holiday sales and invest in some storage cubes or other storage options.

Candles

Not only do can they add visual appeal, but the right scent creates an ambiance that brings everyone together. If you want to stay away from anything with flames, there are plenty of alternatives, such as plug-in scent diffusers, room sprays and wax warmers.

Snacks

Waiting for the big holiday meal can be tiresome. Set out some hors d’oeuvres for everyone to enjoy while they wait for the main course to be served. Cheese and cracker plates, hummus, veggies, mixed nuts and pretzels can help keep your guests from getting hungry. Make sure you ask about any allergies or dietary requirements beforehand so you can be prepared.

Find more lease-friendly holiday tips at invitationhomes.com.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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