I don't want to freak anyone out, but Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away! This means we don't have much time to get our houses in shape for the holidays. Good news - I can help! Below are a few tips based on my many years of hosting large holiday gatherings!
If after reading this, you're still freaking out then, as Blondie would say, "CALL ME!" I offer Design Therapy services specifically designed to make sure you're prepared for this most wonderful time of the year!!! And the good news is that we can get a lot done in only an hour or two.
The first thing is to de-clutter your house. Clutter always overwhelms us and is a HUGE obstacle in the process of making your house into a home.
There are many organizations (like United War Veterans Council and the Boys and Girls Club) that will come to your house to pick up your excess wares so take advantage of it. Schedule it and get to work!
Work on the Bones
What I mean by "bones" is the placement of your furniture. There are two key points here - 1. conversation areas, and 2. easy navigation. To figure out if you have a nice conversation area, gather a few people and have them sit and talk. Is it awkward? Are you too close? Too far away? Tweak and see what feels comfortable. To see if your house has easy navigation, walk through it and take note of any pathways that are too tight or furniture that's in the way. For more advice in this area, read my blog on layouts.
Re-think your Kitchen
If you're entertaining, you need to make sure your kitchen is in tip-top shape. Refer to my kitchen zone guide to see how you can improve the flow of your kitchen. Also, clear out your pantry of any old food and donate any platters or cookware that you don't want. There's nothing more frustrating than having to navigate through junk to get to the good stuff.
Assess Dining Areas
Even if you're having a buffet, it's nice to provide a proper table and chair for most of your guests. Some are happy sitting on the sofa, but many prefer a traditional sit down experience.
One thing you can do is combine a couple of tables to make a super long table. You can unify it with a large tablecloth, but what I like even more is to run butcher paper down the length of the combined tables. Add some crayons and you've created a really fun tablescape. Plus, it's a breeze to clean up! I did this recently for a dinner party and it looked amazing!
Here's another idea that I picked up from my friend, Susan. Get a large piece of plywood (like 4' by 8') and place over a six foot folding table. You've just created a table for 10! It also makes a great ping pong (or beer pong) table. Just sayin'.
Cozify your Home
Now that you have your home de-cluttered and the bones set, you can add layers, which instantly adds soul (and coziness). I recently wrote a post on cozifying your home, but I'll go over the key points here. If you want more details, click here.
1. Layer and dim your lights. Offset shadows that are created by overhead lights by adding table and floor lamps to the space. Put dimmers on key lights.
2. Add plants - instant life!
3. Freshen up the scent of your home. I recently found a great aroma diffuser at Anthropologie. It only cost $20 and it smells sooooo good. It's called Voluspa in the Gogi Tarocco Orange scent. I also found it online - click to the right for the link. With my seeded eucalyptus, it smells amazingly good!
4. Add texture and warmth through throws, pillows and rugs.
5. Decorate with your favorite books and games. That's how you make your space personal!
Still Stuck? Get Some Therapy!
I've helped clients with a variety of issues - furniture layout, paint colors, bookshelves, kitchen layout and finishing touches. I'll give you design advice for how you REALLY live!
Until next time!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.