12.08.2009

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Create a Welcoming Holiday Home~

Image from Pottery Barn

The holidays are filled with family, friend and fun! And of course, we want our homes to create a feeling of welcome for our holiday visitors.


Here are seven sure-fire ways to create a welcoming holiday home...


1. Focus on First Impressions

Spend time fixing up what guests will see first: your doorway and it's surrounding area. Spruce it up by sweeping, cleaning cobwebs or debris from around the doorbell and in the corners. Shake off the doormat. Remove everyday clutter such as mail, toys and shoes by stashing them in a basket in the closet. Make sure your porch lights are working well.


2. Quickie Decorate

Resurrect a planter or two from the summer garden and fill it with evergreen clippings, greenery or ornaments that will survive outdoors. Add a festive wreath or a garland with twinkle lights.


3. Create Guest Space

Create extra space in your coat closet for your guest's outdoor wear. Temporarily move the bulk of your family's gear to a back bedroom. Add an extra doormat near the closet for wet or icy shoes. Consider bringing in an umbrella stand if it is rainy or snowy out - or just line a wastebasket with a plastic bag.


4. Gather 'round

Make conversation easy by arranging chairs in your living room so friends and family can talk instead of facing the TV. (Chairs are easy to rearrange if "It's A Wonderful Life" or other holiday classics are on!)


5. Be Superficial

Skip the heavy bathroom cleanup and focus on those things visitors will notice. Hurry and clean the toilet bowl. Set out fresh hand soaps and clean, festive guest towels. Wipe down the counter and sink. Easy-peasy!


6. Cool Off the House

If you are expecting a houseful of guests, turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees about two hours before they arrive.


7. Light Up - Safely

Candles are a wonderful way to add ambience, but if you have them in areas other than the dinner table - like on the mantel or in the bathroom - they will need careful monitoring. A great alternative is flameless votive candles. These create the ambience without the fear..(especially if, like me, you have curious little ones around!)



So go get those houses ready for your holiday entertaining! But, most of all, ENJOY!!


Ideas adapted from Better Homes and Gardens November 2007


Coming up this week on the Shabby Nest...
  • Pretty Homemade Christmas Stockings
  • A Great Giveaway


Have a good day~

14 comments:

steffany said...

Great suggestions, I love the reminder to focus on things people really notice; one great suggestion to ease the holiday stress.

LuLu said...

My day is all about decorating and laundry hee hee Your post is just what I needed :) Hope all the packing is going smoothly and low stress.
xo,
LuLu

Leigh Ann said...

Great tips~ just in time for my first party this weekend! Thanks for sharing!
Leigh Ann

Shelley in SC said...

I just found you through Lola B's, and I'm loving it already. Thanks for the inspiration . . . and happy moving!

Shell in your Pocket said...

I love the part about turning down the heat...nothing worse than being all dressed up and going to home that feels like a sauna...wishing you wore your bathing suit instead!

sandy toe

58 Cherries said...

Our house always ends up the meeting place, but I'd add one thing to your list - try to get someone else to host and do all that work. LOL! I'd rather bake and wrap presents and I always end up doing it all and being so tired I don't enjoy it at all. It doesn't help that the guests don't bring presents and I can't help, but want fun present exchange so I end up buying extra so there's stuff to unwrap. I'm going to try not to this year.

I invite you and your readers to see my 'house' my blog it's tidied up and welcoming at least. So much easier online, right??

Nicki
58Cherries
http://58cherries.blogspot.com/

Kim said...

I have a luncheon tomorrow and your tips are just what I needed to make sure everything is ready. Thanks!

mkelton24 said...

ahh...don't you just love the pottery barn catalog. I often flip through and try to steal ideas on a cheap college student budget!

www.thekeltonscozycottage.blogspot.com

Abbey @ Practically Perfect said...

Thanks! This is a BIG help since we're having a Christmas party at our house Saturday. I know I can't get it "all" done so this helps me figure out what I need to really focus on!

Kasey said...

how funny...i like the part of turning down the thermostat a few degrees. not in my house..i had to turn it up because it's so dang old;-)

Cherry's Jubilee said...

congrats on the move! I have so much to catch up on. Great tips girl. cherry

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Those flameless candles...I've been wondering about those since I have little guys in the house. But I am a a sucker for the smell of the real thing...just need to find a place that won't get ransacked by my 11 month old! :)
Carrie

Jenkins Family said...

I love that I can be inspired by such talented women like yourself!

Kristi said...

I love this picture from PB! I saved it as well! Made me want to put all red and silver outside this year! Great blog!! and your kitchen is beautiful!!! Great job :)
Kristi