If you want your home to be especially inviting for your family and the guests that visit this holiday season, consider these ways to do it up right.
1. Make it smell like the holidays
A home filled with holiday cheer is tightly connected to the smells of the season, like peppermint candy canes, the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies baking in the oven and cinnamon-spiced mulled wine.
While you could use chemical filled plug-ins, an air freshener spray or paraffin candles to give your home a holiday aroma, those store bought products contribute to its toxic load. Using an essential oil diffuser not only helps it last longer, many of the oils offer health benefits along with a pleasant smell without the potentially hazardous side effects. If you don’t already have a diffuser, there are many brands that are quite effective yet very reasonably priced. Ultrasonic diffusers work especially well because they disperse oils in a micro-fine vapor that allows them to be suspended in the air for extended periods of time and to be better inhaled, thus enhancing the scent and effectively filling the room with their lovely scent. Take a look at our review of the 5 best diffusers available.
Another option is to simply pour some boiling water into a ceramic bowl or a glass, and then add a few drops of desired essential oils, letting the scent fill the room. The only downside is that you’ll have to refill the water frequently, but it is the easiest and cheapest way to diffuse essential oils.
Here are another 12 festive ways to make your home smell like Christmas.
It’s hard to have an inviting home for the holidays when your stuff is all over the place.You don’t want your guests to have to worry about tripping over things, and with so many people coming to visit during this busy season, it’s important that it looks and feels organized.
The living room is probably going to be one of the busiest areas of the house, so it’s a good place to start. Get rid of old magazines and newspapers that are laying around, and open and sort through that stack of mail that’s been piling up. Declutter your shelves too, this is the perfect excuse for finding items that can be donated, putting them to a better cause and putting you in the holiday spirit. Keep in mind that extra space can make your home feel bigger and more relaxing. Don’t forget about the kitchen, decluttering it is a great way to make room for all those holiday delights. Find some more decluttering tips here in our round-up of 31 incredible minimalist hacks.
3. Don’t be afraid to glitz things up
The holidays are the one time of the year you should really go big. It’s your chance to do it over the top, from dazzling lights and shiny metallic garland to flashy ornaments and more. Go well beyond the tree, for example, collecting metallic trinkets and putting them together for a tablescape vignette. Think shimmering crystal too, from magnificent candlesticks that make for the perfect centerpiece for that buffet table to stemware, dinnerware and even a chandelier that hangs over the table.
You could also take a beautiful, holiday-style glass or metallic bowl and load it up with coordinating Christmas ball ornaments for a pretty and unique centerpiece. And, don’t forget about the outside – while the interior is always the main attraction, you should brighten up exterior features too, like adding lighting to railings and walkways for extra sparkle. For more decor inspiration, take a look at these 32 homemade eco-friendly Holiday decorations!
4. Add holiday throw pillows and blankets
Trade your standard throw pillows and blankets for more Christmasy ones. Cozy, chunky textures like velvets and knits as well as patterns like plaid, work especially well. Nice pops of holiday color create warmth without a lot of work.
5. Light everything up
Don’t skimp on the holiday lights, they add that special Christmas magic. Not only can they dance and sparkle around your tree, but you can string them throughout your home to add extra ambiance. Add lights to a garland on your fireplace mantle, string them around your staircase, and get creative, adding sparkle in unexpected places too.
6. Bring nature inside
Going outside to bring the elements in is a great way to make your home more welcoming for the holidays. You could collect sprigs of evergreens to fill a collection of glass vases, surround decorative lanterns with fresh greenery and pine cones to create a classic centerpiece, make a natural wreath or hang Christmas cards and ornaments from a single evergreen branch tacked to a wall. The options are practically endless. Incorporating pine cones and other rustic elements into holiday décor makes for a much homier feeling, not to mention, most of these items you can forage for free! For more inspiration, take a look at these 15 beautiful pine cone crafts.
7. Have a welcoming entryway
A welcoming entryway is key to creating an inviting home atmosphere, as it’s the first area a guest will see when they arrive. You can place candles or holiday lights in your windows to help them feel welcome as they enter your home. If you have a large enough porch, you can fit a 7-gallon magnolia into a decorative planter, and fill in around the edges with spray-painted magnolia branches and sprigs of seeded eucalyptus. Even apartment dwellers can hang a wreath on their door and lay out a cute holiday welcome mat out.
If you have a square mailbox, you can top it with a bouquet of winter plants by filling up a shallow, wide planter with a variety of plants like lavender, fir, cedar, pansies and flowering pansies. Trim it to resemble a Christmas tree and then tuck in pine cones and ornaments for color. Whether it’s square or not, you can also take advantage of your mailbox to transform it into holiday decor by wrapping a ribbon loosely around a pine garland and draping the garland around it. You can finish it off with a big bow for an added eye-catching flourish.
8. Create a luxurious holiday bathroom
As your guests will likely be using your bathroom frequently, you should not only make sure they have everything they need, but you’ll want it to look good too, making it festive for family and friends. You can change out your shower curtain for one that has snowflakes or Santa, and add other fun decorations too. A small vase with fresh flowers and greenery helps to add warmth, and Christmasy bath mats, toilet covers, soap dispensers, etc. can make it sparkle even more. Don’t forget to include plenty of plush towels and washcloths as well.
9. Create a more guest-friendly holiday kitchen
For a more guest-friendly holiday kitchen, be sure to keep it open and set frequently used items out so that they’re easy to find. For example, you could put together a hot beverage station by using a cart and stocking it with items like hot cocoa, coffee, and tea. You could decorate it with candy canes and include holiday treats too.
A bar cart of “cart of cheer” is another option. The top tier can serve as a workspace. You’ll also need things like a corkscrew and cocktail tools, a variety of glasses, garnishes, and an ice bucket. Winter greenery sets a more joyful mood and can help to break up all those glasses on your bar cart. If you’re trimming a tree this year, you could also repurpose the clippings in a vase.