Entertaining Family and Friends for the Holidays

Now is the time to get a jump on holiday hosting preparations!  When hosting friends and family, it is important to be an organized and welcoming host.  Advance planning allows you to relax and enjoy the company of your guests, rather than focusing on forgotten last-minute details. 

morrow2  candles
Light a fire!
A fire burning in the fireplace is one of the nicest things about winter. Candles can also add a warm glow to your home.  Use generously!  Place scented or unscented candles in a variety of containers all over the house for a beautiful effect. 

Having enough firewood at hand and the right fireplace accessories is important to facilitate the smooth procession of the evening.  Wood can be stored in baskets on the hearth so that you are not interrupted by trips to the patio for more wood.

fabrics  collection-laurel-brown
Show your colors!
Autumnal colors aren’t all browns. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your home.  Make a seasonal change in your décor without a complete overhaul by replacing your throw pillows with pillows in seasonal colors.  This year’s trending colors include rich reds, such as Caliente from Benjamin Moore.  You can incorporate rich shades of leather and wood into your décor, or bring in a new texture such as faux fur or sheepskin.  This palette of Pollack fabrics evokes a cozy seasonal aesthetic.  This approach is not limited to pillows! Accessories of all types can be replaced seasonally.  A beautiful handmade ceramic vase or dish is a one-of-a-kind accent that adds interest to your home.

Your dining table presents another opportunity to create a seasonal color story for your home.  This palette can be seasonal, yet not be overly holiday.  Incorporate new colors with napkins, table runners, dishes and floral arrangements. 

 rh  lornop3
Cozy up!
Cozying up your space for the holidays can be as easy as adding warm throws in convenient locations.  Adding an extra throw in your guest room is essential for colder winter nights.  Don’t forget one for your own bedroom!  We find that we are always returning to cashmere and alpaca throws for their soft texture and incredible warmth.  The throws above are available from Restoration Hardware and Loro Piana.  Johanna Howard makes beautiful alpaca throws.  There are also many great looking faux fur options on the market too!

levydishware  glass2
Shimmer and sparkle!
Hosting friends and family for the holidays means unpacking the fine china and crystal.  Now is also the time to consider adding some sparkle to your table.  Gold accents are on-trend this season!  This beautiful porcelain tableware is hand made by Daniel Levy.  For a different twist on traditional crystal, set your table with colored glassware, such as these vintage American wine glasses.

January Woman & Home   cider
Warm beverages are a lovely way to celebrate the season! Greet your guests with warm cider, mulled wine or a hot toddy.  They are not only delicious, but their aroma will drift through the house.  It almost goes without saying that fresh baked cookies right out of the oven are one of the most welcoming scents to encounter!

hyacinth  paperwhites
Bring nature in!
For those of us in the northeast, autumn and the onset of winter means fresh cut flowers from our own gardens are no longer an option.  Fall foliage branches add an exquisite seasonal feel in the autumn months.  In December, evergreen branches are handsome and the aroma is synonymous with the holidays.  Magnolia and princess pine branches are beautiful on the mantle.  It requires some planning ahead, but forced bulbs are attractive and smell great!  While the tendency is to only place floral arrangements in public spaces, a small arrangement in the guest room is a welcoming detail for your overnight guests.

Up next…
Last, but perhaps most important, think ahead for next year.  Did you find that your table is too short to accommodate your family? Does your guest bathroom need upgrades? Plan now to improve your home for the holidays next year so that your projects can be completed well in advance of the arrival of guests.

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