Every year, you rotate hosting Christmas amongst your closest friends. This year, it’s your turn, but you’ve just moved into a new apartment and you haven’t finished decorating. You’re worried that your home won’t seem inviting enough to your friends, but there are some quick and easy ways to make sure your friends feel welcome at your home when they visit you!
Focus on Living Spaces…
Your guests won’t be congregating in your bedroom or home office space. Focus on decorating spaces you know everyone will be in, like the living room and dining room.
- The Living Room: The living room is the place you’ll be spending most of your time with your guests. Whether it’s watching a Christmas movie or playing charades while enjoying dessert, you’ll need to make sure your guests will feel cozy and comfortable in your living room. Add some cozy personalized home decor, such as throw pillows and blankets, that your guests can curl up in. Decrease the clutter in your living room by purchasing a coffee table with shelves or a cube storage organizer. You can add canvas totes or wire baskets on the shelves to house miscellaneous items you have lying around.
- The Dining Room: If you’re hosting a meal, such as Christmas dinner, you’ll want to make sure your dining room invites everyone to dine on the food you’ve prepared. Use the center of your table as the focal point in the dining room. If your table is round, set up a single large candle with a small green wreath around it. If your table is rectangular, line the center of it with thin candles of different heights, a holiday-themed table runner and some smaller decorations, such as ornaments or pine cones. The larger your table, the more you can do! If you have a small table, include more decorations on your place settings rather than the space on the tabletop.
- The Yard: Even though it’s the holiday season, some people live in warmer climates. You might host your holiday festivities outside. You can hang a garden sign or lay a stone outside to make your outdoor space more inviting. Secure some wooden poles and string soft lights across them so you can establish a specific area to entertain your guests. Add a fire pit and some cushioned outdoor furniture and you’ve got a great outdoor entertaining space!
… But Don’t Ignore the Other Spaces!
Just because your guests will spend most of their time in your living room and dining room, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to add some decor to the other spaces in your home they might travel into.
- The Kitchen: If you have an open floor plan or are hosting a potluck, your guests might find themselves in your kitchen. Even if they’re just passing through or dropping off a plate of deviled eggs, you’ll want to include some inviting holiday cheer on your countertops. Prop a holiday home decor sign against your backsplash or place a decorative paddle with holiday-themed art on your kitchen island.
- The Bathroom: Your bathroom can be inviting, too! You’ll want to include some decorative items, such as artificial plants or a light-scented candle on your bathroom counter. Really small bathroom? Hang some floating shelves above your toilet and put those items on them instead. Include a bath towel or two with an inviting message on the towel rack. Your guests will feel welcome, even in your bathroom!
Succeeding with Small Spaces
Sure, maybe you have a small one-bedroom/one-bath apartment, but that doesn’t mean you have to pass on hosting guests! There are many different things you can do to make your space feel inviting, even if you don’t have much of it.
- A Mobile Bar: Bar carts were invented for a reason. Stock the shelves of a bar cart with basics you know your guests will love. Include one red wine and one white wine, a type of brown liquor such as bourbon or whiskey and a type of clear liquor such as vodka or tequila. Include a couple of classic mixers, such as ginger ale or a dark soda. Dedicate some space on the cart for drinkware. Using some drinkware with quotes etched onto them adds a unique flair to your mobile bar supplies that your guests will love.
- The Walls: Decorate the upper portions of your walls to make your home more inviting if you have a smaller living space. You can hang a decorative sign to draw your guests’ attention and make them feel welcome.
- The Corners: The corners are underused in small spaces. Anchor some corner shelves and place small trinkets or photos on them. Having a small space means that you need to use every part available to you, and using the corners will allow you to add some extra storage space for your non-holiday items so that your decorations can shine!
When making your home feel inviting, focus on the big picture. You’ll want to make every room feel cohesive. Think of your home as if it’s the story and your guests are the readers. What do you want your guests to think about as they spend time in your home and go from room to room?
- Colors: Stick to warm, neutral colors. Add in some darker hues for accent colors, such as in throw pillows or vases. Overall, stick to the warmer neutrals, such as beige, sage green and gray.
- Themes: Avoid decorating your living room as “Christmas at the Beach” and then your kitchen as “Winter Wonderland.” Pick one theme and stick with it throughout your home! Your guests will appreciate the consistency between rooms. Feel free to change your theme each year!
Trying to make your home more inviting for guests can easily get overwhelming. Focus on adding simple decor in the places people will visit the longest, implementing new storage to hide your clutter and creating a theme to base your decorations on. You should have a more inviting home in no time!