Thanksgiving is coming up quickly, and if you're hosting, aside from planning a delicious meal you may also be thinking of ways to make your home look extra fabulous. But life is busy, so luckily interior stylist Sarah Gunn has agreed to share some simple ways to make your abode look better than ever in time for the big event.
1. Follow the people
Not sure where to start? Don't worry, there’s no need to refresh your home from top to bottom, says Gunn. Instead, to get the biggest bang for your design efforts, focus on areas where people will spend the most time.
The first spot to consider is the place where guests will come into your home. “If you have a little display on a console table at your entranceway, whether it's a few pumpkins or a fall garland, or even just a fall wreath as people come in, that's really nice,” she explains. Or, at the front door, you can place planters, or even lit lanterns.
The second is the space where everyone is going to eat, so make sure your dining room table setting is on point. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so, says Gunn. “Shop your home first before you go out and invest in all new decor or dinnerware for your guests,” she advises. “See what you have that you can already use and then maybe add something new to it, like patterned plates, or maybe amber-colored glasses or something that feels a bit more autumn, rather than reinventing the wheel for each holiday. Because it gets so expensive.”
One place to invest in terms of holiday design is faux florals and greenery, which she suggests can be mixed with real items, like pumpkins or gourds, for a sophisticated look. The advantage here is you can repurpose the faux stuff for other holidays, so it’s budget friendly. Gunn is a fan of faux greenery like boxwood or seeded eucalyptus because their smaller leaves work well when combined with other decor items. Oversized branches or leaves would be too overwhelming, she explains. Make sure to check the circulars on Flipp for deals on these holiday decorations.
2. The power of paint
Want to take your home refresh project to the next level? It’s time for a trip to the home improvement store, says Gunn. “If you're looking for weekend projects to update your home, definitely paint is the biggest impact with the least amount of budget,” she notes. “It's something you can do in a weekend, and it can completely transform a space.”
3. All about the accessories
One simple and effective way to make a change to your space is by using accessories, explains Gunn. “You can spruce things up with textiles, so grab some new throw cushions, or a blanket and drape it across your sofa,” she suggests. “You can even change the accessories on your coffee table, getting some more brasses and blacks and that sort of thing in, to give it a cozier feel for the fall.”
4. A little extra cleaning goes a long way
When guests are coming over it’s a good idea to pay special attention to areas of your home that may get missed on your weekly clean. Gunn says the fronts of appliances are one place that may not get cleaned on a regular basis, so make sure to wipe down the front of your stove, dishwasher and fridge (especially if you have little ones who are prone to leaving fingerprints everywhere). Another spot to focus on is light fixtures; they could very well need a dusting.
Many of us tend to get used to how our home smells, so to make sure it’s nice and fresh, Gunn recommends you open your windows a little bit before guests come over to ensure it’s as welcoming as possible. Another way to do this is by baking, which she says will give your home a really great scent.
5. Light it up
Really great lighting can set the mood for your meal, so consider purchasing a new light fixture to go over your table. Gunn says people often choose dining room lights that are too small and then hang them too high up. So be bold in terms of buying a substantial light, and when hanging it, make sure the bottom of the light fixture is about three feet from the top of your table. “This way, you can still have a sight line to the people across the table and the rest of the space, but it doesn't feel lost hanging at the top of your ceiling,” she explains.
6. Make a plan
Hosting a holiday meal can be overwhelming, so to make it easier on yourself, Gunn suggests creating a to-do schedule the week before company comes over so that you’re not stuck doing everything on the same day. Make a grocery and cleaning supplies list on Flipp, so you can keep an eye out for deals, and then think about when you’re going to clean, cook and update your place, so you can be on top of it all, which should reduce your stress.