The holidays are here. How can you prepare your home in style? I’ve put together my favorite design tips for the 2019 holiday season that will impress, welcome, and inspire your friends, family, and loved ones. And here’s a spoiler: you won’t find any poinsettias or nutcrackers.

The 2019 holiday season is all about ambiance, luxury, and comfort. How can you achieve a balance of elegance and comfort? How about warmth, coziness, and brightness? Check out my design tips to get started.

1. Let Your Guests Get Hands-On with Your Home

Nothing welcomes guests into your space more than eliminating fussy, fragile, and cold design elements.

Let your guests feel the holiday spirit by replacing glass tree ornaments with fuzzy or textured ornaments. Try fabric or smooth ribbon instead of the traditional garland or tinsel.

Did someone say “velvet”? Yes, please. Knit, velvet, faux fur, even microfiber throws invite guests to cozy in and stay for a while. And the soft textures create a sense of quietude. I also love how these fabrics contrast with the traditional sharp lines of icicles, ornaments, and tableware.

Oh, and while guests are exploring your home, let them find a few treats like Veuve Cliquot and a homemade charcuterie board.

2. Deck the Halls and Windows with Luxurious Fabrics

Brocade, velvet, damask, and flannel are excellent choices for curtains, throw pillows, and bed scarves if you’re hosting for the holidays.

Not only do these fabrics make a statement of permanence and opulence, but they create intimacy, warmth, and a richness. The best holiday decor doesn’t have to be taken down the day after gifts are opened, which is why curtains aren’t just a holiday investment butt great for the entire winter season.

3. Create Depth and Joy by Considering the Entire Atmosphere of the Experience

What’s the first thing you notice when you walk into someone’s home? Is it the lighting? Scent or sounds? Keep this in mind when you’re creating your holiday design and plan what ambiance and atmosphere you feel is right for the occasion.

Choose relaxing music. This can be classical, but it doesn’t have to be. Music should be soft enough to hear your guests and calming enough to help them relax and enjoy their time in your home.

Christmas is one of my favorite scents. What does Christmas smell like? The scent of Christmas is authentic. It can’t be faked with cookie spray or Christmas tree candles. Baking cookies, lighting a fire in the fireplace, cooking for your guests: these all come with naturally inviting and warming scents.

Consider your lighting. Use candles and dim the lights in the evening for the perfect level of intimacy.

4. Red and Green Aren’t the Only Holiday Colors

It seems like so many people don’t feel they can experiment with color palettes for Thanksgivings, Chanuka, and Christmas.

This year, I challenge you to rethink holiday colors. Rich earth tones are perfect for that calming, yet special room design. If you’re investing in great fabrics, don’t be afraid to choose emerald, deep purples and blue for the holidays.

If you want a light and bright holiday full of energy and excitement, choose whites with bright accents this year.

Oh, and monochromatic trees tend to make jaws drop.

5. Layer Up Your Design and Choose Special Pieces

Abundance and layers create the complete holiday look in your interior design. Small touches here and there really create a wow factor your family and friends will appreciate.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, your guests will never forget how special you made them feel with handmade gift tags labeling their place setting for dinner or the added elegance and multi-sensory experience of finding a spring of Douglass Fir or a cinnamon stick.

Natural elements like pinecones, branches, and berries breathe life into your home.

How many candles can you fit in your centerpiece? How special will your dinner guests feel if each is gifted with their own flower arrangement?

If you want your holiday design to shine as much as you do, add a personal touch to it. Display items you love or decor that ignite joyful memories.

When your design emanates love, your guests will feel it, your family will settle in for meaningful conversation, and you can relax.



Image credit: Artem Peretiatko /iStock / Getty Images Plus