10 Ways to Stage Your Home for the Holidays

As you begin to usher in the season (not to mention house guests, tempting treats, and a life-sized tree), try these 10 tips for creating harmony in your holiday home.

  1. Curbside Cheer

    Curbside cheer

    Plow & Hearth

    There’s no need to wait until guests are inside—why not start spreading holiday cheer right at the curb? A swag of greenery and a weather-resistant holiday bow will make each trip to the mailbox feel like you’re getting a letter from Santa.

  2. Tabletop Trimmings

    Staging tabletop trimmings

    Aureasf Home Design & Interiors

    A few tabletop trees placed throughout your home add holiday charm in small doses. Decorate each tree with unusual ornaments, garlands, and other little trinkets that coordinate with the room’s palette.

  3. Mirror Effect

    Staging mirror effect

    DreamWalls Glass

    Even with all of today’s modern conveniences, some old-fashioned ideas always seem to stay current. In the days before electricity, mirrors were used to reflect natural light in the home. Strategically positioning a few small mirrors near the tree or underneath a candle display has the same effect, multiplying the glow and ambiance.

  4. Enter the Holidays

    Inviting entryway staging


    A welcoming, snow- and hazard-free entry to your home sets the scene just right. Lisa Morales, a staging professional accredited with Stagedhomes.com, says it doesn’t have to be elaborate: A simple wreath and a clean doormat will let your guests know you’re ready to receive them with open arms.

  5. On the Straight and Narrow

    Staging straight and narrow

    Gatsby Gardens

    To get the most out of space around the Christmas tree, consider a conifer with a narrow profile. For greater selection, Madeleine Bickert of Décor Rx recommends going to a cut-your-own tree farm rather than a lot where the trees are already cut and groomed into fuller shapes. Or, if you prefer a prelit artificial tree, there are many designed for tighter spaces.

  6. Space-Saving Seating

    Staging space saving seating

    Southern Living

    To accommodate a large Christmas tree, Bickert suggests temporarily moving a recliner or overstuffed chair into to a bedroom. To compensate for that lost seat, add a couple of poufs or ottomans. These versatile pieces are easy to move and can also function as footrests or play host to trays of hors d’oeuvres.

  7. Bring the Outside In

    Bring outside in


    Natural beauty never goes out of style. Holiday greenery, pinecones, and holly branches from your local garden shop (or perhaps your own backyard) all make lovely natural trimmings for a mantel or staircase. As a bonus, they smell wonderful too.

  8. Pillow Talk

    Staging pillow talk


    Dressing up your sofa for the holidays is as easy as 1-2-3 with a few coordinating throw pillows. No matter what color scheme or style you’re working with, you'll find collections that fit the bill. Popular designs range from simple and subtle to bright and beaded; the choice is yours.

  9. Beyond the Branches

    Staging beyond branches

    Room Service

    There’s no rule that says ornaments must have an exclusive relationship with the Christmas tree. Larger ornaments that complement a room's decor can be hung from windows, doors, mirrors, railings, hooks, and curtain rods.

  10. Guest Amenities

    Staging guest comforts

    Crate and Barrel

    With so much focus on the common areas of your home during the holidays, it’s easy to forget about making more private spaces welcoming to visitors. Morales suggests offering each guest a holiday-themed hand towel, unscented soap (in case of allergies), and even a fresh pair of slippers.

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