The holiday season is in full swing, which means it's time to entertain family and friends. Here, we share holiday home prep tips from some of our favorite interior designers on everything from crafting festive tablescapes to arranging a stylish bar for your celebrations.
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Arrange a Stylish Bar.
"I always include vintage glassware from local antique shops when styling a bar. I love their patina and mixing shapes and colors. Vintage pitchers also work beautifully as vases and I prefer leaves and greenery to flowers. Of course, you can never have too many bottles of spirits and liquor, which are beautiful in their own right." – Jodi Morton, 2to5 Design Photo: Werner Straube
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Present Food in an Aesthetically Pleasing Way.
"We created a sweets table using colorful bowls to invite people into the magic of the holidays. The small iron Christmas tree with mercury glass ornaments and birds create shine, and the miniature papier mache horse, glittery white reindeer and candy sticks add a touch of whimsy. The different heights create layers and beautify the vignette. A delicious apple pie and holiday cookies are displayed on an interesting three-tiered platter and retro cake platform. The final touch is the natural pine branch, which conceals a delicious smelling candle!" – Barbara Elza Hirsch,
Elza B Design, Inc. Photo: Jared Kuzia
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Make a Statement with Dining Chairs.
"Dining chairs are the perfect opportunity to make a design statement – our pops of cherry red here deliver a festive ambiance, and it doesn't hurt that the color red encourages your appetite! Toss in some fresh cut greenery or branches from the garden for a natural, relaxed elegant touch. This look is a favorite; easy and fun – my two goals when entertaining." – Linda Banks, Banks Design Associates Ltd. Photo: Jeff Roberts
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Craft Full, Yet Elegant, Dining Table Settings.
"Layering on a table gives dimension and here I used various heights and delicate proportions to complete the look. Having candles lit really brings in a feeling of warmth and the individual flowers in mini vases are a fun switch up from bouquets, and makes each guest feel special. I didn't want the decorative objects to obstruct views from having comfortable conversations across the table which these slim profiles allow for, and they also allow enough room for serving platters. The runner, placemats and linen napkins all have subtle metallic accents to glam up the simple and versatile dinnerware, flatware and glassware." –
Rachel Simone Photo: SGM Photography
5 / 10
Minimalism Can Be Chic, Too.
"For me, a table centerpiece–whether flowers, candles or other decorations–should be simpler and unobtrusive. The focus is on the food and the guests. One should not overpower the other. There are so many places in a home to have your 'wow factor' and still get great impact while celebrating the holidays. I always like a table full of candles to add a glow and make your guests feel like they are still getting something special." – J Randall Powers Photo: Christopher Alexander
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Bring a Festive Vibe to Your Kitchen.
"When styling your kitchen for the holidays, stay true to your style and search for what works in your home. Modern holiday decor in a traditional home doesn't make sense; nor does traditional decor in a modern home. This client wanted to keep the kitchen monochromatic, so the decor reflects that as well. A festive vibe can be created with some simple decor quite easily that way." – Tara Kantor
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Incorporate Colorful Tabletop Items.
"Set the table with an element that provides some contrast in the space. A pop of color works wonders. These Baccarat tabletop items bring a classic dose of glamour and their signature red is the perfect holiday hue." – Amy Lau Photo: Richard Cadan
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Embrace Accessories with Personality.
"I love to add additional layers of texture for holiday entertaining. Metallic touches like a tabletop object, silver tray or candlesticks add warmth and elegance when prepping for a soiree. I also like to layer in a fur throw or pillow, or an overlay rug to make a space feel extra warm and cozy during the holidays." –
Wendy Labrum Photo: Meghan Beierle-O'Brien
9 / 10
Have Ample Seating.
“The seating grouping is inviting, comfortable, and allows for easy entertaining. There are plenty of places to sit comfortably and converse while having a holiday drink or hors d’oeuvres. The coffee table and well-appointed drinks tables in this grouping allow for easy access and worry-free food or beverage placement. It's ideal for having family and friends over for the holiday season!” –
Shelley Morris Photo: Michael Biondo
10 / 10
Pay Attention to High-Traffic Areas, Including the Bathroom.
"Turn your bathroom into a beautiful space that will welcome and pamper your guests. Small, bright flower arrangements can be placed on a vanity, bench or the toilet tank. Change out waste baskets and tissue covers for some that make a bath feel finished. Splurge on special handcream, bath salts, sea sponges and handmade soaps. Use a tiny tray, clear glass containers or just a small wood stool or table to display them. A simple scented candle is a nice addition and make sure hand towels are displayed neatly." –
Sophia Shibles Photo: Chip Riegel Photography