How to Prepare the House & Kitchen for the Holidays
Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are right around the corner, and that typically means plenty of parties and gatherings with loved ones. Is your home ready to receive visitors? Use these tips to prepare every area of your house, including your kitchen, for the upcoming holiday occasions. These suggestions will not only make your life easier as the host, but they will also help your guests have a great time.
Dress Up Your Entryway
First impressions count! Warm up your doorstep and entryway by tending to slippery steps, clearing out icicles from the doorway and replacing blown-out light bulbs outside. Then, roll out a rug or runner to soak up any mud, snow or slush from outside. Set the right ambiance by installing a dimmer to cast a soft light in the entryway. Add a bench or chair for guests to sit while they take their boots off. Install a mirror so guests can quickly check their hair/makeup before entering the party.
Create Accent Walls around the House
Nothing captures a guest’s attention faster than beautiful and bold accent walls throughout the house. Pick out a striking yet coordinating paint color or swath of wallpaper and decorate an accent wall to add visual interest to a living room, dining room or guest bedroom.
Adjust the Temperature
Extra body heat can quickly turn a crowded room into a sauna. When the party gets into full swing, turn down the thermostat a few degrees to keep your guests comfortable. (Three degrees should be enough!) On the flipside, plug any cracks in your windows and doorways with caulk to prevent too cool of a breeze from creeping in.
Upgrade Your Entertainment Center
An upgraded TV is a must-have to enjoy classic holiday movies and the football games with friends and family. Curved screen televisions are all the rage right now, providing an immersive viewing experience. Samsung is the first to offer the revolutionary curved-screen 4K TV.
Make sure to set up plenty of seating around the entertainment center; if you run out of chairs throw seat cushions, pillows and blankets on the floor for guests to curl up with. Place a storage ottoman near the viewing area to hold snacks, drinks and remotes.
Stock Your Bar Cart
A sleek bar cart is convenient for guests to mix and pour their own cocktails at their leisure. Offer a variety of beer, wine and hard liquors, along with juice, tonic water and other mixers. Add garnishes like citrus slices or cherries, along with plenty of bar napkins. Finally, keep a supply of bottled water nearby for parched guests.
Prepare Your Kitchen Work Space
Clear off your kitchen counters as much as possible to create space for meal prep. Go through your cabinets and pantry and throw out expired items. You might even want to label your kitchen cabinets and shelves so guests can help out with meal prep and clean-up. Pull out your good china, glassware, silverware and serving pieces a few days before your holiday gathering so you can easily clean it ahead of time.
If you’re hosting overnight guests, put together a tray with coffee or tea service essentials: filters, cups and perhaps even some muffins for munching. That way your guests won’t have to bother you first thing in the morning to find the basics.
Don’t Neglect the Details
Think about the little details that will make your soiree go smoothly. For extra closet space to hang coats, set up a portable coat rack near the door. Rejuvenate dull or aging furniture with new upholstery or a slipcover. Secure your area rugs with double sided tape to prevent slipping and sliding. Put extra hand towels in the guest bathroom. Do a walkthrough of your common areas to ensure that the space feels warm, cozy and festive!
Thanks Steven for another great post on how to prepare the house & kitchen for the holidays.
Stephen Reynolds is a freelance journalist who covers shopping, entertainment and all things lifestyle. He is also an editor at www.UpwardOnward.com. Follow him on Twitter at @sreynoldswrites.
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