At Home: Cozy for the Holidays
While the onset of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and any other holiday you choose to celebrate, (Festivus?), often bring anticipated excitement with their impending merriment, I tend to derive a slight sense of panic from all the holiday preparations of meal planning and guest hosting. While I might break out in a cold sweat trying to plan a turkey dinner for twelve, I take joyous delight in readying my home for the holidays. I find that a cozy, welcoming home makes the celebration that much more enjoyable.
How do you achieve a relaxed, inviting environment ready for the onslaught of holiday revelers you ask? It’s easy! I truly believe a comfortable home is a happy home, and by addressing a few key areas while sticking to seasonal color palettes, no one will want to leave your pad!
Give your décor a refreshing new look by simply switching out your normal everyday accessories. Add pillows, throws and rugs in Autumnal colors, winter prints and holiday sparkle to give your home a festive vibe. For fall it’s fun to pair burnt orange throws with pillows in classic patterns that recall menswear prints like plaids, checks, and pinstripes. Winter calls for thick cable knit blankets paired with Pendleton prints. To ring in the New Year, adorn your space with sequin pillows and a metallic shag rug if you really want to go crazy!
The key to accessorizing is layering elements to provide a variety of texture and tactility that create sumptuous comfort your guests will appreciate. Think of luxurious fabrics you like to wear and translate them to your home accessories: sumptuous cashmere, worn-in wools, soft sheerling and fabulous faux fur. And always add a touch of gold!
A simple trick when selecting holiday accessories is to keep them in a seasonal color palette comprised of three or four key colors. When in doubt, go monochromatic. It is always chic to do your entire decor in all white, with touches of green or go off-book and add a wild and crazy pink. Keep it to one focal color with a few accent colors and you can’t go wrong!
The More the Merrier:
Make sure you have plenty of seating. Nothing is worse than trying to enjoy a conversation in a crowded living room with standing room only. Over-sized cable knit floor pillows, upholstered ottomans, and Moroccan poufs are all great temporary seating alternatives that are comfortable and stylish. Your guests will be ever so happy they have a place to land and you will be grateful you can create seating arrangements on the fly that you aren’t committed to year-round.
The Fireplace (or Fire Pit):
If you are lucky enough to have one, don’t neglect the fireplace! They are considered the heart of the home and upon first lighting, signify the commencement of the holiday season. Adorn your mantle with mercury vases filled with a single species of flower, drape a modern olive leaf garland, add some white string lights and a framed photo you hold dear to give this holiday focal point a personal touch. If you don’t have a working fireplace, light pillar candles of various sizes and place them in the hearth. Winter storms whirring outside may confine you to snuggling up fireside indoors or you may be free to enjoy cool evenings outside gathered around a backyard fire pit, but either way, be sure to have plenty of extra thick, cashmere blankets and large comfy floor pillows on hand. And don’t forget that hot toddy!
Who are we kidding? This is usually the savior of the holiday season. During these months, always make sure your bar is well stocked. Carve out a spot for the bar with a brass bar cart or on top of an existing sideboard. Make sure you have a small variety of wines, spirits, and mixers along with some festive non-alcohlic options. Place the glassware on the cart or nearby so your guests will feel welcome to create their own cocktail. Having drinks in plain sight will make holiday entertaining all the merrier for you and your guests.
1. French Connection Sheepskin Rug. A great sheepskin rug, (faux of course), is sumptuous for when floor seating is necessary. Soft, furry pillows also are a joy to cuddle up to.
2. Anthropologie Colorblocked Antler Curio. To me, holidays always call for a touch of gold. This painted antler is a bit of holiday whimsy that is just fun to have around.
3. Williams-Sonoma Home Checked Wool Throw. One can never have enough throws around during these cold months. This windowpane plaid cashmere throw is sumptuous enough to keep out all year round.
4. High Street Market Braided Wool Baskets. Braided wool baskets with leather details are a wonderful place to hold the logs for the fireplace or a chic way to store your extra pillows and throws.
5. Crate and Barrel Libations Cart. A bar cart like this brass number is a great way to designate a “beverage center” to your guests and alleviates you from acting as a waitress all night.
6. Anthropologie Antler Melody Knob. Little details like this horn knob can take any furniture piece to cabin-chic.
7. Lulu and Georgia Ankara Pouf. Ethnic print poufs make comfortable and flexible extra seating.
8. Jayson Home and Garden Checkered Mercury Vases. Vases in varying sizes that hold bunches of white flowers, holly berry branches, or holiday greenery placed around your home are a lovely touch. These can also be used to hold candles.
9. Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle. A unifying holiday scent always makes the home come alive. If you don’t have spices mulling or a pie in the oven at all times, then get candles that smell like it! Place a unified scent in pumpkin soufflé, vanilla and cinnamon, or woodsy musk candles throughout your home.
10. CB2 Floor Pillow. Over-sized floor pillows around the holidays are a must! They are perfect for a relaxing night around the fire or a gathering of all your closest friends and family.