Holidays are comin’, holidays are comin’! That’s right – with the most wonderful time of the year just around the corner, we’re getting into the festive spirit at Oak Furniture Land. Among all the excitement of finding the perfect gifts, decorating the tree and indulging in an eggnog or two, it can be easy to neglect one of the most important parts of holiday season: getting your home ready!
We don’t just mean all the fun bits of decorating the house and stringing up lights (though we do have a great guide to Christmas decor over here) – we mean making sure your home is ready for all those guests that are about to arrive, whether it’s a planned visit or surprise! It’s easy to get overwhelmed at this time of year by all the things on your to do list, so we’ve broken it down into a simple room by room guide; designed to take you through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The kitchen is the heart of the home all year round, but especially during the holidays. No matter how many times you shoo your guests or little ones out of the kitchen they’ll no doubt gravitate back to the delicious smells of turkey and trimmings, and who could blame them!
It’s boring, but a big part of getting your kitchen ready for the season is (you guessed it) cleaning. We all know about spring cleaning, but a good deep clean this fall can be one of the best ways to get your kitchen ready for the holidays. So roll up your sleeves and apply a little elbow grease, giving your kitchen the much-deserved love that it needs. Yes – that does mean cleaning the cooktop and oven!
It’s also really important to make your kitchen as safe as possible, particularly if you’re not use to having kids running around. It can be as simple as buying a few cheap boxes from Target, putting all your sharp objects inside and cramming them into your top cupboard; or, for a longer term solution, why not invest in a hutch for your kitchen?
It may not be the most obvious furniture addition, but it can provide much needed storage space for hiding away any sharp objects and storing all of your holiday cutlery and tableware. Plus, we think they look great! Click here to shop for your own.
Our poor bathrooms! Depending on how many guests you have in your home (and how many bathrooms!) we really put these rooms to work at this time of year, and often don’t give them the love and attention they deserve.
Start by making sure you’ve got enough storage in your bathroom for everyone’s toiletries and towels. Bathroom storage can be a bit tricky, but we love the difference that sideboards can make to your bathroom décor. Not only do our hardwood sideboards have ample storage space, they’re also a great way to display your prettiest toiletries (hello Diptyque candles!) whilst keeping the ones you actually use stored away.
Once you’ve got the storage sorted, it’s time for a shopping trip. You’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough towels, as well as plenty of toiletries. Have you stored away any miniatures from hotels or B&Bs over the year? If so, create little welcome packages for your guests. A mini shampoo, conditioner and body wash can be placed neatly on top of your new fluffy towels for the first time they enter the bathroom. If you’re feeling particularly generous, a hand written note to let them know it’s all theirs will have your guests feeling perfectly at home in no time.
Over the holidays, the dining room becomes the most important room in the house. And there’s one very, very important thing you’ll need to have in place before the holiday season begins: your dining table! An old and rickety dining table might be fine for daily use, but during the holidays you’ll want a table to depend on – which is why there’s nothing better than solid hardwood furniture, built to last, to see you through the season and beyond.
The table isn’t the only important piece of furniture in the room, however. Your kitchen will likely be cramped at this time of year with endless cooking accessories and tasty dishes, so save yourself some space and move your fancy dining sets into the dining room where they belong. A hutch is the perfect way of storing your dining room essentials and other knick knacks – we all know those drawers quickly become a hiding place for lone gloves! They’ll enable you to display your beautiful dining sets rather than cramming them away in cupboards, and are also a great vehicle for decoration at this time of year.
So once you’ve purchased the wooden furniture of your dreams, you can get to decorating! There are endless ways you can decorate your dining room for Thanksgiving and Christmas, from minimalist chic to over-the-top exuberance. Why not check out our Pinterest boards for some styling inspiration?
After dinner, it’s likely you and your guests will retreat into the living room where you can relax and enjoy the best thing about the holidays – being with those you love. And, of course, digesting the delicious meal you just ate!
Make sure you’ve got enough space for everyone to sit down, so that nobody has to linger awkwardly in the doorway or perch uncomfortably on the arm of a chair. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to purchase a new sofa for a while, this time of year is a great excuse – or if you’re happy with your living room as it is, then keep it simple with some sneaky solutions.
The obvious one is to bring the wooden chairs from your lovely dining room out and into the living room, though it isn’t necessarily the most comfortable. For little ones (or for big kids!) why not pick up a couple of bean bags? No longer the sole reserve of grumpy 90s teenagers, bean bags are the perfect place to relax and veg out after eating your bodyweight in turkey!
But if you’d prefer a more sophisticated look, a few squishy armchairs or knitted pouf ottoman are a wonderful way to make sure everyone gets a space and ensure that your guests don’t feel uncomfortable. Then, when the holidays are over, you can use your new armchairs or ottomans to create lovely little spaces of sanctuary around the house – everybody wins!
Last but not least, you of course need to ensure that your spare rooms are ready for incoming arrivals. If you are lucky enough to have proper guest bedrooms then you can really go to town with this step! Invest in a beautiful solid hardwood bed with a matching range of furniture and they’ll be feeling like visiting royalty. You could even choose to decorate their rooms with the same décor as the rest of the house – or just with subtle nods to the season. For Thanksgiving, decorative gourds and fall scented pot pourri will help give the room that cozy Fall-time feel; whilst for Christmas you could wrap string lights around the bed and hang a gorgeous Christmas wreath on the door.
If you don’t have a guest bedroom, however, you’ll still need to make sure your guests feel welcome and comfortable during their stay. A futon or sleeper can be picked up relatively inexpensively these days, and can be a great addition to your living room, study or perhaps even the children’s bedrooms (as long as they’re willing to share!). Then, once the holidays are over and your guests have departed, you can use it as a spare sofa – the ideal reading nook or place to relax.
Wherever your guests are sleeping, ensure their comfort with freshly laundered sheets, plenty of blankets or comforters and big fluffy pillows. Just be careful: make it too cozy and they’ll sleep right through Christmas morning!
However you celebrate, we at Oak Furniture Land hope you get to do it surrounded by those you love at this very special time of year. And if you’d like to share your seasonal snaps with us, we’d love to see! Tag us with #OFLUSA on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll share our favorites.