For many of us, the day after Thanksgiving– for those who don’t want to brave the herds of humanity at the shopping center– heralds the beginning of holiday decorating. It’s the day that boxes of decorations are brought down from the attic, furniture is re-arranged to make way for the tree, and reluctant husbands are sent out to hang the lights.
This year, though, you may want a change of pace. Maybe you’ve been considering some new living room furniture and decorations for that holiday party you’re hosting. After all, the living room will be the gathering place for guests, and is often the first room they see in your home. You want a look that is cozy, yet classy.
Still, you’re not sure you want to overhaul your entire decor– especially with your schedule as hectic as it is this time of year! Thankfully, you don’t need to. A few well-chosen accent pieces will enhance your living room– not only for the holidays, but all year round.
You’ll want to start by planning a focal point, one that immediately draws the eye and sets the tone for the room. Nothing creates that holiday atmosphere quite like a fireplace, with the cheery glow and the stockings hung with care. A fireplace is also a natural gathering place for guests to mingle and visit, especially if you arrange some comfy, overstuffed chairs nearby.
For many of us, though, a built-in fireplace isn’t a possibility. If you’ve got your heart set on a crackling fire for your holiday party, you can use a portable fireplace as an alternative. These fireplaces, which use gel fuel for a fire effect, can give you all the atmosphere of a “real” fireplace without calling up the construction crew. They’re also plug less and portable, meaning you can create a focal point and conversation nook anywhere in your living room.
Once you have a focal point established, you can branch out to other areas of the room. Centerpieces and displays are staples of holiday decorating, whether they include greenery, a nativity set or a grouping of candles. Traditionally, these displays are arranged on the coffee table.
In can be frustrating, though, to see the centerpiece that you agonized over for an hour suddenly disrupted by drink glasses (or visiting children)! Consider a console table, also known as a sofa table, for your holiday displays. These lesser-known cousins of the coffee table are tall, with slim legs and an overall graceful appearance.
They make an elegant showcase for holiday decorations, with their taller profile providing an excellent sightline. For those of us who don’t have a room for a full-size Christmas tree (or who want a simpler option), a console table can serve an even more functional purpose. It can elevate a decorated and lighted miniature tree, while the gifts are arranged below!
Another functional– but very decorative– piece that you can consider is a coat tree. There is something delightfully old-fashioned and welcoming about them. Imagine ushering guests in from the cold, taking their coat, and hanging it up for them right there by the door.
It’s certainly better than having to direct them to a spare bedroom– where you very well may be stashing clutter that didn’t get picked up in the pre-party preparation rush. Besides being useful, coat trees are also beautiful accents for the living room or entry. Try a scrolled iron or wooden coat tree for a truly traditional holiday look!