Planning to entertain over the holidays this year? While some things (like putting up holiday decor) can wait until much later in the season, if your main entertaining space isn’t feeling the way you’d like it to, now is the time to get started. From cocktail party mingling to Christmas morning around the tree, the living room is where your guests will likely be spending the most time — work your way through these 10 steps and enjoy a more welcoming, put-together space by party time.
1. Imagine it empty. Imagine your room without any furniture in it — the walls and floors completely blank. This may be easier said than done, but it’s worth a try. Pay close attention to which areas seem improved without your stuff in them — this is a good clue that something in that area needs to go.
Since we’re not discussing how to do a complete room makeover here (an ideabook for another day), try to stay focused on what you can realistically accomplish before the holidays. Removing items is always easier (on the budget, at least) than buying something new, so see what you can do to refresh your room simply by taking away what’s bothering you. Even moving a piece to another room could work — if you don’t miss it, sell it or give it away.
2. Find your focal point. In a living room with a mantel, that is often the natural focal point. But you might have something else you want to draw attention to, like a gorgeous painting, a statement-making sofa or a beautiful view. Once you have determined your room’s focal point, remove anything on or around it that detracts from it: Is the mantel cluttered with decor? Are there so many throw pillows on your sofa that you can’t see the beautiful nailhead trim?
3. Consider the flow. Some rooms are simply easier to arrange furniture in than others. If you’ve been having trouble getting the furniture in the right spot, try stepping back and snapping a few quick pictures from the doorway. Is there a major piece of furniture blocking your view into the room, or is there an easy and obvious way to enter and flow through the space?
Sketch out a few furniture arrangement ideas on paper before doing any heavy lifting — your muscles will thank you.
10 Steps to Pulling Together Your Living Room Before the Holidays