With the holidays upon us, creating a welcoming, festive home is a top priority. From well-loved traditions to gathering with loved ones, your home serves as the hub for precious memory-making. But as you break out seasonal decor and plan your menus, there’s no need to crumble under the weight of lofty expectations. Read these nine holiday entertaining tips, choose your favorites and joyfully invite others to join the celebration.
Remember front porch first impressions.
As far-away family members arrive, welcome them with a festive yard and front porch. Whether it’s warm autumn foliage for Thanksgiving or a Christmas nativity, holiday displays help set the tone. Accent with twinkling lights or battery-operated lanterns to create a holiday glow. Finish the look with a seasonal welcome mat, wreath or garland. For those celebrating Diwali, the five-day Indian festival of lights, utilize sparkler-esque lights and a toran of fresh leaves hanging in the doorway. Consider stringed lights or spotlights to show off your home’s architecture, like the lovely roof lines in Normandy’s Celina Hills or Watson Branch communities.
Create a holiday atmosphere.
Your living room is often the heart of the home, where you gather for family stories and favorite traditions. Easily transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas or other traditions with holiday blankets and throw pillows. Your Christmas tree may hold beloved family ornaments or an impressive color-coordinated display. See these clever Christmas tree ideas from House Beautiful. Go a step further with a fun holiday garland on the banister or ornaments hanging from the light fixtures.
A crackling fire creates instant atmosphere, so turn on your fireplace, decorate the mantel and gather for a cocktail party or family movie night. From lush greenery to gourds to whimsical artwork, browse these fall mantel ideas from Southern Living. Don’t have a fireplace? For Christmas, try these 12 places to hang your stockings from House Digest.
Gather around the island.
While you’re preparing the main dishes, have appetizers ready for hungry travelers or across-town friends. Your kitchen island serves many purposes — it’s perfect for your charcuterie trays, kid-friendly appetizers or as a makeshift bar. Plus, the island provides extra seating during mealtime. All Normandy plans have a large island that’s versatile for storage, serving and entertaining. You’ll love how people gather around your stylish, functional island while you meal prep.
Dining spaces that wow.
A delicious meal often takes center stage during any holiday gathering. Create a table centerpiece that impresses, whether you feature pumpkins and gourds, a fresh evergreen wreath from a local farm, or a table lined with taper candles and foraged branches.
From traditional to modern, the menorah takes center stage for Hanukkah, complemented by rich blue and white accents. Find tablescape inspiration with House Beautiful’s Hanukkah decoration ideas. To encapsulate the spirit of Diwali, use fresh flowers, candles and Rangoli centerpieces to welcome joy and prosperity into your home. Kwanzaa table settings pay homage to the national flag and incorporate red, black and green decor. Follow these steps to create a table for Karamu, Kwanzaa’s feast of feasts.
Normandy Homes’ floorplans feature great entertaining spaces, with open designs from the kitchen to the dining area and family room, like the Frederic and Toulouse plans. If you want extra space for entertaining, the Versailles plan offers extended cabinets for easy entertaining and storage.
Elevate guest bedrooms.
Extended holidays often mean overnight house guests. For hassle-free accents, add seasonal pillows, throw blankets or scented candles. Ensure your guests have all the essentials to keep them comfortable, including clothes hangers, clean towels and the Wi-Fi password. Don’t forget to clear out the guest room closet for luggage storage space. Many Normandy Homes plans like the Sinclaire offer downstairs bedrooms with large closets and nearby bathrooms for overnight guests.
Spruce up the bathrooms.
It’s easy to overlook rarely used rooms, but spaces like the powder room and guest bathroom are important when hosting. Add some decor, like fall flowers or winter pine sprigs, plus seasonal scented plug-ins. Hang up a festive hand towel, and make sure the bathroom is stocked with essentials. No one wants to run out of necessities during a party!
Take advantage of storage space.
While it’s not the most romantic holiday task, decluttering your gathering spaces makes your home more comfortable for your guests. Clear off your countertops and store items in your pantry, kitchen island or closets. Normandy Homes houses offer tons of storage, including generous walk-in pantries like the Pascal plan.
Entertaining media spaces.
After a big meal and family festivities, give the adults a chance to talk while the kids play. Utilize the game room or media room, featured in many Normandy Homes like the Juliet or the Orleans, which has both a game room and media room. Put on a holiday movie while the kids break in their new toys.
Take the party outside.
Even in November and December, Texas weather can be mild. Stage the patio with holiday decorations and lights to set the mood. Get some after-dinner drinks and cider for the kids while they run off some energy. Normandy Homes feature covered patios and great backyard space for year-round fun.
With a little planning and prep work in a home with all the right spaces, entertaining during the holidays can be a breeze and allow you to embrace what’s truly important — making memories with people you love in a home you love.
The fresh spaces of Normandy Homes provide the perfect backdrop for home entertaining for the holidays. If you’re looking for a new home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, browse our Normandy Homes communities or quick move-in homes available just in time for the holidays.