Happy fall, Gentle Readers! I feel I can say that safely now, as temperatures have been dipping into autumn territory for a few weeks.
With the advent of fall, the capital W H Winter Holidays can’t be far behind! We were almost back to normal last year, but this year feels even better. So! Masked or not: entertaining! Big dinners! Gatherings! Parties! Here are a few small things you can do to spruce up your house — and lift your spirits! — as you prepare to welcome people (back) to your home.
Rethink a “tablescape”
That term makes me grimace a little bit, but it’s descriptive. What’s on your coffee table right now? Take it off. Let’s get fresh books from your shelves, a different bowl to put on top of them, a little tray if you have space, a stack of coasters for the tray, and two fun smallish objects to put with the coasters (rule of threes). Check your closets; I know you have a small vase, a vintage toy truck, or a bird figurine lurking around.
Find a spot for a tiny accent lamp
Never have there been so many diminutive lamps on the market, and they don’t have to be expensive. Consider putting one on a dining room buffet, on whatever surface you’re dressing up as a bar (side table, butler’s pantry, section of kitchen counter), or on an étagère if you have one.
Refresh your table linens
Etsy. World Market. Williams-Sonoma. Bright, colorful napkins or placemats — or a tablecloth!! — will be a welcome change from the ones you always use for Thanksgiving.
Put a shoe rack by the front door
Move most of your shoes to your bedroom and neatly line up the pairs that remain, which should be the shoes you wear most often. (This includes you, “shoes off households” ;) Just carry your shoes from the front door to your bedroom.) More thoughts in my post, “How To Tackle Shoe Clutter At the Front Door.”
Go on a cleaning spree
I hate to say it, but deep cleaning your house is the easiest way to make it look and feel fresh. Vacuum your drapes and Roman shades. (Never dry clean drapes, by the way: they shrink, and re-hanging them is infinitely more difficult than you think.) Grab a bottle of lemon oil and go to work on your wood furniture — even the legs. Windex the glass tables and take a slightly damp cloth to the the metal frame. If it’s been a few years since you’ve had your furniture and carpets professionally cleaned, now’s the time.
I hope this is helpful, Gentle Readers. We haven’t even talked about seasonal decorations yet. That’s different…and the subject of another post ;)
Annie Elliott Design is based in Washington, DC, and we have offices in St. Michaels, Maryland, and Middlebury, Vermont. Don’t miss our thoughts about kids’ bedroom trends in this article on HGTV.com.