Make your home more inviting for your holiday guests by arranging furniture in a way that lets people socialize, relax and move around freely. Ease of movement ensures that a good time can be had by all.
Maybe the most important and often overlooked detail is to focus on creating a flow, or a path so that visitors and guests can move around from one space to another. You can also create a visual flow in how you decorate by using using themes or color to unify different areas of your home.
Set the Tone with an Inviting Entry
Welcome your guests into your home with an inviting and functional entry. Make sure to remove all clutter to give it a more pleasant feel, and reduce the danger of falls.
To make an entry more functional, have a place for your guests to hang their coats. If there are no closets in your entry, try providing a coat tree and umbrella holder. Failing that, a chair or bench can also help.
Mirrors are always welcome here. Not only do they make a place seem larger, they also reflect light and are good for some last minute preening. Chests or hallway tables can provide useful surfaces for guests to place their belongings.
While functionality is important, don't forget to put up decorations in the entry to help establish the holiday mood from the minute guests enter your home.
Have a Focal Point
It helps to decide on a focal point in the room to anchor it. It could be your Christmas tree, or your fireplace and mantel, or what ever else you may choose. Go all out to make it special, but stop at one focal point, because a room may start feeling crowded and confusing. Having found the most effective one, decorate around it.
Make it Easy to Socialize
Facilitate conversation and socializing. That is the whole idea behind holiday get-togethers. Sometimes you may find that removing a sofa from the living room can free up more space for sitting, displaying your tree, or just moving around. The sofa can be used in another room to provide additional seating. For instance, your dining chairs can be moved to the living room, to help form conversation groups, while the sofa can be used in the dining room to allow guests to sit down and chat.
An ottoman is especially useful for such occasions. It is a versatile piece of furniture which can be used as a coffee table, or to sit upon, depending on your need. Use any available benches or chairs to augment your seating and to create flexible conversation areas. Chances are your guests might want to move them around.
Set Up a Place to Enjoy Food
Unless you have gone all out to plan a grand sit down dinner, chances are you will simply set out food for guests on a sideboard or dining table, and have them help themselves. This arrangement gives you a chance to pull your dining chairs away from the table and frees them up for use elsewhere.
Even when you use a dining table to set out the food, it would be a good idea to distribute bowls of snacks around the conversation areas you have set up.
Accent tables, nesting tables or coffee tables come in handy for setting down drinks or food. It is impossible to eat from a plate when you are also holding a drink. It helps to anticipate your guests' needs by scattering these small tables around the room along with the seating. You will no doubt earn some gratitude.
Light the Way
What would the holidays be without lighting? It is an integral part of any holiday setting. Layered lighting sources will make any home feel warmer and cozier instantly. When you add holiday lighting to the lighting you already have in your home, think about dimming your home lights to make your decorations stand out. String lights, candles and a cheery fireplace will all add a celebratory vibe to your holiday ambiance.
Be kind to your guests and help avoid accidents by making sure that you have enough lighting around any stairs or passages to light the way. Double check the bathrooms for functioning bulbs, and add some candles or other festive lighting to continue the ambiance.