10 Easy Ways to Make a Cozy Home for the Holidays

Perry Como had it right: there’s no place like home for the holidays. From festive décor to tasty treats, you can set the mood with simple seasonal touches. Here are 10 easy ways to make a cozy home you and your family and friends will enjoy.

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1. Decorate the Front Door

Christmas 2013 traditional-entry

Dress up your home’s entrance and welcome guests with a wreath. But you don’t have to make a custom wreath from scratch. The trick is to start with an inexpensive, store-bought evergreen wreath. To get a look you love, remove any decorations you don’t like, then add elements that complement your decor. Don’t forget the ribbon! Wired ribbon makes amazing shapes and stays in place. Finally, add festive picks for color and texture.

Looking for a little wreath decorating inspiration? Better Homes & Gardens has you covered:
5 Easy Ways to Update a Basic Evergreen Wreath

2. Let There Be More Light

Traditional Dining Room traditional-dining-room

Whether it’s a fire in the fireplace, lights on the Christmas tree, or Hanukkah candles, lighting makes your home feel festive and warm. Extra lights can also enhance the mood for the drearier winter days. Try this lighting trick: Place a small table lamp on the end of a long kitchen island or countertop. The lamplight will make the space feel cozier when bright task lighting is not needed.

3. Add Seasonal Scents

Christmas Around the House traditional

Want your home to smell like Christmas? Add some holiday smells to your home with scented candles, simmering potpourri, or essential oils. Fragrances commonly associated with Christmastime include pine, peppermint, and cinnamon. Get the recipe for a homemade Christmas potpourri at Half Baked Harvest. Also, check out AromaWeb’s guide to essential oils for tips and links to holiday recipes.

4. Keep Fruit on the Counter

A bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or dining room table serves two purposes. First, it encourages your loved ones to grab a healthy snack. Second, it provides a colorful decoration for your home.  Popular winter fruits include: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and pomegranates.  

5. Layer on the Rugs

Whitney's Christmas House Tour - Featured in Sacramento Magazine farmhouse-living-room

Double the rug, double the cozy. When done properly, the layered rug trend adds texture and visual interest for a cozy ambience. If you’re intrigued but need a little guidance before attempting the rug-on-rug look in your own space, turn to Apartment Therapy. There you’ll learn lessons from rooms that nail the layered rug look and get a list of curated rug duos complete with visuals.   

6. Put Christmas Trees in Unexpected Places

Country Road farmhouse-entry

Think you’re only allowed to have one Christmas tree? Think again. Many homes enjoy the pleasure of having Christmas trees of all sizes in various rooms of their house. For example, consider having a lovely little tree in your mudroom. Wouldn’t it be a joy to have a glowing tree greeting you when you walk in the door every day? It’s a cozy way to come home again.

7. Set up a Coffee Bar or Hot Cocoa Station

Wintertime Beverage Station traditional-kitchen

Set aside a special area in your kitchen or dining room for a hot beverage bar. Think specialty teas and coffees, hot chocolate mixes, along with beverage fixings such as syrups, sugar, honey, mini marshmallows, and cinnamon. Assemble mugs and treats on a two or three-tiered tray. Trust us, guests will be delighted to help themselves.

8. Get the Kids (Or Entire Family) Matching Holiday PJs

Adamo Family transitional

Years ago, matching pajamas were the norm in families. Well, what’s old is new again and there’s been a resurgence in matching pajama sets – especially for the holidays. Just picture it: Snuggling up in matching pajamas to watch a movie, play a board game, or read a bedtime story. That’s a fun family tradition you’ll want to keep going every year!

9. Combine the Old and the New

M&S Christmas 2014 contemporary

There’s something familiar and comforting about combining treasures from Christmases past with your present-day decorations. The nostalgic feeling combines with an exciting childlike wonder to tell the story of your life — all within your cozy corner of the world.

10. Organize a Cookie Exchange

Christmas Cookies #BestLight

No Christmas would be complete without cookies for Santa. And fresh baked cookies do smell fabulous. Why not make it a little more fun – and a lot easier on yourself – by organizing a cookie swap. You bake one kind of cookie and you end up with an assortment of cookies to last through the holidays. Best idea ever! For a complete checklist on how to organize a cookie exchange, check out Real Simple.

In the hustle of the hectic holiday season, a thoughtfully decorated home can be a source of comfort. With that in mind, we hope this list helps you cozy up your home and bring the warmth and light of the season into your home and heart.

From all of us at Harrisburg Kitchen & Bath, we wish you a joyful (and cozy) holiday season!

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