The holiday season is a time for coziness and making beautiful memories. If you’ll be spending time at home this year, you’ll likely want to make your place feel warm and inviting — especially if you’re having guests over. Thankfully, you don’t need a big budget to make your home feel welcoming. We’ve gathered some easy tips for setting up a comfortable space that both you and your guests will love.
Set a relaxing mood with soft lighting.
To create an instantly soothing environment on a dime, just swap in bulbs with a warmer hue — go for ones labeled 3000K or less, which give off a more gentle, yellowish tone, and avoid those labeled “daylight,” “cool,” or “bright white.” Another fun option? Light a room exclusively with Christmas lights, which exude a welcoming hue.
Lift spirits with this spray.
A quick, inexpensive way to infuse your home with an inviting aroma is using a DIY all-natural air freshener, says green living expert Kimberly Button (GetGreenBeWell.com). “In a spray bottle, combine one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda, then sprinkle in some dried rosemary, which has a wonderful piney scent,” she suggests. “Add up to 25 drops of essential oil like orange, and spritz your home for a relaxing, festive aroma.”
Calm any space with soothing earth tones.
When it comes to serenity, nothing beats neutral, earthy shades, says designer Stephen Keighery of Home Buyer Louisiana. “These hues make us feel in harmony with nature, so we are reassured and settled. There’s even evidence that combining rustic colors like brown, beige, and white boosts mental health.” No need to shell out to overhaul your home — just consider the earthy palette when choosing throw blankets or home accessories.
Design a sedate environment with threes.
From stacking towels in your bathroom to placing candles on a table, the “rule of three” creates calming symmetry, says Monica Guarnaschelli of Indigomaven Interiors. Use this rule with textures too, by draping three blankets of various materials on your bed or sofa to create homey layers of softness.
Create a warm ambience with round shapes.
The shape of your decor can impact ambience. “Square pillows tend to look more formal, as do rectangular rugs and wall art, because we perceive sharp angles as harsh,” says interior designer Steven Hill of DIYGazette.com. Instead, soften your space with a few round throw pillows and consider little touches like oval mirrors.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.