Improvement Projects to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Home For The Holidays 

As the weather slowly changes and the fall season starts peeking around the corner, your thoughts may turn to the upcoming winter holidays. If you enjoy having parties for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or other holidays, then you want your home to look its best. Here are a few home improvement projects to invest in now so you can be ready for the holidays later.

Give the Kitchen a Facelift

You don’t have to invest in a whole new kitchen to enjoy a fresh look. If you have wood cabinets that feature a dated color, then consider refinishing them with a fresh coat of stain or paint. The mild weather of fall gives you the perfect time because you can leave the windows open to help dissipate fumes. Finish the look with a fresh color on the walls, new hardware on the doors and updated décor.


Improve the Look with Lighting

Change the lighting around your home to give it a fresh look that’s sure to impress. Dated ceiling fans can be replaced with chandeliers or more modern fans. Consider making the upgrade to wall sconces to spread the light out across the room and make it more attractive.

Consider Natural Lighting

As the days shorten, you lose natural light in the home. Take advantage of the sunlight as much as possible by adding skylights. Tubular skylights make this a relatively easy and affordable home improvement. Special reflective tubes connect a roof skylight with a smaller opening inside your interior ceiling. The natural light floods this tube during the day and can effectively brighten a dark hallway or interior bathroom.

Update Doors and Windows

Nothing draws attention to your doors and windows like holiday decorations. Wreaths guarantee that visitors to your home will take a good look at the front door, so you want it to look great. Inside the home, there are countless ways to dress up your doors and add a festive touch, but you don’t want to do this on a damaged or dated door. Make your home interior more attractive by replacing your doors with modern, raised-panel options that look great. When you go with energy efficient doors and windows, you’ll make the house look great even as you lower your energy bills.

The Best Time for New Flooring

With holiday parties looming, this is the best time to replace your worn carpet. Go with carpeting that has stain preventers built in so that you won’t have to worry as much about accidental spills. A better option is hardwood flooring that looks incredible, adds value to your home and is easy to care for.

All of these improvement projects can easily be done during the fall season, and most of them are surprisingly affordable. You’ll give your home a fresh look that will have it ready for your holiday décor. Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or considering a big bash for the New Year, you’ll love how the house looks once the renovations are done and your decorations are in place.

Contributed by Tim Smith 
Tim Smith writes for Modernize.


Holiday Christmas Decorating

Add Color to Your Front Door For the Holidays

Accent a bright white door with the deep colors of an evergreen wreath and garland. Tie on extra-wide red ribbons to complete the Christmas look and add graphic punch. Twinkling lights add a soft glow at night and allow the door and decor to be seen from the street.



Put Out Christmas Lanterns

Arrange a grouping of festive lanterns at your entryway for quick-and-easy holiday decorating style. Consider using flameless candles as a worry-free alternative to regular pillars.


Disguise unsightly wires from string lights by winding them around a column or post with Christmas greenery or garland and setting a pretty container of ornamental cabbage or kale at the base.



Fill Cylinders with Holiday Ornaments

Use spray paint to add a shimmery touch to pinecones, acorns, or round glass ornaments. Displayed en masse in tall glass vases, they become instant and easy Christmas accents.



Decorate with Colors That Match Your Décor

Plan holiday Christmas decorations to work with your existing decor, even if that means using unexpected colors like cream and beige. Accents in shades of gold and silver blend seamlessly with this room’s soft white-and-ivory color scheme and play off the tones of other metallic accessories, like the coffee table.


Create an Arrangement with Fruit and Greenery

Use a glass hurricane or vase to create an arrangement that will last throughout the Christmas season by filling the jar with a layer of limes, red holly berries, and lemons. Top it off with stems of greenery.



Cluster Holiday Ornaments

Cluster small Christmas ornaments together for a big impact. These tiny jingle bells recall the larger ones on top of the tree and are so charming when used in abundance. Simply thread them together with string and hang.



Fill Lanterns with Berries and Eucalyptus

Suspend lanterns from the underside of a patio umbrella with ribbon. Try to vary the lengths and space them far enough apart so that a passing breeze won’t knock them together. Choose natural elements such as holly berries and eucalyptus sprigs instead of candles to fill the lanterns. This special touch reinforces your overall Christmas decorating theme.



Spray Paint Holiday Ornaments

Give traditional ornaments a monochromatic look by spray-painting them all white. It's an easy way to update old ornaments or create an instant collection that feels familiar and loved.

Photos and Article courtesy of Southern Living

Holiday Christmas Decorating - Charlotte, Mooresville, Winston Salem NC

Affordable Residential and Commercial Holiday Decorating Services

Charlotte NC SC Interior and Exterior Christmas - Seasonal Fall 
Decorating - Holiday Event Decorating

Schedule your  appointment with a Holiday Decorator today for Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Decorating - Christmas Tree Decorating - New Years Event Decorating and Event Decorating Services

Professional Holiday Decorating Services - Affordable Holiday Decorating - Commercial Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Christmas Decorating - Event Decorating Services - Charlotte NC - including South Charlotte - Weddington - Concord - Mt.Holly - Huntersville - Cornelius - Davidson - Belmont - Lake Norman Statesville- Mooresville - Hickory - Winston Salem North Carolina and South Carolina.



Rustic - Holiday Decorating

Refined Rustic Mantel Decorating

The grasscloth wallpaper and cool slate fireplace in this living room dictated a natural holiday palette with warm colors and nubby textures. Burlap unifies the look, with homespun stockings on the mantel, an oversize bow topping the Christmas tree, and gifts wrapped in the woven material. Cool mercury glass ornaments add a touch of shimmer.



Grasscloth Wallpaper

The natural shades of grasscloth wallpaper are the perfect backdrop for an organic holiday decorating scheme. Grasscloth texture adds a sense of warmth to a room. Try painting window trim and molding a rich color to add interest.



Striped Flat-Weave Rug

Flat weave cotton rugs are as durable as they are affordable – they’re easy to maintain, so a small investment will go a long way. Stripes work well in both traditional and modern settings. This rug’s brown tones set a warm tone.



Modern Wing Chair

During the holidays try a contemporary spin on a very traditional shape. An angular wing chair, with clean lines and simple squared legs, is both sleek and classic. William Sonoma Home’s version comes in your choice of faux suede, velvet, or linen upholstery.


Burlap Stockings

Try your hand at DIY Christmas decorations. This room’s homespun stockings are easy to make with inexpensive burlap fabric and humble twine. One yard of fabric yields about 2 large stockings, and you’ll also need a needle with an extra-large eye.



Large-Scale Vintage Wheel

Instead of artwork above the mantel, add a sense of dimension with a large wheel. For a holiday touch, try lacing the wheel with simple cypress garland.



Woven Basket Christmas Tree -Holder

The woven raffia basket at the base of the Christmas tree is wide enough to fit a standard tree stand, and tall enough to obscure the tree trunk. The basket’s height lifts the branches and clears lots of room at the base of the Christmas tree for gifts.



Mercury Glass Holiday Ornaments

Add a bit of subtle shimmer to the neutral Christmas tree with silvery-gray mercury glass ornaments in various sizes. Antique mercury glass can be pricey, but this set is available for a song.



Delicate Snowflake Ornaments

The white snowflake ornaments are a nod to winter and a graphic touch to the tree décor. Save a few to tie-on to presents or bottles of wine to bring to holiday dinner parties.



Bronze Gift Wrap

In addition to basic craft paper and solid white wrap, incorporate shades of bronze and silver into your packaging. A bit of sheen will keep your gifts from looking dull.



Wraphia Ribbon

Use this sturdy ribbon to hang ornaments to the Christmas tree and to tie up gift packages. A 100-yard roll will certainly last throughout the holiday season.

                                                    Photos  and Article Courtesy of Southern Living

Rustic - Holiday Decorating

Affordable Residential and Commercial Holiday Decorating Services

Charlotte NC - SC Interior and Exterior Christmas - Seasonal Fall 
Decorating - Holiday Event Decorating

Schedule your  appointment with a Holiday Decorator today for Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Decorating - Christmas Tree Decorating - New Years Event Decorating and Event Decorating Services

Professional Holiday Decorating Services - Affordable Holiday Decorating - Commercial Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Christmas Decorating - Event Decorating Services - Charlotte NC - including South Charlotte - Weddington - Concord - Mt.Holly - Huntersville - Cornelius - Davidson - Belmont - Lake Norman Statesville- Mooresville - Hickory - Winston Salem North Carolina and South Carolina.


Fall - Holiday Decorating

Decorating - Natural Tablescape

Simple white plates paired with timeless flatware and thin stemware keep this more rustic setting looking elegant. Bold orange napkins give the setting a pop of seasonal color.


Etch Your Pumpkins

Announce your address in style by cleverly etching your house number (or your initials or name) into a pumpkin. You can pile a combination of traditional and heirloom pumpkins on your front steps, and top with your etched design.


Fall Foliage Arrangement

The key to arranging leaves is to group them by size and color as you would flowers. Fiery red maple makes a beautiful focal point when countered with the feathery foliage of dawn redwood laden with globes of gray-green fruit on the fringes.


Line Your Steps

There's a reason you see mums each fall—they work. Once buds begin to open, you're guaranteed blooms whether your display is in sun or shade. To prolong the show, water when dry and remove spent flowers. Pair with Mexican sage and boxwoods for this stunning holiday decorating -display.


Rustic Fall Centerpiece

Naturally shed antlers lend a new twist to table decor. Pile them up with different-colored pumpkins, pine cones, and loose nuts and bring the outdoors in.


Add Height to Your Pumpkin Holiday - Display

Arrange branches, dried grasses, moss, squash, and small pumpkins in a vase as you would a traditional flower display. Then, choose a single pumpkin with an interesting shape or a twisted stem to showcase. Place it on a smaller table or stool to help set it apart from the rest.


Fall Table Setting

Host a stylish autumn get-together without breaking the bank by recycling things around the house. You can fill an oversize jug with branches of leaves cut from the yard for a free centerpiece.


Plant Fall Color

The plumes of eye-catching purple fountain grass become more numerous as fall nears. Flank it with another explosive favorite, 'Fireworks' gomphrena, which is great in the ground or a pot. Add three 'Bandana Red' lantanas for bright blooms and two 'Margarita' sweet potato vines to trail.


Vibrant Fall Colors

Combine the season's hottest hues in a vibrant mix of 'Snapshot Orange' snapdragons, 'Purple Pixie' loropetalum, and bright 'Penny Clear Yellow' violas. Tuck in the showy foliage of 'Sparkling Burgundy' heuchera to complete the look.


                               Photos and article courtesy of Southern Living Magazine


Affordable Residential and Commercial Holiday Decorating Services

Charlotte NC - SC Interior and Exterior Christmas - Seasonal Fall Decorating - Holiday Event Decorating

Schedule your  appointment with a Holiday Decorator today for Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Decorating - Christmas Decorating - New Years Event Decorating and Event Decorating Services

Professional Holiday Decorating Services - Affordable Holiday Decorating - Commercial Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Christmas Decorating - Event Decorating Services - Charlotte NC - including South Charlotte - Weddington - Concord - Mt.Holly - Huntersville - Cornelius - Davidson - Belmont - Lake Norman Statesville- Mooresville - Hickory - Winston Salem North Carolina and South Carolina.

"Fall is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."

Traditional - Holiday Decorating

Holiday Decorating - Traditional Holiday Decorating

Holiday  Decorating - Pomegranate and Magnolia-Leaf Garland


Pomegranates are traditionally a symbol of prosperity; Together with magnolia leaves, pine cones, and pheasant feathers, they make a beautiful natural garland to dress up a plain mantel or complement a grand one. 


Architectural  Holiday Ornaments

A 4-foot table-top tree sports ornaments that reflect the architectural details of the four houses and the hardware in the room.


Keyhole - Cover - Holiday Christmas Tree Ornaments

A keyhole cover that closely matches one found on the original rim lock on the room's door becomes a holiday Christmas tree ornament with the aid of colorful ribbon. Additional ornaments on the tree include other styles of door-keyhole covers, skeleton keys, and furniture-keyhole covers matching ones on a secretary in the room.


Holiday - Dollhouse Doors

Miniature doors and windows originally made for dollhouses represent the many styles found on the townhouses of Blair House, which span several decades of architectural style.


Tin-Ceiling Tree Planter

Using a tin ceiling tile as inspiration, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers created a holiday planter box to hold the tabletop tree.


Punched-Tin Star

A red tin Christmas tree topper mirrors the tin at the bottom of the assembly. 


Decorate Traditional Holiday Medallion Wreaths

Two lightweight, plaster-coated foam ceiling medallions hang in front of the windows like Christmas wreaths. They've been painted on the cheap by mixing sample jars of traditional green paint into glaze to create the look of pine boughs. 


Pineapple Wreath Hanger

This over-door wreath hook has a pineapple motif; pineapples were symbols of hospitality in the late-18th and early-19th centuries and often appeared as adornment on trim or wallpaper.


Fruit Display

A bowl full of traditional fruits adds a pop of color to the room. 
Pomegranates, plain and gold-painted; POM Wonderful. Gold wire mesh bowl with leaf motif.



Reds, Greens, and Flickering Candles

A bay-leaf wreath and faux wood berries bring Christmas color to a plain hurricane-glass candle holder. A flameless LED candle flickers like real but is safe to be left alone in a room—historic or not.

Fireplace Adorned

Natural garlands, Magnolia-leaf, pine-cone garland and embroidered stockings turn the mantel into a Christmas centerpiece.


Glass Ornaments

Vintage-style glass ornaments emulate the colorful bangles that were popular in the 1950s.



Knitwear Ornaments

Hand-knit sweaters and stockings make great holiday decorating ornaments.


Fruity Colors

Faux oranges look identical to the real deal, but last longer. Great for seasonal decorating and holiday decorating.



Affordable Residential and Commercial Holiday Decorating Services

Charlotte NC - SC Interior and Exterior Christmas - Seasonal - Holiday Event Decorating

Schedule your  appointment with a Holiday Decorator today for Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Decorating - Christmas Decorating - New Years Event Decorating and Event Decorating Services

Professional Holiday Decorating Services - Affordable Holiday Decorating - Commercial Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Christmas Decorating - Event Decorating Services - Charlotte NC - including South Charlotte - Weddington - Concord - Mt.Holly - Huntersville - Cornelius - Davidson - Belmont - Lake Norman Statesville- Mooresville - Hickory - Winston Salem North Carolina and South Carolina.

Photos Courtesy of This Old House. 

Thank you "This Old House" for an inspiration on Traditional Holiday Decorating.


Holiday Houseguests Checklist - Charlotte NC



Make a List and Check it at Least Twice to Help Prepare for Holiday Houseguests
By Guest Contributor Brad Little

Hosting houseguests for the holidays can be hectic to say the least. Houseguests can create undue stress during the busiest time of year. But there are some things you can do in advance to help get a head start on your holiday task list so you can enjoy time with your friends and family while they’re in your home for the holidays



If you’re preparing for overnight guests in your home. . .

You've got your work cut out for you, but you can pull it off with the help of some holiday magic. Put your little elves to work baking cookies and cleaning the house, and work on these five things in advance of your guests’ arrival.

    1.   Hang holiday décor. This one may require a separate checklist, depending on how far out your household goes when it comes to holiday décor. Trees, wreaths, lights, arrangements, and other decorations are best accomplished first because they add festivity to the air, plus you can enjoy them longer.


Image courtesy of Meg Spaeth and Elsie Marley http://www.houzz.com/photos/388405/Holiday-Decor-2011--


      2.    Make up the beds and baths. Deep clean your guest rooms and baths and put fresh linens on the beds and new bars of soap in the showers. The day before guests arrive you can do a light cleaning and add fresh towels. Voila!      

Image courtesy of Case Remodeling Charlotte http://charlotte.caseremodeling.com/bathroom-remodeling/


3.    Declutter the house. You may have to check this item off before you prepare your guest rooms, if they’re a place where you hastily store miscellaneous household items, as is common practice in many homes. Whether your clutter collects in unused rooms or simply anywhere there’s room, this is another task that’s better accomplished sooner than later to help make room for the holiday madness.






     4.     Create a meal plan. The most difficult part of houseguests for many holiday hosts is feeding everyone three meals a day plus snacks. You need a meal plan not only for a holiday dinner, but also for each day and each meal you’ll be serving your guests. Try to order takeout or go out to eat with your houseguests at least once while they’re in town, to give yourself a well-earned break. 

5.    Buy and wrap guest gifts. Perhaps you plan to do some last-minute holiday shopping with your guests while they’re in town, something nearly everyone needs to do. Make sure you buy and wrap gifts for house guests in advance, if you want to keep things a surprise.



If you’re hosting a holiday dinner. . .

Timing is everything. You’ll need help from little elves for this one as the meal comes together at the last minute. A word of advice: let your houseguests help you. It’s physically impossible to cook, heat, and serve dozens of dishes to twice as many people, so don’t even try to go it alone. As the clock ticks down, let extra hands take on odd jobs to help expedite the meal. Follow these tips to help minimize last minute hassles. For additional ideas, check out this Charlotte Case Remodeling Blog Holiday Checklist

1.  Set your holiday table now. The holiday dinner table takes time and should be prepared in advance. Prepare your centerpiece first. Polish silver and wine glasses ahead of time. Run stored china through the dishwasher and return to the china cabinet. Try integrating your place settings into your holiday table décor.



         2.    Plan the menu and assign dishes. Plan your menu and make a list of ingredients that you can stock up on now. If your holiday dinner is pot-luck style, have guests sign up for the dishes they want to bring so you don’t end up with three green bean casseroles. If you’re preparing the main course, order your meat in advance from your local market.

     3.      Create a cooking calendar. If you’re cooking a main course and several side dishes for the holiday meal, you’ll need to spread the work out over the course of one or more days. Make a list of the items you will cook in the order that you’ll cook them. Then assign each dish a day and time when you’ll prepare it. Write down a way to store and reheat the dish if you have to make it more than a few hours before the holiday meal. 

       4.   Clean out the fridge. Dig back there and remove any wayward leftovers or items past the expiration date. You’re going to need all the room you can get. You may be able to store some items on ice inside coolers in a garage or mudroom if you run out of room in your fridge. 


Image courtesy of Case Remodeling - Charlotte http://charlotte.caseremodeling.com/kitchen-remodeling/


5.   Recruit elves. If you have children in the house, put them to work before the dinner, setting the table and carrying dishes and other items from the kitchen to the table. If the kids will be eating at a separate table, have them set and decorate their own table as a pre-dinner activity by giving them arts and crafts supplies for creating holiday placeholders and centerpieces.




Author Bio: Brad Little, owner of Case Design/Remodeling of Charlotte NC, writes about redesigning homes and interior decorating ideas as a guest blogger and for his home improvement company. He recently added a  holiday checklist to his own company blog at Case Design / Remodeling Charlotte NC  


 Holiday Houseguests Checklist - Charlotte NC