top of page


The holidays are a busy, chaotic, beautiful mess. Sometimes too much time is spent stressing about the little things rather than enjoying the time together.

I'm Simrin Herrington, owner and head designer of Simrin Nichole Interiors. I know the holidays bring cheer. AND STRESS.

Here are 7 simple ways you can create an inviting atmosphere in your home for guests. Implementing some, if not all of these, will help you feel less stressed about entertaining and allow your loved ones to feel more comfortable during their stay.

1. Clean and Declutter

When preparing for guests start by decluttering.

Declutter common areas and guest rooms. Get rid of unwanted items and hide personal items in closets, under bed storage, or in the garage while guests are staying with you. Clear off surfaces, such as countertops, tables, and guest beds (it’s time to fold last weeks laundry!). Create an inviting atmosphere that makes your guests feel welcome and at home.

After decluttering, be sure to wipe down surfaces, vacuum, and clean your kitchen and bathrooms. A freshly cleaned home is always inviting.

Light your favorite candle to add a warm and welcoming smell around the house, consider this amazing holiday sent from my favorite home fragrance company, The Oil Bar. If time is not on your side, hire a house cleaner to make everything sparkle. Prepare your home so you have no regrets about what your mother-in-law thinks of your home this Holiday season.

2. Prep the entryway for traffic

Having a welcoming entryway is key to inviting in guests

Have a place for guests to place their coats and belongings. If you require shoes off in your home, have a convenient basket for shoe storage. Decorate your entryway with a nice rug to add warmth, a potted plant to add a natural element (I love what greenery adds to a space!), and some holiday decorations to welcome your guests in.

Hall tree by Simrin Nichole Interiors

3. Look festive, feel festive

If you are hosting a holiday party or family Christmas, make your home feel festive. Decorate inside and out. Hang a pretty wreath on your door, wrap columns or shrubs with white lights, and place a holiday welcome mat on the front porch. Inside be sure to keep it comfortable.

Don’t over crowd common areas with too much or too big of décor. Pick a holiday décor color scheme that compliments your palette. If you have a peaceful dusty blue on your walls, decorate with whites and silvers.

If your current décor is neutrals accent it with rich tones like deep reds, forest greens, and gold’s. Keep in mind you are designing a beautiful holiday backdrop for many memories to be made.

4. Make the spare room into a Guest Suite

You want your guests to feel as comfortable as possible while staying with you. Happy guests make for a happy host!

Creating a relaxing private space for them to escape the holiday chaos from time and time is key to having happy guests that want to return (even if today, you are not sure you want them to). Here are a few tips for designing an inviting guest suite.

  • Provide clean sheets, extra blankets & pillows so your guests have everything they might need.

  • Use throw blankets or pillows to bring a little holiday cheer to your décor. Christmas décor does not have to be loud and tacky. Use natural and soothing colors, or colors that compliment the palette already used in the space. Remember…think relaxing.

  • If space allows, maybe consider providing a small coffee bar in the room. This will free up some traffic in the kitchen, but also be cozy and relaxing for your guests.

  • Place your Wi-Fi password in a cute frame or on a chalkboard so it is available when needed. And lets be honest…it will be needed.

  • Be mindful of the amount of light the room gets. You don’t want your guests unable to sleep or worrying about the neighbors seeing them changing into their pajamas. If you haven’t yet invested in window coverings, now might be the time to do so. Don’t be afraid to layer, use faux wood blinds or a natural woven wood shade for privacy and layer with beautiful floor length curtain panels to add light control and some detail to the rooms design.

  • Add personal touches. Leave a sweet note and or add pictures of you and your guests in a nice frame. These small personal touches will make them feel at home & more importantly, loved.

5. Don't forget the bathrooms!

To make your guests feel welcome, appreciated, and well taken care, of consider adding these little touches to the bathrooms.

  • Provide the necessities that one might forget on a trip. Put together a nice display or open basket of toiletries…soaps, toothpaste, lotions, cotton balls, etc.

  • Make towels and extra toilet paper accessible. Place toilet paper in an open basket and roll towels on an open shelf.

  • Add a pretty bath mat, fresh flowers, a candle, and some countertop décor. Use pretty jars to display things like cotton balls, bath salts, or bars of soap. This creates an elegant but practical way to decorate.

No one says bathrooms have to be boring.

6. Entertain the little ones. So they don't destroy your home.

When entertaining for holiday events, you will want to remember the younger family members. Plan to have a space just for the kiddos. This will not only help keep the kids entertained, but will also allow for the adults to have a more relaxing time spent together. Consider setting up a little nook with some holiday crafts and games. Maybe have a cookie decorating station in the kitchen and provide hot cocoa with marshmallows.

7. Eat with your eyes first

Be sure to stock up on great eats and bottles of spirits and liquor for you and your guests to enjoy. I always suggest making the most out of any useful space, such as create a beautiful tablescapes for holiday meals in the dining room or use a buffet top to arrange a stylish beverage bar.

When designing your beverage bar use glassware such as vintage bottles to display beverage options. Mix and match different sizes, shapes, & colors for a great display. Have fun with your tablescapes, layer table settings to create dimension. Try not to use decorative items that obstruct views across the table. Present food on white serving platters and use metallic accents to glam your table settings up.

And never be afraid of pops of color that add contrast in a space. For dining room tablescapes use items like nice cloth napkins or a fresh floral arrangement as your pop of color.

This holiday season should not be stress and chaos. Take these steps to allow yourself time to enjoy your company. If you are running short on time, or are having a hard time getting those holiday decorations just right, consider hiring a designer to help make everything perfect. Interior Designers typically charge on an hourly basis. A great designer will be all-inclusive and can help with decluttering, do any décor shopping if needed, and then return to do the decorating.


Simrin Herrington

Originally from Oregon, Simrin is an Interior Designer providing beautiful and quality design work to Eastern NC. Services include design & color consultations, home staging, finish selections, remodels, interior furnishing & accessorizing, and much more.

Need help executing these 7 ways to prep? Contact me today to set up your Design consultation.

For more inspiration and advice, follow Simrin on social media.

Instagram: @simrinnicholeinteriors


Featured Posts