TIPS + TOOLS

Creating welcoming spaces for your holiday gatherings

December 11, 2017

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but when it comes to holiday gathering, the most welcoming space is often your living room or family room. These spaces naturally invite you to come on in and get comfortable, relax and have a conversation, and escape the cold outside. Seasonal decorating aside, what makes living rooms work well for your holiday entertaining?

Start with a focal point

It’s important for a main room like a living room to have a focal point, to give some place for your eye to go and create an order of importance for the elements in the room. This order offers a balance that makes a space more inviting.

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A focal point influences the arrangement of furniture and can set the tone for how a room feels. A contemporary fireplace, for instance, has a fresh look that feels uncluttered. While contemporary can sometimes seem cold, in this room the balance of earth tones and textures and the intimate feel of the coffered ceiling makes the room seem like the perfect spot to curl up with good friends and good wine.

Add warmth

While adding warmth can be done visually, it can also be done literally.

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Mixing in several throw pillows does double duty in giving you an easy way to add pops of colour while also making your seating that much more comfortable. Add a flickering fire, a few throws and warm lighting – think dimmed pot lights or candles – and you’ve created a cosy atmosphere.

Speaking of cosy

How you place your furniture can play a big role in how inviting your room is.

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Seating gathered around a central item like a coffee table creates an intimate space for conversation, where everyone will feel connected to everyone else while still leaving lots of elbow room.

Work with your space

The type of entertaining you want to do may be dictated in part by the type of space you have to work with.

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A family room filled with overstuffed sofas and armchairs might not be conducive to a big party for mingling, while a living and dining room that’s airy with plenty of room to move around will suit this style easily. If you like cocktail parties and open houses, think about going with less bulky decor that makes it easier for folks to move around and offers convenient spots for putting down drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

But whatever space you’ve got to work with, the most important thing is to enjoy the time with those who mean the most to you. And have a wonderful holiday season!