Home Staging Hacks for the Holidays

red farmhouse kitchen with christmas decorations

With friends and family visiting often in the coming months, it’s normal that any homeowner would want their house to look great. If you haven’t had time to renovate or redecorate the way you’d like in time for the holidays, don’t worry! We’ve come up with ten great tricks to have your home looking fresh and updated, thanks to some clever holiday decor choices.

Pick a uniform decoration style

Like any good interior designer will tell you, it’s important that your home has a cohesive style. By decorating every room with similar colours, textures, and decor pieces, you can help elevate the look of an otherwise disjointed or outdated home. For example, using glittery decorations in the living room and more rustic ones in the kitchen will only emphasize the dysfunction of your style. Instead, use it as an opportunity to elevate and modernize your home.

Black, gold, and plaid are a big trend in holiday decor this season. Less is more, so don’t overdo it, or it will look like you are trying to hide your furniture rather than just decorate for the holidays. If there are colours or pieces of furniture in your home that are worth highlighting, be sure to make them the star with your decor choices. Pick complementary colours and move the furniture around to put the more eye-catching pieces in view of your guests. It’s a great opportunity to try out more general design trends, in preparation of any projects you want to undertake in 2020!

Make your entrance festive

Your front entrance is the first impression your guests have of your home, so make it count! There are a lot of great decoration ideas beyond using lights for eaves or bushes. Swap out your traditional planters with Christmas-coloured ones and decorate your plants with ornaments. Douglas firs don’t have to be the only tree to get the Christmas treatment.

A wreath for your front door is of course a classic decor choice. With so many styles and sizes available, it’s the perfect way to personalize your decoration style before your guests even step foot in your house. To stay on budget this holiday season, consider making your own instead of buying a premade one. Plain wreaths can be purchased at craft stores, and you can get the whole family involved in decorating it. You can also make smaller matching ones for inside the home.

With the sun setting so early in the winter months, it’s very likely that it will already be dark by the time your guests arrive. Invite them in with the warmth of lanterns along your walkway and stairs. Solar-powered lights are a great year-round investment and can easily be dressed up for the holidays with festive bows.

Decorate every room

People often only decorate the living room, family room, and dining room when preparing for a holiday party. By isolating the decor to these areas, the undecorated rooms will stand out. Decorating every room, even if only with a few simple items, helps unify the overall style you’re going for. This is especially helpful when trying to camouflage unsightly rooms that you have yet to renovate. For example, you can hang a few small wreaths on your old kitchen cabinets, to help hide any scratches, dents, or discolouration. A vase of glass ornaments on your bathroom vanity can help brighten up an otherwise dull space. Even though it’s not seen out in the open, the bathroom will be a high-traffic area during a holiday party, so it’s worth decorating!

Christmas lights

Even though it is often overlooked, lighting is a key component to any good design. Trends like architectural lighting highlight the beautiful design elements of your home. Unfortunately, bad lighting can not only mask these elements but also give a space an overall uninviting feeling.

Using Christmas lights to spruce up the lighting of your home is a simple and cost-effective trick. With lots of energy-efficient LED options available, you can add a festive touch while brightening up areas of your home that have poor or dated lighting. Curtain lights are a great option to add warmth to a room that lacks windows. Classic warm Christmas lights can be strung onto banisters, placed along the top of kitchen cabinets, or woven into existing light fixtures for additional brightness.

Exterior Christmas lights can also be brought indoors. Icicle lights can be run across the ceiling to give the illusion of a starry night. Opt for warm static lights rather than blinking or coloured ones. This way you add an element of seasonal decor without distracting guests.

Covering or decorating old furniture


You may not have time to update those old dining room chairs or replace that dated hand-me-down sofa, but simple covers can help hide stained, worn, or out of style furniture with ease. Slipcovers work great for couches and are available from many online retailers for very little money. They can help freshen up the look of your living room and are also a great choice if you’re simply trying to protect a new sofa from spills.

Getting individual slipcovers for dining chairs can quickly get expensive, especially if you’re seating your whole family at the table. A simple way to cover up old worn chairs is by making your own chair decor. You can go for big bows, small wreaths, or stockings. For an even simpler option, you can drape festive fabric over the seat. You can use leftover Christmas decorations or get liquidation bows and fabrics in the weeks leading up to Christmas. You can also use leftover wrapping paper from holiday gifts to help wrap up anything you’d rather keep hidden. It will look like an intentional gift-inspired decor piece – only you will know you’re hiding something you want to keep out of sight!

Dressing the table to the nines

The focal point of any holiday party is typically the food, so be sure to make the dining table a feast for the eyes! Table settings are a great place to start when deciding what style you want your overall decor to be. Since this is likely the highest traffic area during a party, you want you and your guests to be staring at something worth looking at. Instead of a traditional fabric runner, use garlands, whether evergreen or tinsel. You can easily add decorations to them, and because they are relatively thin, they will add visual interest without taking up the entire table. You can also add LED candles throughout the runner for a cozy and warm feel. A warm light goes with any style.

Not everyone has a formal holiday set of dishes, so working with what you have and building from that style allows you to make the most of everyday items you already own. This is a good way to keep on budget. Adding small decorative items like napkins, ribbons on chairs, or centerpieces are inexpensive ways to bring a holiday touch to your everyday dining table and dishware.

Dreaming of a green Christmas

From wrapping paper to disposable dishware, there can be a lot of waste during the holidays. With more and more eco-friendly trends, it’s never been easier to reduce your carbon footprint when decorating for the holidays. Opting for a natural Christmas tree, wreath and garlands are a great place to start. In order for artificial greenery to be more “green” than the real thing, the average homeowner would have to reuse them for about 20 years. By using natural options, they can be composted at the end of the season, which also means less clutter in storage for you.

Other natural items like pinecones, branches and plants can be used to make decorations for your tree. There are also many ways you can transform items in your home into great decorations. Old lightbulbs can be filled with glitter and hung in the tree and emptied-out Nespresso pods can make your lights look like little bells.

While you’re likely to set out more formal dishes and linens for dinner, you may want to take away some of the hassle by opting for disposable plates and napkins for appetizers or dessert. However, there are many compostable plate and dishware options out there to avoid making a lot of waste.

Making spirits bright with a well-stocked bar

Setting up a post-meal bar station is a great way to keep the party going! If you’re not a budding mixologist, it may take a lot of time and effort to make individualized drinks for everyone. Making crowd-pleasing favourites in large quantities is a great way to save time and money. For example, nothing warms up on a cold winter night like apple cider. Plug in your slow cooker on your sideboard, pour in your favourite store-bought pressed apple cider, add aromatics like nutmeg and cinnamon, and let your guests serve themselves. Place a bottle of whiskey nearby, so those who want to indulge can add some punch to their cider. Another option is a coffee or hot chocolate station, with add-ins like marshmallows, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, and Irish cream liquor to make it interactive. This allows the set up to be for all ages and tastes, while keeping you free to socialize and not be stuck serving drinks all night.

Tree ornaments: The multiuse decoration

Tree ornaments are a staple in most holiday decor, whether you have a Christmas tree or not! They are incredibly versatile and can be hung from pretty much anywhere. They also can be displayed in bowls or vases, as centrepieces on the dining or coffee table. Since they are available in bulk, chances are you already have leftovers. By using the same colours and styles throughout, you are once again helping unify the overall design of your decor.

Keeping the holidays clutter-free

While it may seem like a good idea to add decor items to otherwise unoccupied areas of your home, it does not make it practical for receiving guests. Whether you’re trying to hide away dated decor or simply add as much Christmas cheer as possible, it’s important to keep your space clean and minimal. There are likely to be more people in your home than usual, so it makes no sense to have less room for them to move about and sit. Decorating existing used spaces like tabletops, walls, and heavily-used furniture is the best way to not overwhelm the space. If you feel like you’re adding too many new things into your space with your decorations, consider putting away some items. This can also be an opportunity to donate unused decor or furniture you’ve had in your home all year long. Since it is the season of giving, your old things can find a new life in someone else’s home.

When the holidays are over, it’s time to renovate!

Once you’ve made it through the holiday seasons with these simple tips, take the time to plan out the renovations you’ve been putting off all year. We understand the difficulties that come with finding a quality contractor for your project, so let us take away that stress! Our Renovation Advisors can invite up to three 53-point Verified Contractors to submit quotes for your renovation and help you decide which one brings the most value to you. Call us today or fill out our form  to get started!