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How to turn your home into a winter wonderland

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

How to... prep your home for the holidays

Transform your home into a festive winter wonderland this holiday season. Whether you’re entertaining guests or enjoying your home with your family, make it sparkle with these tips.

How to... prep your home for the holidays

Step 1: Clear the way for the holidays

Before you begin decorating, prepare your home for the holidays. Clear out your everyday decor and knickknacks from common areas and decorative spaces. Do a thorough cleaning of your home, including dusting and cleaning the floors and carpets. Get out your decorations and dust them off. Use your holiday storage containers to store any year-round decor you’ll be taking down during the holiday season.

Step 2: Stick to a theme

When you decorate for the holidays, keep a theme in mind. It doesn’t need to be ready to grace the cover of a magazine, but it will help you stay organized and focused. Your theme can be a color scheme, like white and silver, or a general concept, like handmade and vintage. Consider your theme when you’re picking up any new holiday decorations. No one will be grading you on your theme, so don’t stress about it. Just use it as a tool to help you create a festive atmosphere in your home.

Step 3: Create a focal point

Choose a main decorative item to serve as your winter wonderland focal point. For many families, this is the Christmas tree. Put up a fresh tree, an conventional artificial tree or a trendy tree in an unusual color or material. If trees aren’t your thing, consider a focal point like a holiday village, a train set, your mantel and stockings, or your holiday card display. Don’t hide your focal point. Set up your tree or holiday display in a main area in your home.

Step 4: Use decorative lighting

Holiday displays are all about twinkling lights and festive colors. Think outside the box when you use lighting to create a holiday atmosphere. Decorate the outside of your home with traditional holiday lights. Use LED lights, which use less energy and have a more vibrant look. Consider changing your outdoor lighting to colors like red, blue and green to give your landscaping a festive look. Inside, decorate with lighted displays, electric candles and soft mood lighting in your holiday gathering spaces.

More holiday decorating

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5 Chic Christmas tree decor themes

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