Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Novemer 2016

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26 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2016 By FELICIA HODGES A s the end-of-the-year holidays approach, plans are probably in the works for a visit or two with family and friends. But does the thought of family visiting for a few days make you hyperventilate because of the transformation your home will have to make to become guest-ready? Decorating your home for special occasions doesn't have to be stressful or difficult, says Elizabeth Costabel, an interior design consultant at The Bells Ethan Allen in Newburgh. She suggests that making your home warm and inviting for family and friends really can be achieved easily without making you crazy or your wallet melt. Where to begin Generally speaking, the goal is to make your space beautiful and cozy. To get there, start at the front door and view your space as someone entering it for the first time would, Costabel says. "How does the front entry feel?" she says. "Comfort is important." Since getting together and enjoy- ing each other's company is one of the biggest reasons for the season, think about how your furniture ar- rangement encourages conversation and gathering - and be prepared to re-arrange if necessary. Taking an afternoon to roam around your home to look at lighting and to see where you would comfortably sit if you wanted to read a magazine is another good step, Costabel adds. Next, make a checklist of things that need to be done and when to help ease the stress that comes with getting it all together. Add the ne- cessities - like picking up the fixin's for the meal - but remember that things like grabbing fresh flowers can be done last. Also, don't forget that it all doesn't have to be done in one day. Things like baking pies and cookies or making stuffing can all be done a day or two before the big event. "You really shouldn't have to up end your whole life," Costabel says. Little things As more and more people are getting away from big swaths of traditional colors (such as red and green for Christmas), Costabel says accents and color splashes that give just a hint of the festive are beautiful and inexpensive decorative touches almost anyone can do. "Try a new color palate, or maybe add a touch of gold or silver metallic with a hint of red as a duvet or by adding brightly-colored throws, or pillows, or even a vase of flowers," Costabel says. Mercury glass and accent pieces with rich jewel tones are other things to consider. Smells are important, too, Cos- tabel says. Try adding orange slices Having a special station for water and other beverages will keep guests out of the kitchen while the meal is being prepared. If you don't have a cart, a tray on a corner table will work just as well. A splash of red in pillows or a vase of owers can be a subtle way to say "holiday" without being too over the top. Keeping your children's building blocks and action figures contained can be both beauti- ful and functional. Prepping your home for the holidays

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