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Nick-of-time tips to make your home holiday ready

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Nick-of-time tips to make your home holiday ready

Get your home ready for the holidays.

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POSTED November 1, 2012 6:07 p.m.

As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, welcoming loved ones into your home is a highlight of the festivities. You may eagerly look forward to gathering with family and friends, but is your house holiday and houseguest ready?

Preparing your home for holiday guests doesn't have to be time consuming or costly. By focusing on areas that receive the most guest traffic, you can create a fresh, welcoming environment within budget. The home improvement experts at Lowe's recommend updating five key spaces:

1. Entryways

Start by making a great first impression and setting the mood by enhancing the entryway and improving curb appeal. By adding a new doormat and painting the front door an inviting, rich jewel tone, you'll be sure to make a statement year-round about the personalities inside your home.

Next, step inside and consider lighting upgrades. The foyer is the perfect spot to add a dramatic pendant light or chandelier to welcome guests with a warm glow. Add some festive holiday decor by layering a centerpiece of paperwhites - a fragrant, fast-growing seasonal flower -- paired with pinecones on a foyer table to create a look that combines two popular seasonal standbys. Roomier entryways can benefit from a decorative urn filled with a variety of greens. Heap allen + roth ornaments on top to create a 'holiday topiary.'

2. Kitchens

The kitchen is the hub of the home, especially during the holidays. Giving this room a refresh can be quick and easy, regardless of budget.

Painting is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to completely change the look of a space. Experiment with rich, food- and spice-inspired hues that will provide an appealing backdrop for holiday decor and remain relevant when the seasons change.

It's easier than ever to change the look of countertops and cabinets. While you're swapping out knobs and drawer pulls, consider giving tired laminate countertops a coat of paint. Add a new backsplash in ceramic tile or natural stone, or go quick and easy with peel-and-stick metal tile that evokes the look of classic tin.

3. Guest bath/powder room

After the kitchen, the guest bath or powder room will likely see the most holiday traffic. These rooms - usually smaller than master baths - will benefit from a simple de-cluttering. Quick updates like adding new cabinet hardware and coordinating accessories like soap dishes, lotion dispensers, toothbrush holders, shower curtains and towels are easy ways to refresh these small but important areas.

The holidays are also a great time to update items you can enjoy for the rest of the year, such as lighting and faucets, new mirrors, paint or wallpaper.

4. Guest bedroom

After days filled with festivities, your guests will appreciate a comfortable place to rest. Get guest bedrooms ready for visitors by clearing out closet space, adding freshly laundered blankets and providing plenty of pillows. Keep in mind the importance of a variety of lighting options in this room. A bedside table lamp may be great for night-time reading but overhead lighting will be helpful when dressing, applying makeup or wrapping last-minute gifts.

Simple decor projects like new area rugs and window treatments can have a big impact on the room. If the guestroom is small, adding some decorative mirrors can help the area feel more expansive. Updating the old ceiling fan can dramatically alter the look of any space, plus aid in airflow. Finally, polish off the holiday look with in-season flowers or plants—they're welcoming and warm and make a great gift to send guests home with once their visits end.

5. Living room

Guests will also congregate in the living room. Fortunately, some simple cosmetic changes go a long way toward making this room warm, comfortable and inviting. Changing accent pillows, throws and window treatments to seasonal patterns and colors are a great way to start.

A decorated mantel is also a classic holiday decor touch. For a fast and easy festive look, place loose evergreen branches along the mantel and intersperse with brightly colored Christmas ornaments. Don't overlook the Christmas tree. Positioning a tree in front of a window allows your holiday spirit to shine through to the outdoors. Just remember to keep trees away from the fireplace and other heat sources.

With some creativity and planning, you can get your home ready to welcome holiday guests - just in the nick of time.

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