The crisp bite in the air, leaves changing color, pumpkin spice flavors in everything – fall is here! And while it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet, before you know it, Christmas will be right around the corner and New Years will arrive faster than you have time to say “Happy Holidays!”

If you don’t want to get caught entertaining with folding chairs and a plastic banquet table, get ahead of the game by planning for this season’s parties before you can even begin to stress. Below, we offer some advice on how best to prepare your home for fall soirées.

  1. Welcome guests before they even step inside.

First impressions mean everything, and the same idea can be applied to entertaining. A festive fall- or holiday-themed welcome mat can work wonders to get your guests in a joyful mood before they even set foot inside your home.

You can also dress up your lawn with stylish recycled iron reindeer, a trio of wooden Christmas tree ornaments, galvanized metal evergreen trees or painted wood angels.

  1. Create a relaxed, uncluttered atmosphere immediately.

If you hate the look of coats strewn over the backs of chairs and couches, give guests a place to store their outerwear. A stylish coat rack that fits the season – like this one, inspired by a tree branch – will get rid of the messy appearance of jackets everywhere.

  1.  Set up a kid- and adult-friendly bar cart.

Even after the holidays are over, bar carts can be used for organizing your home. But during the entertaining season, they serve as a fun focal point for adults to gather around while they fix drinks. Set out juices in beautiful pitchers so the kids have something to enjoy, too, and don’t forget the festive glassware for all those toasts in your honor!

  1. Encourage conversations around seated areas.

If you want guests to use every available seat in your home – from armchairs to couches and benches – make sure you have enough tables to balance out the space. People will want a spot to put a drink or plate down when they’re taking a break or finished. Coffee and nesting tables are a great way to encourage guests to convene around certain areas.

  1. Prepare for a fluctuating invite list.

Even if your guests RSVP to your holiday party, they could bring extra family and friends along for the fun. Make sure you’re prepared for every scenario by having a table that’s ready for anything. A dining table with a removable leaf can do just that. Add the leaf if a few extra guests come, or remove it if you have some no-shows.

If you’re going to have a kid’s table, dress it up with a fun and seasonal runner that you can reuse for years to come.

  1. Switch out your lighting.

You might not realize it, but your home’s lighting influences the atmosphere in a big way. With that in mind, consider getting a unique holiday- or fall-themed lighting fixture that will live in your main entertaining room throughout the season. A pendant light or a branch chandelier can do wonders for making your home feel more festive.

If you don’t want to change out your entire lighting concept, opt for a small solution with gilded candlestick holders and tall taper candles. The soft flicker of a flame will make all your guests look better.

  1. Arrange a fall-themed holiday vignette.

All your guests will love this accent in your home. Gather some pine cones, a bale of hay or just some leaves and branches. From there, bring in luxurious accents like metallic pumpkins, decorative serving platters, fun bird statues, a nativity set and a vase or urn. Arrange everything in a corner of your dining room, by a seating area in your living room, or just on a windowsill in your kitchen. The options are endless and you can get super creative with each display.

  1. Throw in some festive touches.

We talked about glassware, but there are plenty of other fun ways to bring the holidays into your home without buying all new furniture. A fall-themed throw can make your everyday couch look seasonally appropriate. Holiday dinnerware is another perfect way to add a sprinkle of the season wherever your guests take their plates. If you don’t want to overhaul your entire dinner set, though, opt for festive serving ware or statement pieces like matching holiday dessert plates. Other decor elements like wall art, garlands, seasonal throw rugs or fun accent pillows will make everyone feel positively joyful.

No matter what you’re looking for this holiday season, the professionals at Ashley HomeStore of Tucson can help you get your home ready for fall entertaining. Visit them online at AshleyFurnitureHomeStore.com, call them at (520) 917-2417 or find them at 100 N. Pantano Road.

About Ashley Furniture HomeStore

No matter which Ashley HomeStore location you visit, you'll find stylish, quality furniture that's just right for any room in the house. But we're much more than just a furniture store - we're a member of the community! Ashley HomeStore store owners and their team members live and work in the same areas in which their stores are located, so they understand the importance of community involvement. Many participate in philanthropic activities and events and - at the national level - Ashley takes its philanthropic responsibility seriously by providing support for major charities throughout the country. Visit your nearest Ashley HomeStore showroom today.

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