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For the next 30 days, we're checking out how to take a break from your busy holiday schedule and relax -- in unexpected ways.
The Huffington Post Canada talked to designer Hilary Farr, one of the hosts of W Network's Love It Or List It, on ways to spice up your home during the holidays.
How do you suggest taking a break from the stresses of the holidays?
I am the worst procrastinator of all but I have found tricks to help me have fun entertaining without being totally frazzled and cranky. Rather than actively plan, I imagine how I want my house to look. Once I have locked in the visual, I can hit the shops and be done in no time, knowing pretty much exactly what I am looking for, rather than aimlessly and hopelessly walking the aisles hoping to be inspired rather than intimidated by all the choices.
Here are Farr's tips for hosting a holiday party this season.
There is a good chance that someone will need to stay the night unexpectedly. Make up the guest room bed if you have one. Failing that, have a set of sheets, towels and toothbrush ready and figure out where they can 'crash' for the night. Hopefully they don't actually crash, but just in case, add Tylenol to the list!
The average dining table won't seat everyone for the holiday feast. An inexpensive solution is a plastic fold-up table which seats six. Use it to lengthen your own table, or set it up separately to get full use of the extra seating. Use the same colour tablecloths. Folding chairs aren't beautiful, but they do the job on a budget and can be stored under a bed or in the basement. Both the chairs and the table will do double duty for summer parties in the garden.
For young children, set aside a space for them to play within sight of the main party. They would prefer to be away from the (boring) adults but not actually cut off from view.
One of the colours on trend right now is orange. This is lucky, because not only are there lots of design choices in this colour, it also happens to be the colour of tangerines and clementines, which are abundant and delicious this time of year.
Fill bowls of different sizes and colours with this seasonal fruit, or if you prefer try it with cranberries and pomegranates. Choose your dominant colour.
Pick a main colour and look for candles to match your main colour exactly, and a few to complement the colour, such as dark blue, teal, and deep red. Add a couple of new pillows and a throw blanket for the sofa that work with your main colour scheme to tie it all together.
For many, the living room can become the most important room in your home if you're hosting a party. Here are some tips on decorating your mantel.
People gather around the fireplace to open gifts, entertain friends and swap old stories, which is why decorating that area becomes essential. Tip: When decorating a mantel, you have to be concerned with the space above and below it too. The large reindeer on the ground and the hanging ornaments above keep this display balanced. Read the other tips here.
How do you decorate your home during the holidays? Do you have Christmas lights to outshine all your neighbours or create your own wreaths for your door? Let us know on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv or in the comments below.