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How to maximize your space for holiday entertaining

These three simple tips can help set the stage for magical gatherings this holiday season

With the holidays right around the corner, many of us are in decorating mode. We want to make our homes feel cosy, welcoming and festive, as special as the season.

For those who will be entertaining over the next month, you’ll also need to think about how make the most of the space you have, no matter what size your home. The following tips can help.

1. Think about traffic flow

Before company arrives, try to visualize how your guests will move through your home during the time they will spend there. How can you make it easier for people to move effortlessly from room to room?

To improve traffic flow in your space, try these tips:

  • Ensure there are clear, wide paths through every room. This could mean moving pieces of furniture a few inches from their usual location or temporarily moving a couple of items into storage (a basement, second bedroom, etc.)
  • Eliminate all potential tripping hazards, including cords, rugs that might shift, pet accessories, toys or any items kept on the floor and that could get in the way
  • Make sure you have lots of space for your guests to put their coats and shoes. The Socalle storage bench with coat rack shelf is a great storage solution that looks sleek and contemporary. The Maccenet shoe rack can hold several pairs of footwear and looks great in any entryway or mudroom.

2. Keep surfaces clear

As a guest, it can be awkward to be stuck with a glass or a plate in your hand for a long time and not have anywhere to put it down temporarily. Clear off as many surfaces as you can in your home and make sure there is ample space on your tabletops to accommodate party-goers’ plates and glasses.

Accent or occasional tables can come in handy for this purpose. Whether it’s a farmhouse-style, chairside end table like the Dorrinson or the set of two round nesting Briarsboro accent tables, these versatile pieces don’t take up much space, can be moved easily from room to room and serve an important function.

3. Offer as much seating as you can

Don’t worry too much about having perfectly matching sets of furniture, just offer your guests what you can and be sure to have a few options available.

To maximize the number you can seat formally for dinner, consider an extendable dining table. The Bolanburg extension dining table seats up to 8 and the removable leaf is handy; you can pull it out to save space or leave it in if you have the room and like to entertain often.

A couple of accent chairs can help transform a great lounging space into the ideal conversation area. Choose pieces with some interest, that add colour, texture or pattern; they can help break up a traditional furniture set and make a room feel more contemporary. The Tibbee accent chair is a space-conscious slipper chair that is covered in high-resiliency upholstery.

Ottomans are another excellent seating solution. The Kitler storage ottoman is a great place to perch, while also offering space to tuck away throw blankets, pillows or toys. The Jassmyn accent ottoman is striking; with its hand-knitted charcoal yarn upholstery and wooden legs it is both useful and handsome.

With these three basic tips you can elevate your space into one that feels especially welcoming and comfortable for your guests. Happy holidays!

Ashley HomeStore North offers a wide range of furniture pieces, artwork, decorative accents and storage solutions for every room in your home. Looking for more great design ideas? Follow the store on Instagram.