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The thought of preparing our homes for guests during the holiday season can evoke fear in the best of us, because let’s face it, who has the time or money to decorate?

Leading homewares stylists Betty Wong and Lucy Wolstoneholme for MyHouse share their simple yet impressive decorating ideas on a budget.

5-star comfort
The special touches of luxurious comfort within the home never go unnoticed and ensuring that your guests are equipped with all of the essentials, along with a few extra comforts, will not only illustrate thoughtfulness but make them feel especially welcome. It’s a simple technique used by the world’s most famous interior designers to create an instant, at-home feel.

cushion

Zahra Cushion $39.95

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for mimicking a 5-star hotel, wonderfully clean bed linens, a choice of pillows donned with freshly ironed pillow cases and a full set of delightfully soft, quality bath towels will all ensure that your guests experience is a far more comfortable one. And while it’s important to de-clutter (get rid of anything that you wouldn’t find in a fine hotel), don’t forget to stock up on all essentials such as soaps, hand towels and toilet paper rolls. Ensuring that all items are easy to access and nicely presented can go a surprisingly long way in creating that ‘luxury getaway’ experience.

throw

Havana Throw $59.95

Mother Nature’s Artwork
Nothing breathes fresh air into a space like a touch of nature. By adding the simple, organic beauty of natural pieces to your home you can instantly make the space appear more open and inviting.

clock

Patricia clock $29.95

The beauty of nature in the home is that it works best when kept basic – avoid décor such as over-styled floral displays and instead look to more simple items that draw inspiration from rustic and natural settings. You would be surprised how effective this method is for creating an environment that is pleasant, welcoming and cozy.

frame

Linley Photo Frame 4X6 $24.95

Smell to sell
A common trick of the home-seller is to use the power of specific scents, such as freshly-baked cookies, coffee or cinnamon, to ‘warm up’ potential buyers by making them feel immediately at home in their home. This is often referred to as the “smell to sell” method.

ecocandle

Eco Palm Candle Coconut $29.95

Similarly, the use of scent is a great technique for helping guests to feel contented and relaxed in your home when visiting. According to laws of aromatherapy, smells that appeal to the senses can effectively shift our mood. Using scent to create an inviting and uplifting space in the home can do wonders for evoking in your guests a sense of true comfort.                                                               

The wonderful warmth of light
Similar to scent, lighting can have a powerful effect on human psychology and guests entering your home will be impacted in an emotional sense by the level and tone of light.

lamp

Blue Paloma Lamp $129.95

It’s the key element in setting the mood and atmosphere of a room and many underestimate the power of light to make or break an interior scheme all together. It should be warm, cosy and cheerful. Cold or blue hues will effectively create a space that is severe or stark, while bulbs with a warm of soft glow can instantaneously add ambiance and texture.

What are your favourite home decorating ideas when welcoming visitors?