If this is your first holiday to host (or your first holiday to host right), you’ll need to equip your home with essentials that seem simple, but speak volumes about you–and how prepared your home really is. Read on for a few domino-approved items that will help convince your family you’ve got it together, and welcome them to your home for the holidays. Pro tip: A well-practiced recipe or two couldn’t hurt, either. (Psst! Enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree at ATGStores.com!)
linens that match
Do not adorn your guest bed in mismatched, who-knows-what-fabric sheets. For the holidays and beyond, it’s a good idea to have a lovely set of “guest sheets” on hand at all times. They’re an excellent way to turn “you never know” moments into opportunities for haute hosting, and your parents can stop worrying that they didn’t teach you the importance of having proper linens in the house.
towels that match
Same principle, different room. Nothing will kill your bathroom decor quite as quickly as mismatched towels. We’ve all got the vibrant beach towels we keep tucked away until the first day of summer (or, in some cases, laundry day), but those do not qualify as guest towels! Grab a set of plush, matching towels that will be both useful and helpful to your bathroom’s overall color scheme.
a matching set of dishes
The same principle of uniformity can apply in the kitchen, too. While we’re not suggesting your appliances need to all be in the same shade of matching mint green, it does help quite a bit if all of your dishes subscribe to the same general color rules. We’d stick to neutrals in whites and/or grays to keep things simple and versatile.
Setting a beautiful holiday table? Don’t ruin it with paper napkins! The laundry-less option might be tempting, but crisp linen napkins add to the overall aesthetic of your holiday table, and lend sophistication, for sure. (These are totally optional at the kids’ table, FYI.)
grown-up, matching silverware
You’ll never regret tossing your mismatched, hand-me-down silverware situation for a complete set of utensils in the most perfect rose gold hue. We’re also assuming every family member will want to know where you got them.
a large serving dish
A surefire way of knowing that you’ve made it (to adulthood) is when your plate collection finally includes dishes that are large enough to hold multiple servings. There’s nothing more annoying than coming up short on serving dishes during holiday hosting and having to resort to serving the green beans in a cereal bowl. When Mom asks you to pass the potatoes, you can do so proudly with this dish.
a standing mixer
A kitchen status symbol, for sure, the standing mixer is an adulthood rite of passage for anyone who loves to cook, and certainly anyone who loves to host. One way to impress the fam with your preparedness is to have the right equipment on hand for any recipe.
real wine glasses that match
Another tabletop necessity, matching glassware around the dinner table (or, at the very least, complimentary glassware) gives your table a sense of cohesiveness. There’s nothing that screams “college” more than having to resort to the plastic tumblers in the back of the cabinet.
a bar cart…
There are countless reasons why a bar cart comes in handy, the first of which being that it adds a sense of elegance to your living room. Another bonus? It allows guests to mix their own cocktails or pour their own glasses of wine without creating a bottleneck of people in the kitchen while you’re putting finishing touches on appetizers. Anticipation is a big part of having it all together this holiday season.
…with more than just booze
A properly styled bar cart requires more than just bottles and a bucket of ice. Make sure yours is stocked with a smart set of bar tools that will prevent the whole crew from asking you for the proper utensil every ten minutes. With gorgeous accessories like this, it will be fun to see who in the family is a budding mixologist (with you as taste-tester, of course).
a real entryway piece
Nothing makes your home look as sloppy as a pile of coats and bags in the corner. A real entryway piece will both designate the entry from the rest of your space, and also make your home feel smart, where items are compartmentalized and in their proper place.
a storage ottoman that doubles as extra seating
Multi-purpose items go a long way toward making your space as functional as it is visually stunning. With extra people, comes extra stuff, and having a storage ottoman or two will give you a place to put everything and keep your home from feeling cluttered. Plus, extra seating is sure to come in handy for after-dinner board games or movie watching.
We cannot stress the importance of window treatments enough. Not the hottest topic of discussion, but certainly a necessary one, curtains complete a room. They just do. To elongate your wall height, hang from the ceiling rather than the top of the window. And avoid the dreaded too-long curtain faux pas.
a proper lighting fixture over the dining table
Put the paper lanterns away. One simple step for upgrading the overall sophistication of your home is to change out your old (or perhaps came-with-the-apartment) lighting. Great lighting is an investment you’ll never regret, and it doesn’t have to be totally budget-breaking either. This piece is less than $230 and its nouveau-classic look will be welcome in this home, and anywhere you live in the future, too.
a grown-up couch
That sad slipcovered situation needs to go, before the holidays. Having enough seating for everyone is a no-brainer (and where you’ve got a small space, floor pillows can do in a pinch!), but also recognizing that your furniture should be something you’re proud of, not something you’re hiding under a ton of blankets, is a pro move. We’re not saying blow your entire decor budget for the year, either. This one is marked down by more than $800!
We’re not saying you need a matchy-matchy couch full, but it is helpful to your overall decor scheme to have throw pillows topping your couch or chairs that complement each other. A random or out of place pillow makes your living space look sloppy, if not childish.
Some of the best family memories are those made after dinner, just hanging out. Make sure you have plenty of comfy throws for lounging (bonus points if you’ve got extra cozy socks or slippers, too!) so that everyone feels encouraged to relax and feels warm and welcome.
a record player
Anyone can plug an iPhone into a speaker. A record player is part music source, part conversation piece. It also gives a family member or two a chance to play DJ with your records while you complete any work left to be done in the kitchen.
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