• Emily Fisher

Calming Interior Design for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are falling, the days are shorter, and we are beginning to stress over guests coming for the holidays. But what if your home was designed to relieve that anxiety? Not only could it serve as a peaceful refuge on a daily basis, but it could also set a soothing tone for guests coming to visit. Consider our calming suggestions for your home this holiday season!


Beautiful Christmas Home Entryway with gold, silver, natural, and white decor featuring a white wooden bench, several christmas trees, and lots of lights

Create a Welcoming Entryway

Knock, knock! Set the tone for yourself and your guests by updating your front entryway. The entrance to your home doesn’t have to be impersonal or cold. Warm it up with these cheery curb appeal suggestions:


Bring comfortable seating outdoors to send a cordial welcome. Place a charming chair or two near the front door to greet guests. With options like rockers, benches, swings, and chairs, you can still send warm vibes by choosing natural, all-weather materials for your seating. Compliment your outdoor entryway oasis with a pillow or throw to prepare your visitors for a cozy stay.


Outdoor lighting can set a glowing mood. Not only does it provide safety during the earlier evening hours of autumn and winter, but it will also brighten your front entry design elements - setting the tone for a warm welcome. You can light up the outside of your home in a few different ways. Consider complimenting the style of your home with a front porch lighting update. A statement pendant or wall lighting on either side of the door can freshen things up. Additionally, stair and pathway lighting can create an inviting glow for visitors. Options include path, in-ground well, bollard, spot, louvered step, and post caps to light the way. (If you’re not sure what those are, just Google them!)


Red and Natural Holiday Interior Design Table Setting by Emily of EJ Designs for a Client in Hershey PA

Use Natural Elements

Guests may feel stressed from a long trip or hectic travel. Set a serene mood by incorporating materials such as wood and cotton. Natural elements are soothing and calming.


Beautiful macrame for the new year with driftwood and custom felt flowers

Use more natural wood in your interior design. A classic or modern style craftsman wood paneling or wainscoting will create a rich and warm feeling in your dining or living room. Using wood elements for tabletops and chairs can soften the feel of the space. Wood accessories such as picture frames, lamps, and sculptures enrich the calmness of a room.


Turn to cotton decor to make things comfy. Cotton bedding, towels, upholstery, table cloths, napkins, pillows, and rugs always make a home feel cozier. Modern macrame in intricate designs will add beauty to the space especially if they are hung with natural materials like driftwood (adding that wood in there!). Also think about textured art on fabric or woven tapestries in natural colors. They not only soften the feel of the room, but they also absorb extra sound making for a more peaceful experience.


Wood chair with a very fluffy blanket during the holidays with lots of neutral colors and dark green designed by EJ designs for a client in Dillsburg PA

Consider Neutral Tones

Neutral color palettes can bring a feeling of peace to any room. But we don’t want our guests feeling bored by the decor. Adding accents of color, even muted ones, can help keep your company from feeling too relaxed in your calming space. (Because we do want them to leave at the end of the gathering, right?)


White high back accent chair with red pillows in front of a white and red decorated christmas tree created for harrisburg photographer for holiday pictures

Layering neutral tones or adding neutral-colored patterns will calm the mind. These neutral palettes easily lend themselves to living rooms and bedrooms, but can also be applied to a dining room. While communication around the holidays can sometimes be tense, having a calming space to eat in could help keep the conversation in the neutral zone.


Don’t forget to add in the fun! Neutral toned furniture such as taupe or cream can be brightened with throw pillows or blankets in cheery, brighter colors. While the color might be bright, consider soothing your company’s senses by adding decor that has a super soft or fluffy fabric.


Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa!

Giving guests a place to de-stress in a little bit of luxury is another way to show you care. Maybe they’ve traveled a long way and need to freshen up or they’re staying for a few days. Having a restorative bathroom experience is one that your guests will truly appreciate.


fluffy spa-like towel with little lights in front of it

Quick suggestions for a spa-like experience:

❤ Put away the visual clutter (we know a thing or two about that).

❤ Pull in those neutral tones or go all white for the bath with pops of color.

❤ Remember those towels from that last hotel stay? Your guests will, too, if you spend a little extra for that fluffy, five-star experience. Pro tip: go all white for laundry ease.

❤ Candles set a calming tone and add a level of aromatherapy. Light them up a few minutes before guests arrive.

❤ Set up a speaker so that guests can link via bluetooth for their listening pleasure as they relax at your in-home spa.


Just Go Full Out Mad Men Bar

Sometimes despite all your hard work to make it calm and peaceful, entertaining for the holidays can still have you and your guests feeling stressed. Take the edge off with our home cocktail bar suggestions:


Gorgeous, small brass, glass, and mirror bar cart purchased by EJ Designs for a Boiling Springs PA client

When your guests see a special place for cocktails, they know you care about their experience at your home. You don’t have to have a lot of space to create a home cocktail bar either! If you have a closet under the stairs, an open space on a dining room wall, or a nook in your living room, you can set up a swanky space for libations.


Glass and brass - maybe not calming, but definitely welcoming when filled with spirits! Cabinet doors with glass can show off your barware and are easy to clean if there’s a splash. A touch of brass gives a subtle opulence to your Mad-Men-style bar.


Ready to relax for the holidays? We can help you prepare! Contact us about transforming your space into a calming retreat for you and your guests.