Get Your Home Ready NOW for Holiday Guests

Emily from MUSE Wall Studio gives an easy, no-stress timeline to make your home "guest ready" for Fall.

Hey, guys. Are you stressing about the holidays yet? Because I'm not! I mean, it's September and I'm still on the downslope from summer. But I know Halloween, then Thanksgiving and everything else will be here sooner than I think.

Here's my typical end-of-summer situation (and let me know if this sounds familiar): 

I began the new year with a slew of decor projects I hoped to do, but then reality hit, life got busy, motivation lagged, and by September I find I've accomplished approximately one and a half of the fifteen projects on my list. Oops! 

Then I enter the "home decor panic zone" and the day after Halloween I'm whipping out the tape measure and online shopping as if my life depended on it. I have ten guests coming for Thanksgiving and the house is NOT ready! What could have been a fun and rewarding experience turns disastrous, too expensive, and stressful. Meh.

Have you been there? I know the answer is almost certainly "yes," because so many of our customers contact us in late October/early November feeling the same way, crossing their fingers we can get them a custom wallpaper order in two days. It's not a good situation for anyone. So let's de-stress and talk about how to avoid the hassle and worry.

NOW is the Time to Get Your Home Holiday-Ready

Redecorating the dining room is the last thing you'll want to do when you have a Thanksgiving menu to plan and prep for your whole family, including the cousin who can't eat gluten, the two vegetarians, one vegan, and your dad who must have the full spread of traditional dishes. (Oh, is that just me...?!!)

Let's do ourselves a favor and get the house ready right now for a fun and relaxing holiday season. I know you're busy — me too! — but you'll be less busy now than in a month from now. 

Here's the step-by-step plan I'm going to follow to ease into the holiday season without stressing about the state of my house, and I hope you find it helpful, too.

September: Make My Master Plan

September is the time to organize my game-plan. You might already have a very specific idea of what you want to do, or you may need to give this a little thought. Choose one week to brainstorm and plan, then cut yourself off and execute!

My main "problem area" is the dining room, so that's what I'm focusing on. Here's what I'll be doing to redecorate my barren dining room (picture sad):

  • Choose a wallpaper to go above the chair rail
  • Select a new light fixture
  • Decide if I want a rug under the table
  • Investigate bench options for more seating
  • Choose coordinating paint color for under the chair rail
  • Plan holiday centerpiece and table runner

During my planning week in September (I'm choosing the 16th - 20th) I'll find all the specific items I'd like to buy. Since I like to mull over all the elements together before I click "buy," I'll save the links on a Pinterest board and see how it all looks, deleting any items that I decide against.

This is also a good time to tally expenses. Make a spreadsheet or paper-and-pencil list to see what everything will cost. If you're over budget, decide what stays and what goes. 

BIG TIP: Now is also the best time to order peel & stick wallpaper samples and get a wallpaper quote. Place a wallpaper sample order as soon as you've narrowed down your choices to a handful of options. Then calculate how much wallpaper you'll need or ask us for sizing recommendations. 

If you need to reduce your wallpaper budget, consider wallpapering just one wall instead of the whole room. And if you're covering one wall, that's a great opportunity to incorporate one of our murals — stunning as a feature wall (or ceiling)!

October 1st - October 15th: Place My Orders

Since I'm doing all my prep work during September, I have a complete list of what I'll need to purchase. My samples have arrived, my paint color is chosen, and I know if I'm ordering some furniture pieces.

I'll simply add all the items to my cart and purchase, then spend a few lunch breaks making runs to local stores. Easy!

October 21st - November 8th: Set Up, Paint & Install!

As soon as everything starts arriving I'll begin decorating the room. If I want to have this done well before holiday madness sets in, I can't have things sitting in boxes for weeks. I might even set up the table decorations now because I might kind of sort of be lacking in storage space...a problem for AFTER Thanksgiving! Haha. Ha...

As soon as that box of wallpaper arrives, go ahead and check the contents and get started immediately once you have an hour or so available. Remember, you can start and stop wallpapering with MUSE peel & stick wallpaper whenever you want since it won't dry up on you. Apply the panels one at a time over the course of a week, or apply it all at once — totally up to you. 

Remember: peel & stick wallpaper cannot be applied to freshly painted surfaces. You must wait 3-4 weeks after painting to apply the wallpaper. With that in mind, don't paint any surfaces you plan to wallpaper. 

During this time I'll also be installing a new light fixture (ok handyman will be doing that), assembling furniture, painting under my dining room chair rail, and seeing how it's all coming together.

November 9th - 28th: I'm Done!

Mid November is normally the time I'd start freaking out about the state of my house, but this year will be smooth sailing. I'll have enough time to plan a menu for my eclectic assortment of lovable family members, freshen up the guest room, and turn my focus to holiday gifts. 

This schedule also gives me some breathing room in case I run into any problems, like if one of my packages is delayed or if something arrives broken, requiring a return and replacement. 

I can also spend this time putting a few finishing touches on the space — a step I'd normally never have time to do. Maybe I'll switch out some throw pillows or make fancy place cards for the table. Hey, maybe I'll even prepare a fun after-dinner Thanksgiving family game like that one where you have to guess the name on the card stuck to your forehead...or maybe not. ;) But the point is I can if I want to. And you can, too!

I hope this is the helpful kick in the rear you need to get organized for a less stressful holiday season. Remember, if you have any wallpaper questions please reach out to me here for help. I'm always happy to offer advice on sizing, pattern choice, application, or any other wallpaper-related topics.

Happy holiday preparations!