Instant atmosphere

Today is Thanksgiving. Now that the turkey has been stuffed, trussed and roasted, it’s time to turn your attention to decorating your home for the holidays.

Even in the midst of a recession there’s no reason not to share the spirit of the season. Simple, little touches scattered here and there can be just as effective in setting a cheery mood as transforming your entire home into a winter wonderland.

“If you have friends coming over, don’t worry about putting a fantastic display together,” said Michelle Gurschke, an interior designer and showroom manager for French Heritage at the Las Vegas Design Center. “Your guests will feel important and special just because you did anything.”

Focus your attention on areas where guests will be: the living room, kitchen and powder room, suggests Ross Manning, senior vice president and senior marketing officer for Tuesday Morning.

“I highly recommend taking a look at the guest bathroom. Do you have nice fresh towels or holiday towels? I’m a big believer – and my wife taught me this – in fine hand-milled soaps,” he said. “It says a lot about what you think about your guests.

But, Gurschke warns, don’t get to scattered in your decorating. Keeping decorations in small areas gives it sense of importance.

“The easiest places to decorate for the holiday are usually your living areas. Those are usually the place where the family spends the most time and tend to be the largest spaces. Since your family uses these rooms often they will likely be the places to best enjoy the decorations,” said Molly Adams, vice president and general manager of Disney Store North America.

The experts agree that a little bit of planning goes a long way.

“Planning is the key,” Manning said.

You only need to spend between 10 and 15 minutes to plan your budget, decorating theme, guest list and menu, he said. “Layout your plan and it will set everything in motion.”

When making your plan, be sure to address the major senses, Gurschke and Manning said.

So, to get your home into the holiday spirit, here are some things you can do without spending a fortune or devoting an entire day.

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