Now before you get nervous, I’m definitely not encouraging you to leave decorating for a holiday until the last minute. I’m merely suggesting that it’s possible based on my own personal experience. And honestly, it was a blast! Three years ago was the first year I was blessed with the task of hosting Thanksgiving. It was also the year we were blessed with our newborn son. At the time, he was just over two months old.

If I remember correctly and if I know my husband at all, I believe I found out I would be hosting Thanksgiving on that Monday before. Super. That gave me tons of time to get ready, especially as I was still adjusting to becoming a new mom. Luckily, I’m a huge Pinterest fanatic and I always enjoy a challenge. So how was I able to throw it all together the day before? I’d be happy to share.

A major key to success in anything is preparation. First, look around your home and make note of which areas would benefit from some festive love. It may be the porch, entryway, mantel, dining room buffet, dining table, and/or living area.

Next, set a timer (one hour tops) and look online for design inspiration. Take notes on what speaks to you and allow the overlap to lead you to a cohesive theme in your head. This is also where your color scheme should take shape. I recommend sticking with 3-4 colors at most.

Jot down the elements you’d like to include. My personal favorites are white pumpkins, fresh sage, seeded eucalyptus, fresh rosemary, copper accents, pears, figs, and white candles for ambiance. You may decide to include hay bales, leaves, crates, moss, acorns, grapes, pails, white hydrangeas, festive ribbon, burlap, cinnamon sticks, gourds, and/or pinecones. The possibilities are endless.

Round up what you already own that fits within your theme and color palette. It will be tempting to stretch the design, but try to stay true to your inspiration if you can. There’s always next year for the items that didn’t make the cut this time around.

Sketch your plan for each area that will be decorated. Don’t worry if you’re not Picasso, just capture the general idea. The most important part of this is to record how many of each item you will need to pull off the look. Include any linens that you might need as well – tablecloths, napkins, and runners. You will use these sketches to carry out your final design.

Grab your list (I’m partial to the Wunderlist app on my phone) and hit the ground running. I was able to do a lot of my decor shopping at the grocery store while I covered my menu, so you may want to stop there first. Don’t forget to pack a cooler for your perishables if you live in a warmer climate — and have fun shopping and decorating!

xo Leann


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